Over the last several months, OIT has been working toward a university-wide implementation of Office365, Microsoft’s recent offering that places many of their most popular pieces of software, Word, Excel, Powerpoint and others, in the cloud. With this implementation, all students, faculty and staff have access to download Microsoft Office and install it on a maximum of five personal computers.
Also included in Office365 are two relatively new features, OneDrive for Business and Sharepoint. Both of these applications allow files to be stored, safely and securely, in the cloud. Having your files in the cloud allows access to them anyplace you have an internet connection and on any number of devices including desktops, laptops, tablets and smart phones, and may be shared with anyone. A primary differentiator between OneDrive and Sharepoint is that OneDrive is primarily for your own files while Sharepoint is best suited to departmental and workgroup uses.
This service is available NOW for all Sul Ross faculty, staff and students. Go to our Office365 page and learn how you can download, install and use this software.
Much was planned for the summer. Not all was accomplished but most of what we wanted to do has been done or is being completed. Here is a list of some of the major accomplishments over the summer.
– Staffing. We are once again at full staffing on the Alpine campus. Our recent additions include:
Rob Stolz, Webmaster
Pad Rayburn, System Administrator
Shana Smith, Tech Support II
Michelle Castleman, Tech Support I
Al Brautigam, Web Developer
– Area207 – We are re-establishing what used to be the Instructional Technology Area and moving it to ACR 207 to assist faculty with their classroom technology needs. This new area will be managed by Sandy Bogus and Estella Vega along with Rusty Klein.
– Updated Labs at RGC Campuses. The lab computers are updated at the RGC-Uvalde and RGC-Del Rio campuses.
– Disaster Recovery Implementation. Hardware configured and running at the Del Rio location. We will start pushing data to this DR site and begin the process of testing our disaster recovery plan during the fall semester.
– Wireless Internet and Improved CATV Services in Residence Halls. The Lobo Village residence halls as well as Fletcher Hall now have wireless internet capabilities and improved television services. .
– New Blackboard Features available during the fall semester:
+ Bb Mobile. Allows access to Bb content via mobile devices (iOS and Android)
+ Bb Content. Allow sharing of Bb content across courses and adds ePortfolios to the available features.
+ Bb Community. Allows groups to be created and managed within Bb (e.g. Social organizations).
– Ellucian Mobile Implementation. Allows access to student information (grades, classes, holds, schedule and other information.)
– Anti-virus. Malwarebytes anti-virus software was implemented for all Sul Ross owned computers.
– Training for Student Employees. We spent time this summer creating training plans for the students that work with us here in OIT. Our intention is to provide better service at the point of contact on technology issues.
A few items we are looking at for the near future:
– Castroville Campus. In the coming weeks, we will complete the installation of equipment and network, working closely with the team from SWTJC, at the new Catroville campus. The first classes at this new campus will be in the spring 2015 semester.
– A Campus Portal – Various frameworks being considered with a possible roll-out in spring 2015.
– Office 2013 for Students. All SRSU students have the opportunity to download and install Office 2013 to their personal computers while they are active students at the university. This new feature should be available in the October time frame.
– Upgrade to Exchange 2013 – Will provide a better Exchange experience for Desktop and Web. Also interacts with Office365, Microsoft’s cloud-based productivity suite.
– Desktop Backups – We will continue to look at backup options for desktop and laptop computers.
– Website Redesign. We have started the process of redesigning some of the content on our public pages. The redesign will take several months to work through.
– Telephone Switch Upgrade or Replacement. We are looking at several options to upgrade our phone switch to provide more stability and features such as caller-id.
This list represents many of the major projects completed this summer. There were many other smaller projects that were completed as well. On to fall!