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Dartmouth College Office of Public Affairs • Press Release
Dartmouth's incoming freshmen, the Class of 2009, will enjoy four years of "converged" living at the Hanover, N.H., campus. They will be the first generation of Dartmouth students to experience a campus environment that enjoys Internet, television and phone service all courtesy of the Dartmouth computer network.
"Dartmouth has deployed a wireless and wired network infrastructure that is ubiquitous," says Brad Noblet, Dartmouth's Director of Technical Services and the interim Chief Information Officer. "Not only can you get wireless service on 100 percent of the campus, you can also use your computer to watch TV, make a phone call, send an email, or visit the Internet. A computer at Dartmouth is the gateway to everything, both on and off campus."
"Convergence" was achieved in the spring of 2005 when Dartmouth launched the pilot program of DarTV, where the cable and satellite television system was switched to the network. Noblet explains that the vision of implementing this computer technology is to provide communications choices, and to enhance teaching and learning. Helping students develop a sense of network responsibility and an ethic of computer citizenship are also on Noblet's agenda.
Hundreds of this year's incoming first-year students will receive "eTokens," a Public Key Infrastructure security device made by Aladdin, a company dealing in digital security. The key-like gadgets operate on the principles of cryptography and with two levels of authentication: something you have (the actual key) and something you know (a password to unlock the credentials on the key). They provide a far more secure way to verify users to network applications than the traditional username/password approach, and they help foster good computer security habits that hopefully will last a lifetime, says Noblet. At Dartmouth, they are being rolled out slowly, and will ultimately help protect all sensitive data and applications.
On the academic side, Dartmouth's faculty tap into this robust network infrastructure in a variety of ways.
"The universal nature of Dartmouth's computing environment means that we can bring the library's and the web's vast resources into the classroom and research an immediate component of any course we teach," says Thomas Luxon, the Cheheyl Professor and Director of the Dartmouth Center for the Advancement of Learning (DCAL).
Incorporating technology into teaching and learning is one of DCAL's activities, and Luxon, who is a Professor of English and a Milton and Shakespeare scholar, encourages students to incorporate or embed television clips, Internet links and even digital audio segments into their homework assignments.
"The technology invigorates both faculty and student imaginations. It allows assigned coursework to be real scholarly work instead of makework."
Dartmouth has television (satellite uplink) and radio (ISDN) studios available for domestic and international live and taped interviews. For more information, call 603-646-3661 or see our Radio, Television capability webpage.