ISIT Report — May 2008

Issues impacting students and teaching

  1. Luminis portal software coming—in spring 2009. This will eventually become our access into BanWeb (but not immediately in spring 2009 and Internet Native Banner users will still use their usual interface). Luminis will become our means of distributing information targeted to particular users and a way for most of our faculty to post messages and materials about their classes to their students. This system that will significantly change how you and your students access and use the information on our various college websites. Once a student (and you) logs into the portal, the student (and you) will be able to access all of their BanWeb materials, the pages on our local BC website, their webmail, online classes, etc.---it's a "one-stop shop" place that puts it all together so you don't have to access a whole bunch of separate sites.

    I was impressed by the course tools available to the faculty member shown at the demos given during the last full week of April. Luminis could replace most of the faculty websites out there and add in discussion features not present in most faculty websites. We do need:

    1. Faculty and staff to join a taskforce that will create the name for the portal and, more importantly, develop policies on communication protocols to the various users (who can post "official" BC or course or ... etc. messages to whom) on the site. If interested, contact Dave Barnett by May 15th.
    2. Faculty and staff to create content for the portal before we open it up to student access. Eventually, clubs, departments will be able to create their own "channels" on the portal to target information to the appropriate students and employees. The discussion feature of the portal will replace the discussion board the faculty are using on Moodle.

    To see a demo of Luminis, please check out the Luminis Demo on the Sungard Higher Ed products website. Select the "See it in Action" of the demo and be sure your speakers are turned on. The demo is a Flash animation with the "text" information in audio form rather than words on the page.

  2. Closed captioning forms available—in ISIT public folder (in the Documents sub-folder; see the "Media Services Captioning Forms" posting dated April 7, 2008) and in the Employees -> Forms part of the BC website. There are two forms that must be taken care of: one goes to the copyright owner of the video you want to purchase and the second is to our Media Services dept to do the captioning. The difficult (lengthy time) form to take care of is the form you (not Media Services) will send to the copyright owner. Once the copyright owner has granted permission to alter their work to include closed captioning, then Media Services will be able to do the captioning. Therefore, be sure to allow sufficient time to go through the permissions process. The actual captioning happens fairly quickly but there will be delays if there is a large number of requests (so don't put it off until everyone else wants to do it too).

Other items of note

  1. Removal of "administrative rights" on your office computer—will be happen in phases during Fall 2008. Removal of admin rights on your office computer will mean that you won't be able to install any new software. Software currently on your computer will NOT be erased. We hope to use a software package that will enable installation of certain approved software packages and their updates. The reasons for this removal of admin rights (there are actually good reasons for this!), the software package allowing certain installations, what is and is not going to happen, and what "administrative rights" and "administrator user" means in the Windows setting are explained on my "Standardization of Office Computers to District-wide Standard" document on the ISIT website. An earlier version of this document that had some inaccuracies or wrong implications was posted, so be sure you read the May 1st version! Also note that the standardization will happen through attrition---as older computers are replaced, regular users will not be able to modify their computer software and settings on their new computers.

    For faculty who need "power user" access or "administrator user" access because they are constantly checking out new software packages for instructional purposes, they will be able to get that access upon approval from their department chair/manager and dean with the requirement that they attend a brief workshop on administrator user access and how to "practice safe computing".

  2. Wireless access of faculty home drives on campus—is available if the the faculty member brings in their laptop to the I.S. department for configuration. Otherwise the laptop will be able to access only the internet. Students do not have access to their home drives via the wireless connection on campus. Roll-out to various places on campus is limited by available funding. An outline of the deployment plan is posted in the ISIT public folder (Documents sub-folder; see "Revised Wireless Deployment Plan" posted by Dean Serabian on April 8th). Important areas of the outline include the locations that now have wireless access and those that will have it in the near future and who pays for the wireless equipment. Please let Jim McGee (X4601) know by May 16th any particular areas where access points should be installed so that students can access it. What areas are places that students tend to congregate in the buildings that will have wireless in the near future? Don't worry if you give the same location as someone else---duplications will actually help to determine which locations should have higher priority in getting the wireless access.

    Equipment, wiring, installation, and labor costs to install an access point (AP) are currently about $800. Each AP can handle 15-16 people. The AP talks to a Controller unit that has a certain number of ports available to it. There are only so many AP units that can be connected to a Controller. Each Controller unit is about $3000 currently. For more on the wireless access issue, see the March and February ISIT reports.

  3. Help desk moving to LSC by September 15th. Calls on Saturdays will go to our local campus techs.

  4. All software purchases will soon be done by Information Services (see the December report) starting July 2008. All GUI-funded software purchases will go through I.S. and the funds will come from the I.S. budget. HOWEVER: I.S. needs to know what software people are using, what maintenance or licensing fees people are paying, etc. so that the college administration can accurately determine how much money I.S. needs to go into the I.S. purchasing budget line item. Please contact Judy Ahl (X4899) SOON telling her what software you are using or what annual maintenance/license fees you have to pay to keep using the software.

last update: May 6, 2008

Go to ISIT home

Document author: Nick Strobel
Math-Science 101 (Planetarium), 395-4526