Tag Archives: Advanced Technology Classrooms (ATCs)

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

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.
Photo of woman on video conference on PC with man on screen.

Web Conferencing Options

Have you ever wished you could bring a remote speaker to your class?  Ever wanted to conduct an online meeting with people from afar?  Teach a class online with a synchronous component?  If so, there are a couple of options available to you.

CTS has been working on making two different web-conferencing services available.  They are both software-based solutions using Skype or Elluminate.

You may have used Skype before from home to see and communicate with friends or family.  For those that might not have used it before, Skype allows you to communicate with someone online using your computer, a webcam and a microphone.  Skype requires that both people have an account created with them.  Once you are both logged in, one can “call” the other to initiate a conversation.  Skype is good for one-to-one communication.  It does not have the ability to call more than one person.  Not yet, anyway.

Elluminate is also web-conferencing software that can be used to communicate online with many people that are physically in different locations.  As with Skype, you can use a webcam and microphone to communicate.  It also has some features geared towards teaching and learning including break-out rooms where the presenter can divide the online participants into groups to work on activities, sharing of computer desktops or applications, sharing of files and multimedia, polling activities, Powerpoint presentations and whiteboard areas.

When might you use Skype on-campus?  Perhaps you need to collaborate with another person at a different university for research or a presentation for an upcoming seminar or conference.  Perhaps you would like to invite a presenter into your class, but they cannot be physically present.  You could “call” them on Skype and present them to your class using an Advanced Technology Classroom (ATC).

All ATCs have Skype installed on the podium computer ready for you to use.  If you would like to have Skype installed on your office computer, you may do so from the LanDesk Desktop Manager.  Simply go to the Start Menu->Programs->LANDesk Management->Desktop Manager.  In the window that opens up, click the checkbox next to “Skype” and click the “Deploy” button.

When might you use Elluminate?  Some examples include online office hours, teaching a class, teaching a workshop, holding online meetings, all with people that are physically located in different areas.

Anybody wishing to use Elluminate from within ANGEL may do so by enabling the Elluminate nugget and then simply creating a room and instructing their students to enter the room on a certain date/time.  Presenters not using ANGEL will need to have an Elluminate account and room created.  Participants do not need an account to participate.  The presenter just needs to send them the link to the room and the date/time to enter.

Anyone who would like to use either Skype or Elluminate and needs a webcam or headset can request one by visiting the Technology Support Center in 26 Lanigan Hall during normal business hours.

Please review our CTS Web Conferencing options web site for further details.

Construction sign that says CTS Work Zone

Classroom Technology Upgrades

Several projects were undertaken by CTS in our continuing efforts to make presentation technology widely available on campus as well as to upgrade existing classroom technologies.

Mahar 307 was upgraded to a full Advanced Technology Classroom (ATC) and Anthropology will share that classroom with other departments in Mahar.  In Lanigan, new hi-definition projectors and a digital control system were added to the Graphics Arts classroom and lab.  A new hi-definition projector and the cabling necessary for hi-definition video were installed in the Campus Center auditorium.  New hi-definition projectors were also installed in Penfield instruction rooms, in several busy Campus Center classrooms, and in Snygg 106, 107, and B6.

At Phoenix, a new digital ATC was built with a large flat panel display. The computer lab presentation system was also upgraded replacing the old projector and speakers on a cart.  At the Metro Center, new Interactive whiteboard technology was added to the great technology already in room 105.

Continuing the expansion of our campus digital signage, a new display was installed in Rich Hall.  The infrastructure for a digital signage player was installed in Tyler with the actual display coming soon.

google

Google No Longer Supporting Older Firefox and IE Browsers

Google recently announced it will no longer be supporting versions of Firefox 3.6 and below nor IE 7 or below in use with its applications.  This is especially true of the new Gmail interface scheduled to become the default look with an opt-out setting in mid-December (see “There’s a New Look Coming to a Google App Near You!”)  The new interface will not work in these unsupported browsers and users will be redirected to a basic version of Gmail with limited functionality.CTS has surveyed the number of SUNY Oswego-owned machines running Firefox 3.6 and IE 7.  There are a large number of machines running Firefox 3.6 or less and CTS is making plans to upgrade them.  More details of this will be made available through a campus announcement.

There are only a handful of SUNY Oswego-owned machines running IE 7 or older.  CTS will be handling those upgrades on a case-by-case basis.

If you are using Firefox 3.6 (Mac or PC) or less or IE 7 or less on a personal device and use LakerApps, you should upgrade to a newer version.

To determine your current version for Firefox, go to your Firefox Help menu and choose “About Firefox.”  If it’s higher than 3.6 you do not need to upgrade.  Otherwise, you can upgrade by going to the Firefox website.

To find your IE version, from the Help menu choose “About Internet Explorer.”  If it is higher than 7, you do not need to upgrade.  Otherwise, you can upgrade by going to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer page.

For more information about supported browsers, see Google’s Supported Browsers page.

Campus Upgrades to the Newest Versions of Microsoft Office Completed

The CTS MS Office Upgrade committee has been working hard over the summer coordinating with departments on upgrading their computers to the latest versions of MS Office (version 2010 for PCs, version 2011 for Macs).  To date, the majority of campus has been completed.  For any faculty and staff that were away for the summer with their machine, a self-install option is available for PC users and Mac users will need to call the Technology Support Center (x3456) to schedule an upgrade.

All computer labs and Advanced Technology Classrooms (ATCs) have also been upgraded.

Several instructor-led workshops will be available in the fall.  A general overview workshop that covers new features in the overall suite as well as individual workshops on Word, Excel and Powerpoint will be offered.  They are in the process of being planned and once scheduled will be available for online registration from the CTS Training site.

This campus upgrade was accomplished through a Microsoft Campus Agreement which CTS purchased that allows Microsoft Office 2010 Professional Plus for PCs and Office 2011 Standard for Macs to be installed on all SUNY Oswego owned computers at no charge to departments/offices.  It also allows faculty and staff to purchase either Office 2010 or 2011 for a personally-owned computer at a low price of $9.95 plus tax.  For more information on the personal purchase, review the details at our Microsoft Home Use Program page.

Construction sign that says CTS Work Zone

Hardware and Infrastructure Upgrades

CTS continued the expansion of the digital, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phones into Tyler and Mahar Halls this summer.   These new digital phones use the same VoIP technology installed in several buildings last summer.  Since the phones are digital, they use the campus data network to send and receive phone calls.  All users keep their existing campus phone number, but receive a new handset. More information is available in the VoIP Upgrade Frequently Asked Questions.

Infrastructure changes were completed in Cayuga Hall this summer  to support new wired and wireless connections.  A project to upgrade old networking cable began after the spring semester ended. New wired data jacks in all residence hall rooms now eliminates the need for network hubs previously required for residents to connect to the Internet.  A wireless network will be available in Cayuga residence hall rooms and common areas such as lounges by early in the fall semester.

Seven classrooms in Mahar Hall were upgraded to Advanced Technology Classrooms (ATCs) over the summer – rooms 104, 107, 114, 118, 119, 309 and 314.  All these classrooms are equipped with a computer, document camera, Blu-ray player, sound and control systems, as well as  Internet access, providing faculty with access to the latest in digital presentation technology.

Five new Advanced Technology Classrooms were also created in Wilber Hall to replace classrooms lost with the closing of Park Hall. The Communications and Methods labs from Park were combined into a single  dual projector digital lab in Wilber B5.  In addition to the standard outfitting of these smart classrooms, B4, B5 and B7 also have interactive whiteboards installed.

The Cable TV infrastructure was also upgraded this summer.  Parts of the campus cable television system and the wiring dates back to the late 1980′s and were in need of replacement.  As the first phase of a three phase project to upgrade the campus CATV in all the residence halls, a new central cable TV distribution center was installed in Lanigan Hall.  The new Lanigan equipment will directly send analog and digital signals to new fiber nodes installed in each residence hall. This new equipment and design should provide a stronger and clearer picture to each residence hall room.  Additionally, new monitoring equipment will help detect signal degradation before it becomes noticeable to viewers.

Cayuga Hall was the first residence hall to have the old cable television wiring and equipment replaced this summer. Old cabling and amplification equipment in other residence halls will be replaced over the next few summers.  For now, just sit back and relax with your favorite cable television shows.