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Information Services & Technology

IS&T Newsletter - Spring 2017

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Information Services & Technology

Address:
21 Anderson Hall
725 S. Church Street
West Chester, PA 19382


Phone: 610-436-3350
Email: helpdesk@wcupa.edu

Newsletter Archives

IS&T Newsletter - Spring 2017

In this Issue...

Topic Title
New Building Business and Public Management Center
New Tech RamCast comes to WCU!
New Design Object Design, 3D Printing, and Clay
Tech Tip Create Space in Outlook
Meet the Staff Paul Gargiulo
Trivia Tech Trivia
Contact Info Information Services Department

Business and Public Management Center

BPMC Stock Ticker

The largest academic building on campus, the new Business and Public Management Center sits on the corner of Sharpless and Church Street. Totaling 96,000 gross square feet, the BPMC is home to 25 classrooms and 137 offices. It is hard to miss the custom LED stock ticker that wraps around the corner in the entryway, displaying economic data. Looking up, you will notice a beautiful set of lamps that accentuate the space while natural light floods the lobby from all sides. The color pallet, given this is the Business & Public Management Center, is designed to give the space a more ‘corporate’ feel. You might notice some punches of color in small areas to break that up since this is an academic space.

At West Chester University, esthetics are not the only thing to pay attention to; the technology that has been implemented in the new building is impressive. One of the new technologies is RamCast (see page 5), equipped in each classroom to promote a collaborative learning space and makes connecting to the screens within the classroom much easier. The BPMC is the first building with five classrooms equipped with RamCast, including four to six wall-mounted flat screen displays and movable furniture. “The potential of RamCast is to foster active learning and support deeper student engagement through technology,” says JT Singh, Deputy CIO and Executive Director of Educational Technologies & User Services. A classroom equipped with movable furniture as well as the new RamCast technology will promote student engagement, collaboration, and active learning.

To further enhance the student classroom experience, each room is configured for dense wireless network connections to provide ultra-fast network connectivity. “Expectations around wired and wireless network connectivity have continued to rapidly evolve over the past five to ten years. No longer is it acceptable for our campus constituents to deal with the network if it’s slow or unreliable” says Kevin Partridge, WCU Network Manager. Because of these expectations, there are 129 wireless access points located throughout the building, making this the largest number of wireless access points deployed in any academic building on campus. Kevin added, “I can remember when this number of wireless access points represented more than the entire wireless network on WCU’s campus.”

BPMC RamCast

Another main attraction to the new building on campus is the light well. It covers three stories in the center of the building and provides very few areas that do not obtain natural light. In order to reduce energy consumption, the building has been designed to optimize energy performance. To achieve this, the building is equipped with daylight harvesting systems. These harvesting systems use daylight to offset the amount of electric lighting needed to adequately light a space. The lighting control systems are able to dim or switch electric lighting in response to changing daylight availability.

When it comes to the WCU experience, technology is a very important part for all students, faculty, and staff. WCU is at the forefront when it comes to technology within academic buildings, and we are constantly looking toward the future.

Watch the BPMC video

RamCast comes to WCU!

Did you know that in some classrooms, you can connect your device to the projector wirelessly? Now with RamCast you can! With the Mersive Solstice app or IP address provided by the software, RamCast allows users to connect any device to the projector/presentation screen in that classroom. You can find RamCast in the Business and Public Management Building, Anderson Hall, Recitation Hall, and some classrooms in both Sturzebecker Hall and Merion Science Center, as well as in the QVC Commons in the Library. New locations are being added all the time. To find out if a classroom has RamCast capabilities, just check the projection control panel, and there you will find an option for RamCast if it is available in that space. The Help Desk (610-436-3350) is available if you have other questions or need further assistance, and training is offered via the FAST calendar.

With this wireless capability in the classroom, presenting various types of information, collaborating with classmates and instructors, and more is possible. Teaching and learning is transformed and elevated to the next level with the ability to share content from a device so easily and conveniently. So far the instructors and students who have used this system really like it and are looking forward to its expansion across campus.

More information about RamCast.

Object Design, 3D Printing, and Clay

Digital Modeling

Technology plays an important role in the ceramics curriculum at WCU. Digital modeling and 3D printing has been part of the ceramics curriculum for several years. Andrew Snyder, Assistant Professor of Ceramics explains, “Three years ago I introduced digital modeling and 3D printing to upper level ceramics students. One of my favorite aspects of digital modeling is its relationship to traditional materials and processes. In that respect, the first project I had students working on with this technology began with digitally modeling a cup using the design program Rhino 5. Rhino afforded students the opportunity to use their existing knowledge of cup design from my previous classes. I like to start with cup design in a number of my classes, because cups are objects that everyone is familiar with and everyone has a favorite cup they can use as inspiration for their first model.”

Vase

“After students digitally modeled their cups in Rhino we brought them into reality by printing on our Makerbot2 3D printer. The Makerbot uses PLA (polylactide), a biodegradable, recyclable, corn-based thermoplastic to print digital models. This printer works very similar to a CNC hot glue gun. In the next step we used traditional mold making techniques to slip cast our finished products in clay. The entire process took nearly half the semester involving 5 projects rolled into one; model, print, mold, slip, and production. In the fall of 2017 I plan on teaching this same project again, but to teach cup design and mold design in Rhino which will allow students to go straight from Rhino to the finished mold and hopefully take a little less time.”

“My current work investigates ancient Greek ceramics and how their vase painting informs us (2500 years later) regarding their culture. The content of the vase painting usually depicts ancient Greek life and mythology. For the past year I have been documenting our culture’s contemporary mythology on my interpretation of ancient Greek vessels. This series depicts everyone from Andre the Giant to Margaret Sanger. With this concept in mind, the next step will be to combine my interest in technology.”

“In January I received the Potterbot 3D which will allow me to further incorporate technology in the concept of my work and ceramics curriculum. The Potterbot is a CNC clay extruder which works on the same principle as the Makerbot, but instead of plastic, it extrudes clay. In December I was approved by the U Penn Archeology Museum to 3D scan a number of their Ancient Greek vessels which I will then print on the Potterbot and then depict contemporary mythology on these pieces. I am very excited to begin this work and to use the Potterbot Extruder to help students bring their 3D project ideas to life.”

Create Space in Outlook

  • Are you running out of space in your Outlook inbox?
  • Do you have emails that cannot be deleted taking up valuable space?
  • Do you constantly need to clear out old emails to make room for new ones?
  • Why not sort some of those “need to save” emails into your Online Archive!

The Online Archive is a service provided to all West Chester University faculty and staff featuring a folder with an additional 7GB of storage space for emails. This folder appears on your Outlook, and can be treated the same as a regular inbox folder. You can create subfolders to sort emails, and drag and drop directly from your main inbox to clear up space. A key benefit of the Online Archive is that it is still available via the Outlook Web App, unlike .pst files or local mail folders which are saved on your local machine and therefore cannot be accessed from the Outlook Web App. Any emails placed in the Online Archive do not count towards the size of your regular inbox, and are stored on WCU servers and available via the Outlook program or the Outlook Web App for your convenience. For help with the Online Archive contact the IT Help Desk at 610-436-3350 or email

helpdesk@wcupa.edu

1. In the Outlook program, you will see the folder appear as “Online Archive – USERNAME”, as shown on the training account below.

Outlook Step 1

2. In the Outlook Web App, you will see the folder appear as either “Online Archive”, “Personal Archive”, or “In-Place Archive” as shown on the training account below.

Outlook Step 2

Interview with Paul Gargiulo

Paul Gargiulo

Can you tell us a little bit about your background and when you joined WCU?

“I started full time as an employee in 2001. At that time I was the ACC manager overseeing the labs in the evening. From there, I transitioned to the day shift, and served as the backup LMS (learning management system) Administrator (which was Blackboard at the time) and gradually assumed the role of LMS Administrator. For those roughly 8 years since moving into the LMS role I took on more responsibilities at WCU and at the state level which involved the LMS and Web Conferencing tools. One of my most important roles was leading the migration from Blackboard to D2L in 2010. In 2015 I applied for the position of Assistant Director of Client Services and I have been in that role ever since. I represent the IS&T department at the Academic Affairs Counsel, and have also led the planning efforts of the annual RECAP Conference for the past 5 years.”

What is IPSIS? How has it changed the game for MyWCU and D2L? (Integration protocol for student information systems)

“IPSIS is the link between myWCU and D2L. IPSIS manages account creation and enrollments synchronization into D2L. Prior to IPSIS, there were two different methods to sync myWCU and D2L. The first method used a bulk batch excel file that had to be broken into multiple files. This method of syncing was not accurate. The second system was called the Holding Tank. The Holding Tank would run twice daily, at 1:00pm and again at 3am. Each time the Holding Tank would run, it would be doing bulk snapshots at that point in time, where it would be creating accounts, tracking attendance, etc. Since it only ran twice a day, it was very inaccurate especially during the time of add/drop. Keeping academic records consistent was difficult and we needed to develop a better method. Not having accurate and timely course material raised concerns not only with D2L but also with the Registrar. Concerns about Intellectual Property between faculty and the reassigning of professors from one course to another needed to be addressed. IPSIS resolved this issue by performing real-time updates between myWCU and D2L. If faculty are reassigned they are moved seamlessly to the appropriate course. Account creation, course enrollment, and assignments are easily updated. When students make a change in their schedule it will automatically appear in their list of courses in D2L, with no delay. During the first week of classes this semester, there were 41,737 successful transactions between myWCU and D2L. A huge thank you goes to Danielle Zimmerman of Enterprise Services for helping set that up. She did all the coding of IPSIS to make it work as I oversaw the entire process.”

Can you discuss the two courses that are being taught simultaneously with a shared D2L site and synchronous collaboration via WebSuite?

  • DPA704 Advocacy & Leadership in Public Policy Administration
  • PPA510 Topics in Public Administration

“PA senator Andrew Dinniman is teaching two courses this semester: Advocacy & Leadership in Public Policy Administration (DPA704) and Topics in Public Administration (PPA510). DPA704 is a doctorate course that is 100% distance education. This means that the class is being taught fully online. PPA510 is a master’s course that is being taught in the new Business and Public Affairs building once a week, in person. Dinniman was faced with the challenge of teaching two separate sections of students while leveraging his own time. I proposed an idea to use Polycom Web Suite, which in the new BPMC Building has been pre-configured to hold ad-hoc videoconferences. We could use WebSuite to connect the Doctoral level DPA course with the on-campus Graduate PPA section of students. These two courses are a great example of how distance education and traditional learning are seamlessly combined. The courses are a combined site in D2L, with PPA510 meeting in person and DPA704 in distance. What’s unique here is WCU has held video conferencing before where the audience is either fully online or fully in person but never have we seen a cross pollination where one subject matter is virtual and other is real-time, it is really groundbreaking. Once the WebSuite was setup, Phil Riley, Multimedia Technician, trained and supported Dinniman’s class. Phil also provides Dinniman with recordings of the class which students can review at their own pace. Ultimately it was a collaboration between faculty, Distance Education designers, and IS&T to make that dream a reality.”

Tech Trivia

Sponsored by Student Services Inc. (SSI)

The winner will be chosen at random from those submitting all correct answers to

Dr. Fabrey

within 48 hours of the appearance of this issue of Tech Notes. Prize will be determined and awarded by SSI.

1. The scope of Amazon’s online technology is staggering! Answer a, b, or c: the number of Amazon’s fulfillment centers (warehouses) in the U.S. went above a)25, b)50, or c)100 for the first time in 2016.

2.Which glamorous actress was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2014 for her contributions in 1942 - designing a jam-proof radio guidance system for torpedoes – an element in the recent development of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technology?

3. Which American launched an Internet attack on 11/2/88, and which Norwegian saved the Norway Internet by disconnecting it from the rest of the Internet by unplugging a single cable?

Answers to the Tech Notes Fall 2016 contest: 1. In the C programming language, C was chosen as the next letter after the B programming language. 2. Mark Zuckerberg (1600) got a higher SAT score than Bill Gates (1590). 3 The first photo of the earth taken from the moon’s orbit was taken from the US Lunar Orbiter 1 on 8/23/66. Winner: Molly Jochym (first repeat winner – also won in Summer 2012) !!!

Contact Information

Service Extension Location
IT Help Desk (Faculty/Staff/Student) x3350 021 Anderson Hall
Telephone Repair x3535 002 Anderson Hall
Desire2Learn (D2L) x3350 002 Anderson Hall
ResNet Central x2660 003 Brandywine Hall
FAST (Faculty & Staff Training) x3350 024 Anderson Hall
Web Services x0589 002 Anderson Hall

Vice President's Office

Position Name Name Extension Location
Vice President & CIO Dikran Kassabian Donna Beckett x2828 023 Anderson

Division Contacts

Division Name Extension Location
Educational Technologies & User Services JT Singh x1045 005 Anderson
Enterprise Services Kim Slattery x0043 004 Allegheny
IT Infrastructure Services Joseph Sincavage x3535 003 Allegheny