Why does it sometimes (often?) seem that ITS is putting the brakes on a new system implementation, especially when the vendor has explained that the system will require virtually no support from your ITS department? "Virtually no support", it turns out, is almost always a lie.
With the support of the CITC, ITS is creating an eDisk Working Group to plan for the eventual replacement of eDisk. The existing eDisk infrastructure is quite aged and no longer supported by the manufacturer. As well, much of the infrastructure was put in place long before many of the other tools we have available to us today, from Google Apps to Blackboard and even our current web site management suite. Careful assessment of what needs to be provided is the first step in planning this project. This needs assessment is slated to be complete by December 2014.
For the Fall, ITS will offer a greatly expanded equipment loan pool. We are merging our two existing loan pools into just one, to be managed by Media Services, and adding new equipment to our inventory such as Chromebooks and a range of audio and video recording devices to support the increased interest in digital storytelling. Prior to the start of classes we will share details on how to take advantage of this new inventory.
ITS is preparing for a next phase evaluation of Canvas as a possible alternative to Blackboard. Moodle and Canvas were piloted during Spring 2014. Feedback suggests a move away from Blackboard should be planned, however further input is needed to make the decision. The Committee on Academic Technology (CAT) has asked that we undertake a fuller pilot of Canvas in the Fall as we had fewer Spring participants with Canvas compared to Moodle. This pilot should allow CAT to recommend a replacement learning management system by the end of 2014.
In partnership with Facilities, ITS will be upgrading TEN spaces this summer. These include: Stager 114, Kaufman 104 and Keiper 200. Four classrooms will receive new projection systems: Keiper 100, 101 and 210, as well as Stager 316. Two classrooms in Meyran will be upgraded. Druker Commons will receive a large wall-mounted LCD.