To improve the visibility of the work in Computing and Communications, we also will report out monthly on large work products and efforts for the month. This is a small synopsis of much of the work that has been accomplished over the summer. Thanks to all the staff and collaborators for all the hard work. Enjoy!
OCIO Compliance – Completed and submitted the 2018 State of Washington Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) policy compliance certification. A new Security Team has been charged to have official responsibility and oversight for the security of college systems and network infrastructure. This is the implementation of a collaborative approach to work that has always been done, but not always coordinated or viewed from an enterprise perspective. The first efforts of the team will be to review and update the incident response plan and the security program. Preparations are being made to have a security program compliance audit conducted by an external third party. State OCIO policy requires that we have a security program in place and that it be audited every 3 years.
Our brand new Physical Computing Center (PCC) is now operational. A successful beta run this summer has been completed on the PCC, that now occupies the old classroom across from Media Loan. With Evergreen Foundation support, faculty collaboration and a high level of student engagement, we now have a very cool technology/maker space on campus. This facility boasts a wide array of technologies for students to explore including robotics, a networking sandbox, 3D printers and all kinds of interesting computer interfacing tools. We are excited with the possibilities and look forward to continued expansion and use as we go into the first full academic year with this new technology space.
Staff Reorganization and the Technical Support Center (TSC) – There has been significant changes over the past month with layoffs and union actions impacting the teams across C&C. New faces are now at the TSC and in Curricular Support. In light of Mark Holm’s departure, we are focused on keeping the TSC functioning at a high efficiency and getting this key vacant leadership position filled as quickly as possible. Coupled with the staffing changes in the TSC, Computer lab and office computer upgrades have slowed somewhat. We are working hard to buckle down and get equipment to users as quickly as possible. The focus now being faculty before the start of school. In addition we are upgrading a few computer labs across campus and are in the process of upgrading all student lab computer images in preparation for fall quarter.
Schedule Evergreen is now live! We have officially launched Schedule Evergreen to the community and are busy with the post roll out discovery fixes and improvements. The development team has rallied amazingly well after losing a key developer at a critical point in the project and with other high priority work that has been hitting the team prior to fall quarter. This is easily one of the most complex projects as well as one of the most student-centric projects to date.
Banner 9 rollout and adoption has been an important parallel focus. The Enterprise Applications and Network Services teams have been working together to update the databases and infrastructure to accommodate Banner 9 as the new ERP foundation for the college. Financial Aid and Admissions are both slated to move workflows in October and others to follow closely behind. We still have significant work to mitigate custom elements of Banner that will take primary focus this fall and the team is doubling down in making sure the environment is functional and stable during these transitions.
Just so everyone is also aware, Enterprise Applications Team will be hiring a new Developer/Analyst soon! We are in the process of hiring a vacant developer/analyst position to get the team back as close as possible to a sustainable level, keep your eyes on the HR website for the recruitment.
AV Classroom Support Changes are now in full operation. We are pleased to announce that long-time evergreen staffer Kathryn Ford has joined the EME team this past summer. Kathryn has many years experience providing technology support for AV classroom users and we are already seeing the benefits of closer coordination between her role and our work designing, installing and maintaining classrooms. This will also allow our AV classroom techs to provide backup for Kathryn during periods of peak demand.
There have also been considerable work dedicated the Campus IT Infrastructure project. Since January 2018 we have been preparing for a major renovation to the campus networking infrastructure as well as important safety and security systems. This project will provide a more robust and reliable network communications environment for the campus in order to support critical communications systems and to minimize the impact of occasional power outages. The construction and installation portions of this broad-reaching project will begin Winter quarter and will wrap up the following summer.
AV Lecture Classrooms have also been updated over the summer. We are currently wrapping up the project to update AV classroom systems in the Seminar 2 1105 and 1107 lecture rooms as well as Longhouse classrooms. These new systems feature awesome ‘laser’ video projectors, simplified “touch panel” control devices and a host of other improvements to make these rooms more reliable and easier to use, just in time for fall quarter!
As part of the newest capital project, the Critical Power, Safety & Security Project is now underway: We will be replacing all the network switches on Campus as part of this project. Our current switches are over 5 years old and don’t have the hardware redundancy required to support critical systems. The new switches will have redundancy and will be able to support higher bandwidth. We are working with Synchronous Technologies, a local reseller of Aruba/HP network equipment to design and quote the Aruba/HP equipment. We learned, from network performance data, around 70% of our wired network ports had no data traffic over the past 12 months. We have roughly 9300 switch ports and the Olympia and Tacoma campus. 6300 have had no data traffic in the past 12 months. We are planning to reduce the number of switches and switch ports to match the number of ports actually in use. This avoids around $2M in switch costs upfront and saves on power and cooling in the future.
There has also been considerable traction completed on our SAN Reconfiguration and Maintenance Renewal Project. We added additional storage and renewed maintenance on our primary SAN for two more years. The SAN is the disk storage system for all the data in the data center. This is the last time we will be able to renew maintenance on this SAN. It will go end-of-support in August 2020.
As of June 15, 2018, Moodle will be “sunsetted” (shut down).
What this means:
- You will no longer have access to your past Moodle sites within Moodle.
- However, backups of your sites will be available, which can be easily imported into Canvas.
- Moodle to WordPress, however, is more of a manual process and only files can be imported, no activities.
Prior to the shutdown this June 15th, we encourage you to download/copy any content you may need.
- Moodle can only be accessed when on campus.
- Due to security purposes, Moodle is not available off-campus. Our apologies for the inconvenience.
- If you are unable to come to campus to obtain Moodle content, please request assistance via help.evergreen.edu.
And an important note regarding student work, names, photos, or other related data on curricular websites:
- None of the backups should contain student work, unless you as faculty added it to the site. Then it needs to be removed manually.
- Please always double-check imported content to make sure all previous student work, names, and any related data is removed.
Please submit a help ticket if you have any questions or need assistance.
As of 12/26/2017, academic.evergreen.edu will no longer provide web services. Data owners will still be able to access their files and should make arrangements to migrate their content to a supported web hosting platform.
Please submit a help ticket if you have any questions or need assistance.
Evergreen is releasing a new print management system starting winter quarter 2017. Students in the Library, Computer Center CAL and Tacoma computer classrooms will see the roll out of PaperCut to replace our old GoPrint system for print release. Papercut boasts a host of new options for print management, including an eco-dashboard for people to see the immediate impact of their printing footprint. It also supports mobile printing in a much more user-friendly way than GoPrint so students can print from any device by using PaperCut’s Mobile print service.
There is also now a print count that you can see every time you print, which allow you to see how many prints you have made over the course of the quarter. There are ” page limits” at 1000, but once you run out a tech at the Computer Center can quickly reset that limit if you run out. Please contact us at help.evergreen.edu and let us know if you have any questions or comments. This is now live in the Computer Center and the CAL and we are refining the options for the Library and Tacoma to be rolled out a little later in the quarter.
WordPress sites running on http://blogs.evergreen.edu and https://sites.evergreen.edu have been updated to security patch 4.1.2.
Explore your uploads in a beautiful, endless grid. A new details preview makes viewing and editing any amount of media in sequence a snap.
Paste in a YouTube URL on a new line, and watch it magically become an embedded video. Now try it with a tweet. Oh yeah — embedding has become a visual experience. The editor shows a true preview of your embedded content, saving you time and giving you confidence.
They’ve expanded the services supported by default, too — you can embed videos from CollegeHumor, playlists from YouTube, and talks from TED. Check out all of the embeds that WordPress supports.
Twenty Fifteen, is a blog-focused theme designed for clarity. The straightforward typography is readable on any screen size. Your content always takes center stage, whether viewed on a phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer.
The most recent FireFox update (v37) has rendered a few of our Evergreen sites inaccessible while using FireFox. If you are on this latest version of FireFox you may see a Secure Connection Failed page when you attempt to go to Moodle or any of the Banner Self-Service sites access via my.evergreen (e.g. Registration, Financial Aid, Student Financial Services, Budgets & Finance, Faculty Class Information, Account Summary, Employee Services).
The folks in Computing & Communications is aware of the reason for this message and we are developing a plan to resolve this so our pages will be accessible via FireFox. While the error is experienced only on the FireFox browser, this is a technology issue on our end, not a FireFox problem, which means it’s in our hands to resolve. Our Network Services team are prioritizing a fix for this problem, we will keep you updated on when this will be resolved.
In the meantime, the best solution we can recommend is that you use an alternate browser such as Safari (Mac), Internet Explorer (Windows) or Chrome (Mac/ Windows) to access Moodle or the Banner Self-Service sites mentioned above.
Evergreen is now in our last quarter of actively using Moodle as the primary web technology for academic offerings. Moving forward I thought it would be useful to layout how the transition has been going and what to expect over the next year and beyond.
To date, there have been 20 academic programs that have made the move to WordPress as a curricular web application and these have been really successful. Considerable work has been put into making WordPress a flexible, easy-to-use and attractive web tool for academic offerings. New curricular web templates have been created to make it easier to create your sites. WordPress also allows for both a private and public face to your program site and lots of interesting ways to engage students in class materials. Check out Making Meaning Matter, Contested Bodies or Ecology of Grazing and Grasslands in the Pacific Northwest for more about how these sites can look and function. We are currently working on a behind-the-scenes enrollment process that will automatically add your students as subscribers to the site much the way Moodle and Canvas currently work.
On the Canvas front there has been strong activity with 125 offerings generating Canvas course sites this academic year. The fall started rocky as our faculty discovered and subsequently our technical team identified a significant flaw in the Canvas code. This made the transition to Canvas more difficult than it should have been as faculty were routinely getting timed out of the application. The problem was complex, difficult to diagnose and required collaboration between Evergreen technical staff and Canvas engineers. The root cause of the flaw was finally understood and corrected at the end of Fall quarter by the Canvas engineers. In our minds this experience cemented Canvas’ responsiveness and dedication towards finding and resolving flaws in their application which bodes well into the future. Since then, we have not experienced systemic problems and continue to grow our knowledge of how best to leverage this application to fit the Evergreen pedagogy in its myriad forms.
Moodle also had considerable activity this last year as 124 course sites were created. We are working hard to connect with the remaining faculty who continue to use Moodle and to work with them on-on-one to find a suitable alternative starting this summer. For those who have asked the question, I will try and summarize below how we intend to provide future access to Moodle data after spring quarter is over.
I definitely heard from faculty how important long-term access is to this material and we’re trying to come up with a best solution for balancing access with easy long-term maintenance. For the next academic year Moodle will live in “archive” mode meaning that it will be available only to faculty (as is) to go back and mine data they need as they need. After spring 2016 we will be moving all the data into a stored course/file structure outside of a live application (easier long-term archive strategy) so that we can grab data on request if there’s something faculty might need. We’re still figuring out the best technical approach but this is the current direction.
If you have questions or want to know more regarding any of this, please comment below (so your colleagues can see the question) or send me an email, and either way I’ll get back to you. Thanks to everyone for all your great work, flexibility and ingenuity!
With a 100MB upload quota, running out of space has been a problem for many site owners using images on blogs.evergreen.edu. For most, the issue lies with uploading high resolution, unprocessed images straight from a digital camera to the image library. These images then get scaled down by WordPress for the web but the original still hangs out in the media library taking up valuable space. We often see image files uploaded to WordPress in excess of 7MB in file size and over 5000 pixels wide. When people view your images on your blog however, WordPress is delivering a scaled down version, typically at 500 pixels wide max.
For Fall of 2014 we’ve implemented a fix that will hopefully solve this issue. We’ve activated a network-wide plugin that automatically resizes images on upload to a max of 1200 pixels wide and discards the original high resolution version (site owners are responsible for keeping copies of original images somewhere safe). With 100MB of file space you should now have room for over 600 images . The settings to control the image resize on upload are found in Settings > Resize Image Upload.
Moodle will be maintained through the course of the 2014-2015 academic year. Moodle will not be upgraded (just patched with security updates) so it will not change again from the current version. At the end of spring quarter Moodle will be discontinued as a learning management system (LMS) for the college but the data will continue to be available to faculty for at least a year from this date.
Canvas, as a cloud service, is updated every 3 weeks and so as such is a dynamic and changing environment. We will be doing faculty trainings throughout the year, check out my.evergreen.edu for a link to the faculty orientation course and information about training schedules. We look forward to the new opportunities with Canvas!