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iPad too much for some campus networks

Jenna Johnson

The iPad has been touted as the next big thing in higher education technology, especially as more textbooks make the digital conversation, but the Wall Street Journal reports that not all college campus networks can handle the mobile tablets.

George Washington University students and faculty members who sprung for an iPad can't access the campus wireless network. Princeton University has blocked about two dozen iPads that were messing up the university network. Seton Hill University, which is equipping every student with an iPad, has had to quadruple its bandwidth and charge students a $500-per-semester technology fee. Cornell University is also seeing networking and connectivity issues, similar to what happened with the iPhone hit.

Earlier this month, George Washington University's information technology officials broke the sad news to students and faculty members planning to order an iPad: They can't log onto the university's wireless network. The university is working on the problem, The GW Hatchet reports, but doesn't plan to offer iPad access for at least another year. The iPhone also doesn't work on the university network.

About five days after the iPad was released (Apple sold more than half a million in that first week), Princeton officials warned students and others not to try to connect to the university network because of "high risk problems," the Daily Princetonian reported. Still, about four dozen people tried accessing the Internet from their new iPads -- and half caused problems to the network and have been blocked.

Seton Hill University is lovingly embracing the iPad and, starting this fall, will give all 2,100 students an iPad -- incoming freshman also get a 13-inch MacBook laptop. But to handle all of that technology, the liberal-arts college in Pennsylvania has had to quadruple its bandwidth, extend wireless coverage to the entire campus and train faculty members. The new technology program is costing students an additional $500 per semester in fees, the Chronicle reports.

How about your campus? Have you had any problems getting online with your iPad?

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By Jenna Johnson  |  April 19, 2010; 10:46 AM ET
Categories:  News Overload  | Tags: Cornell, George Washington, Princeton, Seton Hill  
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Wow...a school is just giving students technology??? How effing spoiled is this next generation!?!?!?

Posted by: sigmagrrl | April 19, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

1. Reasonably sure this is a contract with Apple, just like vending machine companies tend to have a contract with Coca-Cola or PepsiCo.

2. Also relatively sure that Seton Hill's tuition has gone up proportionately -- just instead of having it be a separate purchase that students have as an associated cost, it's put into tuition (although since they're buying in bulk, it may be a smaller cost than if they each went out to the Apple store, and even if they offer the kids a discount they might get to pocket the difference between their cost and student cost -- therefore, money for the school). They're paying for it, they're just getting it from the school instead of the middleman (this also makes it *significantly* easier for the school's IT folks -- everybody has a Mac, everybody has *the same* Mac or the same four types of Macs, therefore you're only having to offer support for limited #s of kinds of computers, and obtain software/hardware that's compatible with one set of computer specs; some companies do this for their employees, too).

It comes out as "woohoo kids get free computers!" but actually it makes life easier (and more profitable) for the school than anyone else.

Posted by: | April 19, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Wow...a school is just giving students technology??? How effing spoiled is this next generation!?!?!?

Posted by: sigmagrrl | April 19, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse
Once you read the fine print in the tuition statement, you'll see that the University is not "giving" them out for free.

Posted by: clark202 | April 19, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Wow, so Apple continues its mission to put every student into their walled garden. Then after graduation they can all learn how to use a PC for their jobs in the real world.

Posted by: robert17 | April 19, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Why would you pay for an iPad when there is like a billion places you can get one for free? Here's one for you:

Posted by: Noella7 | April 19, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

uh, isn't Seton Hall in New Jersey, not Pennsylvania?

Posted by: fedssocr | April 19, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

fedssocr: "uh, isn't Seton Hall in New Jersey, not Pennsylvania?"

Yes, but the article does not mention Seton Hall.

Posted by: qoqo | April 19, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Proof that a tail really can wag a dog.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | April 19, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

A Hill is a Hall if you are a Hobbit.


Posted by: GaryEMasters | April 19, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

qoqo--"Yes, but the article does not mention Seton Hall."

I'm not sure what article you are reading, but Seton Hall is mentioned twice.

Fedssocr, you are correct in stating Seton Hall is in NJ, not Pennsylvania. In fact, none of the schools listed are in PA.

Posted by: dhmcgee | April 19, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Noella7, why on earth would you get ANYTHING "for free" (sic) which really involves jumping through hoops, visiting worthless websites & committing to purchase overpriced, useless merchandise?

Posted by: owascolg | April 19, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

P.S.:.."There ain't no such thing as a free lunch." TANSTAAFL

Posted by: owascolg | April 19, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

The real problem here isn't bandwidth but a software bug in how the iPad (and iPhones) get their network address.

Princeton posted an article about this here:

From that article, they have linked to another article that describes a workaround for the issue:

What this means: this can be fixed with an update to the iPad and iPhones and isn't some problem created by how these devices are normally used. In other words, this is a temporary problem and not a permanent one or one that will require infrastructural changes.

My opinion is that George Washington University saying that they don't "plan to offer iPad access for at least another year" seems to be an over reaction.

Posted by: jcouball | April 19, 2010 7:04 PM | Report abuse

All the college kid's do with those things is download reruns of Family Guy. What a waste of resources. They'll still have to import chinese kids to keep the school competitive.

Posted by: peterg73 | April 19, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Seton Hill and Seton Hall are not the same school.

The Seton Hill website is a gigantic ad for the iPad. Seems safe to say that a degree from Devry, University of Phoenix, or even ITT Tech is more worthwhile that that joke.

Posted by: thouck1 | April 19, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

There are no problems connecting and using iPads on the Cornell University wireless network. In the sixteen days since April 3rd, more than 68 iPads have been registered and are in use on campus without any reported networking or connectivity problems.

Posted by: macbutton | April 19, 2010 11:38 PM | Report abuse

hook them jaunts up on them interwebs 2.0

Posted by: BMACattack | April 20, 2010 12:42 AM | Report abuse

Uh, why did the article mention the "GW Hatchet" in the same sentence that it discusses Washington University which is, as we all know, in Missouri?

(Yes. This is a tongue-in-cheek response to the Seton Hill/Hall tangent.)

Posted by: mr_shiny | April 20, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

It's easy to confuse the two schools:
Seton HALL is located in South Orange, NJ (northwest of Newark)
Seton HILL is located in Greensburg, PA (southeast of Pittsburgh)
Both are Catholic liberal arts schools.

Posted by: ptrivilino | April 20, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

In my country - BRAZIL - the student's figth is get a simple internet conection to study.

Posted by: jonysberg | April 20, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

I love it - so all those students get a "free" $500 iPad, but have to pay $500 per semester in "tech fees". Err, I mean their parents have to pay $500 per semester in tech fees.

Posted by: grey0135 | April 20, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

I guess some of you should go back to school to sharpen your reading skills. SHU is located in greensburg, PA, established in 1885, go to their website, looks quite old.

Posted by: gfh437 | April 20, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

"I'm not sure what article you are reading, but Seton Hall is mentioned twice."

I'm reading this article. And, no, Seton Hall is not mentioned at all. Seton Hill is mentioned.

Posted by: qoqo | April 21, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

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