Tag Archives: Technology

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.

Black Friday

Black Friday: Dreaded by some, revered by others.

Today, I was reading over an article published in the News-Gazette on Black Friday and how to survive it, and it amazed me how many suggestions had to do with “technology.” Here are five of my favorites:

One: Plan ahead….. scope WEBSITES out ahead of time. Use price comparison sites such as BradsDeals.com and PriceGrabber.com.

Two: Shop ONLINE. Some stores offer special deals online only.

Three: Use SOCIAL MEDIA. Sign up for Twitter feeds from your favorite stores. “Like” official Facebook pages of favorite stores. Shop on Amazon.com’s Instagram feed!

Four: Bring the ads with you. Having the physical ad with you will ensure you get the advertised price. Hey, no technology here! Amazing!

Five: Use new store apps or website features. Target uses Point Inside technology that pins the location of sought-after items like doorbuster deals onto interactive store maps. Toys R Us is using a new app to find what you are looking for down to the shelf it’s located on…and they also push deals to your smartphone WHILE YOU’RE IN THE STORE!

Makes you wonder how our parents ever found anything at Christmas time!?  Also, just makes you wonder!  🙂

Did you know we have classes here at Parkland that teach you how to develop mobile apps and create the databases that places like Facebook and Instagram use to store all those millions of posts? Check out CSC 212 – Mobile Application Development; CSC220 – Data Structures; CSC192 – Database Administration; and CIS231 – Systems Analysis, Design, and Administration. And if you haven’t done so already,  ENROLL TODAY for spring 2015 classes—the deadline for registration and payment (to avoid course drops) is December 16!