- New iPad Lab
- 10-Gigabit Network Upgrade
- New Library Database: BizMiner
- BIT9 Application Whitelisting Tool Upgrade
- Blackboard Learn
- Migrating from Wimba to Blackboard Collaborate
- Information Security Assessments
- Web Conferencing
- Ongoing IRES Projects
While these iPads are primarily used in one classroom, they can be used in other classrooms or buildings as needed. Although many students continue to bring their own laptop or tablet devices to class, the iPads are now available so everyone can gather and compile video and audio data, sync field notes, share annotations, create digital stories, compose essays, and give feedback.
As iPads are typically personal computing devices rather than shared devices, the implementation of the iPad lab does bring with it some technical challenges. However, the feedback from faculty and students has been very positive. English 130 faculty member, Kelly Candelaria said, “The iPad lab is a hit with my students. They absolutely love using them. In fact, most of my students talk to one another about how lucky they are to be in a class that uses them… and a benefit I didn’t think of is that I haven’t had to make one copy this semester due to the iPad lab.”
In addition to the upgrade in Internet connectivity, the campus will be provisioning a new connection to the High Performance Research Network (HPRN). The HPRN backbone has 10-gigabits of bandwidth and will provide resources to academic departments with enhanced Internet access requirements for their grants. HPRN connects to the Internet2 Abilene network and will provide leading-edge services for large-application users on campus.
Knowledge Base article.
As Blackboard Learn continues to be improved and updated, we've established a new weekly maintenance window to allow us time to apply patches and performance tuning changes on a regular basis. The new maintenance window is Thursday mornings from 5:00 am to 8:00 am, although most often maintenance will be completed before 7:00 am to minimize impact on faculty and students. We have completed six weekly maintenances, tuning our performance and applying nearly a dozen patches. Details of past and future maintenance windows can be found on the Learning Technologies blog.
Collaborate provides the functionality needed to support a 21st century teaching and learning environment, including two-way audio, multi-point video, interactive whiteboards, application and desktop sharing, rich media, text chatting, breakout rooms, and session recording. Faculty and students can engage real-time as if they were in a traditional classroom.
Over the summer, Technology and Learning Program staff consulted with faculty and held workshops to facilitate the migration from Wimba to Collaborate. Faculty began using Collaborate in the fall 2012 semester.
- Blackboard Collaborate – a full-featured web conferencing tool, connecting multiple conference attendees
- Skype – one of the industry leading point-to-point conference tools supporting video and voice calls, instant messaging and file sharing
- Polycom system – standard point-to-point teleconferencing