Wireless Network Improved: Upgrades to the campus wireless network will finish during the fall semester. The upgrade creates a faster connection and increases the range of the wireless signal while decreasing congestion. Upon completion of the project's current phase, fewer than 40 older access points will remain, which will be upgraded throughout the semester. Technicians recently replaced all 15 wireless access points in Adelbert Hall without causing connectivity disruptions. More information about the wireless network can be found at case.edu/its/help/service.html?id=41.
Google Drive: Google Apps for Education announced the release of Google Drive to Case Western Reserve University. Google Drive is a service that syncs and stores files from your computer with a virtual drive that can be accessed from any computer or mobile device, allowing you to see your files no matter where you are. All CWRU users have 5 Gigabytes of storage available to them for free. More information can be found at drive.google.com.
Videoconferencing Expands: ITS has broken new ground in videoconferencing by launching the first TelePresence Exchange (TPX)in higher education in the Midwest. The TelePresence Exchange is an infrastructure that enables ITS to host videoconference calls without depending on a vendor to set up and host them. Videoconferencing technology and the TPX also yield long-term cost saving measures by reducing vendor and travel expenses. More information can be found at case.edu/its/videoconference.
Adobe Creative Suite 6: The Adobe Creative Suite 6 (CS6) Design & Web Premium and Production Premium collections were added to the Software Center. The two collections are available as free downloads to CWRU students, faculty and staff for Windows and Macintosh machines. Adobe CS6 contains Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Premiere and many other popular products used in a variety of academic disciplines. Students, faculty and staff can download CS6 from softwarecenter.case.edu. More information on CS6 can be found through the Adobe website at adobe.com/products/creativesuite.html.
Email Security Update: The settings on the outgoing email server (smtp.cwru.edu) were updated to further protect the identities of CWRU email service users. This change required users of email programs such as Outlook, Thunderbird and Mac OS X Mail to ensure that an encrypted connection was being used to send email. Encrypting the connection protects a user's CWRU Network ID and password from being compromised during the authentication and login process. More information about CWRU Google email can be found at case.edu/its/training/cwruemailmain.html.
Service Status Dashboard: ITS launched a new resource to provide the university community with the real-time status of critical technology services. The Service Status Dashboard indicates the latest condition of a wide variety of essential resources, from Adobe Connect and Blackboard, to Google Apps for Education and Peoplesoft Financials. The status of key infrastructure services, such as the wired and wireless networks, is also available. Users of the dashboard can also see long-term overviews of each service's performance. As part of its ongoing effort to provide IT services that improve the university's teaching, learning, research, and administrative environment, ITS strives to ensure that these critical services are running 99.9% of the time. The dashboard can be found at case.edu/its/dashboard/servicestatus.html.
MediaVision Upgrade: ITS recently upgraded its MediaVision lecture capture system. The improvements allow students to access academic recordings through their class site on Blackboard Learn and enable faculty to view metrics on how students are using the videos. Faculty can also seamlessly access and edit their course videos and take advantage of a new feature called Personal Capture, which will enable them to record videos anywhere, at any time, and distribute them to students through Blackboard. Students now have the ability to add bookmarks and start and respond to discussion items tied to specific scenes of the video, allowing them to review the video more easily and communicate with their instructors and peers about important course concepts. More information at case.edu/its/training/mediavisioncoursewaremain.html.
iThink: The first program to be offered completely online at CWRU will begin registering students in January 2013. The Mandel School for Applied Social Sciences will administer the online Masters of Science in Social Administration (MSSA). More information on the MSSA program can be found at socialworkdegree.case.edu.
HCM Upgrade: ITS will be upgrading the Human Capital Management (HCM) enterprise human resources system to version 9.1 in September. Among other improvements, the upgrade will enable easier, quicker navigation of the system and will enhance the capabilities of the Careers module. While the menu options and screens that end users see in HCM will not change, the menu itself will move to the top of the screen under the CWRU logo. Go to case.edu/its/training/hcmmain.html for more information.
Faculty Engagement Co-Leaders: Two new positions were established within ITS to support the use of technology by faculty to promote teaching and learning. The Faculty Engagement co-leaders, who are also faculty members, will work closely with administrators and faculty to make a positive, lasting impact on teaching, learning, and research. They will also attend and present at departmental and school meetings, establish learning communities, and provide multimedia support through faculty and student resource pages.
Purchasing Course Now Online: To better serve the scheduling needs of customers, ITS has transitioned the delivery of the "Purchasing at CWRU from A to Z" curriculum from classroom-based training to an online course. The enriched online curriculum is available around the clock through Adobe Connect and provides a much more flexible option for new users than the previous instructor-led course schedule. To ensure that university financial resources are astutely managed, this course is mandatory for anyone requiring access to the purchasing module of PeopleSoft Financials. The "Purchasing at CWRU A to Z" class is provided as part of the Case Western Reserve University Administrative Professional Series (CAPS), which is available to all full-time and part-time employees of the university. Go to case.edu/its/training/service.html?20 for more information.
GENI begins at CWRU: CWRU has installed one of the first GENI starter racks in higher education. The Global Environment for Network Innovation (GENI) program, sponsored by the National Science Foundation, provides a unique virtual research laboratory for scaled network experimentation that enables academic and industry research teams to envision and create new models for future Internet services. By using this virtual infrastructure and the associated experimental licensing, CWRU researchers can construct both local and remote experiments, access research training tutorials and collaborate in manners that were previously difficult to execute. GENI is currently being leveraged by the university for future applications in home health care through the introduction of high-definition, multi-point videoconferencing nodes. GENI also supports the "US Ignite" initiative, another project that's come to CWRU, that seeks to lead the development of virtualized, ultra-fast broadband networks and "ignite" the expansion of next-generation Internet services for societal benefit.
US Ignite: Case Western Reserve University's efforts to provide high-speed internet access to residents near campus through the Case Connection Zone won White House recognition and a $300,000 grant on June 14. The news came as President Obama signed an Executive Order to make broadband construction involving federal property – including roadways and buildings – 90 percent less expensive. CWRU is one of 60 research universities involved in the coalition, which also includes government agencies and businesses, among other organizations. More information can be found at us-ignite.org.
Internet 2: Higher education executives, including CWRU Chief Information Officer Lev Gonick, announced on April 25 that they will use Internet2, the nation's fastest coast-to-coast network, to implement new technologies that support scientific "big data" and cloud applications. The goal of this venture is to strengthen the nation's position as a global leader in research and education for decades to come, while reducing education costs. More information can be found at internet2.edu.
Visualization Symposium: ITS hosted its first Data Visualization Symposium on Friday, May 11 in the Kelvin Smith Library (KSL). The half-day event featured keynote speaker Kelly Gaither, director of visualization at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) at University of Texas at Austin. During three demonstrations, symposium guests experienced data visualization through the VisIt, Adobe Illustrator, and ArcGIS programs. More at case.edu/its/datavisualizationsymposium.
Web Content Management System: The university is in the process of evaluating and selecting a web content management (WCM) system, which was identified as a strategic priority by the university. The goal of this initiative is to centralize many of the web-focused university resources, to develop a common web strategy, and to reduce duplication of effort.
Research Computing: A website designed to assist researchers with planning for and executing the complex task of managing project data has been added to the Research Computing website. The Data Management website contains resources and recommendations from the university, other research institutions, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). View the research computing website and its information on data management at case.edu/its/researchcomputing. Additionally, enhancements to the High Performance Computing Cluster (HPCC) are nearing completion. There are now 2600 processors that can perform up to 48 trillion floating point operations per second, and 350 terabytes of online storage in the HPCC.