Mobile Computing Initiative
In Fall 2011, the college introduced a Mobile Computing Initiative. This Initiative states that all incoming students must have access to a laptop computer with at least Windows 7 or Snow Leopard (10.6.8). At this time, we do not support tablets. Current students may continue to use their previously certified laptops, which may be running older operating systems.
What are the benefits of the Mobile Computing Initiative?
Students have access to licensed software, network file storage and other resources by using our Westminster Anywhere platform.
Laptops will enhance classroom flexibility in order to achieve innovative instruction.
Faculty members no longer need to schedule a computer lab classroom in order to include technology in their courses.
In an attempt to accommodate the widest range of possible mobile computers we have a simple minimum requirement set for qualification under the Westminster College Mobile Computing Initiative.
Microsoft Windows 7 (32-bit and 64-bit) and Windows Vista (32-bit only)
- Note: We do not recommend Windows XP, and we only support Windows XP 32-bit with service pack 3 for continuing students.
Apple Macintosh OS X versions 10.6.8 (Snow Leopard) or higher (including Lion and Mountain Lion).
HTML5 capable browsers, including (at minimum) Chrome 22, IE 9, Safari 5.1.7, Firefox 16, Mobile Safari on iOS 6.
Must be a laptop, netbook or other mobile platform that meets the operating system and hardware requirements.
Must be able to operate for a minimum of 3 hours on battery. This allows the student to work on battery power for the duration of a single class period.
The computer must have a webcam and microphone either embedded or as an add-on.
It must be able to connect to the wireless network using 802.11 standards g,a or n. We do not currently support 802.11b in our classrooms.
It is very important to the Information Services Department that the college's network stays secure and virus free. We ask that all computers connecting to our network have virus scan software installed and up-to-date. If students do not have virus scan software already installed we recommend using Microsoft Security Essentials. To receive a free download go to:
Service Level Agreement
To support the institutional mobile computing iniaitive, the Information Services department has established the following service priorities:
To the extent possible, we will provide all available academic software to faculty and students both remotely and on campus via a remote desktop interface. Some software is restricted via licensing agreement and will not be made available. Additionally, software that requires specialized hardware or is incompatible with VMware View will also not be available via a remote desktop interface.
We will verify the configuration and availability of our remote desktop software and wireless access on campus. Individual computers are the sole responsibility of the owner and it is their responsibility to connect them to both the wireless and remote desktop software. We will however provide instructions and quick tips that cover the most common connection configurations.
Connecting to the Wireless Network and/or Westminster Anywhere
- Faculty members needing support to get their laptops connected to the wireless network can bring their laptops to the Faculty Technology Center or the General Computer Lab. Faculty members can also call the computer support line where they can receive assistance via phone or make an appointment to meet with a full-time staff member Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Using Laptops in Your Courses
- Laptop Certification Program - This program was created as an alternative to classroom technology support. The IS Department understands faculty members cannot spare an hour of class time to verify student laptops are ready to go. All students are encouraged to participate in this program, but the IS Department is encouraging faculty members using laptops in their courses to require participation in the program. Click here to view more details on the Laptop Certification Program.
- Classroom Technology Support- In the past, the IS Department had a full-time staff member attend the first five minutes of any class held in a computer lab. Since the mobile initiative turns every class into a computer classroom, faculty members can request an IS staff member to attend the class to verify all students are able to connect to the wireless network and Westminster Anywhere. Please note: Classroom technology support can take up to one hour of class time depending on the number of students and computer equipment. If you would like to schedule a Classroom technology support for your course, please complete the Classroom technology support Request Form.
Basic Laptop Support
The General Computer Lab, located in the basement of the Giovale Library, is staffed by student technicians. The student technicians are available anytime the library is open. A staff member is also available Monday-Friday from 8am to 6pm. The General Computer Lab is the best place for students to come with any technical problems. If the technician is unable to help the student, they may be directed to meet with a staff member during working hours or sent offsite for computer support.
Connecting to the Wireless Network and Westminster Anywhere