Classroom Technology Planning Report for 2017 Now Available

As we began planning for the summer classroom upgrades, we took a more collaborative approach to the planning and design.

  1. Completed a full inventory of all the classrooms including researching the original installation date of the equipment.
  2. Categorized the rooms into three distinct types that would help guide the design of the technology.
  3. Met with each of the Academic Technology Service Directors to obtain a wish list of classroom upgrades and changes.
  4. Identified rooms from the OIT perspective that needed to be addressed based on the number of support calls and maintenance issues.
  5. Reviewed the full list and assigned estimated quotes for each room.
  6. Determined the rooms that could be completed utilizing the $500,000 allocated for Classroom Upgrades for FY18.

Continue reading Classroom Technology Planning Report for 2017 Now Available

Classroom Technology Refreshes with New Collaboration Devices

The Solstice Pod, just one of the new technologies coming to classrooms this summer.

Working closely with the Academic Technology Service Directors and the Academic Technology Council, we have identified approximately 70 rooms to receive classroom technology upgrades this fiscal year.  We are currently in the process of scheduling the rooms and finalizing bids with our vendors.  The scheduling component will largely determine how many of those rooms we are able to complete over the summer months.  SMU classrooms are still in such heavy use during the summer months that it leaves little time for major upgrade work.

There are a few exciting new changes that are included this year. Continue reading Classroom Technology Refreshes with New Collaboration Devices

Desktop Replacement Project to deploy over 700 new computers

Computer RefreshIt’s almost summertime and that means we begin the mass deployment of upgraded computers across campus.  We anticipate replacing anywhere between 700-1,000 computers in the span of approximately 10 weeks.   We made quite a number of changes to improve the desktop replacement process from last year. Continue reading Desktop Replacement Project to deploy over 700 new computers

OIT Ramps Up for Large Computer Refresh in 2017

Computer Refresh Last summer, the Office of Information Technology (OIT) successfully replaced over 800 computers in a few months as part of our annual computer refresh. The OIT Install Team is ramping up for another large-scale installation project targeting approximately 1500 computers! We’re making a few changes to the process to ensure the upgrades go more smoothly this year. Continue reading OIT Ramps Up for Large Computer Refresh in 2017

IT Roundtable Event: A Great Conversation

Roundtable Discussion with the IT Leaders

Yesterday, the IT Leadership met with various faculty and staff in an open roundtable discussion.  We had prepared a PowerPoint presentation outlining where we’ve been and a few strategic items on the horizon.  Prior to the event, we decided that we’d much rather facilitate a conversation with the attendees and answer their questions.  Of course, we had the presentation to fall back on if there weren’t questions at the IT Roundtable.  Fortunately, what resulted was a candid and collaborative discussion taking the full hour and a half! Continue reading IT Roundtable Event: A Great Conversation

macOS Sierra: Apple’s New Era Operating System

In the past few years, Apple has worked to integrate features from their highly successful iOS to the desktop realm. The newest version, macOS Sierra, is the most integrated version yet. The connection between the Mac desktop and Apple’s mobile devices is stronger than ever. Continue reading macOS Sierra: Apple’s New Era Operating System

Important Changes to Courses.SMU

UPDATE:

Due to an unprecedented chain of events yesterday, June 29th, SMU was unable to login to Canvas for several hours. The connection between SMU and Canvas has since been restored.

These events yesterday disrupted our expected timeline, and in order to recover and move forward, access to Blackboard via courses.smu.edu has been removed 24 hours earlier than scheduled. If you need your materials off of Blackboard, please contact your academic technology director in your college, or put in a ticket at the Helpdesk.

Direct Support Contacts:
James Pan Dedman School of Law/Perkins School of Theology pan@smu.edu 214.768.1820
Jeff Liew Cox School of Business jliew@smu.edu 214.768.4770
Scott Martin Simmons School of Education smartin@smu.edu 214.768.4864
Merlin Wilkerson Lyle School of Engineering merlin@smu.edu 214.768.8649
Mousumi Tanha Meadows School of Arts mtanha@smu.edu 214.768.2548
Michael Robertson Dedman College robertsonm@smu.edu 214.768.1148
Steve Snider Guildhall ssnider@smu.edu 214.768.1879

July 1st is going to be a big day for learning management systems at SMU. There will be some significant changes to Courses.SMU as we move away from Blackboard to Canvas. As advertised throughout the 2015-2016 academic year, the following changes will take effect on June 30th.

Continue reading Important Changes to Courses.SMU

Apple iOS 10: The New Bits

Last week’s Apple Worldwide Developer Conference has come to a close. Now that we’ve heard all that the folks in Cupertino have had to say about what’s new in the world of Mac and iOS; we can now summarize all of the great new things we can all expect this year.

In our summary last week, we only skimmed the surface of the new features of iOS mentioned in the WWDC opening keynote. Since then, several more tricks have been up iOS’ sleeve. This article is still only a snippet of the new things to know in iOS 10, but for a complete rundown you can visit Apple’s iOS 10 Preview page. Continue reading Apple iOS 10: The New Bits

Apple WWDC 2016: What’s New

macOS with SiriIt’s that time of year again! Apple is hosting their annual Worldwide Developers Conference this week in San Francisco. The WWDC isn’t usually as flashy as the iPhone reveals, but there’s still a lot of cool features and products you can expect to find on your Apple devices in the coming months.

One of the bigger talking points during WWDC is OS X, and this year is no exception. The most noticeable change is the name. After fifteen years, OS X will now be known simply as macOS. The next upgrade of the operating system will be called Sierra, named after the Sierra Nevada mountain range.

The new macOS will also include the debut of the iPhone’s voice-activated assistant, Siri. This will allow Mac users to use the same voice commands they use on their iPhone on their desktop as well. Siri has been studying, too! She will now have a huge amount of additional knowledge and commands to interact with desktop apps. The underlying technology behind Siri is now opened up to developers as well, so expect to see third-party apps using the technology soon.

Also on the horizon is the latest version of iOS: version 10. iOS 10 brings additional security features to iPhones and iPads, along with streamlined notifications on your lock screen.

Teaching & Video/Audio Conferencing with Zoom

ZoomAvailable now, Southern Methodist University has expanded services for Zoom, a cloud-based video conferencing and web conferencing service, as the primary eLearning tool for delivering easy-to-use,  high-definition video/audio conferencing capabilities to faculty and students.  Brought to campus in January 2015 as part of a pilot initiative, Zoom has proven a reliable, future-forward and cost-effective collaboration tool which is easy to use on just about any device (even Linux!).  As Zoom transitions from pilot initiative and into a supported service, Zoom will also be replacing SMU’s current GoToMeeting conferencing service.

Over the next few months, OIT’s Academic Technology Services team will be integrating Zoom within Canvas and will be configuring Zoom for use with SMU’s single-sign-on technology so that you can use your SMU login credentials for access.  Short-term Zoom Webinar licenses are also available but limited–please contact the IT Helpdesk for more information about webinars.

Suggested Uses for Zoom

1:1 Meetings with Students

Schedule meetings with students that you would normally meet face-to-face by using a Zoom meeting. If you have distance students, or when bad weather prohibits travel to campus, meetings and/or classes can still be held over Zoom (up to 50 participants).

Virtual Office Hours

With Zoom you can offer virtual office hours from any location anywhere in the world (with Internet accessibility). Send your students or collaborators an invite through email or post the meeting information on your Canvas course site as to the “office hours” that you will be available.  Scheduled Zoom office hours create an active virtual “office” where students can come and go as needed.

Paper & Research Reviews

Using the Zoom Share Screen feature, you can have students or colleagues submit work for real-time review during a live Zoom session. Share Screen allows you to provide real-time feedback on work and to allow for any synchronous clarification as needed.

Exam Review Sessions

Launch a Zoom session and allow students to enter as necessary. Faculty members can choose to either moderate a student led review or to lead the review on their own.

External Research Collaboration

Need to host a research discussion or virtual seminar with up to 50 attendees? No problem!  Create a Zoom session!

Recording Lectures, Meetings, & Sessions for Asynchronous Playback

Using Zoom’s recording functionality, all Zoom content can be recorded directly to your hard drive for future reference or future use in creating content for hybrid teaching.

Getting started with Zoom

  1. Submit a Zoom account request to the IT Help Desk by calling 214.768.HELP or by emailing help@smu.edu. You will receive an email notification when your account has been created.
  2. Once you’ve created a Zoom account, simply navigate to smu.edu/zoom to log in and host a meeting!

Zoom Requirements

System Requirements

  • Internet connection
  • Speakers & microphone—built-in or USB plug-in or wireless Bluetooth
  • Webcam or HD webcam—built-in or USB blug-in
  • Or, an HD cam or HD camcorder with video capture card

Supporting Operating Systems

  • Mac OS X with Mac OS 10.7 or later
  • Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7
  • Linux

Supported Tablets & Mobile Devices

  • iOS and Android devices
  • Surface Pro 2 & 3