Educational Technology Update for Fall 2011

Classroom Updates and Changes for Fall 2011

Operating System and Software Updates

  • Windows 7 – Most classrooms are now running Windows 7 operating system.  The desktop screen should look as similar as we were able to make to the previous version from last year.  One difference that will be noticeable is that the systems will default at the login screen to login into the UNMC campus domain, individuals with a TNMC id and password will need to follow the instructions below the login area for logging into the TNMC network to use these computers.  This is a change in Windows 7 that requires a different way to switch between login networks.
  • Office 2010 – Starting last year, we are now using Office 2010 in all classrooms throughout campus.
  • Smartboard Update – A new update for Smartboard has been installed.  We are continuing to work with Smart Technologies to remove the various pop-ups that appear asking for updates and other software installs.  For the time being, if the software asks to install an update or other package, we are recommending to accept the changes and then proceed to use the computer and smart board.
  • Drivers and plugins – We have updated all drivers and plugins on classroom computers.
  • Deployment and security software
    • The workstations are now using Symantec antivirus and malware software with the campus conversion to this software this summer.  We are seeing little difference in the operation of the computers with this software, one may still experience some nag notices but they have been kept to a minimum on most computers.
    • Citrix software distribution has been upgraded to the latest edition along with an upgrade of the servers that deploy the software to the desktops in the classrooms and clusters.  We have seen a significant improvement in startup with the new system versus the previous version.  Bootup and login still take a minute or so as the Windows 7 operating system takes longer to boot than previous Windows operating systems.
    • A select number of high use classrooms have been converted to a totally local managed system to improve performance.  Sorrell 3001, 3002, 1005, 2010,2014 and 2018 have been converted to locally managed systems with Deep Freeze lock down software.

Classroom hardware and av equipment updates

  • Sorrell 1012 new computers installed and operational, the computers now are setup the same way as Sorrell 1010 and include a flat screen monitor.
  • New computers have been installed in Sorrell 3001, 3002, 1015, 2010, 2014 and 2018
  • New projectors have been installed in selected Sorrell small group rooms where the projector image was degraded by overheating of the projectors.

Respondus Update - Respondus 4.0.4 – Details on Available Update

Respondus, a software for creating and managing exams which can be printed to paper or published directly to Blackboard for computer based administration. Respondus is available to the UNMC campus through June 30, 2012 thanks to a University of Nebraska Kelly Grant. Using Respondus, Blackboard exams can be created off-line using a familiar Windows environment, such as MS Word, and then copied to Blackboard. Learn more about Respondus software at:http://respondus.com/products/respondus.shtml

The Respondus 4.0.4 update includes several small enhancements and bug fixes, as well as support for the latest Blackboard.  To view the complete list of enhancements, visithttp://www.respondus.com/download/respondus40patch.shtml.

Install the Respondus 4.0.4 update by following these steps:
* Start Respondus 4.0
* Select “Help” from the menu bar
* Click “Check for Update”
* Click “Get Update”
* Upon exiting the Respondus software, the update will automatically be applied

The Respondus software can be downloaded for installation:
The campus license and installation instructions for Respondus can be found at: http://ess.unmc.edu
Please print off the Install Instructions to guide you through the software installation process. Once you log into ESS click on Information Technology > Software > Respondus

Respondus LockDown Browser

Respondus LockDown Browser” is a custom browser that locks down the testing environment within Blackboard. When students use Respondus LockDown Browser they are unable to print, copy, go to another URL, or access other applications. When an assessment is started, students are locked into it until they submit it for grading. Learn more about Respondus LockDown Browser at: http://www.respondus.com/products/lockdown.shtml

The installation of Respondus LockDown Browser is strictly limited to computers which are permanently located on the University of Nebraska Medical Center campus AND managed/controlled by UNMC. The installation of Respondus LockDown browser on home, student or any other computers which leave the UNMC campus is not permitted.

Current installation locations:
Michael Sorrell Building rooms 1010 and 1012
College of Nursing at Kearney Learning Resource Center
A campus license and installation instructions for Respondus LockDown browser can be obtained by contacting Melissa Diers at mdiers@unmc.edu

Echo360

The Echo360 classroom and workstation recording system has been upgraded to the latest release.  The latest release added many administrative enhancements but the most significant enhancement for users is an enhanced player that is now available for portable technology such as iPad and iPod as well as other mobile devices.  For access to a manual go to http://confluence.echo360.com/display/40/4.0+Documentation+Home

Blackboard Upgrade

We have completed the upgrade of the campus blackboard system to the latest version and to new servers.  We are continuing to migrate courses from the previous server to the new server as requested.  The transfers have been mostly completed successfully with a only a handful of courses that required special processing.

This version of Blackboard has mostly problem fixes.  The most significant changes in Blackboard in the recent updates have been the testing area including test question numbering and testing updates.  It is now possible to set a time limit on tests that is automatically triggered when the time is up and then the test is closed.  Students can monitor the time left with the addition of time left in the test progress bar at the top of the test screen.

The new version is available at the original web address my8.unmc.edu and the previous version of blackboard is at oldbb.unmc.edu.

Educational Technology Update – July 7, 2011

Educational Technology Update – July 7, 2011

This is an update on UNMC classroom educational technology activities currently underway, completed or planned for the next few months.

Classroom Technology Updates and Changes

As in past summers, UNMC ITS is updating classroom, labs and cluster computers and technology.  Most of the updates this summer are related to server replacement, software updates and upgrades to more current editions, and adjustments to enhance performance of computers and av technology.  The major updates and upgrades include the conversion of Blackboard to new servers that will allow us to run the 64bit edition of Blackboard, Campuspack blogs and wikis are being updated by Learning Objects on July 17, 2011; and upgrading the Citrix system to the latest version and installing new servers for desktop streaming and the deployment of Xen Apps for virtualizing computer applications.  The following provides detail on the changes and updates currently being undertaken in campus classrooms, clusters and campus learning resources.

2011 Education Technology Updates and Changes (recent or completed in bold)

Major Hardware Changes

  • Sorrell 4009 and 4024 – Conversion to local boot instead of Citrix for College of Medicine conference rooms – TBD
  • Sorrell 3001 and 3002 – Redundant Echo recording capability – January 2011
  • Bennett Hall – Information panels in Hallways – installed and operational June 13, 2011
  • Pharmacy College – Replaced computers in cluster with new computers – February 2011
  • Nursing Cluster, 4th floor CON – removing cluster, space being reused by CON – tbd June/July 2011
  • College of Nursing – Omaha, 4th floor – removing cluster, space being reused by CON – tbd
  • BMC 2086 and 2087 – New projector and computer installations, mounting projectors in conference rooms – July 2011

Major Hardware Fixes

  • Sorrell events center – replacement of microphones to resolve interference issue. – completed June 20,2011

Echo360

  • Upgraded to current release June 2, 2011
  • Upgrading to Release 3 version released in July 2011, July 8, 2008
  • Enhancements to reliability and management console primarily.
  • Next release due July, will provide enhanced mobile viewer and additional recording capabilities with new recorder that provides HD capability.
  • Upgrade to be scheduled based on stability of release and added features.

Blackboard

  • Servers being upgraded (current servers are over 3 years old and cannot run in 64bit mode which should provide more 2 times processing improvement and enhanced reliability). – installed and in testing June 27, 2011
  • Proposed availability week of July 18, 2011.  We are waiting on update to Learning Objects new version release the weekend of July 16 which will provide full compatibility with the latest version of Blackboard. – Week of July 16 full availability.
  • Software will be the same as currently being run with the addition of patches to latest version.
  • Current system my8.unmc.edu will be maintained for a couple of months until all courses have been moved and courses have been started for fall semester.
  • New server will be called the generic name of my.unmc.edu.
  • Upgrade tentatively planned for week of July 16, 2011.
  • No major interface or feature changes for faculty and students using the system.
  • New mobile Blackboard due sometime summer 2011, to include classroom mobile apps.

Campuspack Blog and Wikis – these are now hosted by the software company and are being updated to a new version – July 14, 2011

Respondus Lockdown Browser – continued contract for the coming year with COM grant – contract renewed June 2011

Computer Upgrades/Refreshes

  • Sorrell 1012 – Replacing laptop computers with Dell 790 Ultra-Small form factor desktops with integrated stand and monitor.  Computers ordered, arrival 6/21/2011, installation in July 2011.
  • Library 8th floor computer training room – Replacing 6 year old Dell computers with Dell 790 desktop computers, installation July 2011
  • Library 8th floor computer updates – Replaced 4 year old computers with new Dell 980 desktops – June 6, 2011
  • Reviewing possible replacement of Sorrell 1005, 2010, 2014, 2018, 3001, 3002 computer to latest dell models – Dell 790 desktop computers. – Waiting to determine that units provide significant improvement before scheduling install.

Computer Software

  • Citrix Servers being upgraded to faster and larger servers, partially completed with first server in place, others to be added as conversion to latest edition of citrix streaming servers occur.
  • Citrix Software Upgrade – Upgrading from current version 5 to latest Citrix release 6 which provides additional performance improvements, enhanced speed of transfer to workstations and complete support for Windows 7.

Classroom and cluster computers – Converting campus classroom computers to Windows 7.  The basic image has been as close as possible to the current computer image that uses Windows XP.  Windows XP support is being phased out by Microsoft and it is increasingly having problems running educational apps as well as the latest Microsoft Office software.  The conversion has begun in selected locations as we test the software and Citrix delivery system.  The following are the rough timelines for these conversions:

  • Cluster and Lab Updates and Upgrades – Convert to new Citrix server and windows 7, update all application software and drivers, no new applications to be added.
Locations Conversion Dates
Cluster 8th Floor Library completed June 10, 2011
Cluster 6th Floor Library completed June 13, 2011
Pharmacy Cluster completed June 15, 2011
Sorrell Cluster completed June 22, 2011
Student Life Center Cluster completed June 14, 2011
Anatomy Labs tbd, July or early August
COPH computer classroom and lab completed June 17, 2011
CON cluster completed June 17, 2011

 

  • Classroom Updates and Upgrades - Convert to new Citrix server or switch to local computer control software Deep Freeze (provide faster boot and performance) and windows 7, update all application software and drivers, no new applications to be added.

Locations Conversion Dates Priority Update Order
Sorrell 1010 July 7, 2011 1
Sorrell 1012 July 6, 2011, computers received June 21,2011 Early July
Sorrell Clinical Skills July 2011 As soon as image is tested.
Sorrell 1005, 2010, 2014, 2018 July 2011 3
Sorrell 3001 and 3002 July 2011 2
Sorrell small group rooms, 22 rooms, including review of SmartBoard functionality. July 2011 4
COPH computer classroom and lab June 27, 2011 Completed
Pharmacy classrooms July 2011 5
COPH Classrooms June, 2011 Currently working
Wittson Hall classrooms July 2011 7
CON Classrooms July 2011 6
ITS Conference Rooms converted June 13, 2011 When others are completed
Other campus classrooms and conference rooms July 2011 8
College of Nursing Lincoln computer upgrade being planned, funding needs to be identified – TBD, still this summer if at all possible Working

 

UNMC Educational Technology Web Pages and Information – http://blog.unmc.edu/edtech/

June 28, 2011, Daniel L. Moser