While DLSU has largely been competent at providing facilities for every student, it has become very evident that the University still encounters problems and glitches in its technological services. Virus-ridden classroom computers, malfunctioning projectors, and horrible WiFi connections are just some of the complaints that the Information Technology Services (ITS) has received throughout the past few terms.
In its special term agenda, the ITS vows to lead the University in addressing its current problems to shape a more technologically advanced institution. In line with this, DLSU President and Chancellor Br. Dennis Magbanua FSC shares that Lasallians can expect three major breakthroughs in technological advances in the University within the course of the next academic year.
Virus paves good change
On February 29, the University discovered that the computers in numerous classrooms and laboratories have been infected with suspicious malware. According to ITS Director James Sy, initial investigation showed that this was caused by students transferring files from their flash drives to the University computers without consent from the ITS.
Sy estimates that here have already been at least 240,100 flash drives that have been plugged into the computers since installation, and system glitches have been accumulating ever since. “Eventually, the whole system broke down,” explains Sy. According to Sy, the ITS probe on this issue found that the Trojan strain virus has contaminated all the computers registered under the ITS system, including classroom and laboratory computers.
However, Sy stresses that the students should not be alarmed, stating, “It’s not a big issue. The system broke down, nagka-virus, so we just have to reformat. Then everything will be resolved. It’s that easy.”
Sy adds that the ITS is already planning to implement a more updated system. “We are really considering an upgrade for the system since it is outdated,” he continues. Sy cites the partnership already being settled between the University and the Power Mac Center in order to facilitate the upgrading. “We’re just trying to fix the finances and the terms. If it gets approved, we will start replacing the computers during the special term.”
Lasallians can also look forward to a revolutionary and interactive approach in teaching and learning in the University by August 2015, according to Sy.
In time for the start of the adjusted academic calendar, the University will be offering smart boards in its classrooms and laboratories. Through this effort, the University will be able to aid visual and auditory learners and enhance the learning ability of a breed of technologically adept learners.
Members of the administrative board, headed by Br. Magbanua and composed of ITS coordinators under Sy, have recently signed a multimillion dollar deal with world-renowned smart board provider SMART in pursuit of this agenda.
“The idea of putting up smart boards in the classrooms has been a widely-debated topic within the administration. Since Br. Ricky’s time, we have already been discussing [whether or not we should] push through with the installation,” says Br. Magbanua, delighted by the innovative initiative taken by the University. “There’s no denying that Lasallians have been greatly affected by technology, so [we think it is] a wise decision to bring them closer to their lessons by means of these type of mediums,” he continues.
As of press time, the University will be providing simulation rooms where a smart board will be installed, ready for use. These simulation rooms will be located in select classrooms in the Br. Andrew Gonzalez Building and Yuchengco Hall by the start of the special term. “We will only be using around ten classrooms as simulation rooms for now,” Sy clarifies, “and we hope to complete set-up by the first week of August.”
Connection like no other
According to Sy, the ITS is also currently working on boosting the internet connection in the University, with plans to install Fiber internet during the special term.
Currently functioning at 20 megabites per second (Mbps), the internet speed should be expected to increase fifty times after the special term. “This means that the students shall experience fast internet speeds of up to 1000 Mbps during the first term of the next academic year,” explains Sy.
Apart from setting a faster internet speed, investing in Fiber internet will also extend the scope of the connection. As of press time, Sy shares that the ITS is already looking into the possibility of additional WiFi hotspots in and around the University, including Agno, where students often flock to for lunch and snacks.
“This will allow students to have better connectivity within campus,” Sy stresses, reasoning that to be considered as one of the leading universities in the Philippines, a fast internet connection should be established within DLSU. “The goal is to make every Lasallian student connected. Connected in the sense that they can and are able to search, upload, download, and watch everything that is vital to their studies without the hassle and worries of being cut off from the internet,” he comments.
“These innovations make DLSU a top university. These innovations are what set us apart from the other universities. Our goal is always to provide quality facilities to our students to make their stay in the University productive,” Sy concludes.
Despite the noble intentions behind these innovations, the announcement has drawn mixed reactions from students in the University.
The new era of learning in DLSU has been received positively by students like Brian Madrigal (III, AB-ISE) and Alyssa Diaz (II, BS-FIN) who both agree that the initiative will make La Salle competent globally and on a par with its counterpart universities in neighboring ASEAN countries, in light of this year’s integration.
However, other students are quick to point out a few disagreements to the cause, foreseeing that upgrading to smart boards will mean a hefty increase in tuition and fees.