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In This Issue

+ facultEtools: WebVista is Here

+ Google Services Coming This Fall

+ National Cyber Security Awareness Month

+ Email Message Size Limi

+ Technology & Teaching: "How to deliver course related items students want electronically

ITSS home : infotech.NEWS : October 2009


Technology news for UMD faculty, staff and students

October 2009

ITSS by the Numbers

From January 1 through June 30, 2009, the ITSS web site has:

  • received 20,178 hits on the ITSS home page
  • received 1,304,191 hits throughout the site
  • seen 65,922 visitors to the site.

Ten Years Ago in ITSS - October 1999

ResNet: Residence halls switched to port-per-pillow
Major network upgrades were made to ResNet during the summer. The last two residence apartments (Stadium and Junction Apartments) were added to the network this fall, and all residences were converted to live "port-
per-pillow" connections..

facultEtools: WebVista is Here at Least Through August 2011

The CMS Review group recently concluded looking at the current use of our two CMSs, Moodle and WebVista, and put together recommendations on how to proceed into the future.

This process, of course, creates rumors. One rumor we have been hearing lately is WebVista will be gone at the end of this academic year.

This is not true.

WebVista will be here at least until our current licensing ends which is in August 2011. The license may be extended beyond this as Blackboard has extended WebVista's product lifecycle.

What is true is WebVista will eventually go away because Blackboard is transitioning to their newer product, Blackboard Learn 9. At this point we know Blackboard is intending to drop support for WebVista at the end of December 2012.

For more information on the CMS Review group's work and recommendations, please use the url below.


Google Services Coming This Fall

The Office of Information Technology (OIT) continues work on integrating Google applications for use at all campuses of the University. ITSS staff are collaborating on this project, since we run our own email system here. Services will be aimed primarily at students, although faculty and staff may opt in to use services as well.

At present, UMD will follow those on the other campuses for the opt-in process to use Google. We will be letting the other campuses work through the opt-in process before applying it to our email system here. We hope to be testing in November and making the service available in December.

For more information, please see the OIT Google Initiative site.
The Questions and Answers section is particularly good for those who want to see details.


National Cyber Security Awareness Month

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM). NCASM, conducted every October since 2001, is a national public awareness campaign to encourage everyone to protect their computers and our nation’s critical cyber infrastructure.

The theme this year is "Our Shared Responsibility."

As the Internet becomes pervasive, we are online from home, school, work, and in between on mobile devices. Even when we are not directly connected, our economy and much of the everyday infrastructure we rely on uses the Web.

Ultimately, our cyber infrastructure is only as strong as the weakest link. No individual, business, or government entity is solely responsible for cyber security. Everyone has a role and everyone needs to share the responsibility to secure their part of cyber space and the networks they use. The steps we take may differ based on what we do online and our responsibilities. However, everyone needs to understand how their individual actions have a collective impact on cyber security.

For more information about NCSAM, and for links to additional online security resources, please see StaySafeOnline.


Email Message Size Limit

In order to optimize system performance and better align UMD e-mail services with industry best practices, ITSS will make adjustments to selected campus e-mail account parameters. This change will facilitate the upcoming optional move to Gmail this fall.

Effective Wednesday, October 14, the maximum e-mail message size will be 25 megabytes (MB).

For those who need to transfer larger files, I recommend using the UM enterprise system, Netfiles.
Please note that mail messages over 25MB are quite rare for most of us. Just to see, I went through all my trash bin (lots of messages there) and the largest message was 1.3 MB.


Technology & Teaching: ITSS Workshop series: "How to deliver course related items students want electronically

This workshop series is focused on the core things that students want electronically." The first hour is an active session focused on a specific topic. The second hour is a hands-on open session of your choice (anything related to educational technology).

Have you been hearing anything about Google and the U? How about email conversion from Mulberry?

Come and learn more at our popular and informal overview TTT sessions!

Have suggestions for ITSS technology training? Complete the ITSS Technology Training Idea Form