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May 2012 Archives

Keep everything. Share anything. Introducing Google Drive for UMN.

Google Drive is the newest addition to the expanding list of Google Apps available for the University of Minnesota. It allows you to access and share all your files and folders, at any time and on any device. It will replace and enhance what you know today as your Google Documents list. To learn more consult Google Drive Versus Your Documents List.

What features are offered?

  • 5GB of storage available per account
  • Optional additional storage may become available toward the end of the year, and further information and updates will be shared as applicable
  • Create, share, and manage files
  • Sync files from your computer
  • Access on the go with the mobile app

How will you know when Google Drive is available to you?

Over the next few weeks, Google will implement a phased rollout of Drive to University accounts. It may already have appeared for some, but not others. This process will continue until Google has made it available to all University accounts, with an expected completion date of mid-June.

When you log in to Google Docs, you'll know it's available for you to try if:

  1. the Google Drive logo (Figure 1) is at the top of the page, and
  2. the phrase, "Keep everything, share anything: Try Google Drive" appears next to the logo.

If those two items do not appear on your Google Docs page, Drive is not yet available for your account.

You'll also be able to opt out of Drive until the phased rollout at the University is complete in June. At that time, you no longer will be able to opt out or switch views, and Google Drive will replace the current Google Documents list interface for all users.

What devices are supported?

  • Windows and Mac
  • Chrome OS
  • iPhone and iPad (coming soon)
  • Android devices

Where is Google Drive available?

Google Drive is everywhere you are--on the web, in your home, at the office and on the go. So wherever you are, your stuff is just...there. Ready to go, ready to share. My Drive is the home for all your files and you can sync files from your computer to My Drive.

No matter what happens to your devices, your files are safely stored in Google Drive. Google Drive lets you do more than just store your files. Share files with exactly whom you want and edit them together, from any device. Google Drive gives you instant access to Google Docs, a suite of editing tools that makes working together better--even when your teammates are miles away.

What changes will I experience?

Changes users will see in the new online interface include:
  • Collections are now called Folders.
  • When a user first switches to Drive, a view called My Drive contains:
    • Documents the user owns or has uploaded
    • Folders the user owns and the items contained within (regardless of ownership)
    • Nothing else, until the user drags items into My Drive
  • Note that items that aren't contained in My Drive by default must be dragged to My Drive in order to be synced.
  • Other items that would have previously appeared in the Home view of the Google Documents List can easily be found elsewhere. You can choose views and filters to see items that have been shared with you, recently opened documents, starred items, deleted items, items owned by a particular person, and more.
  • You'll have powerful new options to search, sort, or preview files.

What else do I need to know?

Before you are able to switch to Google Drive, you'll need to agree to its Terms of Service. Please note that Drive is covered under the University's contractual, negotiated Google Apps terms of agreement. The following screenshot (Figure 2) illustrates the agreement information that will appear when you download Google Drive.

User agreement screenshot Figure 2

Further information is available at:

Posted on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 | Permalink

Active Learning Classrooms

Active Learning Classrooms (ALCs) are designed to foster interactive, flexible, student-centered learning experiences, and operate using central teaching stations and student-provided laptops.

Active Learning Classrooms on the Twin Cities Campus

Over the last few years, substantial energy and research has been invested in ALCs on the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus, including a building comprised of many ALCs. The Twin Cities campus ALC is a modification of the "SCALE-UP" (Student Centered Activities for Large Enrollment Undergraduate Program) concept that originated at North Carolina State University and the TEAL (Technology Enhanced Active Learning) concept at MIT, and uses an adaptation of the Projection Capable Classrooms (PCC) technology system.

A full description of ALC rooms and research findings showing a positive impact on student outcomes can be found at:

Active Learning Classrooms on the UMD Campus

The ITSS Classroom Team is putting together a "sandbox" prototype build of the main components of these classrooms with an eye toward implementing Active Learning Classroom(s) at UMD. Watch for more information late this summer.

Posted on Thursday, May 3, 2012 | Permalink 1 Comment

Google Apps Updates

At the end of April there were 16,738 UMD accounts migrated into Google Apps. We are very near the end of the process. All incoming faculty staff and student accounts are now being provisioned directly in Google Apps. Although not all Health Care Component (HCC) Accounts have migrated, they are all eligible, and that process is well under way. About 300 departmental accounts have been migrated and the last should be done by the end of May.

This summer we expect to be able to begin the process of migrating Alumni and Retiree accounts into Google Apps. This is something we had hoped to do much earlier but complications with the HCC account migration and other technical issues took precedence.

Google Analytics was activated in late April and we expect Google Groups to be activated early this summer.

Please send your Google comments, concerns and questions to

Posted on Thursday, May 3, 2012 | Permalink

Proposed Rates and Fees for 2012-2013

ITSS is proposing to increase rates for our billable labor services by approximately 2%. We recognize that all University students, staff, faculty and departments have been and continue to be impacted by financial issues, including ITSS. We have worked very hard to maintain most service rates at the FY12 level and to contain overall increases in other service rates.

We are also proposing to increase our student technology access computing fees approximately 1.2%. This fee provides students with Email accounts, access to the modem pool, file storage through Samba, web space, basic access computing stations in the Library, Solon Campus Center, Multicultural Center, and SBE Atrium, access to some electronic Library databases, computer maintenance services, and access to the ITSS Tech Center and Multimedia Hub.

The FY13 fee for full computer lab access will not be increased. It will continue to remain at the level it has been since the Fall 2010 semester. Full computer lab access services offer many services along with the use of specialized application software packages. Page printing costs in the computer labs will continue to remain the same as well.

In setting our rates and fees for the next fiscal year we have:

  1. Followed the University policies and accounting principles that govern internal service organization rate development methodology.
  2. Reviewed and complied with FY13 Budget Planning Guidelines.

A complete listing of our proposed rates and fees information is available on the web for your review at: ITSS Rates and Fees.

We are committed to retaining rates and fees as low as possible while continuing to provide quality support and services. Please feel free to address any questions to Linda Deneen ( or Steve Patterson (

The final rates and fees decisions are pending campus administration review and Board of Regents approval.

Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 | Permalink