New program from IT offers support for mobile devices

Michael McKay

Informational Technology at WKU is trying out a new program that will provide students, faculty and staff support for mobile devices and tablets.

Lori Douglas, director of Technical Support Services, said the program is necessary.

“We have seen a need for people with mobile devices that have nowhere for support,” Douglas said.

Douglas said the needs of faculty were also considered.

“Students have ResNet,” Douglas said. “Faculty and staff didn’t have anything like that — we don’t have a StaffNet, so to speak. So we kind of merged into one project and came up with covering limited support for the things that people can do with mobile devices at WKU.”

People needing assistance with accessing Blackboard, apps like iWKU and Blackboard Learn, campus wireless internet and email will be able to receive support from IT, Douglas said.

Danville senior Aubrey Darnell, a consultant for the Helpdesk, said people have been calling for mobile device assistance for a while.

Douglas said it’s IT’s goal to help people make sure they can do that on their mobile devices.

“For faculty and staff, that includes their laptops and personal devices,” she said.

Bob Owen, vice president for Information Technology, said mobile device support will be a helpful addition.

“We always try to support as much as we can with the devices that are coming out,” Owen said. “Mobile devices are kind of a wild animal because there are so many of them and so many configurations that it’s always been tough — we’ve never had the staff. But we’re going to try in a limited way with some models to try to provide some support.”

The devices covered will included all iOS devices like iPhones as well as Android phones and tablets like the Kindle Fire.

The pilot program will last one year. IT will evaluate whether or not to expand the program based on demand, Douglas said.