Technology news for UMD faculty, staff and students
From July through December 2006, the ITSS Classroom Team provided support for:
- Checking out 1984 equipment items, including 363 digital cameras, 407 digital video camera, 563 laptops, and 590 projectors.
- 111 ITV events, comprising 282 hours of ITV delivery.
- 27 classes using student response systems (clickers), with involvement from 18 faculty and 1841 students
Ten Years Ago in ITSS -
Learning Technology Center opens for use
The Learning Technology Center, a place where faculty, staff, and students can learn how to make use of the latest instructional technology, has opened in MonH 239. The center is the joint effort of the Learning Technology Development Team, the Instructional Development Service, the College of Education and Human Service Professions, and Information Services.
The center will be under construction in the spring and summer but should be fully functional by the beginning of Fall quarter. At present, the center is equipped with two Macintosh computers and software. Plans for Spring quarter include upgrading the Macintosh equipment and adding two PCs. Over the summer, we will be adding peripheral devices such as a camera, scanner, printer, and other equipment that can be used to develop web pages or multimedia presentations.
University policy states that if you store private data on your laptop or desktop, you must take steps to encrypt the data to help prevent unauthorized disclosure of private data. Data encryption software is available in many forms but requires quite a bit of technical expertise to run.
An alternative is to store private data on a central system server, and there are a number of options available. All University faculty, staff and students can store files in their personal central system area, in their Samba directory (MyFiles), or in their NetFiles account. Optionally, faculty and staff can request Novell accounts to store files on the Office Server.
Files stored on ITSS servers are backed up nightly and can be restored on request; files stored in your NetFiles account (an enterprise service based on the Twin Cities campus) are backed up for disaster recovery purposes only (no individual file restores are available).
So, what is the best choice? It depends on your needs.
- Novell: ITSS recommends storing private data on Novell if you need to share private data with others in your department or on campus.
- Samba: ITSS recommends Samba if you need to access the private data (via VPN) from off-campus computers and/or if you need to share the data with students (students do not have access to the Novell office server).
- NetFiles: ITSS does NOT recommend using NetFiles storage for private data, due to the inherent file-sharing capabilities and the lack of file restore services.
For a summary of the various file storage options and services, please see: File Storage and Printing.
Five brand new ITSS technology workshops will be offered this summer.
- Early June: two advanced Excel workshops, formulas and functions and special topics in Excel.
- August: "Prepping for Fall", an informal open-lab workshop designed to help faculty prepare for fall term.
- Watch for details on the "Department Web Site" and "Essential Technology Tools at UMD" workshops.
Register for summer sessions at: http://www.d.umn.edu/itss/support/Training/workshop/
Many of our training materials are available online and can be accessed from the self-paced area of our Training web site? You can also check out what outside training vendors have to offer.
This summer might be the perfect time to study web design and development with the help of the Web Design Reference. This mega-reference has information and articles in categories that span the alphabet from Accessibility to XML It is a learning source for those engaged in projects that require construction of web sites. It also serves as an educational reference for advanced web designers who want to learn standards based techniques, theory and best practices or for those who want to refresh their knowledge.
For details on all of these training opportunities visit:
Join our mailing lists and get technology training info and the award-winning
Web Design Update email newsletter delivered to your inbox this summer
and throughout the year:
Please use this link for information on submitting your final grades: http://www.d.umn.edu/faculty/grading/
Please note: Last semester some faculty members experienced problems submitting grades when using the “upload file” feature. We have been alerted that this is still an issue. You should contact the Twin Cities if you experience problems. Some faculty members reported that after they uploaded their files and received the confirmation screen, when they clicked on "Save" the grades did not show up. After logging out and logging back in the grades appeared.
If you experience grade submission problems, contact 612-625-2803 for assistance.
A guide on uploading your file can be found at: http://onestop.umn.edu/Help/howdoiupload.htm
All departments using specialized software for business purposes must be aware of the campus Policy on Networked Server Management.http://www.d.umn.edu/itss/policies/server.html
The last section of this policy, on software escrow, is new. The University requires that software license agreements for business-critical software include an agreement for software escrow. This means that the software company must agree to put aside, or escrow, the source code for the software and make it available to customers should the company go out of business or be unable to continue to provide support for the software in the future. Having access to the source code for the software will enable us to continue to make upgrades and changes to the software in the case where the company cannot.
If you have questions about this requirement, please contact Linda Deneen (x7588, email@example.com) or the Purchasing Department.
The Custom Operator feature of our Call Pilot system can be a real bonus for you and your callers. Sounds boring doesn't it? Keep reading and we think you'll find that this once maligned feature could become one of your favorites.
When a caller gets routed to your voice mail, many of them want the option of pressing 0 to be rerouted to a "live body". With our old system that number had to be a campus extension. Some of us used this, some did not. Some were uncomfortable having someone else answer their calls, and some were simply afraid to ask, not wanting to give the impression that they were deserving of special treatment. With our Call Pilot system you can avoid those sensitive issues by being your own "live body". With Call Pilot you can set your cell phone as your Custom Operator number.
Many of us have voice mail greetings that include something like "... leave a message at the tone, or if you'd like to reach me on my cell phone, dial ###-####". The caller then has to hang up and place another call to your cell phone, that is, if they remember the number you just blurted out. If you set your Custom Operator to go to your cell phone your greeting could be "...leave a message at the tone, or to reach me on my cell phone press 0".
Everyone has the Custom Operator option on their mail box. To set it via a phone, log in and press 801. You'll be prompted to enter the Custom Operator number. If you want it to go to a number on campus simply enter the last four digits. If you want it to go to your cell phone enter 9 followed by your 7-digit cell phone number. Sorry, no long distance numbers - this works with local numbers only. Remember to log out by pressing 83 to save your changes.
If you use Call Pilot's Unified Messaging web browser to access your voice mail, click on the Call Pilot Features tab and then select Telephone Options. The field for Custom Operator Number is the first thing you'll see. Enter 9 followed by the 7-digit number and then click Save.
Continuing our series on construction project updates, this month we focus on the Labovitz School of Business (LSBE). As with all construction and remodeling projects, ITSS staff work closely with project architects and engineers to develop telecommunications specifications. These specifications are designed to meet the immediate needs of the occupants as well as "future-proof" the building to the extent that technology and budgets allow.
The LSBE construction project is scheduled for completion in the summer of 2008 at a cost of $23 million. Construction has been moving along according to schedule throughout the winter and spring months. If you are interested in viewing progress you can check out the LSBE webcam http://www.d.umn.edu/webcams/lsbe/.
The Labovitz School of Business and Economics is planned to be 65,000 square feet, about 1.5 times the size of the current SBE building. It will provide faculty and administrative office spaces, general-purpose computer-capable classrooms, specialized academic teaching laboratory spaces, and student gathering/study space for the Management Studies, FMIS, Economics, and Accounting Departments. To support all these departments and programs there will be over 500 telephone connections and over 600 computer network connections installed during construction. There will also be an extensive wireless network installed which should provide seamless wireless coverage throughout all three floors of the new building. This wireless network will be ITSS's most ambitious wireless project to date.
Blocking unwanted spam and virus-laden email is a constant battle. ITSS uses a variety of filtering methods that block a high percentage of these messages. However, we don't want to block messages you do want to receive so some spam will inevitably get through.
Here are some statistics on our filtering for March 30 through May 3 of this year:
- Total messages = 9809768
- Total rejected before virus check = 6226839
- Min percent rejected before virus check = 49%
- Max percent rejected before virus check= 81%
- Total rejected due to viruses = 951
ITSS is very pleased to announce that Karl Oman began working for us, as a classroom technology professional, Monday, April 16. Karl will be supporting the general purpose classrooms on campus, including designing and installing enhanced control systems and other classroom technology. Karl holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Minnesota, Duluth and a Master of Fine Arts from Indiana State University. He taught Art courses at UMD in the early 1990s and has worked for the UMD Art Department since 1998, doing a broad range of work including audiovisual and computer technology support, purchasing and managing equipment, and a great deal of direct customer support for students, faculty and staff. Karl was awarded an Outstanding Service Award in 2000. He brings an excellent mix of skills to the position and we are very excited to have him join us. We hope you will join us in welcoming him to ITSS.
ITSS Spotlight on: Robert Sand
Each month ITSS would like to highlight a different member of the staff to let you get to know some of the great people who are working "behind the scenes" to make technology work for our campus. This month the spotlight is on Robert Sand - Systems Administrator.
What Robert does for ITSS
Robert provides systems administrator support for central computing systems and servers, with principal responsibilities for Unix server administration. Robert also provides support to faculty, assisting them with administration and use of the WebX web based messaging system. Some projects Robert has worked on that may have directly affected you include: WebDrop (including a feature that allows student to self register their "clickers"), WebMail, and using Sun Cluster to improve the performance of our email servers.
Robert has a BS degree in Computer Science, a BA in English Literature, and is just finishing his first year of the MA in English Literature.
- Robert backpacked over 110 miles in the summer of 2005 in Glacier National park and the mountains near Banff.
- In 2004 he hiked the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Peru where the highest point along the hike was 13,800ft.
- In June of 2008 he will attempt to summit mountains in Peru that are over 20,000ft.
- The first seminar paper Robert wrote was accepted for presentation at the Red River Graduate conference in Fargo ND and at the International Conference on the Humanities in Paris France where he will be vacationing for 2 weeks this July.
|At the 10,200ft summit of Mt. Olive off of the Wapta Glacier near Banff Canada.||In the crater near the 14,410ft summit of Mt. Rainier in Washington.|
info.tech.News is published monthly during the academic year by ITSS. An email digest is also sent to all users subscribed to the infotech.announce, UMD.business.announce and studenttech.announce. The goal is to distribute information useful to the daily routines of the University of Minnesota Duluth campus community in conjunction with computer and telephone technologies. Comments or suggestions may be sent to the editor at: firstname.lastname@example.org.