Dorm wireless upgrades

Knowing how important wireless is to our students, we’re proud to share news of major upgrades in Metropolitan Hall–the largest suite-style dormitory at Widener–and Boettner Hall. Our networking team outfitted both dormitories with all-new wireless equipment this summer. In addition, we made upgrades in Moll and the first-year student quads: Cann, Hanna, Howell, Grasselli, Kapelski, Thayer, and Turrell. In our tests, the improvements we made in the second group of residences more than doubled connection speeds.

Our efforts are certainly not over, and much work is still ahead of us. We are pleased to be able to make these improvements, and hope our students enjoy better connectivity in their residence halls in 2017-18.

Did you know…

….for the approximately 2,000 students in residence halls, we support connections from, on average, 8,000 devices?

A major piece of wireless network architecture is not only having coverage (no “dead zones”), but also having having enough capacity when people congregate in specific locations. These patterns vary day-to-day, minute-to-minute.

Be sure to let us know if you experience connection issues in a specific location, especially when you notice that the problem is a recurring one. We can work to fill in gaps over time.

Start Packing! 6 Tips for the Canvas Move

It’s time to start planning your move.

It seems like a daunting task, but take another look at the transition timeline – you have enough time to pack up and move to your new course home. The key is to plan and be smart about what you pack and how you stay organized!

The infographic below highlights 6 important things to consider and start working on (and Tip 7 is get a librarian involved to help you find accessible course assets if your scanned copies are at all illegible or incompatible with screen readers).

So let’s get started. Take a good look at these 6 tips and plan your move. Want to see more of Canvas? It’s not quite ready or decorated for company yet, but go ahead and peek into the live environment at https://widener.instructure.com/

Any questions, please reach out to canvasteam@widener.edu

1) Now is the time to rethink course design without the constraints of CampusCruiser. You have the chance to take advantage of learning tools like never before. 2) Resist the urge to rush the process. (e.g., Is your content ADA compliant? Are your assignments engaging?) Use the time and support you have well. 3) Structure FOLDERS in MODULES. Include a simple word doc listing components (readings, assignment, assessment, video links); include every element in its module folder. 4) Do not dump course assets into groups (in this case

 

It’s Canvas

We are excited to announce that Widener University has signed on with Instructure to use Canvas LMS as our University standard. [Trigger confetti!]

We are confident in this decision because so many of you helped to make it. Faculty Council TIRC guided our selection process, and then dozens of faculty members attended product demonstrations or experimented with trial versions of the finalists. The feedback was consistent: both our instructors and our project team consistently agreed that Canvas was the best platform for us.

What now?

Much of the summer will be spent bringing Canvas to life for Widener. We will need to work out all the technical processes for integrating with our administrative systems, design its initial look and feel, and develop our in-house technical expertise. Consequently, only a small number of courses will use Canvas for the Fall 2017 semester. The coming academic year will be filled with activities to support migration of courses from Campus Cruiser and WebStudy.

For more information…

We know you will have many questions, only some of which we have the answers for today. Project leader Joanne Caione-Keating posted some initial information on permanent pages here (https://itsnews.widener.edu/canvas). Please bookmark the location and return there often for updates. In the meantime, you can email your questions to the project team at the address canvasteam@widener.edu.

CampusCruiser Email Cutover to Office 365 is Complete

We are excited and happy to report the cutover of CampusCruiser email to Office 365 is complete. If you’re a student, we hope this post will help clarify a few things about working with your new account.

To view your previous messages, go to “Archived Cruiser Email” (This link will only be available until December 31, 2017).  If you want to move these messages to your Office 365 account you can configure a connected account.

  • When logging into CampusCruiser you will be redirected to the “Widener Sign In” page.
  • After successfully signing in, you will be directed back to CampusCruiser.
  • Hover over MyCruiser in the menu bar and choose “Archived Cruiser Email”.  This will display your inbox as it was on June 4th.

Starting June 5th, your email address is now your LoginID@widener.edu. Please remember to update your contacts and website accounts (banking, Amazon, iCloud, etc.) with your new email address. We also suggest you add an auto-reply to your account to let your contacts know your email has changed. Instructions to add an auto-reply: https://widenerits.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/campuscruiser_add_autoreply.pdf.

There are a number of optional things that you may want to do now, such as:

  • Set up your mobile device for Office 365/WUmail.
  • Set up a connected account to import your Cruiser email.
  • Download Office 2016 Suite (PC or Mac).
  • Create a Read-Only archive of your CampusCruiser Email Account.
  • Export and Import your contacts into Office 365/WUmail.
  • Export and Import your Calendar into Office 365/WUmail.

Documentation for all of these tasks is online at https://itsnews.widener.edu/2017/03/30/office365emailmigration/ – StudentView1357-06072017

Finally, we recommend the Lynda.com video playlist called Office 365 Basics. Viewing this training at https://lynda.widener.edu will help make your transition as smooth as possible.

Should you have any questions or concerns please contact the helpdesk for your campus or call 610-499-1047.

Congratulations, Casey!

CaseyGraduationCongratulations are in order for Casey Croson, Classroom Support Technologist in the ITS Teaching and Learning Technologies (TLT) group!

On May 19th, Casey graduated with a Master’s of Education in Instructional Technology. His personal interest is “the gamification of learning.” Casey also holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA. In fact, he originally came to Philadelphia back in 2013 to do a one-month study at the Pig Iron Theatre for Mask, Mime, and Physical Movement (or as he refers to it, “Clown School!”) After returning home to Norfolk, Casey decided to take a chance and pursue opportunities in the Philly area. He has been here ever since and says his decision has worked out well!

Allow us to introduce…Jeremy Wheeler

Jeremy Wheeler is the new classroom support technologist with Teaching and Learning Technologies (TLT).

JWpicWorking alongside Rick Orme and Casey Croson, Jeremy is on the team that keeps the AV and other multimedia technologies in Widener’s formal and informal learning spaces in working order. He just moved to the Delaware County area from Syracuse, NY, where he was employed as a technician in the field of AV integration.

Jeremy is a graduate of Lebanon Valley College, where he majored in Music Recording Technology and Music Theory/Composition. His passions include writing and listening to music, building new PCs, and reading bad fantasy/sci-fi novels. Jeremy says that he “already enjoys the friendly environment from all at Widener and hopes to stay for quite a while.” We agree with that and are thrilled to have him on our team!