In an effort to provide better copying and printing services for less cost, Middle
Tennessee State University is initiating a managed print solution.
MTSU currently owns or leases all of the printer and copiers on campus, but in the future the University will view printing and copying as a service. MTSU recently awarded a print solution contract with RJ Young Company, which will provide an all-inclusive acquisition and service solution for the University's printing and copying fleet and will maintain the equipment and associated services as an integral part of the University's academic mission.
MTSU will no longer lease or purchase printing or copying supplies. Departmental funds currently budgeted for the purchase of printers, copiers, and expenses such as maintenance, toner, or lease payments will remain with the department and can be reallocated within the department to other departmental needs.
Key features of the print management solution are listed below.
Maximize and Minimize Windows Instantly
Tired or too busy to click the maximize button? Windows 7 provides you with a super quick shortcut: Win+Up key. What about minimizing, you ask? Win+Down key. If a window is maximized, press Win+Down twice to minimize (once to restore down, a second time to minimize). It's pretty nifty when you're juggling lots of windows.
The University upgraded to Desire2Learn Version 10.3 on December 27. The main differences
between D2L versions 9.4 and 10.3 are visual. Everything you used before will still
be there and for the most part will function in the same way but with enhancements.
You will notice the biggest differences in the Content Tool. D2L has integrated functionality
located in the Course Builder directly into the content area.
The screen layout for version 10.3 is mobile-friendly and has a smaller width. You may need to adjust your course navigation bars to fit this new screen size or some of your links will wrap around to a second line. Use the Navigation and Themes link to access the course navigation. Editing the course navigation is very similar to editing in 9.4 except that the visual display is somewhat different. Many items that were buttons and links on pages before are now found in dropdown menus.
A new tool bar called the Minibar remains constant on all D2L screens. It contains a link to My Home, the Course Selector, Alerts, and the Personal Menu.
My Home: Clicking My Home returns users to the D2L home screen.
Course Selector: Courses are listed in the Course Selector. You can sort courses by the name and date last accessed. Courses you access most often can be pinned to the top of the list.
Alerts: Users will see unread alerts for pages, email or discussion posts in the Alerts area. A red dot will appear next to the appropriate alert icon. These alerts include email, updates for news posts, and chatter alerts.
Personal Menu: The personal menu contains links to your profile, notification settings, account settings, and log out options. Click your name on the minibar to open the personal menu.
On the left side of the new Content tool, you'll find links to Overview, Bookmarks, and Upcoming Events. The Overview section allows the instructor to add a message or description and attach a file such as a syllabus or course schedule. If the instructor doesn't use this section, it won't appear to students. The Bookmarks are quick links to a specific topic in the Content tool.
Upcoming Events links to the Calendar Tool. Below these, you will find the Table of Contents which is the actual content of the course with topics grouped under modules. As you build this Table of Contents, you can Import/Export from other D2L courses or build your course one module at a time. A nice new feature here, as well as in other places in D2L version 10.3, is the drag-and-drop feature used to add files to the course. Dragging a file into the content area will save it in the Collection Root (or in the folder you specify) in Manage Files of the course as well as create a new topic.
In addition to changing the way you add files to the course, the new version allows developers to create new activities (Quizzes, Dropboxes) and link them to the content area in one action. However, if created here, these linked activities must be edited in the appropriate tool to access all settings. Developers will still have the option to Add Existing Activities (adding a link to an existing Dropbox, Quiz, etc., from within this D2L course). One other new feature is the ability to Bulk Edit. This option allows the developer to change restrictions on all modules on one screen.
Completion Tracking allows instructors to choose the method by which completion is determined and show progress indicators to students as they complete activities. Thus, when Completion Tracking is turned on, students can easily monitor the progress.
Completion Tracking options can be set in each activity or for all at the same time by going to "Settings" in the Content tool. The optional methods by which completion can be determined are automatic (the default), manual, or not required. If set as automatic, an activity will be marked as completed when a student views a topic, completes a quiz, posts to a discussion, or uploads a dropbox file. If set to manual, students must click a check box beside each activity as it is completed. Manual Completion Tracking would most likely be used to help students keep track of their own progress since a student can manually mark an activity as completed when it is not. Completion Tracking DOES NOT impact the student's grade or the number of attempts for an activity.
Only minor changes have been made in the Quizzes Tool. The Layout/Questions tab is gone, but these settings can be found on the Properties tab. A new Assessment tab replaces the Attempts tab and allows you to set grading options (formerly on the Properties tab) and attempts (formerly on the Attempts tab).
Clicking on the folder name still takes you to submissions view. The dropdown menu beside each individual Dropbox allows you to choose between submissions and edit view. When you go to the submissions view, you will be prompted to download the Desire2Learn Assignment Grader app so that you can grade offline using a mobile device.
In previous versions of D2L, as soon as feedback was entered and saved into the Dropbox it was immediately released for students to view. In this version, instructors can now enter feedback in the Dropbox but withhold it from students until ready to publish it for all students simultaneously. Click the Save Draft Button to save feedback but not release to students. When you are ready to release all Dropbox feedback in a particular Dropbox, click the Publish Feedback button.
You can now turn off notifications for past, future, and inactive courses and thus receive only active course notifications. Notifications can also be received for a specific Discussion topic. For example, an instructor who is traveling may want to receive email alerts when students post in that week's discussion assignment since s/he will have limited D2L access.
Instructors can now easily see how many original postings a student has made as the new version separately displays the number of original postings and the number of replies a student has posted, as well as the name of the person who last posted for each discussion board. After activity has occurred in the discussion board, the instructor can see which posts have been read, how many replies have been made to each initial posting, and how many times that posting has been viewed.
A new option in Discussions now allows instructors to require students to post their opinion first before reading others' posts. This encourages original thought without influence from other students' messages. With this option students can access a topic, but on first access they will only be able to post a new message before being able to read and reply to other messages posted to the topic by other students.
When grading a student's Discussion posting, the instructor can publish an individual student's grade immediately. However, in the new version, there are three new buttons that can be used after grading all Discussions for a particular topic. The instructor may use: (1) the "Publish All Scores to Grades" button to publish all student scores at once, (2) the "Retract All Scores" button to remove all student scores from the gradebook simultaneously, (3) or the "Manage Columns" button to add or remove columns that display on the assessment page.
The items that were on the left menu and toolbar near the top of the window in version 9.4 have been moved to tabs at the top of the window in version 10.3. Menu items that were at the top of the window in Grades have been moved to the action button just below the new tabs. Action column items have been moved to the drop-down menus just to the right of each item in the tool. A convenient new feature allows the instructor to easily access a specific student's work from the grade book by clicking the icons beside a quiz grade, dropbox grade, or discussion grade.
In the Classlist, the instructor can send email, View Progress for each student, View Group Enrollments, and View Blog. These options are now located in dropdown menus next to each student's name.
If you use groups in your courses but you don't want your email to filter by groups you can uncheck this feature in your email settings. Leaving this box checked makes your filter list very long if you have many groups.
For other tips on D2L version 10.3, use the links below:
Please feel free to contact us for individual sessions to learn more about the new version or any particular feature of D2L. You may contact us at:
Brenda Kerr Gina Burke
phone: 904-8191 phone: 904-8489
email: firstname.lastname@example.org email: email@example.com
Technology isn't going away anytime soon. Instead of evading it, Dr. Jennifer Vannatta-Hall
decided to embrace it by incorporating mobile devices into her music education courses.
"I try to stay current as best I can," said Vannatta-Hall, who has been teaching at Middle Tennessee State University since 2007. "Being technologically savvy allows us to function more productively and efficiently connect with people, places and information."
After conducting some research on the Millennial generation (her students born from 1980-2000) Vannatta-Hall realized it had become imperative for her to "speak their language."
"They already know the technology," she acknowledged. "Most of them have smart phones, and many of them have an iPad or some kind of tablet. So why not create an educational community where we learn together using these device? I went to school in the paper age, where we printed everything out and used notebooks. The students we're teaching now don't keep up with papers or juggle five books in a backpack."
Students enrolled in Vannatta-Hall's General Music for the Middle and Senior High School courses learn to use iPads as an instructional tool in the general music classroom.
Vannatta-Hall is also a member of the Emerging Technologies Faculty Learning Community (ET-FLC), a group of interdisciplinary faculty who identify, explore, experiment, and share emerging technologies that affect teaching and learning.
"Technology is imperative, and future teachers need to be technologically savvy," she noted. "Teachers are expected to use technology when they're hired in the schools. It's an expectation of all school districts these days. If we don't expose students to technology, I feel we're short-changing them."
Before bringing iPads to her class, Vannatta-Hall did copious research on the devices in relation to the educational landscape and attended numerous Desire2Learn (D2L) training sessions.
"We're not trying to narrow the students' choices with this technology," she noted. "We still want them to create freely. But technology allows them to still be free and creative with some musical structure as well."
In addition to iPads, Vannatta-Hall also uses other technological instruments in her classes such as Apple TV, Desire2Learn, ELMO visual presenters, projectors, digital music files, PowerPoint, Prezi, and Skype.
When Vannatta-Hall introduced iPad technology to her class last spring, she discovered the mobile devices yielded some pleasant surprises as well, especially in terms of efficiency.
"We use an Apple TV with the iPads," she explained. "We can project from any iPad or iPhone for that matter. If a student has to do a presentation, they check out an iPad and prepare a presentation on Prezi. They can just stand up with their iPads and begin their presentations. So the pacing of the class can move more seamlessly because there's no dead time in between each presentation. Gone are the days when students had to walk up to the front of the class, insert their USB jump drives, or pull up their clouds."
Submitting assignments in the D2L Dropbox saves paper and keeps everything organized, Vannatta-Hall said. Setting up competencies and rubrics in D2L allows for more efficient grading and feedback. It also gives students choices when preparing projects and rejuvenates their motivation.
"Students appreciate the immediate feedback on assignments and quizzes on D2L," she added. "Blogs and discussion boards are imperative for the Web-assisted courses and allow for more rich discussion and conversation."
Perhaps no one is as enthused about the project as Vannatta-Hall's students themselves. Last spring she collaborated with six of her undergraduates to publish an article entitled "Teaching and Learning General Music with Apple iPads" in the fall 2013 edition of Tennessee Musician.
In addition, the technology has helped expand time and place; information technology provides a canvas for learning anywhere at any time. Learning is no longer restricted to one classroom for 40 minutes a day.
"In the old days we would've required students to get together outside of class time and practice collaboratively on their teaching or on their projects," Vannatta-Hall explained. "Students don't have that kind of time these days. Many of them are taking 20-plus hours of class and are working on the side and/or have kids at home. So for them to be able to collaborate using technology is a huge time saver for everyone.
"Technology is ubiquitous, touching almost every part of our lives, our communities, and our homes," she added. "Properly used, technology will help students acquire the skills they need to survive in a complex, highly technological knowledge-based economy."
In December, the conversion of all ITD staff from the Avaya telephone system to Microsoft
Lync 2013 was successfully completed. Discussions are ongoing regarding campus-wide
ITD administrators continue to refine their deployment strategy, and as the next core group of users to migrate is identified, those departments will be notified.
Critical to the deployment of Lync 2013 is PC readiness. In order for users to be migrated, Windows users must have at a minimum Windows 7 and Microsoft Office 2013, and Mac users must have at least Mac OS 10.5.8 or higher and Microsoft Lync for Mac 2011.
As ITD meets with targeted departments, computers that need upgrades will be identified, and ITD Desktop Support will make sure all computers are compatible.
Microsoft Lync is an enterprise-ready unified communications platform that allows users to enhance their productivity by providing a consistent, single client experience for presence, instant messaging, enterprise voice, and conferencing.
Below is a feature overview of Lync 2013.
Presence is a collection of information about a contact in Lync that includes availability, willingness to communicate, as well as location and status information. Presence information is gathered based on Exchange Calendar entries or phone status, and can also be manually set by the user. Knowing the presence of a user allows you to utilize the most efficient method of communication, thus improving productivity.
Instant Messaging (IM) allows users to send messages to each other in real-time, rather than routing quick, short questions through traditional email. Used in conjunction with Presence, you can quickly get answers to questions when the recipient might be unavailable by phone.
Enterprise Voice allows traditional call handling through the Lync client, including call answer, call forward, transfer, and hold, using a broad range of both IP and USB endpoint devices. With Lync's Enterprise Voice solution, your university phone number has the ability to move with you, and can be accessed from a desktop, laptop, or mobile device.
Conferencing within Lync includes audio, video, and Web conferencing. Lync provides a familiar user experience to those that are accustomed to traditional audio bridge services, including dial-in services and touch-tone call control commands, but with the benefit of one-click scheduling within Microsoft Outlook. Expanding upon the audio component, Lync also enables users to share programs or their entire desktop to conference attendees, as well as peer-to-peer or multiparty video conferencing.
Although Brenda Kerr originally intended to teach music, her lessons took on a different
tune when technology entered the picture. Her piano keyboard became a computer keyboard.
"I got started in instructional technology when I was student teaching in the 1970s," the former band director recalled. "I learned to arrange music and keep track of band instrument inventory using technology. As other teachers began to get computers, they started asking me questions about them. Soon other schools were calling me for their IT help."
Kerr struck a new chord with instructional technology, and the rest, as they say, is history.
As an instructional technology specialist, Kerr supports MTSU instructors in their implementation of technology in the classrooms.
Some of her responsibilities include supporting faculty in their use of Learning Management Systems (LMS); Blackboard, WebCT, and Desire2Learn, supporting faculty Web projects housed on UNIX and Windows servers, supporting course content creation using the LMS editor, SoftChalk, coding HTML and using Dreamweaver and Expression Web, and supporting various programs used to create online presentations.
After working as a band director for the Des Moines Public School district in Iowa, Kerr's newfound knack for computers inspired her to earn a master's degree in Curricular Instructional Technology in 1995.
She then returned to Des Moines Public Schools as an instructional technology specialist in 1997, where she worked with elementary teachers to develop IT strategies that enhanced learning. She moved to Tennessee and joined ITD's Academic and Instructional Technology Services in 1998.
In addition to assisting faculty with their technological needs, Kerr also serves on the Instructional Technology Development Committee, which recommends grant funding and chooses recipients of the annual Outstanding Achievement in Instructional Technology Award.
She also teaches various IT workshops and meets with faculty members in person or via email and phone conference.
"I like making people feel comfortable and let them know that we're there for them," Kerr said. "They shouldn't beat their heads against the wall and try to fix a problem on their own when they could just call us. There's no reason for faculty to get frustrated about technology because we've got their backs."
Since the days when she was helping teachers with their Apple computers, Kerr has always been intrigued by technology's practicality and how it's evolved in the workplace.
"When I first got here I was showing people how to use a mouse correctly," she recalled. "A lot of faculty members didn't even use email yet, and University communications were still coming into their own. When I helped people build Web pages we were doing it with code. It was just a lot more tedious. Technology is so much easier and accessible to everyone now. It's interesting seeing how it's all changed."
When she's not helping faculty with their technological needs, Kerr enjoys listening to music, walking, and making jewelry.
Patrick Hefner is ITD's new Wintel Server Administrator. He will work in the Virtualized Wintel and Microsoft applications area and will manage Wintel Server systems. Before he made his move to Middle Tennessee State University, Patrick worked as an IT systems manager at Community Ties of America in Brentwood. He is a former recording industry major and has an associate's degree in Broadcast Production Technology. In addition, Patrick has nearly a decade of IT administration experience, primarily with Windows-based systems. He currently lives in Franklin with his wife, Kelly, and two children, Troy (8) and Wynter (6). In his new position, Patrick hopes to further the objective of ITD and help the University systems run smoothly and efficiently.
Congratulations to the following ITD employees who were recently honored for their years of service: Curtis Curry (15 years); Brenda Kerr (15 years); Vicki Sharp (15 years); Ollie Garrison (20 years); Robin Jones (20 years); Theresa Stevenson (30 years); and Scott Corbin (35 years).
Assistant Vice President Barbara Draude presented a session in December entitled "Emerging Technologies in Ensuring Student Success" at the 2013 Southern Association of Colleges and Schools on Colleges (SACS-COC) annual meeting in Atlanta.
Systems programmer Jeff McMahan attended Red Hat Linux System Administration II training in Atlanta on Nov. 11-14, 2013.
FootPrints was recently upgraded to version 11.6, a major revision from 10.2. You will note some changes to the application's appearance. An in-death review of the FootPrints upgrade will be featured in the next issue of the Communicator.
The Information Technology Help Desk renovation/relocation is slow, but progress is
being made. The Help Desk is currently located in the basement of the Cope Administration
building but plans to move to KUC 320 by Spring Break. During the semester break,
the Help Desk runs a modified schedule for Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to
4:30 p.m. When classes start in January the Help Desk will resume its normal business
Sundays – 2:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Monday through Thursday – 7:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Fridays – 7:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Saturdays – 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
The Help Desk can be reached during the above days and times via telephone at 615-898-5345 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Did you find a new smartphone or tablet under the tree this year? If so, and you would like to set up MTSU Exchange email on your new device, be sure to check out the FAQS at http://www.mtsu.edu/projects/exchange/faq.php for step-by-step instructions. If you have any additional questions, contact the Help Desk at extension 5345.