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Taking advantage of tech

21 August 2014 By Sam Shelton, Associate News Editor No Comments
How to use the apps, printers and computers available to all

Students looking to make the most of their time at Towson should consider taking advantage of the University’s available technology.

That said, some of the most important aspects of the campus’ resources aren’t shown in any tours.

The Towerlight has laid out some steps for students, new or old, who want to take advantage of all that campus technology has to offer.

Step No. 1: Find out what the University has available.

Towson makes the effort to ensure that students have the technology that they need to succeed.

There are various apps, social media accounts, printing stations and computers all available to aide students.

Step No. 2: Figure out where everything is. Some of the best-kept secrets on campus were probably never meant to be secrets at all, but, much like Patuxent, are easily missed or overlooked.

For example, the University Store’s Espresso Book Machine, or EBM, is capable of printing entire books, a feat that is impossible for standard printers.

Student Computing Services can also help students print large format or poster-sized documents.

The WEPA (Wireless Everywhere. Print Anywhere.) printers, which replaced the Debitek system in August 2013, allow students to print materials they’ve saved in cloud storage and pay using a debit or OneCard.

The machines are sporadically placed around campus, but some of the easiest to find are in the College of Liberal Arts and Cook Library.

Cook Library also plays host to a number of public computers, which can be used by anyone.

The library’s website even supplies real time information pertaining to how many computers are in use.

Step No. 3: Explore mobile options. Two of the University’s most prominent apps are geared toward students and campus life, and knowing how to work them can make processes like registration and OneCard management infinitely easier to handle.

In March, the main Towson U mobile app received an upgrade that allows students to do much more than view their schedules and dining hall locations.

“Students told us they wanted a more interactive experience with PeopleSoft from within the app,” Blackboard Administration Manager Patricia Halstead said in a prior email exchange with The Towerlight. “This new update allows for this.”

Through the app, students can review their schedules, find advisor contact information and manage PeopleSoft account activity, as well as respond to financial aid offers, edit personal information settings and add, drop and register classes.

The University also offers an app for the OneCard system, which allows students to manage account information and report their OneCards missing or stolen.

Another unavoidable aspect of campus technology is the Wi-Fi.

Though it doesn’t really warrant any kind of extra step, knowing a bit about the Towson Wi-Fi network can’t hurt.

In May the University began the process of replacing the existing campus-wide Wi-Fi network, TU-guest, with the updated TUopenaccess in order to give students faster access to the Internet.

The new system does not require a username or password, so this change also allows devices such as Xbox, PlayStation and Apple TV to connect to the network.

New students will likely benefit from the past year’s changes to technology on campus, which leads to Step No. 4: Always keep an eye out for new resources.

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