March 2012 update from the CIO

The semester progresses and we’re getting closer to the moment when we graduate a new class.  So I’ll keep this update brief.

iPad 3 and Kinect
If you’re in need of distraction, we have a couple of the new iPads and a Kinect available for loan from the CIS help desk.  You can borrow them to try out for a couple of weeks. Contact the Help Desk.

Google Privacy
Google introduced a new privacy policy for their suite of consumer products.  The HMC  contract for Google Apps for Education is not affected by this new policy, as it is a separate contract. There are more details at.http://www5.hmc.edu/ITNews/?p=1963

Sakai service changes
It is almost certain that Harvey Mudd College will no longer be the “lead Claremont College” for the Sakai service after this summer.  This is as a result of long discussions about the options for sourcing the service, either with a specialized company or with another lead college.  Again, there are lots more details in the article about Sakai service changes coming.

Email and Calendar progress
The Email and Calendar team has been busily migrating people off of mailbox-01.hmc.edu (Zimbra).  We have migrated more than 40 faculty to Google Apps for Education and have begun migrating staff to Microsoft Office365 (CIS moved a couple of weeks ago; the President’s Office moved this week and OCA begins moving next week).  It looks like we are on target to remove all the accounts by the deadline we have set, which will allow us to discontinue the licensing agreement for Zimbra.

As with all technology changes, there is a learning curve, both for us and you. We have a plethora of options at HMC, with a high emphasis on autonomy. So there are lots of different email clients and practices that people have, which inevitably means there is at least a little bit of learning for each new migration.

We’ve started collecting anecdotes about how people use Google Apps.  For example, read about a couple of things that Eliot Bush does. If you have ideas to share, let us know.  Also, Calvin wrote in detail about an issue we were seeing with mails forwarded to yourself in Google Apps for Education.

Survey on Student Use of Technology 
I recently sent a message to students-l about participating in the Educause Center for Applied Research survey of student use of technology.  It’s an annual survey that is widely cited and helps many institutions make technology support decisions.  This is the first year that HMC had an opportunity to participate. As I wrote to the students, it’s time that the national survey included opinions from students at the institution that gave the world the MIME standard (Ned Freed ’82), SQL (Don Chamberlin ’66), Flash (Jonathan Gay ’89), Remote Procedure Calls (Bruce Jay Nelson ’74) and Audacity (Dominic Mazzoni ’99).  If you agree, prompt a student near you to complete the survey!  Thanks.

Next update will be late April/early May.  Not very far away. Until then, may the end of the semester be a good one for you all.

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