Monday, 21 September 2009
It's that time of year again.....
...when our new students arrive. As usual, we spent the weekend at our Student Village - which is transformed into what one student described to me as like arriving at a theme park! A BBQ, free ice cream, stalls and loads of very helpful staff and current students to help both the students a and the parents (who are usually the most traumatised).
We aim to get every student a computer account and onto the network as soon as possible - this year we registered 880 students on the Saturday (and it seemed busy), and then did just under 2000 on Sunday (when it seemed really busy....). Last year I commented on a few trends - everyone just wants the internet as soon as possible. If there's a problem with their registration and we can't give them an account immediately they are distraught that they might have to spend 2 days unconnected. So distraught that we quickly came up with a work-around to give them temporary access for a week. Virtually 100% of them have brought laptops, and many of them have macs.
Some were bemused that they needed an account for anything other than getting their laptop on the network - why would they need to use a computer for anything else?
As well as the usual computer account and email address (this year courtesy of Google) we give them a disc to help them connect, and for the relative few who have problems we run a workshop to sort them out. I don't know the exact figures but our "drop in man" - he knows who he is - at one point was fixing 8 machines at once, and over the two days fixed over 200 different laptops - most running Windows Vista.
So - a big thank you to the staff who gave up all or part of their weekend to be there, and a big welcome to all of the new students - I hope they enjoy their time in Sheffield as much as I did all of those years ago.