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Long Island University has deployed 16,000 iPads, with more on the way

by Steven Lang

October 10 2012

George Baroudi, CIO, vice president of IT and chief business process improvement officer
George Baroudi, CIO, vice president of IT and chief business process improvement officer

“We have more mobile devices on campus than toothbrushes,” the campus CIO said.

Long Island University in New York has deployed at least 16,000 iPads to its students, with more on the way, according to George Baroudi, CIO, vice president of IT and chief business process improvement officer at the school.

He said more than 3,000 will be arriving soon.

About 275 IT managers attend to what is probably one of the largest deployments of tablets at a university in the world. “We have dealt with it and dealt with it successfully,” Baroudi said.

A little more than two years, the university had yet to buy a tablet. But Baroudi started seeing students carrying iPads around campus—“it started looking like an impending tsunami,” he said—and the idea clicked.

Long Island University considered purchasing either Lenovo netbooks or iPads for the students. The decision process took about three months. “(At the time,) the Lenovo  (netbook) was only two gigs of ram. It couldn’t run anything.”

The university, with a total of 27,000 students started rolling out the iPads and they proved to be a big hit. “’Me too. Me too.’ Everybody said,” Baroudi stated.

Students have to repair their own devices, he explained, during his presentation at the CITE conference in New York earlier today. All devices, including smart phones, are protected in LIU’s cloud, he explained.

What software do students appear to be using? “They’re shying away from Word and Excel and moving into Google Apps,” he said.

When asked which school official was the toughest to convince to adapt a tablet program, Baroudi said it was the chief security officer.

The CIO said the school is still considering additional tablets, including Google's Nexus 7.

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