as of November 5 (Campus Council)

Classroom Technology Update

To summarize where we are and where we’re going with Classroom Technology upgrades (aka Smart Classrooms) …

1. What we have completed:

  • Room 101: Crestron workstation, projection system, SmartBoard
  • Room 111: Crestron workstation, projection system
  • Room 124: Crestron workstation, projection system, SmartBoard
  • Room 50/lab: Mobile SmartBoard, laptop, video camera
  • Room 52/lab: Mobile SmartBoard, laptop, video camera

2. What we have on order/in work:

  • Room 102: Crestron workstation, SmartBoard
  • Room 103: Crestron workstation, SmartBoard (SmartBoard already in place)
  • Room 104: Crestron workstation, SmartBoard
  • Room 105: Crestron workstation, SmartBoard
  • Room 106: Crestron workstation, SmartBoard
  • Room 107: Crestron workstation, SmartBoard
  • Room 110: Crestron workstation, projection system, SmartBoard
  • Room 123: Crestron workstation, projection system, SmartBoard
  • Martinez Hall: Roving Mobile SmartBoard
  • McClure Hall: Roving Mobile SmartBoard

The equipment and installation materials for these rooms will be delivered during the week of Thanksgiving, with installation scheduled for the week of December 16th.

Download (PDF, 42KB)

3. Planned but not ordered:

  • Library Classroom: Crestron workstation, projection system, SmartBoard

4. New initiatives:

Shawn informed me earlier this week that the NASNTI grant has about $60,000 in this fiscal year’s budget for classroom technology. He suggested we put it to use in McClure, which to this point hasn’t received any of the current technology upgrades (other than the roving mobile SmartBoard).

After talking with Gene Romero, Kati O’Connor, Neal Gallagher, Nancy Broach, and Karen Henry, the consensus seems to be that 301 and 309 are the best choices for the technology upgrades. Because of the low ceilings, room layout, and instructor input, the sense is that a projection system (retractable screen and projector) would work better than a permanently mounted SmartBoard. Since there will be at least one roving mobile SmartBoard in McClure, the rooms will have access to a SmartBoard if needed.

I also talked with Kati about the possibility of replacing the Education ITV with a new system comparable to that in 03 and the nursing lab.

5. What’s left without classroom technology upgrades?

  • Martinez Room 03 – older projection system, new mobile ITV
  • Martinez Room 112 – older projection system, PC, VHS/DVD
  • Martinez Room 120 – ABE, no classroom tech
  • Martinez Room 121 – new Drafting workstations, no classroom tech
  • Martinez Room 122 – IT, no classroom tech
  • Martinez Room 125 (Student Success and Testing Center) – new computers, no classroom tech
  • McClure Room 300 – no classroom tech
  • McClure Room 302 – no classroom tech
  • McClure Room 303 – no classroom tech
  • McClure Room 304 – Education, older ITV
  • McClure Room 305/A (photography) – no classroom tech
  • McClure Room 306 – ceramics studio, no classroom tech
  • McClure Room 307 – Mac Lab, digital display connected to computer
  • McClure Room 310 – Nursing lab, no classroom tech
  • McClure Room 311 – art studio, no classroom tech
  • McClure Room 312 – Nursing ITV, older projection system with PC, new ITV

Before we make any more decisions on classroom technology upgrades, I think we need to have a clear understanding of what is currently in the plans for the three federal grants on a year-to-year basis and prioritize based on the expected annual funding. We should also consider what types of “technology” needs we may have, other than the smart classroom configurations. For example:

  • The Coop grant has requested and received a quote to replace the audio and projection systems in the theater.
  • The Title V grant has indicated plans to procure new computers for faculty and the Math Lab this fiscal year.
  • We need to determine which funds will be used for the camera surveillance system in the Test Center (approx $2,000).
  • We need to determine which funds will be used to replace the radio antenna systems to the houses. The recommended solution is $5,460.

Perhaps these can be discussed next week during the meeting with the three grant PIs. Please let me know if I’ve mis-stated or overlooked something.

IT Student Support Policy

Based on the policy currently in effect at NMSU in Las Cruces, the following policy has been approved for NMSU Grants:

Download (DOCX, 130KB)

Mobile Phone Signal Booster

We’re considering the purchase of a low-cost commercial interior signal boosting system for McClure Hall and Martinez Hall to improve cell phone coverage in problematic areas of each building.

Increasing Internet Reliability in the North and South Houses

We obtained a cost-prohibitive quote to string fiber optic cable from Martinez to the North House, as well as three quotes to replace the existing radio/antenna system with a more robust system. We’ve made a purchase recommendation and are awaiting administration’s decision to go ahead with the procurement.

Miscellaneous

  • We now have installation discs for Windows 8 and 8.1 as well as MS Office 2013 which we are evaluating with IT computers.
  • The 4 iMacs in the Student Success Center lab have been upgraded to the 10.9 Mavericks operating system.
  • The 5 designated workstations in the Testing Center have completed the required technology assessment by Pearson and are ready for testing.
  • We are preparing a cost quote for a do-it-ourselves installation of 8 surveillance cameras in the Testing Center which are required in order to get all 14 workstations approved.

as of October 17

Microsoft: Office 365, Windows 8.1

Office 365NMSU has implemented the full suite of Office 365 ProPlus products and services, which affects all students and employees in slightly different ways:

All

  • Everyone has (or may create) a personal (i.e., not associated with NMSU) SkyDrive account. You can access or setup your personal SkyDrive account by going to skydrive.com and using your NMSU username to sign in or create your account. With your personal SkyDrive account you have 7 gigabytes of cloud storage to backup or share your photos, documents, files, etc. You can also open and edit MS Office files using the online Office Web Apps (Word, Excel, Powerpoint).
  • With the new NMSU Office 365, you now have a SkyDrive Pro account, as well as Outlook webmail, that is associated with your NMSU account. You can access SkyDrive Pro and your Outlook webmail from the mail icon after you login to my.nmsu.edu, or login directly at mail.nmsu.edu.
  • For your home and personal computers, NMSU Grants employees and students may want to consider a 4-year subscription for Office 365 University.  For only $79 for a 4-year subscription ($1.67/month), you get the full current version of Office (including Access, One Note, Outlook, and Publisher in addition to Word, Excel, and Powerpoint) that you can install on 2 PCs or Macs, 2 mobile devices, and you get 20 GB of your own SkyDrive storage. According to the Microsoft Office 365 University FAQs, “Office 365 University is available to full- and part-time enrolled students, faculty, and staff of qualified, accredited higher education institutions.” But students may get an even better deal (see Student Advantage Program below).

Faculty and Staff

  • All NMSU full-time faculty and staff are authorized to upgrade to the new Office 2013 suite (thanks to NMSU’s Office 365 ProPlus enterprise agreement). NMSU Grants IT will soon have installation discs to evaluate the new version of Office, then we will help those employees who wish to upgrade their university-owned computers.

Student Advantage Program

  • In addition to the great Office 365 University $79 deal described above, Microsoft has just announced the Student Advantage program. This is still preliminary and we haven’t received official notification from Microsoft, but it appears that all NMSU students will qualify for the program. According to the press release, “Beginning Dec. 1, 2013, any institution worldwide that licenses Office 365 ProPlus or Office Professional Plus for staff and faculty can provide access to Office 365 ProPlus for students at no additional cost.” More details will be provided as NMSU learns more from Microsoft.

Windows 8.1

If you currently have Windows 8 on your own personal computer, starting today you can upgrade it to Windows 8.1. Just go to the Windows Store and you’ll see a big notice that you can download 8.1 for free. Be advised that the installation file is more than 3 gb in size so the entire upgrade process may take several hours.

The official policy of NMSU remains that Windows 7 is the supported operating system for PCs. NMSU Grants IT will be receiving copies of Windows 8.1 to evaluate before we make it available to employees who wish to install it on university-owned computers.

Other

  • We now have four iMacs in the Student Success Center, fully outfitted with all the Mac applications, Office 2011, and Adobe Creative Suite 6.
  • Contracts are in place to outfit the entire cluster of classrooms around 101 with upgraded classroom technology, expected to be completed by the end of the semester.
  • IT has added the following new equipment and capabilities: a new tripod for camera or camcorder use; transfer VHS tapes to digital video files; adapters for connecting Macbooks and iPads to the classroom technology equipment.
  • With the completion of the first 8-week term, course evaluations can be completed from within the Canvas course. Email notifications have been sent to students enrolled in the 8-week term with a direct link to the evaluation. This is the same process that was piloted during the summer term and and will be used at the completion of the fall term.
  • Remember the IT Open Sessions for all interested or inquiring students and employees, every Friday morning until Thanksgiving break. The session on October 18 will be from 8:00-10:00. Sessions beginning October 25th will be from 10:00 to noon in Room 124.