With the forthcoming start of the fall semester at Oklahoma Christian University, an initiative announced in early April will finally come to fruition. The groundbreaking deal, announced in partnership with Dell, Inc., promises to put a laptop in the hands of every fulltime undergraduate student, while also providing one of the nation’s only all-campus wireless networks.
“Since we first put wireless laptops into our students’ hands three years ago, it has been our goal to use technology to enhance the educational experience across the board, promoting a unique level of interactivity with professors and class material, and maximizing students’ abilities to work on assignments anywhere on campus at any time,” said Dr. Mike O’Neal, Oklahoma Christian University president. “This alliance with Dell takes this program and our university to an even higher level and further enhances the value of an Oklahoma Christian education.”
The program improves upon a previous program that issued wireless IBM Thinkpads to each student. The difference between the previous program and the current initiative is that students are being issued state of the art laptops for them to keep – given that they graduate having spent 4 semesters at the University. For students who leave school before that time, they will be offered a prorated amount for the laptop.
It is not easy to equip a single configuration of laptop to cater to the needs of a body as diverse as an entire student body. But with wireless interactivity in mind – allowing students to access course materials freely as well as working on homework and projects anywhere on campus – the Dell D600 wireless laptops are configured heartily. The laptops each come with an Intel 1.4ghz Centrino processor, 512 mb DDR memory, SXGA screen for a high resolution desktop environment, DVD-CDRW combo drive, in addition to the wireless network card that can access the internet from anywhere on campus.
For the previous three years, Oklahoma Christian has integrated computer-enhanced instruction into the classroom. When the pilot laptop wireless program was launched in 2001, it became the first university in Oklahoma and, and one of only several nationwide, that offered campus-wide wireless internet and a laptop for each fulltime student.
“The success of our technology initiative is a testimony to how important technology is to this generation of students,” said John Hermes, Director of Computer and Network Services. “Our goal as we move into a new phase of this initiative is to build a strong partnership with an established company like Dell while striving to provide our students, faculty, and staff with leading-edge technology.”
Oklahoma Christian, a private, four-year comprehensive university nationally ranked seventh overall in the 16-state Western region by U.S. News & World Report, offers degree programs in more than 60 fields of study in three colleges: the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Biblical Studies and the College of Professional Studies. The university also offers graduate degree programs in Biblical Studies and Business Administration.