Author Archives: CTS

February Letter from the CTO

Welcome back to the Spring semester. As we are only in early February, “Spring” semester seems to be a misnomer, but I am sure that warmer weather is not far away.

Winter break allowed CTS to accomplish quite a few items to prepare for the start of school. Here are a few highlights:

  • Park Hall was completed and opened for classes on January 27. Ten new Advanced Technology Classrooms and wireless access throughout the building were added, along with some technically advanced meeting and conference rooms.
  • Hewitt Union was updated with new technology in three classrooms and also had extensive wireless network access added. Faculty from C&I moved into the building in preparation for construction in Wilber tower. In total, 36 wireless access points were added to the classroom and office areas on the first and second floor.
  • Wireless upgrades were made to Johnson and Funnelle in known dead areas. Additionally, two wireless access points were added to Lake Effects Cafe in Penfield Library to handle the large amount of technology use in this area.
  • Winter breakout was a success with record attendance. Many of the participants participated virtually, with the campus’s Panopto lecture capture application, helping people who could not be on campus still reap the benefits of the presentations.

One other highlight was the announcement of the TIP grant awards at the December CTAB meeting. Four awards were made from ten applicants – the full story is available on the CTAB Tip Grant page. One of the awards was for all campus members – faculty, staff and students – to have access to Lynda.com. The grant application was the first ever to come from a faculty member from all four colleges and Penfield Library. Lynda.com will replace the campuses former app, Skillport. Lynda.com has tremendous potential for advancing the technical skills of everyone on campus. Over 500 people on campus had logged in to the system by early February. More information on Oswego State’s implimentation of Lynda.com is available at http://www.oswego.edu/lynda.

Lynda.com will be highlighted at the CTAB meeting on Thursday, February 13 in the Campus Center Room 114 at 8:00 am. Attendance is open to all campus members, so please feel free to join us.

Stay warm….

Sean Moriarty
Chief Technology Officer,  Campus Technology Services

TIP Grant Awards

The 2013-14 Technology Initiative Project (TIP) awards were ratified at the Friday, December 6 Campus Technology Advisory Board meeting. A total of $65,000 was available to be awarded and the selection committee received ten (10) requests totaling $155,000.

TIP grants are an annual funding provided by the Campus to fund academic initiatives that relate to instruction, student usage, improving student usage, and/or improving student learning through the use of technology. Priority is given to new and innovative or trial initiatives, which can possibly later expand on campus, although equipment replacement and expansion of existing equipment requests will also be considered.

Projects that were funded this year include:

  • School of Communication, Media and the Arts, School of Education, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, School of Business and Penfield Library (Kelly Roe, Tom Ingram, Jacob Dodd, Mark Springston and Emily Thompson) – In the first ever joint request from all four primary academic schools and the library, a campus-wide Lynda.com subscription will be purchased for all faculty, staff and students of the University for the next 18 months. With LyndaCampus, students, faculty and staff have full access to thousands of videos and tutorial files anywhere, anytime, both on their computer and via their mobile device. Lynda.com’s vast online library has thousands of video-based courses taught by industry professionals ranging from Business skills and Adobe products to Developer languages and tools, 3D animation, TIP Grants Recommendationsoffice productivity software and more. The videos are broken down into short segments for easy navigation and allows the user to log in and out as necessary without losing any data. Faculty who have piloted Lynda.com say it is a great way to assist in “Flipping the classroom”. It is suggested faculty may assign tutorials from LyndaCampus for a project or course work. In completion of the course, the student will be issued a certificate as proof of completion.
  • Art & Graphic Design (Cara Thompson & Rebecca Mushtare)– this request was made to assist Graphic design keep pace in the design field and the technology within it. Department faculty are actively learning new mobile technologies (web, apps, eBooks) and integrating these new literacies into all graphic design courses. This grant provides a class set of iPad minis which allows students in the program to master the new techniques. Additionally, professional quality photography add-ons will enable the students to use iPads to take photos, record audio and video and write code, greatly increasing the types of projects students can work on. There are 240 graduate and undergraduate majors in the program and approximately 350 students take graphic design classes per semester.
  • Psychology (Matt Dykas & Chrsitina Leclerc)- Psychology requested money to begin developing a state-of-the-art research laboratory for Psychology majors. Psychology estimates 600 students will be impacted by the funding over the course of their career. In particular a Noldus Observational XT data collection system, which will allow students to record and measure discrete human behaviors as they occur in real time.
  • Health, Promotion and Wellness (Sandy Bargaineer, Amy Bidwell, Minjung Seo, Mary pagan,
    Elizabeth Benevento and Diane Oldenberg) – Fitbit © technology will be purchased to motivate,
    monitor and measure health behaviors in a variety of HFW courses that touch over 800 students annually. Additionally PC equipment will be provided to assist in data analysis.

Shared drive and web services issues resolved

At approximately 9pm last night, CTS began receiving outage reports concerning web services such as Banner/MyOswego, and faculty shared drives.

The problem was traced to a technical issue with equipment that hosts these services. Several other services residing on said equipment were also affected this morning, including: MailMan, digital signage, and TMA.

As of 10:00 am, access to all the above-mentioned services has been restored. If you are still having problems mounting shared network drives, please reboot your computer.

Also, a belated email from MailMan likely “escaped” as that service was brought back online. We apologize for the confusion and thank everyone for being patient while we resolved these issues.

Get Started with Lecture Capture at SUNY Oswego

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Over the past 3 semesters, CTS has supported a software application across campus called Panopto. With Panopto, not only can you create recordings in the classroom, but you can also do it from home, your office, or even the airport with the mobile application (currently Apple iOS only).

Not only does Panopto make it easy to create recordings, it also makes it incredibly easy to share them on blogs, through email, websites, and in ANGEL. Even on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media site of your choice.

If you would like to hear how to get started, come to one of our Panopto workshops:

Thursday, January 9th, 2pm at Campus Center 202

Tuesday, January 21st, 2pm at Campus Center 210

Wednesday, February 12, 3pm at Mahar 210

For more information, please visit www.oswego.edu/cts/capture or email lecturecapture-list@ls.oswego.edu. The website shows you how to use the system, faculty testimonials, and actual classroom recordings made public by people using the system, so be sure to check it out.

CTS January Update

At the final Fall Faculty Assembly (FA) meeting in November, I had the privilege of updating FA on the activities of Campus Technology Services. My update tried to convey CTSs commitment to being an integral part of enabling student success. All of the actions and projects that we are engaged in are directly or indirectly related to reaching this goal. My presentation is available at

After the talk, in the Q&A portion, I was asked about the move to the “cloud” that Oswego, as well as most Universities and indeed most of the IT industry is making. When Technology people refer to the “cloud”, they are referring to services that are delivered by an off-campus vendor or partner. Examples of use of the cloud are Oswego’s move to Google Apps (referred to as LakerApps on campus) and working with companies like Starfish to implement an early alert system to assist students who are at risk of failing. Concerns on all campuses are of the effect that moving into the cloud has on the Privacy and Security of our data.

It is an important topic and I am happy that we have explored that issue over the last semester at a Campus Technology Advisory Board (CTAB) meeting in October and a Information Technology Committee (ITC) meeting in November. The strategy that we have utilized at Oswego to deal with the risks around moving to the cloud have centred on:

  • utilizing contracts with our vendors to ensure they are using safe and responsible security practices and meeting the terms of the agreement
  • responsibly using applications like GoogleApps – our contract specifies the services that we can use with Google under the contract (i.e. Mail, Calendar, Drive, Sites and Contracts) and which ones we can not (i.e. YouTube)
  • and developing partnerships with our vendors such as Starfish to enable they are utilizing our data appropriately to help us reach our goals of helping more students to graduate.

This is a particularly important conversation to have as we approach Data Privacy Day, January 28, 2013. Data Privacy and security is a shared responsibility of everyone on campus. Ways that you can ensure that you protect your data and privacy are:

  • Be suspicious of data phishing emails. Be assured CTS will not ask for your username and password through email, and reputable firms will not as well. There are some sophisticated phishing attacks out there, but if you are suspicious err on the side of security.
  • Keep your passwords safe and secure, do not give them out to anyone.
  • When you are working with confidential and private data, ensure that it is always kept in a safe place. In data terms, that means that it is on a secure system behind appropriate passwords, i.e., your smartphone should always have a password if you are accessing your mail on it.
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Congratulations to Mr. Sadig Gulaghayev for being promoted to the position of Technical Support Professional (TSPs) Coordinator.  Sadig has worked at Oswego State and has been a Technology Support Professional for 2.5 years, starting in June 2011. Among Sadig’s top achievements at Oswego is automating much of the OLS, EOP and CSTEP departments to a paperless operation. Sadig’s new responsibilities will include supervising the TSPs who are responsible for a variety of support areas including computer support in labs and advanced technology classrooms.

And finally thanks to Professor Kelly Roe’s Graphics Arts class for the work they did on imagining a CTS logo and creating a new Facebook personna for the CTS facebook page. Congratulations to Mark Hanna, Samantha McCarthy, Hannah Joy, Alaina Dethier, Elijah Vary and Kristy Benicase for having their work selected to be the CTS Facebook page banner. Go to our page at https://www.facebook.com/SUNYOswegoCTS and see which of the works you “Like”.

All the best in 2014.
Sean Moriarty
Chief Technology Officer,  Campus Technology Services

CTS Works With Graphic Design Students on Facebook Cover Photos

With the help of Kelly Roe’s ART 323 Digital Media class, CTS is now proudly displaying cover photos on our facebook page.

Dan Laird, Media and Design Specialist for CTS and Kelly Roe, Professor in the Art Department teamed up to work on this project.  CTS had a need to display facebook cover photos that were reflective of the work that we do for the campus.  Kelly had a need for an assignment in which her students could create designs based on client requirements.   It was a perfect fit!

Roe talked about how the project allowed the students to create their work on a different level. “Working with CTS was a great experience for both the students in my Digital Media class and myself. The students in the class were all 1st semester transfer students to Oswego. They found value in working in a real client situation, hearing feedback and criticism about their work from someone besides their faculty. The possibility of having their work chosen for the CTS facebook page seemed to make the project have more accountability and seemed to raise the level of enthusiasm and interest. In their research, they found it surprising that CTS is seamlessly embedded in everything on campus and is so much more than just the Help Desk.”

Laird mentioned all of the hard work the students put forth in coming up with creative designs.  “We really appreciate the work that the entire class did for us with this project and for Kelly to give us this opportunity.”

Of the many creative designs, we chose seven of our favorites that will be rotated through during the rest of the academic year.  These designs were created by Mark Hanna, Samantha McCarthy, Hannah Joy, Alaina Dethier, Devin Hu, Elijah Vary, and Kristy Benicase.  We thank them for their great work.

We’d like to give Kelly Roe a special thanks for allowing us to work with her class on this project.

Check out the post including all the images from the collaboration on Facebook.

Oswego State to host SUNY CIO Listening tour stop

On October 22, 2013, Dr. Hao Wang, SUNY CIO will visit Oswego State. Dr. Wang is on a listening tour of SUNY campuses (http://www.suny.edu/sunyitlisteningtour), inviting colleges to share stories and discuss their current IT environments as well as discuss opportunities and challenges towards serving the students of SUNY in completing their educational goals.

Dr. Wang has particularly said to “encourage participation by relevant campus constituencies. We welcome you to please extend this invitation to your campus communities including College Council members, student government representatives, faculty and staff.”

The agenda for the day is available on the Campus Technology Advisory Board meeting website, at http://www.oswego.edu/Documents/ctab/SUNYListeningTourAgenda.pdf. Please feel free to join us in the Campus Center Room 114.

CTS to Implement New Helpdesk Software

Campus Technology Services (CTS) is pleased to announce its adoption of ServiceNow, a cloud-based helpdesk ticketing system that will replace the current HEAT system on Friday, May 3.

ServiceNow is an industry-leading product with many notable clients, such as Emory University, Loyola Marymount University, Staples, SONY Pictures, and Yale University. It will allow CTS to track and service the campus community’s tech support issues more efficiently.

As part of the new system’s functionality, you will receive email updates whenever your tickets are modified (or if a staff member needs to communicate with you about them). These messages will originate from oswego.service-now.com, not oswego.edu. In most cases, any reply you make to these emails will be automatically appended to your open ticket(s).

CTS plans on extending capabilities of ServiceNow in the near future, including a self-service web page that will allow our users to log their own tickets and check the status of those tickets online. We look forward to serving you better with these new tools and welcome your feedback as we make additional enhancements.

 

Google’s New Compose and Reply Experience

If you have not already received prompts to preview the new compose and reply experiences in LakerApps Gmail, you can expect to soon.  Google is allowing users to preview the new experiences prior to rolling them out as permanent features.

In his blog post dated October 30, 2012, Product Manager Phil Sharp says “We’re always trying to make Gmail faster and easier to use, so today we’re introducing a completely redesigned compose and reply experience that does just that.”

You’ll know when you are able to preview the new compose experience the next time you compose a new message.  If the feature has been rolled out to you, a window similar to the following will display.  When you are ready to start, click the blue “Got It” button.

 

 

 

From then out, a separate “New Message” window shows up in the lower right corner of your screen, overlaying your inbox.

 

 

One of the reasons for this change is to allow you to easily refer back to email messages without leaving your new message. You can also do email searches and monitor new mail as it arrives. If the new message window is obstructing your view while referring back to messages, simply click the minimize button in the upper right to temporarily get it out of your way.

Some additional features include:

  • Automatic resizing of the compose window based on the length of your message.
  • When typing in your list of recipients, you’ll now see photos in the autocomplete feature.
  • Ability to insert images inline with your text.
  • Formatting and attachment options are now at the bottom of the compose window.
  • Minimize, pop-out the message as a separate window or save it as a draft for later ( the “x” button) using the icons in the upper right.
  • Full discard of a message using the trash can icon in the lower right.
  • Insert a calendar invitation.
  • Coming soon – inserting emoticons and read receipts.

The new reply experience also introduces some changes. In the same blog post dated October 30, 2012, Phil Sharp says the “reply experience has been designed to fit better inline as part of your conversation — replies take up much less vertical height, intelligently expand to fit your content, and always keep the recipients and other controls in view no matter how long your message gets.”

Similar to how the new compose features were introduced, you’ll be notified of using the new reply experience the next time you hit the reply button. If the feature has been rolled out to you, a window similar to the following will display. When you are ready to start using it, click the blue “Got It” button.

 

 

 

 

From then out, a separate “New Message” window shows up in the lower right corner of your screen, overlaying your inbox.

 

 

 

For additional help in using the new compose and reply experiences, please refer to “Gmail’s New compose and reply experience.