iBorrow will involve the deployment of 200 thin-client notebook computers to be available for self-service loan within Augustine House, the new Library and Learning Centre, with location-aware WiFi capability supporting all wireless clients, including students’ own equipment. 

The project will enable us to collect a range of empirical data relating to how wireless and mobile technologies are being used within a learning centre.  The data gathered will demonstrate the effectiveness of location-awareness systems overlaid with additional data to develop a better understanding of how students use electronic and virtual resources.

Aims and Objectives

1.   iBorrow will enable the University to offer thin-client notebooks can with “no fuss” access to a full range of software and learning resources

2.   The project will provide a large-scale demonstrator of the use of tracking software and location-aware technology to aid the configuration of facilities within flexible learning spaces

3.   iBorrow will provide an insight into the way students use flexible learning spaces.

Project Methodology

The project will involve the deployment of 200 thin-client notebook computers, served by WiFi capability providing location-awareness data from their use.

Building upon a number of JISC and UK HE sector initiatives, including the JANET development programme on location awareness, the work packages include:

         A pilot phase where several different types/makes of portable devices will be tested, evaluated and configured for authentication and delivery of a suitable suite of applications.

         A controlled test of real-time location tracking informing WiFi configuration to accommodate location tracking

         Integration of tracking with thin-client device and data capture

         Technical deployment i.e. installation of servers, clients and commissioning – i.e..signage, locations, operating procedures, security

         Analysis and synthesis of user experiences and live data from location mapping and other research strategies.

         The programme includes a variety of dissemination activities for the sector, including a conference and demonstration of the outcomes. 

Anticipated Outputs and Outcomes

The project will allow a picture to be gained of when, where and to what extent students use notebooks in an open-plan learning centre.  It will provide comparison data between and across student groups. i-Borrow will provide the sector with evaluation and findings from the project through a variety of dissemination activities including open days, web sites and presentations.