The University of La Verne continued its expansion of wireless Internet access earlier in the month with the addition of the Arts and Communications Building.
“It will enhance greatly our facility and the learning opportunities for our students,” George Keeler, communications department chairman, said.
With the addition of the ACB, there are 16 buildings on campus with full wireless coverage, including Brandt Hall, Stu-Han, the Hoover Building, Davenport Dining Hall, Wilson Library and the Sports Science and Athletics Pavilion.
Each building also has a certain “overflow” zone, which makes wireless accessible outside most of the buildings as well.
However, while the addition of wireless Internet to the ACB can surely be considered an upgrade, it raises issues with students having access to Internet in classrooms in all areas of the University.
“It is a great teaching tool,” Maia Kinsinger, associate professor of communications, said.
Professors can now have their students look things up during class sessions, a tactic that Kinsinger has already used in her media classes that often take place in one of the ACB’s computer labs.
However, the addition of wireless also brings up more opportunities for distraction.
According to Kinsinger, some students may be mistaken in believing they can multitask well enough to browse the Internet while giving the proper attention to their professor.
Keeler agreed, stating that students tend to have short attention spans and like to be entertained; so when their teacher is boring they find other ways to occupy themselves.
This, however, does not mean the University should be hesitant to welcome this new advancement.
“We need to embrace new media,” Keeler said.
The wireless expansion to most of these areas occurred over the past year. Previously only Brandt and Stu-Han had access to wireless Internet.
“We were behind the times,” Clive Houston-Brown, chief information officer, said. “Most other campuses had widespread wireless.”
There may have been an advantage in waiting, however. While most campuses currently have the old, slower versions of wireless forcing them to upgrade, the University has the most updated and best available.
Wireless Internet access will continue to spread, with the addition of coverage coming to Leo Hall, Woody Hall, Mainiero Building, Founders Hall and Miller Hall in the near future.
In order to access wireless Internet on campus, students can log in using their student e-mail account and password.
Debbie Allison can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.