Tag Archives: Campus Technologies

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: username#@stu.parkland.edu.

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 stu.parkland.edu 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 https://kb.parkland.edu/page.php?id=60731.

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

Knowledge Base: DIY Online Technical Support

It’s no surprise that Parkland students take online classes for the convenience they offer: Students can work during the day and take their classes at night—at home, in their pajamas. However, taking classes this way can create an issue when students run into problems of a technical nature and all of the help desks are closed.

That is why Parkland now offers a unified support desk and a 24/7 DIY (do-it-yourself) knowledge-base that is full of articles to help students with simple technical issues. Here are some ways you can use the knowledge base:

Example 1: Say you forgot your password. You can go to http://kb.parkland.edu and type “forgot password” into the search bar (see below) and click Search.

kbexample1

You’ll find that the results link you to an article titled Resetting your ParklandOne password. Click the article link, and you’ll get a step-by-step guide, including visuals, that walks you through the process.

kbexample2

The nice thing about the ParklandOne program is that when you forget the password, the reset will be good for all Parkland systems (Wi-Fi, student email, and my.Parkland; Cobra Learning will be added to this list in December 2015).

You can also search for Cobra Learning assistance as well. The search engine for the knowledge-base will search WITHIN the article as well…so even if you don’t know the exact terminology of the issue, you should be able to get a smaller number of articles from which to choose to get a resolution.

Example 2: Say you lost your Internet connection while taking a timed quiz in Cobra Learning! If you go to the knowledge-base search and type in “lost Internet connection”, it will give you a link to an article titled Cobra Learning – Tips for Taking Quizzes (see below).

kbexample3

In this article, you can find steps on how to try to regain entry into a quiz after losing Internet connection or if your browser freezes up, as well as other recommended tips for taking quizzes in Cobra Learning.

kbexample4

So, while we can’t offer you 24/7 tech support, we can offer you the next best thing: a knowledge-base with articles written specifically for Parkland users and arranged in a way that is easy to search and locate the assistance you need when you need it.

We are always open to requests for additional article topics, so if you can’t find your answer, let us know, and we’ll work to create one and add it for future reference.

 

[Lori Wendt is the online support specialist for the Professional Development and Instructional Technology department at Parkland.]

 

Parkland’s Head is in the Cloud!

Office 365 Cloud 2
Office 365 image source: Zscaler.com

 

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

Web-Browser-Logo-Collage
Image source: Blogspot.com

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!

Increased Bandwidth for the College

Bandwidth

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 (http://uc2b.net/about/).

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.