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In This Issue

+ Google Services Come to UMD

+ March: eClasses, TTT, and Workshops

+ New UM eCommunication Standards

+ Microsoft software offerings for campus

+ Multimedia (The Hub) Update

+ eGradebook Helps with Midterm Alerts

+ Spotlight on: Matt Zagrabelny

ITSS home : infotech.NEWS : March 2009


Technology news for UMD faculty, staff and students

March 2009

ITSS by the Numbers

From July 2008 through December 2008, the ITSS Training Team presented:

Ten Years Ago in ITSS - March 1999

Laptop initiatives set for Fall 1999
On January 18, 1999, UMD administration announced that three departments have been chosen for laptop pilot programs for fall of 1999. According to the announcement, "Faculty from three departments have been chosen, along with a cohort of junior majors from each department. The departments involved are accounting, education (early childhood), and theatre (design)."

ITSS will be working with the pilot departments to choose appropriate laptops for their students to use. We will also work with the pilot departments, Academic Administration, and Facilities Management to implement classroom improvements to classrooms that will be used in the pilots

Google Services Come to UMD

The Office of Information Technology (OIT) has begun work on plans to integrate Google applications for use at the University. This will include UMD. Services will be aimed primarily at students, although faculty and staff may opt in to use services as well. Storing data stored for faculty and staff will bring additional security concerns and complexity. We are doing further research in this area.

A University Google account, in addition to e-mail, will offer access to the University Google Apps suite, and will provide users the opportunity to share documents with others in the University Google space.

For more information, please see the OIT Google Initiative site.


March: eClasses, TTT, and Workshops

Upcoming eClass: Accessibility 101: March 23 - April 3
Anytime | Anywhere learning

Are you a web designer, developer, technology professional , or a person interested in web site accessibility? What does "web accessibility" really mean? What all does that term encompass? Why is it that some people are unable to use certain web sites - and whose job is it to provide access? This eClass will answer those questions and more, and features the popular "disable your browser" exercise

Don’t miss “TTT”: Technology on Tuesday’s @ Two
Informal discussion | No registration required

March 3: UMConnect – Come learn how to use UMConnect for audio/video conferencing at a distance.
March 10: Laptop Encryption – In our increasingly tech-reliant workplace, data security is a crucial factor in day-to-day business. Learn how to keep your computer protected and compliant with current security requirements.
March 31: Data Warehouse – To be announced.

Workshops: Teaching and Learning with Moodle and WebVista
No registration required

Thursday, March 5: Using Learning Activities (e.g. having students upload assignments; discussion forums; wikis), 1:00 - 3:00 p.m., KMC (Solon Campus Center 42)

Friday, March 13: Using Learning Activities (e.g. having students upload assignments; discussion forums; wikis) **This is a repeat of the workshop from Thurs March 5th**, 1:00 - 3:00 p.m., KMC (Solon Campus Center 42)

Friday, March 27: Quizzes and grade book, 1:00 - 3:00 p.m., Location to be announced.


New UM eCommunication Standards

The University has posted new eCommunication Standards, which include standards for web, mass email, Powerpoint, and social network sites. The UMD Campus Web Committee has studied these, and we have developed some new web templates for UMD. Following review and approval by the Chancellor's group, webmaster Andy Manteuffel will make versions available to units for use.

One issue we are working to address is how to retain some level of distinction and separate identity for UMD. The new standards seek a uniform look and feel for all University web sites, but it is important to many of us at UMD that we retain our distinct identity within the University system.

We recommend waiting to make major changes to campus web sites until our local process is completed. We will inform you when new templates are available.


Microsoft Software Offerings for Campus

The U of M Academic Computing (AC) negotiates reduced prices with Microsoft for popular Microsoft software products. Various programs are offered for:

For details on each of the programs, including how to order and/or download, see: .


Multimedia (The Hub) Update

The Multimedia Center's services continues to grow. Located in Lib 119, over 1,500 students, faculty and staff came to the Hub for camera and media equipment checkout. The change in location of the checkout services for the still and video cameras, tripods, light kits, sound kits and other media equipment at the Hub was a great move. It also provided the opportunity for faculty and students to get hands-on training and information about the equipment being used.

This spring brought several faculty into the Hub to prepare their material for their online classes for spring and summer semesters. All of the student consultants working in the Hub are knowledgeable of the process to convert media material and prepare for uploading for faculty. Over the past semesters the Hub has developed a process which is quite efficient to help faculty.

The latest development in the works is creating the process for students, faculty and staff to submit their audio and video publications for the iTunesU public site. This venture between the University of Minnesota and Apple is an opportunity for the faculty, staff and students to share their work, research and campus events.

UMD Hub students along with other UMD students recently completed filming of a 3-part safety video. Editing is wrapping up and soon the videos will be featured on the UMD home page, Multimedia Center web page, and will be submitted to iTunesU public site.

Many instructors find it a good fit to bring their classes to the Hub to learn about camera use, video filming and editing, creating public service announcements, creating copyright free music with Garageband, file conversions, web streaming to name just a few. Stop by and talk to Mary if you are interested and would like to know how digital video can play a role in your class.


eGradebook Helps with Midterm Alerts

Midterm alerts for 1000 and 2000 level courses are due between February 23 and March 13. Let eGradebook help! Towards the bottom of the "Reports" page, look for "Export Midterm Grades." This will save a file of the students in your class with a "D+" or lower which you may open in Excel.

Be sure to delete this file securely when you are done as it is private information. For more information on how to do this please go to

Spotlight on: Matt Zagrabelny

What you do for ITSS:
Matt performs systems and network administration, as well as programming support for ITSS. Matt is the primary systems administrator for ITSS's Debian GNU/Linux servers. Matt also works on larger scale programming projects, some of which are:

Matt's Education:
Bachelors of Science Electrical and Computer Engineering (UMD)
Masters of Science Applied and Computation Mathematics and Statistics (UMD)

Matt was Born in:
Matt was born in Virginia, MN and was raised on the Iron Range along with his two older sisters.

Matt Worked at:
Matt was employed at Hibbing Electronics and Saturn Systems before joining ITSS in September of 2004.

Matt's Interests:
Matt is involved in a church plant in Duluth called, "The Water's Edge". He loves to spend time with his two sons, Owen and Nathaniel, and wife Jodi of 10 years. He enjoys stepping out on the basketball court and getting
exercise and hopes to eventually *play* basketball. Matt is an enormous Bob Dylan fan, as with many Dylan fans this statement may be an understatement.

Matt has long been a proponent of Free software, which is always about users' freedoms and never about price, though it does help that Free software doesn't cost anything. He encourages everyone, especially those at the University, to become aware of the importance of Free software and, of course, to use it.

An Example of Matt's Work for ITSS:
Matt has been instrumental in the design, roll out, and subsequent tweaking of our new ticketing software "Request Tracker (RT)." This software allows us to give customers a transparent view into our process as we resolve customer issues and work on customer projects. Matt has done an excellent job tweaking the installation and code for this open source product. The nature of the product has allowed Matt to do a great job for ITSS and the UMD campus while also feeding something positive back into the open source software community.

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