SRSU Media and the ASC Tournament

bb9e3954-480e-431f-9b61-b282fec2202f_170x255On February 25 – 27, 2016, Sul Ross State University hosted the ASC Division III Men’s Basketball Tournament.  There are many things that happen during the tournament to make it a success, including the work by the SRSU Media Team, led by Glenn Losoya.  Glenn and his student team streamed the games so that parents and other individuals that cannot attend the games in the Gallego Center can watch the contests.

The students stand for hours at a time behind the cameras at these events, while Glenn directs the effort, ensures all the technology components are in place, provides the Official’s Review monitor, and manages the streaming content from courtside in the Gallego arena.

You can view recordings of the games at the ASC Tournament Livestream.com site and see what an excellent job Glenn and his team do.

Note: The Sul Ross Lobos lost their semi-final match (read about that here) last night (2/26/2016) against the Hardin-Simmons University Cowboys.  We wish to extend our congratulations to the Hardin-Simmons Cowboys on winning the tournament.

Thank you, Glenn, Dominic, Airat and Victor (not pictured) for a job well done.

Glenn Small

Dominic Small

Airat Small

Red Paw Den – 24 Hour Study Area Opened February 2016

During the month of February 2016, SRSU will opened its newest technology space that allows students to have a place to study individually, in a group, and have access to desktop computers, a printer and the campus network. Housed in the Red Paw Den, the building often referred to as “Brick 3,” RPD Exteriorthe space has tables, chairs, three computers, a multi-function printer that prints, copies, and scans, and wired or wireless network access.  The facility is open to students through the swipe of their ID Card 24 hours a day.  RPD Logo
For more information on this opportunity at Sul Ross Alpine campus, read this article from the team at the Skyline.

RED PAW DEN
NEW 24-HOUR STUDY ROOM COMING AFTER THANKSGIVING BREAK START OF SPRING SEMESTER!
BY VASHTI ARMENDARIZ REPORTER
When SRSU President Dr. Bill Kibler noticed a growing need on campus for extended computer lab hours, he thought of providing students with a study room with 24-hour availability. And since Brick Cottage Three was not being used, it became the perfect location for turning his idea into reality.
The project was assigned to Sul Ross’ Office of Information Technology Department. Chief Information Officer David Gibson and Emily Herrera, his administrative assistant, got to work outfitting the 24-hour study room (or cottage).
“This will be great for group projects,” Herrera said, “as well as for off campus-students who do not have access to the study halls in the dorms.”
The “Red Paw Den” will be fully furnished and can accomodate up to ten people. Although equipped with Wi-Fi, students will need to bring their own devices such as iPads or personal laptops to work on.
Both on- and off-campus students will be able to use their student ID to access the room without having to reserve it through Campus Activities or calling UDPS (University Department of Public Safety).
Since the study room will be available at all times, it will be on a first-come, first-serve basis. UPDS will make routine checks to ensure the safety of the room and the students within.
Depending on student usage and demand of the new facility, Brick Cottages One and Two could also be tapped to become 24-hour study rooms as well.
Herrera anticipates a grand opening of the Red Paw Den shortly after the Thanksgiving break start of the spring semester, and all students will be invited to take a look at the new facility.
More information regarding the status of the Red Paw Den will be sent in the coming week via Sul Ross email, so check your account for updates.

Grand Opening of New Eagle Pass Wing

I had the pleasure yesterday of traveling to the Sul Ross State University Rio Grande College Eagle Pass campus (how’s that for a mouthful?) to attend a ceremony for the grand opening of the new academic wing RGC Eagle Pass campus. Others members of the Executive Cabinet as well as a number of national, state and local dignitaries were on hand for the event. It was a well planned event, thanks to the effort of Dr. Paul Sorrels and his administrative staff, and a good time was had by all.

RGC EP Ribbon Cuting

After the speeches and ribbon cutting, we had the opportunity to walk through the new facility and I must say it was impressive. The state-of-the-art classrooms will benefit the faculty and students of RGC.

RGC Classroom The classrooms have large, high contrast TV screens at the front for students to see and at the back of the class for the faculty member to better follow what the students are seeing (typically called a ‘confidence monitor’); a video system that allows the class to be broadcast into a number of locations including classrooms in Del Rio, Uvalde, Castroville and Alpine; the spaces sports a modern teaching station with controls for the classroom technology as well as DVD player, sound amplifier, and display device for papers and other physical media (typically called an ‘Elmo’); all of this in a very modern, clean-looking classroom that will no doubt delight the students that learn in it.

Seeing these spaces brought to mind the quality of the rooms I’d like to see at all of the Sul Ross campuses as I believe that is what our faculty and students deserve. Some of our spaces are already up to this standard of quality and others are not. Over time, I plan to make rooms like these the standard for our campuses.

A special thanks to Scott Baker, Manager of RGC-OIT, and his technical team, Juan Garza and George Hernandez, for making this day a reality. A job well done, gentlemen.

The Journey with Office 365 Continues

It has been several months since I’ve taken time to write about our experiences with Office 365. From the looks of it, it has been several months since I’ve written about anything. Our use of Office 365 has some positive growth in some aspects and almost none in others. To date, we have over 2400 individuals here at the university that have logged into Office 365 and have created a One Drive for Business space in Office 356. We currently have no way to determine exactly how One Drive is being used. Our belief is that most individuals have simply downloaded the free Office suite and have never returned. Some, however, are using OneDrive for Business based on questions we get from time to time at the Helpdesk (LTAC), on the sidewalk, or in meetings. As with most technology, we have the early adopters, we anticipate a few laggards, and there is a large number of individuals in the middle that have started using the product or will shortly.

The use of Sharepoint has begun to spread around campus as well but not at a rate I had hoped for. I don’t have a count in front of me but I’d guess we have set up 25 or more site collections for various departments or groups in Sharepoint.

I’m using some speaking opportunities at the start of this semester to remind faculty and staff what Office 365 can bring to the table and that it is great place to store files that are accessible from almost anywhere on any device. Little by little we will bring them along and hopefully allow them to see the value this technology offering can bring to their world and how it can change the way they do their work.

Office365 ProPlus Free

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.

Sul Ross Live Streaming Capabilities

Over the last few months, a team of us here in OIT have been working on the capability to live stream some campus events. Largely, this has involved athletic events as these are the most prevalent events on most college campuses. In the coming months, we will continue to stream athletic events and also look for other opportunities around campus. If your organization or group has an event they want to stream or capture, contact OIT at x.8707 and we’ll be happy to assist.

You can see some of the events we have recently streamed (although we don’t leave athletic events available for a long period of time) at http://new.livestream.com/srsumedia.

It’s Been A Busy Summer

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!