November 21, 2012 12:00AM
The number of tablet computers on university campuses more than tripled in 2012, a trend that Angela Neria, Pittsburg State University’s chief information officer, predicts will make tablets such as the Apple iPad and Amazon Kindle the most popular tech items this holiday season.
“I think we’re going to see a lot more tablets on campus after this holiday season,” Neria said. “There is a wide variety now, especially with the release of the iPad Mini and the lower price on the iPad 2. We’re going to see a lot of those, and we’ll also see a lot of the HD Kindle tablets and the Nook. We’ll probably see more new tablets on campus than we will new laptops.”
Neria said the tablets are becoming increasingly popular avenues for web browsing, e-mail and note-taking among both students and staff. As the number of tablets on campus grows, so do requests for support, but Neria says the Office of Information Services will be “ready and waiting” to provide that assistance.
“A lot of people will bring their new gadgets to campus, but they’ll need help getting on our network or setting up their e-mail and calendars,” Neria said. “Our call center and help desk will be ready and waiting to field those requests and help in any way we can.”
Neria said PSU is being pro-active in its preparation for the increased use of its Internet connection network.
“When you bring a lot more tablets and smartphones onto campus, you’re bringing a lot more devices that are accessing our network,” Neria said. “We keep a close eye on that, and we’re always looking at ways to build upon our wireless network to accommodate the increased demand.”
High-definition televisions and gaming systems are expected to join tablet computers atop the list of hot tech items this holiday season, Neria said.
“The Nintendo Wii U is going to be a big hit this year,” she said. “It’s geared toward both the casual and avid gamers, so it will be interesting to see if the gaming community likes it. Televisions will also remain popular this year, and I think we’re also going to see a lot of the new Sony X headphones. They’re expensive, but students really like them and like to wear them around campus.”
Gift cards to stores such as Best Buy and iTunes are also expected to be popular this year, Neria said.
For more information, call PSU’s Office of Information Services at 620-235-4924.