- May 13, 2013
Our conversion of student email boxes to Office 365 is the first of several waves of upgrades taking place throughout the summer. Our Technology Resource Center is now assisting students as they reconnect their mobile devices and begin using new system features. With faculty and staff accounts to be converted in the near future, I need to alert you to the impact this work will have on our campus community. The features of Office 365 go way beyond traditional email communications and will include integrated collaboration tools (i.e. Microsoft Lync) that will fundamentally change the way we collaboration and communicate online.
A six-minute video has been prepared for you to highlight what is coming your way. Our TRC and Ed Tech teams are also preparing to assist you in many ways through fall semester as upgrades to these systems and to Moodle are now in full swing. With the coming availability of Microsoft Lync, we are entering a new phase in the use of technology at Berea. This is a very short video and one I encourage you to view it at your convenience.
- May 10, 2013
I wanted to alert you that we are in position to move all students to cloud email the week of May 6 (i.e. next week). Students were notified today via Kevin’s email below. Some students are already on the new Office 365 system as part of a pilot group. Nancy Sullivan in the Technology Resource Center will be sending a follow-up email to students in a few days with instructions on how to configure their personal mobile phones and other portable devices to access the new system.
The Office 365 transition also incorporates new online collaborative tools supported through Microsoft Lync. Students will be transitioning to Lync through the fall semester and we expect to see a gradual increase in voice and video traffic as more students begin using the online collaboration tools and video conferencing features available through Lync. Upgrades to our core network will be made over the summer to prepare for that.
Our Faculty/Staff transition is around the corner so there is more to come.
Just want to keep all of you in the loop!
From: Kevin Blankenship
Sent: Wednesday, May 01, 2013 1:20 PM
Subject: Office 365 email transition
This summer will be an active summer for technology transitions. One very important transition will be moving your email accounts to the cloud based Office 365 platform. Office 365 is in use by many schools and universities. This move will have several benefits.
Office 365 gives users anywhere access to email and calendars, Office Web Apps, video and online meetings, and document sharing. It has your favorite Office features online and allows you to better prepare coursework, create sophisticated reports and presentations, and collaborate over the web. See a short promo video here:
With Microsoft Office 365:
- No more cleaning out your inbox! You get a web-based email account with a 25GB mailbox.
- Work and communicate from your phone, PC, or Mac, using email, instant messaging, HD video chat, and online meetings.
- Create, edit, and share Microsoft Office documents online with Office Web Apps.
- Collaborate in online meetings; share your desktop, whiteboard items, and record a live video call.
Office 365 is fully interactive with the local email servers, so your professors and support staff will be in the global address list.
Transitions will occur the week of May 6th. Look for more information later in the week. Have a great summer!
- April 3, 2013
IS&S Planning Team:
It is always nice to share some good news. Our contract negotiations with Windstream for campus data and voice service went well. Here is the good news under the terms of a new three-year contract:
- Data Bandwidth: Bandwidth to the campus will double from 200 to 400 Mbps in order to address the growth in internet use and associated audio/video traffic.
- SIP Voice Services: 3 Mbps of this expanded data connection will be used for phone service to/from campus at a reduced cost over traditional PRI lines.
- Data Connection Redundancy: A new backup data connection will be established using a small cellular tower. This data connection will bypass our primary ISP service and can be used to support critical business functions in the event of a network outage with Windstream.
- Voice Circuit Redundancy: In addition to the new SIP connection to campus for voice traffic, a second PRI line will remain in service to address overflow and provide phone service in the event of an outage with our primary connection.
All of this will be accomplished at an annual savings of $8,052. We plan to finalize this agreement on Friday in order to ensure work is scheduled and completed in June prior to the return of students for fall semester. The savings can be used to shore up the growth in overall software/hardware licensing costs we are experiencing.
This summer will be a busy one as we also complete our campus transition to Office 365, Microsoft Lync, Bradford access control, and complete upgrades to our network core and our Moodle courseware system. Contract negotiations with the CampusEAI consortium continues to address mobile apps, portal, and Moodle provisioning services. We will share updates on these efforts and others when our planning team meets tomorrow.
- March 11, 2013
- Campus Workflow Enhancement
- Expand use of Banner Workflow Features: To be scheduled
- Dashboard: Upgrades underway (Domo release, Admissions and Financial charts)
- RMS Housing System: Installation and end-user training completed week of March 4
- Web HelpDesk System: Installed and being deployed
- Degree Progression Technology: DegreeWorks from Ellucian (Pending ARCT Funding)
- Fundraising CRM: Constituent Relationship Management System (Pending ARCT Funding)
- Undergraduate Catalog – SmartCatalog: Installation process underway
- Luminis Portal Upgrade: Completed
- WordPress CMS Upgrade: Completed
- NOLIJ Upgrade: Completed
- Bb Transact Upgrade: Completed
- Formscape to Transform: Completed
- Teaching and Learning
- Stabile Active Learning Classrooms: Draper 308/100, Tech Building Classroom and Science 306 to be completed during spring break.
- Faculty Innovation Projects: Ongoing
- Assessment Lab: 80% completed
- Enhanced Assistive Technology Support: Pending ARCT Funding
- Georgia Tech Disability Services: Finalized relationship to enhance our capacities in providing alternative media/text books, assistive technology, braille services, and technical support to our students with disabilities.
- Blended Collaboration and Communications
- Ensemble (VBrick Interface): Installation Completed, Deployment Underway
- Digital Signage: Possible start date – Summer 2013
- Office 365: Pilot Groups to begin using product week of March 11.
- Microsoft Lync Collaboration Platform: In planning stage
- Mobile Computing: Finalizing contract with CampusEAI for mobile apps and portal channels
- Luminus Portal Replacement: Completed
- Website Conversion to WordPress: Completed
- IT Infrastructure Upgrades
- Internet/SIP (New): Negotiations to begin with Windstream on March 12 to restructure campus PRI connection to SIP with vendor provided voice gateways and restructured long-distance service.
- Voice over IP: 570 out of 824 Cisco handsets deployed.
- Backup Systems Upgrade: 30% Completed. New data domain is in use with all servers transferred to the new backup process by early April.
- Virtualization Systems Upgrade and Redundancy: 95% Completed. VMware is fully functional on new hosts with three servers left to migrate.
- Operational Storage Replication Upgrades: 75% of servers converted to new operational storage.
- Upgrade Core (New): Purchase new core switches and move existing core routers to support replication between Telecom Facility and Computer Center
- Bandwidth Upgrade to 300 MB: Postponed due to tighter P2P blocking that freed existing bandwidth
- Banner Middle Tier Upgrade: Installed with remaining users to be transitioned by early April
- Bradford Access Control (Wireless and Wired): Initial Installation completed to provide endpoint compliance, guest networking, and BYOD.
- NCS Wireless Monitoring: Installed
- Wireless Upgrades: Ongoing
- Exinda (Packetshaper & Proxy): Completed
- HP9000 Replacement/Upgrade: Completed
- IDS/IPS Intrusion Detection/Prevention Module: Completed
- Risk Management
Progress toward addressing Crowe Horwath recommendations as of 2-11-2013:
- High Risk: 3 items remain
- Moderate Risk: 5 items remain
- Low Risk: 6 items remain
- Systems Analyst Vacancy: Initial Skype interviews scheduled this week for three candidates.
- Move IS&S Staff to Draper and Hutchins: Completed
- Anne Ray Charitable Trust – Technology Proposals
Four of the above technology proposals are tracking through ARCT funding requests.
- Campus Workflow Enhancement
- March 4, 2013
Below is a brief update on several projects designed to increase the mix of communication and collaboration tools available to our campus community. I also wanted to send you a gentle reminder of our Group of 30 gathering with faculty from EKU’s Noel Studio to take place on March 22nd in Hutchins RM 106/107. Please let Lisa know if you are attending.
- Email/Twitter: A small team led by Scott Steele is working with IS&S staff to rethink how we use email on campus. That team is preparing to pilot the use of Twitter to support certain on-campus communications with these twitter feeds linked to an email digest, our portal, and eventually to digital signage and mobile apps. This strategy will reduce the number of emails students (and others) receive while expanding the choices available for viewing this information.
- Mobile Apps: We are engaging CampusEAI to provide a wide range of mobile apps and portal channels for use on campus. You may want to view this short video or browse the examples below that include out-of-the-box Banner integration. We will chat more as this work moves forward.
- Voice over IP: Many of you have noticed the new phone sets being installed across campus. Six hundred of these new phones are now in place. They connect directly to our data network, have video features, and support voicemail integration with your email accounts.
- Office 365: Student, faculty, and staff pilot groups will begin using Office 365 “in the cloud” the week of March 18. Features including expanded storage and a host of new collaboration tools for web conferencing, team collaboration, and for building public websites will be available along with the ability to edit, share, and coedit Word, OneNote, Excel and PowerPoint docs using a web browser to access these online tools.
- Ensemble: Berea On-Demand is getting a face-lift with a new front-end product called Ensemble. This product will provide more functionality and ease of use in uploading, converting, and publishing videos and fair use content as well as live streaming.
- August 31, 2012
IS&S, Integrated Marketing and Admissions staff met this morning and agreed we were ready to go live this afternoon with our new WordPress version of our college website. Once we make the switchover, it will take about 48 hours for all web users world-wide to be redirected to the new site. (more…)
- August 2, 2012
Our planning team will be meeting twice this week to keep several key initiatives on track. Below is the agenda for our Wednesday and Thursday meetings. I am copying Lyle and the AC just to give them a heads-up on these summer activities. (more…)
- March 21, 2012
I thought you might enjoy browsing our current list of faculty-led blended learning initiatives supported by our Educational Technology team. You will find some interesting work underway as well as patterns emerging in the way our faculty are adopting new technologies and pedagogies to support deep learning across the curriculum. You might also notice that most of our colleagues have already agreed to present their work to the Group of 30 at an appropriate time so we can leverage their experiences and explore related opportunities across the curriculum. (more…)
- January 18, 2012
Our thanks to Scott Steele, Rob Smith, and Gordon Gray for their respective updates on the use of iPod’s in the classroom, e-portfolio systems, and student documentary and feature film production. (more…)
- November 1, 2011
I am pleased to inform you that students in several media courses taught by Deborah Martin, Billy Wooten, and Gordon Gray have moved into their new home! This is the initial phase of integrating the new facility into our curriculum. My thanks to Billy for passing these photos my way and to everyone that participated in this collaboration. We look forward to viewing some new content from the studio on our new BC On-Demand service as well as digital signage that is being placed in several locations across campus. (more…)