Campus Technology Services

Taking Steps for the Future

 TechNews - January 2012

This is a summary of the activities supporting faculty, staff and student technology services at SUNY Oswego that occurred during December 2011.

Reminders

  1. Routine Service Outage
    As part of Campus Technology Services' efforts to keep servers running at optimum levels, a regular maintenance period has been designated. From 6AM to 10AM on the second Sunday of each month, several services such as E-mail, editing of both departmental and personal web pageswill not be available. The next scheduled outage is Sunday, February 12th, 2012.
  2. NYALERT
    For information on NYAlert: http://www.oswego.edu/administration/public_affairs/emergency/nyalert.html or 
    visit http://www.suny.edu/SUNYALERTsec to sign up.
  3. RAVE Guardian
    For information on Rave Guardian http://oswego.edu/student/blogs/?cat=11 or to sign up: https://www.getrave.com/login/oswego
  4. CTS Newsletter
    Please see the CTS December Newsletter at http://www.oswego.edu/blogs/ctsnewsletter for important information about a new look coming very soon to the LakerApps Gmail, Calendar, Docs and Sites apps, a Firefox campus upgrade, sending email using LakerApps Gmail when clicking an email address in a web page, a Gartner research subscription available to the campus, sign-up for our spring lecture capture pilot project and more.

Patch Wednesdays

CTS now has the capability of updating your campus owned computers for security fixes as well as functionality on a regularly scheduled basis. This may include software updates to programs such as Adobe Reader or Microsoft Word or to change Windows settings to better support your computers. In order to streamline this process we will only perform these updates on Wednesdays.  These changes will be implemented only after thorough internal CTS testing. You may possibly notice a slight slowdown in computer performance at that time. Updates are added to a CTS calendar so you may see what changes have occurred to your computer on any given day or that are scheduled to be done.

CTO's Corner

E-Textbooks and Digital Content: Are We Nearing A Tipping Point?

For a few years now many of us have anticipated the widespread adoption of electronic textbooks (etexts) and other digital instructional content. Certainly, we have seen publishers offer ancillary resources on videotape, CD, or a web site. A number of publishers have made their books available as PDF files. A few publishers have even pioneered new economic models such as giving away their books in digital format and charging students for "print on demand" versions and complementary resources such as tutorials and practice tests. Nevertheless, our book store continues to do a booming business in new and used printed materials as student preferences still tend toward traditional textbook resources. When students seem to be opting for everything else digital, what might explain the lag in the adoption of digital textbooks and related content? Educators and technologists nationally point to the end user device and interface as the linchpin.

When etexts first hit the market, students could typically only read them on their desktop or laptop computer. This was not very portable or convenient. Students generally do not carry their laptops with them due to the weight, limited battery life, and lack of access to recharging locations. Also, the content was generally very static - simply a digital representation of the printed material. Naturally, students found etexts to provide little or no benefit over a traditional text. However, along came the ereader. Companies like Barnes & Noble, Sony, and Amazon introduced small, lightweight, readers with substantial storage capacity and battery life. Numerous colleges across the country piloted ereaders with etexts, but those projects did not demonstrate a significant change in student preference. The devices were certainly more portable and easier to read than a typical computer display, but the content was still very static. Of course, ereaders offered some nicely integrated features like dictionaries and glossaries along with bookmarks and annotation capabilities, but still this did not appear to be enough to substantially influence student preference.

Then came the tablet computer. Apple changed the way we think about mobile computing with the introduction of the iPad. A host of other manufacturers developed competing devices for Google's Android operating system. These devices have most of the features of the ereaders as well as color displays, sophisticated touch screen interfaces, and the ability to display video. In addition, hundreds of thousands of micro-applications, many available for free, extend the usefulness of the tablet computer well beyond that of ereaders. Simultaneously, publishers have been redesigning etexts and digital content to take advantage of the rich feature set of tablet computers. Etexts are no longer simply digital representations of the printed material. They are rapidly becoming highly interactive and customizable resources that include video, animations, simulations, and dynamic links to external resources. In addition to using a tablet to read their etexts, students can use them to check email, interact on social media sites, play games, log into the learning management system, watch movies and television programs, take notes, and so on. The devices are very portable, easy to use, and have batteries that typically last eight hours or longer. Will the tablet computer usher in the demise of the printed textbook?


So far, it has not, but that could change rapidly. Two factors may influence this substantially. First and foremost, the price of a tablet computer has been comparable to that of a laptop computer. As most students generally cannot afford two devices in this price range, they usually opt for a laptop. However, the price of tablet computers is certain to drop substantially in 2012. Rumors of tablet computers for less than $100 have been circulating for months and actual devices at that price point are beginning to show up. Most recently the government of India has supported the development of a tablet computer for student use with a price of $35 USD. Chances are good that other governments and companies will follow. At this price point a student could utilize etexts and purchase a tablet computer with their savings on textbooks in just one semester with money leftover. Secondly, publishers are making their content easily available to faculty and students through the learning management system. SUNY has signed an agreement with McGraw-Hill to include all of their etext and digital resources in the Angel learning management system at no cost. Faculty can use many of the resources for free and choose to adopt McGraw-Hill etexts at a substantially lower cost to students. The McGraw-Hill interface even allows faculty to develop customized etexts (or printed texts) with a few simple clicks of a mouse. Numerous other publishers are following this model and it is likely that by the end of 2012 faculty and students will have access to content from virtually all textbook publishers through the learning management system.

So, is this the year we see a radical shift in the way faculty and students use textbooks and other instructional content? Perhaps. The stars seem to be aligning quickly. Keep your eyes out for the types of devices students bring back to campus in the spring semester. Chances are good many will return from the holidays with some type of tablet computer. If that is the case, faculty may find their students beginning to request the option to utilize etexts. The tipping point could be at hand!

Have a wonderful semester,
Joseph Moreau
Chief Technology Officer

 

Technology Support Center

 You can reach us by phone at 312.3456 or at 26 Lanigan Hall or our website.

 Are you on Facebook? Want to receive updates from CTS on new services, updates, system outages, and more? We recently created a "SUNY Oswego - Campus Technology Services" Facebook group. Become a fan and start receiving updates!

Learning Management System

The ANGEL Team continues to learn about Blackboard (BB) Learn to help prepare the campus for a migration to take place tentatively in the 2013 timeframe.  There are certain ANGEL features that are currently not available in BB Learn, but will be incorporated into the product in the future.  We also are staying abreast of Blackboard's progress towards Student Information System integration so we can prepare for Banner integration of student registration.  The ANGEL course migration tool continues to be tested at SLN and locally on campus to provide feedback to BB on what works and doesn't work. 

The Elluminate software used for synchronous online teaching and meetings will be officially available for the whole campus to use starting the spring 2012 semester.   The Elluminate product is currently hosted by SUNY ITEC with additional user support of the product through SLN. 

Please check the ANGEL website for dates and times for upcoming workshops.

If you are interested in setting up a community group, please visit the ANGEL web site at www.oswego.edu/academics/angel. Community groups are limited to academic and/or university related activities only.

Professional Development

CTS will be participating in the CELT sponsored Winter Breakout sessions.  Please check CELT''s website for offerings and registration.

Self-paced, on-demand tutorials are also available from our iTunes U site.  Tutorials covering Microsoft Word 2010, Excel 2010, PowerPoint 2010 and LakerApps Sites are currently available.  ANGEL workshops are available from the main ANGEL website.

Updating your department web site with Ingeniux workshops are available at the Ingeniux Training site.

The Skillport e-learning software is available to all faculty, staff and students.  Skillport includes business and technology-related courses (including Office 2010) as well as courses and test preps needed to prepare you for many business and technical certifications.   Get started at the Skillport home page.

Software News

We are advising people to refrain from upgrading to Windows 7 as, currently, not all campus applications are compatible with it.

SUNY Oswego faculty and staff may purchase a copy of either MS Office Professional Plus 2010 (PC version) or Office 2011 (Mac version) for use on their personal computers for $9.95 plus tax.  This "Home Use Program" is made available to faculty and staff through the campus purchase of the Microsoft Campus Agreement.  Details of how to go about purchasing can be found from the CTS MS Office Home Use Program (HUP) page.

Microsoft is offering students a significantly reduced price on its products. To determine if students qualify for the special pricing and to buy online visit www.theultimatesteal.com.

UBMicro has a great new site for purchasing various software products for your home machine. Visit their site at http://www.ubmicrosuny.com/

Web Update

Prepare for the new looks Google is releasing to the LakerApps Gmail, Calendar, Sites and Docs apps.  Please review our "There's a New Look Coming to a Google App Near You" featured article in the CTS Newsletter for more information.   Google is also no longer supporting older versions of Firefox and IE.  Please review the "Google No Longer Supporting Older Firefox and IE Browsers" article also in the CTS Newsletter to determine your current version and how you should upgrade. 

The Web Team is continuing to evaluate portal products.  A campus portal will allow users to sign-in to a web page and initially have access to their email, ANGEL and myOswego without having to authenticate into each system again.  There are certain system requirements products must meet and we are crossing off products that do not meet those requirements and having demos of those that do.  Eventually, as the products are narrowed down to 2-3, we will involve our user community to help decide which product the campus should choose.

The SUNY Oswego mobile site was officially released.  You can view it on a mobile phone at http://m.oswego.edu.  The first release of the app has access to a campus directory, campus maps, the library, campus news and events, emergency phone numbers and more.  Work continues to add even more functionality for the future.

Campus Technology Services (CTS) would like to inform users that new releases of browsers aren't always fully compatible with some web-based campus services that you need to access.  The use of an unsupported browser can result in inconsistent or unpredictable behavior when working in applications.  Please check with the TSC before updating.

Ingeniux trainings continue to be held.  Please check the Ingeniux training site for dates and times and online registration.

Lecture Capture
We will be piloting the echo360 and Tegrity lecture capture systems during the Spring 2012 semester. We have actively recruited faculty interested in participating in the Spring 2012 semester and have about 10 that will be participating.  Both systems are in the process of being configured and accessible from specific lecture rooms.  Faculty will have training on how to use each system in January.

Desktop Support

Campus Technology Services technicians have continued to aid faculty, staff and students in resolving hardware, software, and account related issues. Since the beginning of December Campus Technology Services technicians have assisted in the resolution of 29 hardware, 36 software, and 22 account related support requests..

Equipment Deployments

Our desktop support technicians continue to prepare and deploy new equipment as it arrives. During the month of December, new equipment has been configured and installed within: Anthropology Department, Athletics Department, Campus Technology Services, Communications Studies Department, Curriculum and Instruction Department, Custodial Services, Development/Alumni Office, Psychology Department, School of Business, and Theater Department.

New Projects
Campus Technology Services has begun working on a new project with the School of Communication, Media and the Arts. This project will implement an On line Equipment Reservation and Check Out solution for the school. Initially this system will be piloted with the Communications Studies department to allow the department to manage and track the loaning of video and audio production assets to students within the program. If this pilot proves successful, it is expected that the system will be expanded handle the reservation, checkout, and tracking of assets throughout the School of Communication, Media and the Arts.

Hardware and Software upgrades
Some of Campus Technology Services winter projects include hardware and software upgrades. Among them are: Updated Macintosh hardware to be installed in Mahar 211, Oneida Lab, Scales Lab, and Hart Lab. In conjunction with these hardware upgrades, all of CTS's general access Macintosh's will be upgraded to the Lion Operating System.

Banner/myOswego

• Continued development of a myOswego financial aid link for students; the link will outline anticipated aid that will not be included in the balance due of their CashNet statement/balance due
• Reviewed and planned for the Fall to Winter to Spring Millennium updates as reflected by changes to room assignments in Adirondack and Banner
• Planned for separating Village from the Residence Hall returning student deposit and room assignment processes
• Completed adjustments to the New Student Menu (myOswego), as required for spring 2011 admits
• Cloned new TEST Banner and R25 databases.

Other Administrative Support

• Met with HR to discuss document imaging
• Tested Millennium access transactions to insure accuracy during the winter break
• Worked with Adirondack Solutions and the Judicial Affairs office to resolve concerns before upgrading the Judicial Officer to Conduct Coordinator, which was completed in late December.
• Completed modifications to approximately 40 local reporting/processing applications
• Replacement of Banner database servers (January target projected)
• Assisted with Cooperative Education business process as it relates to Banner\
• Setup iSCSI SAN and hooked up to network switch.
• Attached 2 ESXi hosts to SAN switch and tested connectivity to SAN
• Installed 3 new servers for Banner and oracle DBs into rack

• Finished configuring SAN management interface and setup 2 volumes 

• Setup VMWare consolidated backup schedule for ESXi VMs.
• Converted Domain Controller cts-dc1 to windows server 2008 and raised domain functional level to 2008
• Converted pharos-srv to a VM

Future Administrative System projects

• Beta test the functional user job submission interface
• Revise math placement exam scores process as outlined by First Year Programs and Orientation
• Assist with DegreeWorks Implementation
• Install FinAid 8.12 release to production and plan for the 12/13 Aid Year

Provided AV support for the following events

• December Commencement Ceremony
• College Council

Campus Projects

• Initiated Mahar 307 conversion to ATC
• Lanigan 34 and 34 conversion to digital control system and projector upgrade
• Rice Creek design and planning
• Produced several DVDs of Commencement.
• Planning for Phase II of Residential Communications upgrade, Compass foyer and classroom upgrade, possible Sheldon classroom redesign

Department Support

• Skype training - Psychology
• Equipment maintenance - WNYO, Communication Studies,
• New faculty orientation planning

CTS Projects or Support

• Lecture capture pilot training and setup
• Advanced Technology Classroom preventive maintenance
• Labman conference planning
• Replaced CATV modulator for digital channels
• Provided maintenance on all Wolfvision document cameras on campus
• Implemented new parts inventory system on Google docs
• Upgraded projection system in Lanigan 102A
• Prepared Phoenix classrooms for cosmetic and equipment upgrades
• Installed Global Viewer Enterprise for remote monitoring of classroom A/V systems
• Evaluation of student response systems with CTAB members
• Upgraded projection system in Campus Center auditorium to high definition including control system programming.
• Upgraded A/V control system in Mahar 114

Telecommunications Projects 

• Penfield network closet wiring and consolidations
• VoIP prep for Rich Hall
• Bi-annual Battery inspections
• Electrical upgrades in Rich, Penfield and Lanigan TR's

Telecommunications Administration

• 7 Adds
• 2 Swaps
• 1 Changes
• 6 Disconnects
• 0 Moves
• Generate Monthly Bills
• Training Caroline Currier on monthly billing process

Networking Update

• Worked with ResLife and AT to determine why a number of users were showing up with canceled RESN charges for the Fall while they are still enrolled and living in a reshall.
• Network Technician interviews
• Moved new network equipment to Lanigan core for storage
• Worked on Windows 7 802.1x configurations and XpressConnect settings for image
• Followed up with TAC regarding WCS showing RES wireless clients getting ACAD addresses. Possible logging issue with the controllers.
• Prepped and installed new UPS and network switch equipment in all data closets in Rich
• Updated Rich Intermapper information
• Prepped and installed new UPS and network switch equipment in all data closets in Penfield.Removed old data cabinets and Telecom installed new data cabinets and re-spliced some data connections and re-routed all data cables into the new cabinets

• Configured new Culkin 5th floor switches and connected to network, patched and put descriptions on all ports
• Un-patched all data jacks in Lanigan, removed old switches and installed new switches. Re-patched close to 600 data connections to new switches and made sure patches were neat and tidy.
• Added two ACLs to Clean Access for Bomgar testing for the Help Desk
• Created FW rules for Tegrity and Echo360 lecture capture testing
• Installed purchased production IPS equipment, left eval units installed for eventual removal after data is retrieved
• Provided guest access for athletics department
• Continued to work on new wireless auth methods
• Re-enabled WLC load balancing after it was disabled for troubleshooting with TAC
• Replaced access points in Snygg, still have a handful to do as we needed replacement power injectors
• Installed wireless access points in Tyler front lobby and galleries
• Troubleshoot NAS device at Rice Creek and DHCP issue
• Finalized attendant console settings
• Created monitoring rules for Arena for Theatre Manager troubleshooting - determine it is not a network issue in the Arean causing dropped connection. Suggested contacting software vendor for additional troubleshooting.
• Helped IT group with PKI infrastructure initial configuration/setup with Active Directory controllers and perl script integration for password changes.
• XBOX/PS3/Wii/other registrations: 0
• DMCA take down notifications: 4
• Abuse Notifications: 9

Staff Updates

  • Echo360 Admin Training - Aaron Reece
  • Webinar - Landesk Mobility Management - Tim Yager
  • Webinar - Sophos 10 - Aaron Reece, Steve Salisbury, Tim Yager
  • Webinar - Tegrity Train the Trainer - Aaron Reece
  • Webinar - XenServer 6.0 Technical Masterclass - Aaron Reece 
  • Tegrity and Echo 360 Training - Hageny, McQuin
  •  Designing Classrooms in the Digital Age Webinar - Schleinitz
  •  Presentation Concepts Expo -- McQuin

Phone Calls to the Technology Support Center (12/1/11-12/31/11)

674

Call Logging Statistics - 12/1- 12/31/2011

Tickets Logged By Time Number of Tickets
8:00 AM - 11:59 AM 245 
12:00 PM - 4:30 PM 186
4:31 PM - 9:00 PM

24

Off Hours

4

Total Tickets Logged

459