Minutes FTC February 20, 2013

 

ITS business

I  Barry Schaudt

Google contract for student email has been signed (See Google Apps for Education).  Students will be phased over to gmail during the spring.   Delay of faculty quota implementation discussed at our last meeting.   The quota discussion took place before a contract with gmail signed.    Students will have much larger quotes in Google.

 

Michael Connolly – since students will have gmail with Google apps, will faculty, too?    ITS will not push Google apps on faculty, but a faculty body could ask for it.  Possible discussion for next meeting?  Google apps?  FTCs might want to study these from the above link to Google Apps for Education at BC.

 

Q.  What is the gain from individual use of gmail now?  1.  Negotiated contract that is a bit more secure.  Data housing more secure?  Precludes Picasa and “far end” of Google suite.   25 gig Google Apps limit is larger than personal limit.  2.  Address would be bc.edu – better integration with student accounts.  3.  Single sign-on plan for students.  Pluses and minuses for next meeting.   FTCs might want to confer with colleagues – and colleagues on other campuses.

 

II Alteris Asset Management – data sheet from Barry Schaudt included below:

 

Changes IT would like to make:

1.  expand to all BC owned computers.  Already done in Law, Libraries, and also some departments at their request.  Departments and grants have off-BCCR computers.    Reasons:  software portal with software can be accessed through installed Alteris.  Deployment – TC can do this for us with a simple request.  Also, patches for software can be easily and quickly pushed out.

 

Rob Gross – Alteris is a serious hit on CPU.  Barry – Alteris can be scheduled in off hours.  Barry – performance decline fairly common, but the slowdown is a matter of minutes, not hours.  

 

Duket query – on old machines retroactively?  No plan for this, but on request.

 

Michael wants a sense of the meeting.    “Natives not restless.”

 

III  Password change plan announced in December and January going ahead.  Change wihthin 30 days of your birthday.   Rules are relatively non-restrictive.  Rules posted on the Portal at “change password”.   Rules to change the password  can be read without changing your password. 

 

Barry – the issue of changing passwords on all devices. 

Rita – has anyone done the password change.  Central server should push out a change within four hours across all identity stops.    15 minute lockout if you try too many times.

 

IV  WordPress website demo.  FTCs may have a presentation next time on  WordPress.  Barry made a strong pitch for Wordpress when a custom need arises. Ease of use:    1-2 hours of instruction.  Pat Proctor in LSOE – Wordpress site with video – teachers who video themselves post so that observers can add comments.  Mediakron is now using a WordPress site.  CityConnects (Walsh).   WordPress is a CMS, not just a blog.

 

Instructional Design and eLearning

 

I  Rita Owens on CANVAS CLOUD adoption process

 

Comments from testers (faculty and staff), universally positive (excellent), except “search” which was well known beforehand to be deficient/lacking.    Rave reviews (40-50 faculty) from a broadly representative group.

 

Next phase – IT – business continuity plan.   Canvas vetting – five Amazon sites; concern remains about what to do during any down time – BC IT is exploring the option of backing up within the open source non-BC Canvas environment?

 

Hope to announce adoption at e-Teaching Day in May.  Live integration with library. 

 

Beth and Rita have changed their thinking by accepting the need to bring everyone in at once instead of phased.  There will be pilots in the fall. 

 

Charlene Hesse-Biber – How much does it all cost?  Upkeep?    BBv  - maintenance agreement has been in hundred of thousands.  This will not be much more.

 

Faculty were invited to a “Sandbox” pilot (bostoncollege.instructure.com);  by invitation?  Anything built there will transfer wholesale after adoption.

 

IT integration with student population.   Clare - Students could be entered manually?   But Rita begs that we not go the route of populating and beginning use, but wait for the populating process to catch up.  The reason for this is security and confidentiality?

 

II  Innovative technology for student-faculty interaction.    Meeting organized with faculty who teach classes of more than 100 students to find ways to reach students.  Projects are being sought.  Friday meeting this week to talk about “field” and “experiential” learning and how that can be facilitated.  Nurses, study abroad, Law, etc.  Friday noon/ lunchtime here in Creagh Library. 

 

Final groups will be those who teach writing and foreign language.

 

 

Joys and Woes:

Michael Resler – Java needed for automated backup – 7.15 updates.  MyFiles is being affected by Java problems (Rob Gross).    Apple deliberately removed Java.  Also local decision to disable Java in Blackboard Vista – BBv support removed Java for uploading…. 

 

Java discussion with a recommendation from Barry S.:  Control Java issues by running two browsers.  One for internal use that is Java enabled and one that has it shut off.  Use Chrome?   FTCs have asked IT  to create a cheat sheet to explain what can be done about Java.

 

Joy?  Charlene Hesse-Biber – students are on mobile technologies.  How to reach them where they are is a need.  Should we be thinking as they now think? - “anything I want I should be able to get as an app or with an app.”  Customized mobile apps for students to use – “this is where they are at”.  She recommends we “harness BigData” to our advantage and academic use – find out what students are doing.  Send them a query and then be able to know when they answer where they are and who is with them.  Join them in Googlezon.    

 

Final word: 

Pitch eteach@bc.edu with ideas about such “innovation”.  Be specific.