University of Richmond was recently ranked the 10th most wired campus in the nation, according to Unigo, a college guide website.
"Everyone was happy to see the university recognized for its robust technology environment in support of teaching and learning," Kevin Creamer, director of the Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology, wrote in an email.
Several factors were considered in the ranking, most addressing the accessibility of computers and Internet to students. Richmond bumped into the top 10 with its 1,100 computer systems on campus; there are enough for every three students to have one at his or her disposal.
"There are always students using the computers at the Gottwald computer lab where I work," said junior Taylor Ruoff, Gottwald computer lab assistant. "Someone is almost always waiting to get into the lab when it opens at 8 a.m."
Furthermore, every room on campus has Internet access, and "personal computers, smart phones and other devices are everywhere you look," Unigo cites. Over 96 percent of students own a personal computer and 85 percent of Richmond's courses offer an online component.
"There are a ton of benefits to being wired in as a campus," Meghan Rosatelli, professor and director of Digital America, wrote in an email. "These services provide opportunities for learning and collaboration, and they also introduce an intellectual environment to question and critique their use."
Digital America, the journal, is an outgrowth of the spring 2013 course, Rosatelli said. Both the journal and the course try to explore the complexity of what it means to be plugged in today, and how digital tools can yield a better understanding of the world, she said.
Unigo also highlights Richmond's Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology in the ranking, describing it as "a state-of-the-art media lab" available to all students. The lab, which is staffed during all open hours, includes digital cameras, high-definition video cameras, a photography studio, an acoustically improved audio recording studio and five workstations for video editing.
"It was also great to see Unigo mention our wireless network in classrooms, dorms and outdoors. Not mentioned in the ranking but worth noting are Richmond's Digital Scholarship Lab and Web Services team, both of which help distinguish Richmond," Creamer said.
Unigo collected all data through publicly available information, interviews with university officials and third party technology providers and students on respective campuses, according to a statement released by Unigo. Interviews were conducted via email survey, in person or by telephone, depending on who was available.
Every year Unigo editors publish a list of 10-12 rankings, and connectivity was one of the important topics chosen to be highlighted this year, according to the statement released by Unigo.
The No. 1 most wired campus in the nation is Pomona College, followed by Georgia Tech and then Colgate University. Also accompanying Richmond in the top 10 is Wake Forest University at the No. 8 spot.
"Hopefully those who see Richmond in the top 10 will appreciate the resources available and will be interested to learn more about the university overall," Creamer said. "We work constantly to improve our services and resources."
Contact staff writer Meghan Cummings at firstname.lastname@example.org