Category Archives: Software

Online Web Conferencing with Blackboard Collaborate

On May 17, the Elluminate Live online synchronous collaboration tool was upgraded to Blackboard Collaborate.  Blackboard purchased the company along with a competing product called Wimba in 2010.  Blackboard used the best of both products to create Collaborate and is their future direction for online conferencing.

Blackboard Collaborate has been used at SUNY Oswego for teaching classes, online office hours, workshops, demonstrations and presentations.  It allows the presenter and attendees to be located in different physical locations.  Video, audio, polling questions, chat, application sharing, and team breakout rooms allow many face-to-face classroom functions to be accomplished online.

Blackboard easily integrates with ANGEL and with the addition of the Collaborate nugget on the Communicate tab of your course, you can be on your way to creating online sessions. Once created, students merely login to ANGEL, go to the Communicate tab of your course and click on a link to join the session.  Instructors also have the option of recording sessions which can also be accessed through the nugget.

For more information on Collaborate, visit our web conferencing page.

iPhone Spring Cleaning

With the release of the new iPhone 5S just around the corner, you may be stowing away for the latest & greatest offering from Apple. However, those who are content with their current iPhone model may want to take steps to keep it fast and ready for the new iOS 7 (Apple’s latest Operating System for the phone). The folks over at LifeHacker put together a Spring cleaning list for those iPhone users dissatisfied with their sluggish system. One of the quickest ways to improve speed is often to simply reboot (“turn it off & on again”). This clears the system memory and often results in quicker speeds!

Mobile Office Apps

We’re often asked about Office apps on the iOS and Android mobile operating systems. While an official Microsoft Office app does exist for most mobile systems, it requires an active Office 365 subscription. For those users who don’t have that subscription (probably you, if you’re reading this), there are several great alternatives.

I recommend the official Google Drive app, available for iOS and Android systems. It allows you to access all of your LakerApps files stored on Drive, including spreadsheets and presentations. Best of all, it’s free!

Alternative apps can be found under the “Productivity” category on the Google Play and iOS App Store. A popular iOS alternative is Pages ($9.99), an Apple made app. On the Android side of things, expert Office aficionados prefer Quickoffice Pro ($14.99) for an expensive experience.
Drop us a line in the comments and let us know what mobile Office you prefer!

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.

 

CTS Teaching Approximately 20 Sessions During Winter BreakOut

CTS will be teaching approximately 20 sessions on various topics during the 2013 CELT-sponsored Winter BreakOut being held from Jan. 16 – 25.

Michael Pisa, interim Chief Technology Officer had this to say in regards to the department’s participation,

“CTS is offering a rich menu of technical trainings during Winter BreakOut scheduled for January 16-25.  If you haven’t been to the Cyber Security Awareness training, don’t miss Tyler Wrightson from GreyCastle Security.  He teaches a very engaging training and certainly gets you thinking about cyber security at work and at home.  If you are looking for ways to become more productive in your use of LakerApps Gmail, Calendar and Drive, we have a number of short sessions geared towards specific features that can do just that.  If you’ve been thinking about lecture capture for recording your classes, make sure to attend the introductory session.  Elluminate web-conferencing continues to gain ground for those interested in synchronous online meetings.  Elluminate will be upgraded to Blackboard Collaborate in Summer 2013, so if you are already using Elluminate, be sure to attend the preview session.  Lastly, we always have a lot of projects we are working on in CTS.  Come to our ‘CTS Projects’ session to learn about those that may affect you, your department or the entire campus. Hope to see you there!”

Below are the sessions CTS will be offering.  Be sure to click on the session name to read the full description of the course.  If you’d like to attend a session, be sure to register, using the “Register” link!

Cyber Security
Tyler Wrightson from GreyCastle Security will be back on campus January 16th giving two additional Cyber Security Awareness trainings.  He was on campus in October and November giving a knowledgeable and engaging training for faculty, staff and students on many security topics ranging from passwords and social engineering to mobile device and physical security for both work and home.  See our article entitled: “Did You Miss the Cyber Security Awareness Training?”

Elluminate
Elluminate Web-Conferencing has been used on campus for conducting synchronous online meetings for a variety of purposes including courses, meetings, workshops and more.  Elluminate will be upgraded to Blackboard Collaborate during Summer of 2013.  If you are a current Elluminate user or will be for the Spring, please attend the preview session to learn more about it.

CTS Projects
Come to the CTS Projects session to learn about the projects CTS is currently working on and those being planned that may affect you, your department or the entire campus.

Lecture Capture
CTS officially released the Panopto lecture capture service in specific rooms during the Fall 2012 semester.  We have an introductory session for those that would like to learn more about the service, how it works and how it is being used.  We also have an advanced session for those that have already been using the service that will show more advanced features and uses of the system.

Captioning
If you are working on a multimedia project and need to caption it, be sure to attend the following:

ANGEL
Have an ANGEL Question you’d like answered? Want to see how to use a certain feature?  Maybe you’re just having a problem you can’t fix?  Our team of local experts can help you out.

LakerApps
We have a number of LakerApps sessions geared towards making your life a little more productive.  Learn about specific features that could make it easier to read and compose email, create meetings and get notified of them, work and collaborate on documents:

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.

 

Windows 8 Announcement

On Friday, October 26th Microsoft released the new Windows 8 operating system. There are several compatibility and training issues with this new release, thus Campus Technology Services (CTS) does not plan on supporting it at this time. If you have a personal device with Windows 8 installed that you wish to use on the campus network, that device may not work with on-campus wireless in either academic or residential areas. CTS is working with our vendor to obtain updates necessary to provide on-campus wireless functionality.

 

For students living on campus, our latest version of Cisco NAC Agent is Windows-8 compatible and will work with ResNet if you are connecting via Ethernet cable.To keep up-to-date with the latest compatibility developments, please check the CTS website at www.oswego.edu/cts or our Facebook group at www.facebook.com/SUNYOswegoCTS.
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Multimedia Production Room Services

 

 

CTS and Penfield Library have teamed together to provide a Multimedia Production Room, which is located in room 210 across from the Periodicals/Media Desk in the Penfield Library. This room can be used by faculty, staff and students to create multimedia projects using audio and video.  It is equipped with the following:

  1. A PC and Macintosh desktop computer with 24 inch monitors
  2. A Logitech Webcam Pro 9000 video camera for the PC and a built-in camera for the Mac.
  3. A Plantronics Audio DSP-400 Headsetwith noise cancelling microphone for both systems
  4. Your choice of the following recording software available on both systems:
    1. Audacity (for audio only)
    2. Camtasia (for audio and/or video)

Staff from Penfield and CTS are available to assist you should you need an orientation to the room or assistance using any of the hardware or software.  For more information, please visit the Multimedia Site.

 

Featured Article: Get Ready for Windows 7

CTS is preparing to upgrade campus-owned PCs to the Microsoft’s Windows 7 operating system over the next year and a half.

All new computers delivered to faculty and staff this spring semester will have Windows 7 pre-installed. One Advanced Technology Classroom in Lanigan 105 will have Windows 7 installed later in the semester so we can determine if there might be any issues upgrading ATCs to the latest operating system.  In addition, the Penfield Computer lab (not the 24-hour lab) will be upgraded to Windows 7 sometime in the Spring 2012 semester so testing can also be done there to determine any issues.

CTS will be conducting Windows 7 workshops every two weeks this Spring semester.  Please see our Workshops page for dates/times and registration.

In addition, we are also working on a website that will have more detailed information on the upgrades with links to online training tutorials.  That website is at www.oswego.edu/cts/windows7.