Throughout the years, the University of Arkansas has made sure students are fully equipped with the latest technology. Besides the eight computer labs located on campus, the university has provided much advancement in the technology available to students. From the university website, to enrollment, to scannable ID cards, to an array of technical devices and RazALERT, the U of A will only keep growing from their technological advancements.
The website,uark.edu, offers services such as student email, news, maps, directories, and more. Enrollment is also done through the website. In order to enroll in classes at the university, students use a system called ISIS to make advising appointments and class schedules, among other uses such as checking finances and grades. ISIS was an upgrade from the original method of calling the university hotline and waiting hours to schedule for classes at the beginning of each semester. The university has also made online advancements by becoming connected to Black Board. Teachers use Black Board to post information and documents for their classes, while students access Black Board for up to date information about assignments and notes.
Once enrolled at the U of A, each student is provided with a student ID card, which has many uses. With this ID, students are able to pay for a Razorback Access Pass, which allows them to go to home football games by simply scanning their IDs at the arena gates. The IDs can also be used for Razorbucks, which is essentially a debit card that the student’s parents can deposit money in throughout the year. Students can use Razorbucks anywhere on campus as well as several places outside of campus. Purchased meal plans through the university also require scanning student IDs before each meal.
Furthermore, technology has made its way into classrooms. The introduction of smart boards provides a touch detection service that can be used as a whiteboard, computer, and projector all in one. Many classrooms oncampus also contain a document projector, which is commonly known as an “Elmo”. This conventional product is used to help display both documents and non-transparent objects made easy for the teacher and students. Throughout the university campus, there are interactive touch screens that give information about the buildings and programs where they are located. Beyond these advancements, the University of Arkansas has also built a technology department.
The newly developed Student Technology Center is located on the third floor of Arkansas’ Student Union. Any student can use this interactive center for play or work. The center includes a tech lounge, digital media lab, gaming studio complete with games to choose from, and a team or conference room. It also includes four different recording studios where students can produce their own music or edit audio. Comfortable seating throughout the center sets an easy-going vibe for students to use the devices. The Student Technology Center offers equipment for checkout as well, enabling students to rent laptops, cameras, tripods, and other equipment for days at a time.
Technology at the U of A also provides a safety feature known as RazALERT. RazALERT is an emergency notification system that texts and emails students and parents alerts about hazardous conditions on or around campus.
The university has adapted to the digital era we now live in and will continue making advancements to benefit both students and staff. Isis, Black Board, IDs, and technical devices provide just a look into the endless technological possibilities at the U of A.
By Ellery Mileger, Mindyrose Moffe, Brittany Boyett