The journey to becoming a Smart Campus starts at EDUCAUSE

Richard-Nedwich-1 Richard Nedwich October 10, 2018

IT and Student Success

If your university or college belongs to EDUCAUSE and participates in that community, you may realize that in the past 6 years, Student Success has been reported as a Top 10 IT Priority.  In other words, retention matters. EDUCAUSE student success featureSo how can IT help improve student retention?  Many CIOs I work with have told me it starts with delivering a great student experience and providing the tools for students to engage digitally in campus life. Did your students have a great experience this back-to-school year?  Or was the IT Helpdesk overwhelmed with onboarding support tickets?  Did any students who complained last year about Wi-Fi connectivity choose not to return this year? It seems each year the bar gets raised for campus network IT – more devices, new types of devices, more bandwidth needed, new applications, new building construction and remodels, increased campus safety measures, new contracts and SLAs, more accountability to the Chancellor and President if things aren’t right, and more need to demonstrate how IT contributes to campus goals and student experience.   How can you deal, when budgets and staff are fixed or shrinking, and no more hours in the day?  Maybe it’s time to work smarter, not harder. To do this may take a bold new approach – one in which the campus itself becomes a platform for innovative services, cost savings, and improved safety.  This is the promise of a Smart Campus. Since the last EDUCAUSE, I have been meeting with CIOs and IT staffs across the U.S. and Canada, the U.K. and even Australia, to discuss their needs and listen to their pain points – what keeps them up at night.  These meetings include discussions around an emerging trend called Smart Campus.  What is a Smart Campus?  How can it help my campus, or achieve my goals? What would it take?  I’m pleased to report the idea is indeed taking hold, and some campuses are starting to take their first steps on the journey.  More on that in a later blog post… At a high level, a Smart Campus merges the solutions of a Smart City (automation, improved processes, public safety) with the enhanced services and user experience of a Smart Home.  At its core, a Smart Campus places the physical infrastructure of the campus on the network (sensors measuring temperature, light, motion, and things like CCTV cameras and Wi-Fi locks), then implementing a rules engine which means ‘detect something, do something.’  For example, ‘detect smoke – unlock doors, turn on LED lights, direct CCTV cameras in the area of alert to snap image which is sent to Campus Police and Incident Response Team, sound alarm in the affected building, etc.  As you can see, while you have no control or choice in when or where an incident may occur, Smart Campus solutions can provide you with more choice and control of your response.

The benefits of a Smart Campus

The benefits of a Smart Campus include Smart Living, Smart Learning, and Smart Security & Safety, in addition to building automation for cost savings.  These benefits are often realized through integration or deployment of ecosystem solution partners in conjunction with Ruckus infrastructure.  Examples include: Smart LivingCytilife student retention software featuring new/enhanced student services delivered via a powerful mobile app for scheduling, collaborating and coordinating student activity. RG Nets for Personal Student Networks, in conjunction with Ruckus Cloudpath, which make connectivity easy and secure. Smart Learning Lenovo for VR classrooms, labs and simulations; Cytilife and for Smart Classrooms with Seamless Attendance taking and dashboards identifying students at retention risk Smart Security and SafetySchreder outdoor modular lighting solutions like the Shuffle, including options for outdoor Wi-Fi, CCTV, LED lighting, microphone, speaker array and more; Assa Abloy door solutions, including Wi-Fi door locks; Databuoy with Shotpoint software for shot detection and active shooter response.

Let's meet at EDUCAUSE

BOOTH 1521 - Cytilife, Lenovo and Schreder are just some of many examples of how Ruckus Networks is helping campuses transition to smart living, smart learning and smart safety environments. Come meet with us at EDUCAUSE for hands-on demonstrations, and let’s answer your questions and help you learn how to get started on your journey to become a Smart Campus! While at EDUCAUSE, attend Cytilife’s breakout session, Wednesday, October 31, 9:45 a.m. in Meeting Room 304 “How Smart Campuses Transform Student Engagement, Health, Productivity, and Retention to hear from your peers already deploying Smart Campus solutions.” Meanwhile, you can learn more about Smart Campus solutions by reading our eBook or visiting our Higher Education web page. See you in Denver!   Recommended Reading: How universities' smart campuses resemble mini smart cities 'Smart' Campuses Invest in the Internet of Things      

About the Author


Richard Nedwich

Director, Education Marketing