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In This Issue

+ Web Crossing (webx) to be Shut Down

+ ITSS Training Recap for 2008-2009

+ Secure Data Deletion:

+ Enterprise Solution Coming for Lecture Capture:

+ Faculty Invited to Join Technophytes Cohort 9

+ Upcoming Building Projects

+ How Much Trash is in Your Email?

+ Spotlight on:Rick Brill

ITSS home : infotech.NEWS : May 2009


Technology news for UMD faculty, staff and students

May 2009

ITSS by the Numbers

From July 2008 through December 2008, the ITSS Help Desk Team:

  • responded to 13,409 help desk calls
  • resolved 10,674 calls immediately at the help desk
  • issued tickets for 2,735 calls to be addressed by other ITSS staff.

Ten Years Ago in ITSS - April 1999

Tech Camp for faculty
During spring break week, UMD held its first ever Tech Camp for faculty members. Participants made course web pages and enhanced them with graphics, sound, and video. They used PowerPoint to develop class lectures and a threaded discussion forum to encourage student participation. They learned how to digitize audio and video, how to take digital photos and modify them, and how to use their laptop computers in the classroom.

Web Crossing (webx) to be Shut Down

Web Crossing (webx) will be shut down at the end of the Spring semester in 2010. The reasons for this shut down include:

Amanda Evans (amevans) and Bruce Reeves (breeves) are available to help you choose an appropriate option for handling future online discussions. They can also help in the migration from webx to one of the University Learning Management Systems.


ITSS Training Recap for 2008-2009

Thank you for another successful academic year. Below are our offerings for this past academic year. See you next fall!


Technology Tuesdays at Two (TTT)


Campus Wide Workshops in collaboration with the CEHSP:


Secure Data Deletion

The University of Minnesota Standard on Secure Data Deletion requires the department or individual directly responsible for non-public data on a University computer or other electronic device is required to ensure that any non-public information on that device is securely removed before sale or transfer out of their direct control.

Examples of such sales and transfers are: transfer to another department; public sale; donation; or scrapping. Such computers must be electronically wiped (e.g. using a secure data deletion program for computers that writes random data in multiple passes) or the physical media must be destroyed. Tapes, CDs, cartridges and other storage and backup media containing non-public information must also be securely deleted or destroyed before disposal or transfer out of direct control.

Before recycling or returning old hardware, ensure that the hard drive has been purged and all data has been deleted.

ITSS has the facilities to properly wipe data, or securely erase a computer hard drive in accordance with University standards and provide a certified document that the work was provided. For assistance or questions, contact ITSS Maintenance, x7973.


Enterprise Solution Coming for Lecture Capture

Working in conjunction with OIT Video services, ITSS is ready to pilot lecture capture at UMD and we are looking for faculty partners. We have worked through a number of models and technologies in the past, including ITV and UMconnect. The latest solution promises to be the easiest for end users and the simplest in terms of deployment. Students will retrieve lectures from iTunes.

How it works
ITSS will help an instructor install a software client (Camtasia) on his or her laptop. We will also help you configure an account on the "MediaMill" server. At the beginning of a lecture, the instructor presses the "record" button on Camtasia and from that point forward, everything that appears on the computer screen is recorded. Sound is recorded either through the built-in microphone on the laptop or through a connected boundary mic if you want to capture discussion among students.

When the lecture is done, the instructor presses one button to stop recording and another to up-load the video to the MediaMill server. The server will take care of work flows to get the file compressed into a podcast and loaded into iTunes where students can subscribe and retrieve lectures to play on their computer or portable media device.

More information about the pilot on the Twin Cities campus is available here:

If you would like to be part of the UMD pilot for Fall 2009, please contact Jason Davis x8782.


Faculty Invited to Join Technophytes Cohort 9

Feeling left behind the technology wave? Interested in using technology tools to enhance your students' learning but feeling intimidated by the time and training you need to develop your technology skills? Need to to extend your learning, change directions, or enter into a new aspect of technology-enhanced learning? Join our Technophytes Cohort and transform yourself from a technophyte to a technophile.

For more information and application information, please go to:

In this special program for faculty, technology consultants provide these services:

The application process is simple:

We also encourage faculty to participate in the program multiple times.


Upcoming Building Projects

Construction to begin on Bagley Nature Center Classroom
The ITSS Phonenet Team has been, and will continue working with Facilities Management on the construction of the new 1400 sq. ft. Bagley Nature Center Classroom building (BNCC). This new building will be located on the site of the old volleyball courts behind Oakland Apartments, overlooking Rock Pond.

Foundation work should take place in mid May, and construction should be complete around the end of 2009. Why so long for a 1400 sq. ft. structure? This is no ordinary structure! This building is following the Platinum LEED certification requirements and project managers are shooting for a PassivHaus efficiency rating. PassivHaus dwellings typically achieve an energy saving of 90% compared to existing construction. For more information on PassivHaus, go to

Facilities Management plans to construct the BNCC using all in-house crews where possible. ITSS is involved with design and installation of copper and fiber optic feeder cables, as well as inside infrastructure to support wired and wireless connectivity.


How Much Trash is in Your Email?

A lot of us use their Trash folder to store messages they "might need again". There are two problems with keeping a large Trash folder. Storing a lot of messages in your Trash folder (and other folders) adds up to a lot of megabytes of storage that the University has to pay for, and messages with attachments can be hundreds or thousands of times larger than a simple text note.

Some of us keep messages in the Trash box as "convenient" organization system. That can create two different problems. One problem is the unnecessary storage cost for UMD, and the other problem is that our Trash folders aren't a very reliable place to store messages you might need. In most email programs the messages in your Trash "folder" are really still in your Inbox, which can slow you down when working with your Inbox, and it's just one click away from expunging all your messages in your Trash folder.

If you occasionally use a different email program, that program may be set to expunge your Trash folder when you quit the program. Some email programs are set to expunge messages that are over a given number of days or weeks old when you quit - another reason not to keep messages in your Trash folder unless you're planning to empty your Trash soon.
So, once you've purged your Trash folder, keep in mind that summer is a good time to go through your email mailboxes and get rid of all those unneeded messages and folders


Spotlight on: Rick Brill

Each month ITSS highlights 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 Rick Brill, Technology Support Professional.

What Rick does for ITSS:
Rick is the computer lab coordinator for all ITSS teaching and student-use computer labs, and he supervises services for a number of other "partnership" computer labs run in conjunction with other departments. He supervises up to 50 students each semester that help provide computing assistance to lab users across campus. He is the team leader for the Student Computing Team, and is a member of the Training Team, teaching DreamWeaver classes. Rick is also a member of the Student Supervision Team and the Desktop Support Team.

Rick's Background:
Rick grew up in Lake Nebagamon, WI and has one older brother.
Rick graduated from UMD in 1994 with Bachelor Degrees in English and Business Administration. After graduation Rick worked as a sales representative for a company that sold products used to sandblast high-end glass, crystal and marble products. He has been working for ITSS since September 1997.

Rick's Interests:
Rick's primary hobby is hunting, specifically deer and turkeys. Other activities he enjoys are reading, weight lifting, archery, camping, and fishing. He also enjoys watching sports and movies on his high-definition television at home. He is a big fan of science fiction movies and television.

Interesting Facts...
Rick is married to Toni and they have one daughter Samantha. Rick's favorite sport is football, and he is an avid Green Bay Packers fan. Toni is a Chicago Bears fan. Samantha's allegiance has yet to be decided.

An example of Rick's work for ITSS:
Rick will work with faculty and students in the computer labs to be sure they have the computing resources they need for their classes. He is also responsible for many of the security alarm systems and protective measures used in ITSS public computing areas. He coordinates the work schedule for the employees he supervises and makes sure they are available to provide help to lab users. He has been instrumental in streamlining work processes to provide good computing assistance to lab users and others that come to ITSS for computer support. A constant duty is to keep abreast of developing technologies and changes in computer labs at campuses across the country.