OIT Newsletter: Charging Ahead in 2017

OIT Technology News

The 2016 OIT Progress Report, Kaltura pilot, One Button Studio, and Respondus LockDown Browser are just a few of the items highlighted this month.

The 2016 OIT Progress Report is Now Available

2016 OIT Progress Report Cover

The 2016 Progress Report for the Office of Information Technology is now available.
To view the report, please visit sites.smu.edu/oit/pr2016 or click the link below.

View Report

PDF and ePub versions are available on our website at

Faculty and Staff Email Upgrade to Exchange 2016

OIT is currently upgrading on our campus email servers to the latest version of Microsoft Exchange. Most of the changes will occur behind the scenes and should have a very little noticeable impact to faculty and staff email service. Faculty and staff will, however, notice a difference when utilizing the web client available at webmail.smu.edu.

Unified Communications to Replace Old PBX Phones

With the recent completion of the Unified Messaging/Voice Mail Replacement project, OIT is now launching a long-term project to implement a Unified Communications system. The objective of this project is to replace the current campus telephone system (PBX), which has been in service for over 20 years.

Kaltura’s Video Services Available for SMU Courses


SMU is exploring Kaltura’s video services as the strategic system to unify and deliver all video and audio media for traditional, hybrid and all online courses. Available immediately within Canvas, this pilot version of Kaltura is available to all SMU instructors, students, and community members.

SMU Takes On Brain Challenge with Lynda Learning Days

In January, IT training facilitated a series of Lynda Learning events on campus. The month kicked off with our partnership with Wellpower as we announced the lynda.com “Brain Challenge.”  Participants could receive Wellpower points for completing a course during the month of January. During the challenge, over 130 courses were completed, with Financial Wellness: Managing Personal Cash Flow and Learn Canvas 2016 being the top viewed courses.

One Button Studio
One Button Studio Offers Video Recording with One Click

The One Button Studio is now open at the Hamon Arts Library. The studio is a joint between the Meadows School of the Arts, the Hamon Arts Library, and Office of Information Technology. Providing users with a simplified video recording setup without the need of previous video production experience, the Studio is available to the campus community.

OIT Ramps Up for Large Computer Refresh in 2017

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 mass installation project targeting approximately 1500 computers! We’re making a few changes to the process to ensure the upgrades go more smoothly this year.

A-LEC and OIT Team Up for Student Workshops

Your students can get their spring semester off to a great start! The Altshuler Learning Enhancement Center (A-LEC) has partnered with OIT to offer student workshops (Excel, PowerPoint, etc.) that can help them make the best of their spring. Located in the Loyd All-Sports Center, the A-LEC is a great place for students to support their studies while at SMU. For a complete list of courses, please see the announcement on our IT Connect blog.

STAR Students Available for Technology Projects

SMU STAR ProgramThe Student Technology Assistant in Residence (STAR) Program is available to work with faculty and academic departments on short-term instructional technology projects. STAR students handle the technical stuff, allowing you to focus on the content.

Respondus LockDown Browser Now Available

We are pleased to introduce Respondus LockDown Browser for use with Canvas Quizzes to “lockdown” a student’s browser during proctored exams. The specialized browser, designed exclusively for secure quizzing, is stripped of all plugins and add-ons to provide a stable and secure testing experience.

Results of the 2016 Student Technology Needs Assessment

OIT 2016 Student Needs Assessment infographic

SMU’s Office of Information Technology recently completed the 2016 Student Technology Needs Assessment. OIT will use the assessment’s results to improve existing services, support, and create new and innovative technology initiatives.

You can review the highlights from the report or download the report from the IT Connect blog.

Office of Information Technology

Copyright © 2016 Office of Information Technology, SMU
smu.edu/help  | 214.768.HELP |  help@smu.edu

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Ian Aberle

Ian Aberle is an Adobe Creative Educator and the Senior IT Communications Specialist & Trainer for the Office of Information Technology (OIT). For over 25 years, he has helped the SMU community use technology and implement digital and web media through multiple roles with the Digital Commons, SMU STAR Program, and now OIT. Ian enjoys photography and road trips with his family in his free time.