Students need a laptop or tablet with a recent operating system that has the most current available updates, suitable anti-malware protection, and full-featured productivity software. Devices must be able to support Internet based video conferencing (e.g. Wi-Fi, webcam, microphone).
The CIC’s IT needs are supported by the National Defense University’s Information Technology Directorate. NDU ITD supports NDU students taking classes on campus by providing a government operated, encrypted and authenticated Wi-Fi network (academic wireless) in a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) environment. Access to the academic wireless network is provided once a user agreement is completed. Since academic wireless is a government network, it is monitored externally for appropriate usage as detailed in the user agreement. A student may connect multiple devices to academic wireless.
Students need up-to-date information technology for their CIC classes. This academic IT should be a laptop or a similarly capable tablet with a recent operating system that has the most current available updates and full-featured productivity software. All CIC courses require Internet access as essential course material is hosted on NDU’s Blackboard site, which is also the access point to the NDU Library. Additionally, the College is making increased use of Internet-based video conferencing in its courses—including for contingency purposes, such as for inclement weather. The need for video conferencing means that students must have both webcams and microphones in order to participate in class.
- CIC students using a laptop or keyboard equipped tablet that fits the following profile:
- Hardware not more than three years old (from model introduction)
- Operating system not more than two versions old
- User has administration privileges over the device
- Integrated Wi-Fi, webcam, and microphone
- Microsoft Office suite, or equivalent
- Suitable anti-malware protection
Known Issues/Frequent Problems
- Government Furnished Devices may not reliably connect to academic wireless
- Wi-Fi configuration often not compatible with academic wireless
- User unable to modify appropriate settings
- Very recently released operating systems and hardware may not reliably connect to academic wireless
- Unresolved hardware or software issues on either the device or NDU network end
- Changed functionality
- Old devices don’t work or work poorly—so don’t bring them
- Smartphones are not well suited to serve as a student’s primary academic IT resource.
Students who follow IT best practice are most likely to have a seamless experience at IRMC. Students who do not suitably equip themselves with are at high risk for failure because they can not fully participate in IRMC coursework without appropriate IT.
What kind of support can I expect from NDU when I show up for the first time?
Students are given a user agreement and instructions on how to log on to the academic wireless network. Additionally, should there be issues, NDU’s ITD has a help desk just inside the NDU Library main entrance on the second floor of Marshall Hall.
Do I have to complete DoD Cybersecurity training before I can log in?
Yes. You should complete that training before reporting to campus.
What about physical security for my device?
CIC provides a lockable space for each of its students, but students themselves must provide the lock. Pilferage does not seem to be a problem at the College, but locking valuables—including BYOD—is still a sensible risk mitigation.
Will my Android tablet work?
Some do work without issue, some don’t. There are many versions of the Android OS, and many different hardware configurations among Android tablets. It may be prudent to have a back-up plan if you intend to try an Android.
Do you support Macs and iOS devices?
Macs and iPads that meet the best practice profile have few, if any problems. iPhones have few issues joining the network, but they have proven to be a very poor substitute for a larger, more productivity focused device.
How about Chromebooks?
Chromebooks have not presented significant problems in the academic wireless environment.
What’s the GC environment and how do I get an account?
NDU provides students in the ten-month residence programs with Google for Government (GC for Google’s Government Cloud) accounts. These accounts have an annual cost and the NDU budget only funds accounts for students who will be on campus for twelve weeks or longer. Students who are onsite for shorter periods are not eligible for GC accounts.