New way to work: Software will allow students to multi-task from home

Long printing lines and long hours spent in computer labs working with Northern Kentucky University software programs may soon become a trend of the past for students, according to plan developed by the NKU Infrastructure Team that is scheduled to be fully put into place by spring 2012.

Take a ride in the DeLorean with Doc and Marty McFly for a second and see a future where students can use computer programs like the Microsoft Office and Adobe suites from home without purchasing them individually. Printing can be done wirelessly from any computer, too!

Under a new software program called VMWare View, these advancements may become a reality for all NKU students. This software can make programs and homework easy, flexible and convenient for students, according to Doug Wells, a member of the NKU Infrastructure Team.

However, implementing the change will require a lot of behind the scenes work from the Information Technology department to make sure everything works fine and essentially will not crash the university network due to a high level of usage, Wells added.

Waiting until spring 2012 allows time to avoid such a crash.

“We need to make sure we have enough bandwidth because we’ll have a lot more network traffic from students using the network at home,” Wells said. “We need to figure out what the average usage will be and work from there.”

The IT department will hold trial runs of the VMWare View program during fall semester 2011. The department will be issuing out 100 trial licenses of the program to students to try out and report back.

VMWare View could also potentially reduce a lot of energy waste on campus, according to proponents. Once the program starts running fluently lesser used computer labs could transform into classrooms and in turn allow the university to offer more classes with more flexibility on days and times.

For students who are intrigued by this new technology and cannot wait to get their hands on these programs from home; there is a program available now to students called Skydrive that launched January 1, 2010. Skydrive allows students to create Web documents of Microsoft Office programs like Word, Excel, PowerPoint or OneNote from a home computer or laptop within the NKU web mail system. The created documents save right into the student’s web mail and are available for print.

Questions about VMWare View or Skydrive programs can be addressed to the IT department at 859-572-6911.

Story by Derick Bischoff