New Email and Calendar Services

Office 365 has been selected as our new email and calendaring service.  This cloud-based service provides many enhancements over our existing email and calendaring system.  ITS has created a website to provide information on Office 365, it’s implementation, the email migration process and training opportunities.

http://www.washburn.edu/a-z-index/its/email-calendar/index.html

We will continue to add information to this website as well as blog posts to the Washburn Technology blog (http://blog.washburn.edu/technology/) to keep you informed and assist in the effective implementation and use of this new service.

Over the next three months, ITS will be implementing Office 365 for Washburn University and the Washburn Institute of Technology.   A 3rd party vendor with experience migrating educational institutions to Office 365 is being selected to assist in this initiative.

All faculty, staff and student email will be migrated to Office 365.   Our intended timeline is to migrate most of ITS to the new service later this month.  We are seeking early adopters to migrate in mid-November and who are willing to assist faculty and staff in their departments during the final implementation.   The final implementation is scheduled for early January, 2014 before classes begin.   That said, we have been collecting critical dates for different units and departments and we are planning to work around these events.

I’m sure you have lots of questions and we will work to answer all of them in the coming weeks.  For example, your email address will not change.  You can continue to use Thunderbird, although we believe you will have a much better experience if you move to Outlook.  And support for mobile devices is seamless which is a big enhancement when you consider managing calendars.

Look for more messages on Office 365 implementation, demonstration and training opportunities.

New employee in Online Education Support

Please help me welcome Qing Zhang to Washburn as a new employee in Online Education Support. Qing will fill the Online Education Support Specialist II position.

Qing Zhang Online Education Support Specialist II at WashburnHer primary responsibilities will be support of faculty, students, and staff in the use of Desire2Learn and Respondus; as well as assisting Marc Routsong, Online Education Support Coordinator; in the administrative functions of Desire2Learn.
Qing has a Master of Science degree in Instructional Design and Technology from Emporia State University. She has extensive experience presenting at conferences on topics such as: Integrating Digital Tools into the Classroom, Teaching and Learning with Mobile Devices,and Using Google SketchUp in Teaching and Learning. Qing was also a graduate teaching assistant at Emporia, co-teaching courses such as Advanced Instructional Technology for Educators and Technology in the Classroom.
Qing will start at Washburn tomorrow. Help us welcome Qing to Washburn. We are excited to have her join our staff!

Qing Zhang -Online Education Support Specialist II
Henderson Learning Resource Center-room 3A
qing.zhang@washburn.edu
785-670-2381

New WiFi in Residential Living

Washburn Information Technology Services is completing the installation of new wireless equipment in Residential Living facilities to better meet the needs and expectations our students living on campus. We expect this will provide substantially better service than our old system as we see more students, more equipment, and a wider variety of devices communicate on our campus wireless network.

The new wireless system replaces an older system that was designed around centralized, high-power equipment.  The new equipment is smaller, faster, and operates at lower power levels to reduce interference and work better with newer mobile devices.

We are installing many more access points (113 APs with the new system vs. 24 with with the old) and are placing them closer to the where the students live – in every suite in Kuehne, West, and Washburn Village and in student living spaces in the LLC. This allows us to improve placement of equipment to ensure good service and will substantially increase the total number of client devices we can support.

The new system is designed to optimize the sharing of available bandwidth while providing a high level of overall throughput in order to support, among other things the high definition internet video and other anticipated bandwidth-intensive technologies in the future.

We are very excited about the improvements this will bring and look forward to expanded use of this system as demand grows elsewhere on campus as well.

Additionally, we won’t be abandoning the older equipment we are removing from Residential Living. We will instead be reallocating it to areas where the design of that equipment can provide service more optimally. All of the equipment we remove from Residential Living will go to providing service for the direct benefit of our students elsewhere on campus.

The Mobility Imperative: Improving Engagement for Today’s Student

Join us in the Technology Learning Center (TLC)-Bennett 102, Wed. May 30th from 1-2pm for the webinar The Mobile Imperative:  Improving Engagement for Today’s Student.  Listen to Melissa Mintz, Blackboard Student Engagement Specialist, as she shares examples of how institutions are attempting to tackle this problem today, and provides a prescriptive road-map for institutions to move forward, solving for the Mobility Imperative. Mobile technologies are helping forward-thinking schools engage their students with innovative strategies for:
- Mobile Learning
- Student Outreach
- Faculty/Student Communication
- On-Demand Campus Information
- Student Life-cycle Management

Discussion will follow webinar.  Hope you can join us!

What’s Next for Education: The New Course Ecosystem webinar in the Technology Learning Center

Please join us May 24th at 1:00 p.m. in the Technology Learning Center (Bennett 102) for “What’s Next for Education: The New Course Ecosystem.” This webinar is sponsored by Blackboard and hosted by The Chronicle of Higher Education. A group discussion will follow.

Who: Institutional leaders, faculty, course designers and IT leaders will get an insightful view into the evolution of digital technology in the higher education landscape.

About: A recent survey notes that students are purchasing tablets and mobile devices at a rate far faster than predicted. And, it’s no surprise that the greatest growth sector in education is expected to be in the adoption of digital textbooks, multimedia and tools, a sector that topped the $1 billion dollar mark in 2011.

Content is not the only area in higher education undergoing transition. The mission of the learning management system LMS seems to be changing also. All types of content will soon be accessible within a single course experience, uniquely delivered by the learning management system. With the LMS as a new channel for digital content, instructors and students both can expect manifold benefits from greater choice in teaching materials to more options for consuming instructional content.

During this event, you will hear an insightful view into the evolution of digital technology in the higher education landscape.