Education IT Supported Hardware

(“Keeping the main thing the main thing.”)

  • Overview of the Challenge
  • Supported Hardware
  • Unsupported Hardware
  • Unfunded Projects, Hardware not Supported
  • How to Research, Locate, and Purchase Emerging Technologies
  • Purdue Vendors
  • The Purdue Purchasing Process
  • Other Purdue Resources

Overview of the Challenge

The primary mission of Education IT is to provide support and maintenance to the College of Education computer, network / firewall, videoconferencing, and administrative database infrastructure.  To that end, we provide support for a wide variety of hardware in a range of contexts and purposes.

Due to limited staffing and rising complexity / proliferation of information technology systems, it has become evident that Education IT is unable to provide specifications or support all kinds of emerging technologies.  Below is a list of the hardware that we do support, and a few examples of the kinds of hardware we are unable to support.  Our goal in seeking to understand our own limitations is to maintain the highest levels and quality of support to the Education IT infrastructure by filtering non-essential activities that drain resources from “the main thing” we know how best to do.

Regarding hardware that we are unable to support, we have attempted to provide some general advice (below) for how users can research and locate items they need, contact vendors, and initiate a purchase.  These are the steps we would take when researching a new technology.  COE users are encouraged to regularly engage in healthy IT research practices to raise awareness of technology possibilities and limitations related to specific disciplines.  Our research advice is listed below.  Occasionally the Education IT team receives requests for recommendations and ordering information for equipment that falls outside of our area of expertise. We need to let our users know that, while we would like to offer assistance for every technology-related need, there are limitations to the numbers and types of technologies can support. The Education IT team does not have expertise or S&E budget or time to evaluate and support all Technology.

Even though there are some things our small IT team cannot support, in almost every case support of some kind is available!  Vendors and manufacturers provide comprehensive support systems, sales teams, web sites, software updates and downloads, and documentation to help users with specific makes and models of hardware.  Individuals should be able to use these resources to determine what they need, initiate a purchase, and learn how to install, use, and troubleshoot personal technology independently.  And there are some excellent Internet resources for finding reviews and needs assessment for equipment that we may not be able to support (see research tips below).

Supported Hardware

  • Computers (traditional platform-independent PCs)
    • Desktop computers
    • Laptop computers
    • Tablet PC computers (small pen-based laptop computers)
    • Servers.  Existing College and Departmental servers (please note that we cannot safely support any more servers, see ITaP for server/storage services)
    • Firewalls (server and subnet-level)
  • Basic Computer Accessories … both internal and external, that extend the basic functionality of a computer  (vs. devices that fully function independently of a computer; or accessories that remotely extend the functionality of a computer; or devices that are independently functioning mobile devices that may communicate with a computer; or handheld portable scanners or barcode devices)
  • Computer Monitors and Projectors
    • CRT
    • LCD
    • LCD projectors (wired/wireless)
  • Printers, stationary
  • Scanners, stationary
  • Core COE Videoconferencing Infrastructure: group and individual videoconferencing technology and facilities; videoconferencing accessories; Multi-Conferencing Unit (we can support the technology, we cannot serve as technical coordinators for videoconferencing projects)
  • Network hardware: switches, cables, routers, access points, network cards, firewalls
  • Some Assistive technologies for faculty/staff/students

Unsupported Hardware (a partial list, typical examples)

(We can offer general advice regarding product research, Purdue technology vendor info, purchasing practices, and links to campus organizations that may be able to help.  But the items listed below are outside of our expertise, and we are unable to provide specific specifications, model numbers, installation, support for them.)

  • Consumer electronics (things people typically already know how to purchase because they have them in their homes)
    • TVs
    • VCRs
    • DVD Recorders
    • DVD players
    • Radios
    • Tape recorders
    • Cordless phones and caller ID boxes
    • Answering machines
  • Handheld devices and accessories (devices that fully function independently of a computer; or accessories that remotely extend the functionality of a computer; or devices that are independently functioning mobile devices that may communicate with a computer; or handheld portable scanners or barcode devices)
    • Digital organizers
    • Digital watches
    • Camcorders
    • Digital Still Cameras (see: http://www.dpreview.com for purchasing help)
    • Handheld scanners, barcode readers, inventory devices
    • Cellular phones / Smartphones
    • Cellular PDAs
    • Blackberry (ITaP supports these)
    • MP3 players / recorders
    • Digital voice recorders
  • Fax machines
  • Photo copiers
  • Electronic typewriters
  • Overhead projectors
  • Etc.

Unfunded Projects: Hardware not Supported

(if funding is provided to comprehensively address these, we can offer technical advice, but cannot assume technical responsibility for research projects)

  • New servers (our team is saturated with servers and cannot support any more servers while safely maintaining existing College and Departmental servers)
  • Design of holistic research systems
  • Operation of in-classroom technology
  • Application programming
  • Design and development of network applications
  • Database development
  • Wed site design and maintenance
  • Unfunded server administration

Thank you for understanding our limitations and helping us focus on our primary mission!


How to Research, Locate, and Purchase Emerging Technologies

If equipment you need is not on our list of supported hardware, here is some general advice that should help you find what you need…

Research

If you have an idea about what you need, search the vendor links below for the specific item(s) you have in mind.  Once you get product and vendor information, you are ready to begin the Purdue purchasing process.

If you do not know what you need, you probably need to spend some time conducting research.  Research is a healthy (though some times challenging) part of learning about the practical application of technology.  Sometimes the thing you are looking for will be referenced in a web site, document, or product description that is unrelated to your actual need.  Being sensitive to, and following subtle leads will often lead you to a serendipitous discovery of exactly what you are looking for.  Reading product descriptions on technology vendor web sites can be extremely valuable and enlightening.  Reading product reviews (such as CNet reviews) can help you steer clear of problematic products.
Purdue Vendors

These are some vendors that we would recommend to you.  They have hundreds of thousands of items and can be searched online (use the “search” box on each home page  i.e. “digital camera”).  These vendors can be found in the Purdue purchasing system and you and/or your secretary can initiate a purchase of equipment as needed:

http://www.govconnection.com (computer accessories, consumer electronics, A/V)

http://www.dell.com/ (computer accessories, tablets)

http://www.JourneyEd.com/  (misc + software)

The Purdue Purchasing Process

Most purchases can be made through the Purdue purchasing system.  If you want to purchase from a vendor that is not found in the Purdue purchasing system, you may need to submit a Purdue Form-12 to the EDU business office.  If you have any questions about how to place an order through the Purdue purchasing system, you can ask one of the following:

  • The College of Education business office
  • Your program area secretary
  • Your departmental head secretary

Other Purdue Resources

While Education IT may not be able to help with some things, other entities on campus have larger, more comprehensive IT departments that may be able to address your need.  Information Technology @ Purdue ITaP has many offices and addresses a wide variety of IT issues:  http://www.itap.purdue.edu/

Purdue University College of Education Education IT