Planning and Implementing Computer Orientation for a Laptop Campus: The Wake Forest University ThinkPad Project


As more universities make the decision to provide all students with computers, the issues surrounding introducing students to ubiquitous computing in a campus setting takes on more significance. Wake Forest University has been providing incoming students with IBM laptops since 1995 and, in the four years since, the university has had to plan and implement distribution, support, training, and computer orientation for each incoming freshman class. How they did it and the lessons learned along the way are the central issues of this paper. The primary focus is the computer orientation offered annually to all incoming students to introduce and familiarize them with their computers and with computing on campus. Additional issues to be addressed include project history, year-by-year evolution of the project, staffing and support issues, and an orientation model for the future.

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