Wake Forest University to host campus technology conference

By Cheryl Walker
February 10, 2006

More than 75 academic technology professionals from across the country are expected to gather at Wake Forest University to discuss best practices in campus technology at Technology Consortium 2006.

The conference will be held Feb. 23-24 on the Wake Forest campus.

The program will focus on mobility and convergence issues, two hot topics in campus computing.

A panel discussion of Wake Forest's MobileU pilot program will highlight the conference. MobileU is the nation's first pilot program to test combination mobile phone/PocketPC devices on a college campus. Started in fall 2005, MobileU explored how mobile technology may enhance campus life. Jay Dominick, Wake Forest's chief information officer, will lead the discussion. Additional Wake Forest Information Systems department staff and a student participant in the pilot program will also be panelists.

Igor Jablokov, program director of IBM's Websphere Multimodal and Voice Products, will present the keynote address at 10 a.m. Feb. 23. In his address, "Technology Convergence: A Look into the Future," Jablokov will discuss IBM's vision for technology convergence in academic computing. He leads a worldwide team developing speech technology for IBM. Jablokov also serves as a business mentor for IBM's Extreme Blue internship program, which included a Wake Forest student as a 2005 participant.

IBM developed the speech-enabled web applications for mobile phones tested in the Wake Forest pilot program. In collaboration with IBM, Wake Forest will continue to explore converged computing and how it can be used to improve education and campus life through the use of open standards, mobile and voice technologies.

In addition to the session on MobileU, 11 other seminars featuring Wake Forest faculty, staff and students will be presented. They will address such topics as the use of mobile devices to support academic and student life, wireless technology and mobile devices, and enhancing campus communications with mobile devices. Bill Hagen, Mobility Solution Specialist for Windows Mobile, will participate in many of the sessions on mobile campus computing and lead a Feb. 24 morning session on mobility applications. A session on copyright compliance will focus on file sharing, digital reserves and other issues to be considered on campus when using copyrighted material. Another session will offer tips on how to run a computer help desk and provide good tech support.

Wake Forest's Information Systems Student Programs, including Resident Technology Advisors; Technology Quarters; and Knowledge2Work, a student-run program specializing in information technology and design solutions, will be featured in a session on building effective student technology programs.

An evening event on Feb. 23 funded by the Chambers Family Fund for Entrepreneurship and led by eSociety@wfu, a student-organized group dedicated to promoting entrepreneurship on campus, will discuss business ideas for mobile devices and the Internet. Panelists will include Bren Varner, associate director of the Wake Forest University Center for Entrepreneurship, and several students.

Known as a technology leader in higher education, Wake Forest was among the first universities in the country to provide laptop computers to its students. For the past four years, the university has been experimenting with mobile computing pilot programs to find out what technology is most useful in an academic environment.

The program is open to those registered for the conference. For more information, visit http://technologyconsortium.wfu.edu/.