All posts by Sara Stone

New Student Email System Coming March 21!

On Monday, March 21, 2016, the current student email system and Cobra Mail will go away and be replaced by a new, single student email system, Microsoft Outlook. Students will no longer need to hassle with checking two separate Parkland accounts, and email addresses will remain the same:

Outlook IconOther benefits include advanced email features and a much larger mailbox quota of 50 GB. Students will be able to access Parkland email via a web page or download the email client onto a personal device.  Since summer 2015, students have been able to access the Microsoft Office 365 suite for free, but beginning on 3/21, Outlook will also be made available as part of that suite.

There are a few important things that students and faculty will need to be aware of prior to the email change:

  • Existing messages will NOT be transferred to the new system, but students will have access to the old email system through the end of the spring 2016 semester.
  • Cobra Mail will not be transferred to Outlook and will not be available for reference after 3/21.  Students and faculty will need to forward any Cobra Mail messages they wish to retain to another email account prior to the changeover.
  • If your Parkland student email account is currently forwarded to another account, you will need to set that up again in the new system, as those settings will not transfer to Outlook.

For information on how the Outlook widget will look within Cobra Learning , please check out

If you have any questions about the upcoming email change, please contact the Tech Service Desk at 217/353-3333 or

Get Your Parkland One Password Before Break

The Cobra Learning online course system will integrate with ParklandOne over Winter Break 2015.  All students and employees who access Cobra will need to set up a ParklandOne account in order to open up Cobra for spring semester 2016.  We encourage everyone to do this before you leave for break!

cobra learningparklandOne2

If you have already set up your ParklandOne account, you will use that password in order to access Cobra once the switch is made. If not, your existing Cobra password will no longer work and you will need to create a ParklandOne password instead.

The benefits of the ParklandOne account are threefold. Not only will you be creating an extremely secure password which automatically syncs across multiple systems, but you will also have the ability to reset it on your own if you forget it, and the management is all done in a single location.

  • For more information on creating a ParklandOne account, please click here.
  • To access the ParklandOne Password Station system, go to
  • Your new ParklandOne password will be used for Cobra, My.Parkland, campus email and WiFi, printing services, library articles and databases, and Microsoft Office 365.
If you have any questions or need assistance with creating your ParklandOne account, please contact the Tech Service Desk at 217/353-3333 or stop by and see us.  We are located in A184 (M–Th 7:30 a.m.–6 p.m. / Fri 7:30 a.m.–5 p.m.) and in the Parkland Library (M–Th 10 a.m.–2 p.m. / Fri 10 a.m.–noon).

New Technology Benefits for Parkland Students and Employees – Triple Play!


As part of the Parkland and IT strategy, Campus Technologies has been diligently working on making technology more accessible to all current students and employees. As part of this effort, the College was able to introduce new programs and provide employees and registered students with free and/or reduce-priced computer software and equipment. These programs consist of:


1 – Microsoft Office Suite: Rather than buying the Microsoft Office Suite, which is a very important tool for teaching and learning, every student and employee will now have access to five copies, free of charge, of Microsoft Office and Office 365 Online for use on personal devices (both Windows and Mac). Access to Microsoft Office is available immediately and can be acquired by following the instructions at the following Parkland Knowledge Base Article: Microsoft Office 365 – How to Sign Up and Get Started


2 – As Campus Technologies migrates Parkland to Microsoft Outlook as the new email system, we will also be introducing a new online training resource called Not only does this system provide training for teaching and learning, it also offers thousands of video courses on technical skills, creative techniques, business strategies, and other topics critical for the success of our students in the workforce. You can learn on the go with your mobile device, laptop, or at home on your desktop. This free service will be accessible to students and employees starting July 1.


3 – Affordable Laptops: Access to PCs/laptops is another important technology for the modern student. The Parkland College Bookstore has collaborated with Dell to provide our students and employees with Dell computer hardware at discounted prices. Coming later this summer, you can buy a selection of computers at a range of prices through the Bookstore and Financial Aid funds can be used towards the purchase.


We look forward to making more technology accessible to our students and employees. Feel free to contact the Tech Service Desk at 217/353-3333 or if you have any question regarding the information provided in this post.

The Great GroupWise Cleanup

Photo source: Marketing Donut

In order to prepare for the email migration from GroupWise to Microsoft Outlook (Office 365), Campus Technologies is requesting that all employees make a concerted effort to clean up their GroupWise mailboxes by Friday, May 8. This includes current employees as well as any retirees using the system. For employees, the migration will happen this summer, prior to July 31, and for students, the migration will occur over Winter Break. This is a great opportunity for faculty and staff to delete old messages or any photos, PowerPoint attachments, etc. that take up a lot of space and are no longer needed. If there is less mail to transfer over to the new system, the process will go much more smoothly.

GroupWise Client Users – It is easiest to clean up your mailbox using the GroupWise Client which is installed on your Parkland desktop (Windows only).  Click on the GroupWise shortcut and follow these instructions: GroupWise Client – Mailbox Clean Up Utility.  You will also want to make sure that your folders have not shifted or moved out of place: GroupWise Client (Windows) – Organizing Your Folders.

GroupWise WebAccess Users – If, however, you access your GroupWise account via the web, please log into WebAccess by going to or by clicking on the envelope icon on My.Parkland and follow these instructions: GroupWise WebAccess Client – Mailbox Clean Up.  You do not need to worry about organizing your folders as they cannot be moved in WebAccess.

For more information on the move to Microsoft Outlook (Office 365), please read our earlier blog article here.  A message board has also been established and can be accessed on the portal here.

Please address any questions, concerns, or feedback to the Tech Service Desk at 217/353-3333.

Thank you in advance for your clean-up efforts!


Parkland’s Head is in the Cloud!

Office 365 Cloud 2
Office 365 image source:


Announcing new email and Microsoft Office cloud services for Parkland College! This summer, the campus will be migrating to Microsoft Office 365 for all faculty, staff and students.

The college spent a considerable amount of time researching and evaluating various options.  As a result, the Executive Technology Committee approved the Infrastructure Technology Committee’s recommendation to move forward with the new email platform. The choice to embrace Microsoft Office 365 as our unified email system will provide many benefits to Parkland College, including cost savings and:

  • Increased email quota to 50GB
  • Eliminating the need for two separate email systems (Stu Mail and Cobra Mail) for students
  • Unlimited online storage on Microsoft One Drive
  • Lync (or Skype for Business), a messaging, conferencing, and collaboration tool
  • Video-streaming tools
  • Fifteen copies per person (5 PC, 5 Apple, and 5 mobile) of the full Microsoft Office software suite for all students, faculty, and staff

A video of Parkland’s Office 365 informational kickoff meeting is available below.  Additional information about using the Outlook Web App (OWA) can be found here.

Any Current Browser Will Do

Image source:

After extensively reviewing the supported browsers at Parkland College, the school’s Technology Infrastructure Committee has recommended an across-the-board standard for Parkland College.

The standard supported browsers include the following releases of Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari. The minimum supported versions of these browsers include:

  • Internet Explorer 11
  • FireFox 31
  • Chrome 39
  • Safari 7.0

This standard means that all applications supported by Parkland must support all of these browsers. Exceptions to this standard need to be reviewed and approved by the Technology Infrastructure Committee. Future College purchases of applications that do not meet this standard will require an approval by the Technology Infrastructure Committee plus a defined plan and timeline by the vendor to comply.

Now that this technology standard has been approved, Campus Technologies will be upgrading all Parkland workstations to the new supported standards. Also, all workstations that do not support the new standards will be placed on the list of machines to be replaced. Students, faculty, and staff can now feel free to use their favorite browser listed above to access any and all Parkland applications.

Happy browsing!

New Tech Service Desk to Open March 30!

On Monday, March 30, the face of IT helpdesk support at Parkland College is going to change.

Campus Technologies is pleased to announce the creation of the new Tech Service Desk, a centralized, one-stop shop that will provide timely and effective firstline technology support for students, faculty, and staff.

The current STAR (Student Technical Assistance and Resources) and Campus Technologies Hotline (for faculty and staff) will come together under this new umbrella and will be located in Room A184, with a satellite location in the Parkland Library. (See below for  hours of operation and contact information.)

Now, everyone in the College will have a centralized location to go to for all of their technical needs, including issues related to email, Wi-Fi, Cobra, my.parkland, and Colleague.  There will be one phone number, one website, and one email address, plus extended helpdesk hours and a searchable KnowledgeBase tool. This tool will be a repository for all IT-related information.

The new Tech Service Desk will strive for excellent communication with the College and is a critical part of Parkland’s overall IT service delivery strategy, which was put in place by Chief Information Officer (CIO), Amin Kassem.

OPEN HOUSE: We welcome you to stop by Room A184 on Wednesday, April 8, 2-4 p.m.,  to celebrate the opening of the new Tech Service Desk!

                    *** Beginning Monday, 3/30/2015!  ***

Tech Service Desk Hours (A184)
Mon-Thu 7:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Fri 7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Tech Service Desk Satellite Hours (Library)
Mon-Thu 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.; Fri 10 a.m. -Noon

**Combined support email address –
**Combined support phone number – 217/353-3333
**Release of the Parkland KnowledgeBase (version 1) –
(TechHelp and KnowledgeBase websites will be easily accessible from the front page of my.parkland)

Increased Bandwidth for the College


Campus Technologies has successfully increased Internet connection bandwidth at Parkland College from 250 MB to 500 MB. The plan is to quadruple the original bandwidth to 1 GB by the end of 2015.

We made this current change with minimal cost to the college by switching to Champaign Telephone Company & Illinois Century Network and by taking advantage of new fiber-optic service provided by the UC2B Project (

This upgrade not only provides a faster connection to the Internet, but it allows the college to employ advanced technologies provided by cloud computing. Examples of transitions currently being explored include e-mail with significant mailbox size increase (e.g., Microsoft Office 365, Google, etc.), calendering, unlimited file storage, better video streaming technologies, and other technologies that directly impact teaching and learning. Parkland will also use the increased bandwidth to improve business processes, such as IT Business Continuity Planning (BCP).

Feel free to leave a comment and let us know what you think of the changes.