Information Technology

Information technology resources, including computers and network resources, are tools for scholars in all disciplines, used by faculty members and students, and the College is committed to making appropriate computing resources available to support the academic program. In all courses, faculty and students use computers in some way, and the College’s official means of communication is electronic.

The College has had a dual Macintosh and Windows computer-standard strategy in place since 1998.  Macintosh and Windows systems are available for student use in the Lovejoy cluster (Lovejoy 400). Macs are located in the Olin computer classroom (Olin 323), and Windows computers are located in the library cluster (Miller 16), the Davis Educational Foundation Electronic-Research classroom, the quantitative analysis lab (Diamond 322), and the Geographical Information System (GIS) lab (Diamond 222). Specialized computing facilities dedicated to particular departments are located in biology, chemistry, computer science, geology, mathematics, music, physics, and psychology, as well as in the Language Resource Center. Advanced systems are available in the Schupf Scientific Computing Lab.

About 98 percent of students own a computer, almost all of them notebooks. It is expected that students will be able to use both Windows and Macintosh computers in labs and clusters. A Colby account is set up for each student, providing access to Web resources, electronic mail, central file storage, and storage of personal Web pages linked to the campus Web server. It is expected that students will check their Colby e-mail accounts regularly. A variety of announcement and discussion lists are provided. The MyColby portal system (my.colby.edu) provides a customized set of resources, especially in support of administrative processes. A course management system (Moodle) is available for faculty and student use, and the Confluence wiki is available for collaborative projects of all sorts.

Colby’s data communications network, built around a 10-gigabit core and a gigabit Ethernet backbone through the academic, administrative, and residential buildings, is available in all student computer clusters, every faculty office, and all classrooms. All residence halls have wired Ethernet access to the network with a 100 Mb port available for each student and additional ports in many lounges and study areas. Wireless network access (802.11abg) is available throughout residence halls, Cotter Union, Colby libraries, all academic buildings including classrooms (where 802.11n is also available), and public areas of Lunder House (admissions) and the Schair-Swenson-Watson Alumni Center. The College has high-speed Internet access (120 Mbps over multiple fiber optics links).

Colby has a Microsoft Campus Agreement that provides for each student a license to Microsoft Office and a variety of other software, including all upgrades.

Assistance may be obtained from student consultants at Student Computer Services and from the Information Technology Services (ITS) staff. Workshops are scheduled to introduce the computer and network systems, Microsoft Office applications, e-mail, and Web use, and to provide advanced information on specific topics. The ITS Web pages (www.colby.edu/its) provide extensive information online.

All classrooms have data/video/audio presentation systems installed. Additional equipment (e.g. overhead projectors, portable computer projection systems, camcorders, and sound systems) is available for student and faculty use, as are video conference facilities. Satellite downlink and commercial cable TV provides news, entertainment, multilingual, and special-interest programming on the campus cable TV system, which is available in each suite of rooms in the residence halls, lounges, and many academic areas. Premium entertainment channels are available by subscription.

The Information Technology Committee, made up of faculty, staff, and students, approves IT policies (see www.colby.edu/its) and advises ITS and the president. All meetings are open, and those interested in information technology issues are encouraged to participate in discussions.