The following is an update on some of the key projects that Information Technology staff have been working on.
Over the summer, many IT staff worked diligently in collaboration with our implementation team and faculty cohort, along with Blackboard specialists, to upgrade eLearn. Content was migrated from the Angel system and Banner was integrated to create accounts and courses. The transition has gone smoothly given the scope and timing of the upgrade. Work continues to learn how to use new features, pilot the new integrated reserves system with Library staff, test publisher integrations, try the Collaborate web conferencing tool, and implement learning analytics.
Of special note is the availability of Atomic Learning training which provides over 250 courses including Adobe Photoshop, MS Outlook, and Blackboard Learn, as well as career skills like Effective Listening. Training modules may be included as eLearn course content or accessed directly by students, faculty, and staff after logging into eLearn.
Office 365 Migration
Faculty and staff email will be migrated to the Microsoft Office 365 cloud service beginning in November. Details about the migration plan will be provided in the upcoming weeks. Those who just use Outlook for email won’t notice much difference, but will benefit immediately by having a 50GB mailbox size. That’s 100 times our average email quota!
Office 365 provides other exciting features like OneDrive which gives each of us 1 TB of cloud storage. From OneDrive, sharing files and working collaboratively with others is simple and makes your files accessible from a mobile device. The full version of Office 2013 will also be available for download on personal devices along with Office mobile apps enabled for editing on iPad, iPhone and Android. Students, faculty and staff will now have the same tools and collaborative environment.
Recruiter Admission System Upgrade
Admission and IT staff are implementing the Ellucian Recruiter software as an upgrade to Banner Relationship Management. Recruiter offers tools to personalize communications with students at every stage in the admission cycle as well as analytics to track performance against goals. New features like event registration and travel management will help streamline administrative tasks in a single system. Recruiter will be live by the end of the year to aid in the recruitment of the Class of 2020 and beyond.
Media and Streaming
IT has implemented the Kaltura video platform to provide the ability to store, share, and find video. We have piloted its use with a few courses that create and manage video. We are also using it to make video produced at Stonehill available to the public or to just the community. Kaltura also allows us to provide a live stream for events of college wide or public interest, which we began using during the recent candidate forums held by the Martin Institute. You can view these videos at media.stonehill.edu from your favorite device.
The annual replacement cycle for technology equipment including computers, projectors, and network electronics is on hold for this fiscal year as a cost saving measure. Any equipment that cannot be repaired will still be promptly replaced. Xerox multi-function devices used for copying, printing and scanning will soon be replaced under a new contract which will provide substantial cost savings to Stonehill. Details about the project will be provided soon from the Finance Division.