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For students who may not have access to high-speed Internet or own a personal laptop, transitioning and adjusting to distance learning may have been troublesome. SRU administration, however, devised and enacted a solution to this problem: Connectivity.
Connectivity, which was established by SRU President William Behre, provides laptops and other technology to students who don’t have access to them at home and assists students with Internet connection issues. Dr. John Ziegler, associate provost for Information and Administrative Technology Services (IATS), said Connectivity has helped a lot of students prepare for online classes.
“Most laptops were loaned through Bailey Library, and most students picked up their laptops themselves to avoid any unnecessary hassle,” Ziegler said. “We’ve also suggested that students reach out to their Internet providers to get a hotspot, which Connectivity has reimbursed them for.”
He added that turning a smartphone into a personal hotspot, if it has that capability, is an option for students as well. For example, if a student loses electricity at home or their Internet is down temporarily, enabling the hotspot capability on their phone is a practical backup plan.
So far, according to Ziegler, Connectivity has loaned 24 laptops to students, who will be required to return them to the library.
“Many students only have satellite communication at home or have no connectivity at all,” Ziegler said. “I’ve heard about students having to use or borrow Internet from their neighbors in order to do their schoolwork.”
He added that, although IATS has been busy throughout the past two weeks, they haven’t been unusually busy.
“We haven’t really received any complaints so far,” Ziegler said. “It’s kind of been business as usual. We’ve been pretty busy, but it hasn’t really been anything out of the ordinary. We’re still working hard to help our students.”