Electronic Device Support

OIT provides support for many electronic devices.  Although we can’t anticipate all the ways in which these devices will be used we do offer a list of standard services that OIT provides for them.

Prior to purchase, please read the Electronic Device Policy as stated by the Dean of Faculty and Provost offices. Note that this does not cover smart phones which are part of the Communication Device Policy.

Purchasing of these devices should go through OIT to assure the best pricing and compatibility.  Email Seth Rogers to get started.

The faculty or staff member must submit a Personal Electronic Device Form (if the document does not open or download automatically, choose save-as and save to your computer). Faculty should submit forms directly to the Controller.  Staff should submit forms to their department head who will pass the form onto the Controller.  When required, the Controller will consult with the Dean of the Faculty or Vice President for Finance and Administration regarding individual purchases. The Controller will notify the staff or faculty member directly if the purchase is approved.

For support on the standard services listed below please contact Desktop Systems by phone 413-597-4090 or email desktop@williams.edu to set up an appointment.

Using tablets to project in the classroom will require standardization specified by Instructional Technology.   Contact your ITech liaison if you want help exploring ways to use tablets in instruction.

If you wish to do any projection from the iPad make sure you include an Apple VGA adapter in the purchase.

There is a basic guide on different types of electronic devices at the bottom of this page.

Standard Services

Wi-Fi:  Any device which can use wi-fi can get on our network.  Some will allow for a standard logon to Purple Air as you do with your laptop while others will require a special registration from OIT. Devices which can open a web browser should first connect to the Purple Help network to run through the process of connecting to Purple Air. Try that first. If that does not work, fill out the network device registration form

Email:  Devices which allow for checking email will work on our network.  Settings for various devices can be found on the email support page.

Web:  Devices which go on the web will work – with the caveat that not all devices have full-featured browsers.  For example, we cannot guarantee that YouTube will work on all of them.  It is entirely up to the manufacturer of the device.

Printing:  At the moment printing does not work from iOS devices (iPads or iPhones).  You would have to email yourself documents or pictures and print them out from a computer.

Programs:  Keep in mind these devices are not replacements for computers – they won’t run Microsoft Office, unless you buy a device that runs Windows.   Different devices have different means of purchasing and downloading applications (iPads, Androids, Blackberries and Windows devices are all different).  We will provide support for a known list of tested applications.  When a device is replaced or upgraded OIT will provide information on how to transfer applications and files, however we cannot guarantee this will work under all circumstances.  Some purchased applications may work fine on an old device, but will not work on a new device with a new operating system.

Files:  Many do not have any local storage.  Your data may have to be in the cloud, in email or on a web site for example.

Projection:  Some will have the ability to connect to a projector.

Other Policies:

Devices should come back to OIT when they are upgraded or the  owner leaves the college.  OIT will find uses for them either here on campus or as donations to schools and non-profits.

These electronic devices are subject to the same legal requirements regarding personal information as laptops and smartphones.  PII such as SSNs, Credit Card number or account numbers may not be stored on them.  Please read the full confidentiality policy for details.

Devices which check email often allow you to save your password.  If you choose to do so you must set up a screen lock which requires a password to bypass.

Tablet Types

There are four basic flavors when it comes to tablets:

  • Apple iPad (running iOS)
  • Androids (Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet, Motorola Xoom, Samsung Galaxy Tab, Dell, Toshiba)
  • Blackberries (R.I.M. Playbook)
  • Windows tablets (HP Slate)

There are also simple e-readers from Amazon (Kindle) and Barnes & Noble (Nook) as well as more advanced versions (Kindle Fire and Nook Color) which can run many apps.