Notes for Adobe Connect Replacement, LTI Governance

Housekeeping

  • Google Apps for Edu allows for up to 15 participants on hangouts (as opposed to 10).
  • Storage project is now underway (Zach)
    • Goal: reduce dependency on local storage infrastructure and improve access across devices and locations.
    • Email migration was first step, second step will be migration of home directories on Midd/MIIS files to the cloud.
    • Strong sense that we will be recommending One Drive as default best option, but Google Drive will continue to be supported.
  • Checking in on how Hangouts is working for our team communication/meetings
    • Have presenters join individually via Hangouts so that they aren’t just presenting “to the room”?
    • Would be helpful to provide docs/resources referenced in the meeting via the Hangout chat (Jamie)
    • Lower thirds have been super helpful
    • Core team has been meeting exclusively via Hangouts (everyone joins separately), would be great if we could practice this for extended team meetings, as well

Adobe Connect Replacement

    • Features for Web Conferencing Platform (adobe connect replacement)
    • Mack and Petar presented  to us on the status of this project in July
    • 80 host licenses on our current Adobe Connect contract – we’ve hit capacity and purchase 10 or more licenses a year
    • Adobe got rid of edu discount, so next fiscal year we’ll be using an alternative
      • 4 alternative platforms are being considered:
      • Related to another IT driven project – phone system replacement at the College
        • Most of the systems being considered have a UC (unified communications) component.
        • Webex and Vidyo are being considered as alternatives to AC as part of the phone replacement project
      • Zoom and Blue Jeans are two additional web conferencing platforms being considered (independent of phone replacement)

 

  • If there is a clear front runner after rigorous testing of different options, we will proceed with a pilot (Mack)

 

    • Zoom Webex and Blue Jeans meet our needs as a replacement for Adobe Connect, according to the criteria we set in above form
    • Options that have been ruled out for various administrative/functionality-related reasons
      • Skype for business
      • Gotomeeting
    • How AC is currently being used
      • School of Hebrew hybrid program
      • Language School pre-immersion (Russian + Korean)
      • Administrative working groups at College
      • MIIS: probably 20 active users per semester
        • IEM program relies heavily on web conferencing each semester
          • Symposium, synchronous practicum course throughout the semester, guest speakers
        • Recruiting: virtual recruiting series each semester
        • Annual Nonproliferation teacher training – virtual workshops

 

  • For now, how do we test these different tools?

 

      • Our group will test out the 4 different platforms during our meetings
        • Musical chairs, 15 minutes?
      • Our group will try to identify the one tool that stands out and then pilot that group with the various academic/administrative groups reliant AC

 

  • During those 15 minutes, we’ll be evaluating

 

  • Project team: Mack, Petar, Joe, Bob, ODL (Sean or Amy C)
    • Project team will share meeting links with us to attend via the different platforms, a member of the project team will lead each test.

LTI Governance

    • Learning Technology Integration (LTI)
    • Canvas has the ability to link to other services internally
    • LTIs can be linked at
      • Course level (by faculty)
      • Subaccount level (MIIS, Breadloaf, etc.)
      • Uber admin level (available for all courses across the board)
    • Eduapps
      • Right now, faculty can find direct links to services and add them directly
    • Governance questions and next steps

 

  • Next steps: Joe has drafted a recommendation and will be sharing for feedback, then we’ll decide how to move forward

 

  • Additional questions from the group
    • What was the process for Moodle/LTI? (Petar)
      • College only had one LTI request ever – no precedent
    • Replace “student data” with “protected data” in flowchart?
      • Comply with FERPA
      • Health data?
    • WordPress parallel – how do plugin requests get vetted? Do we need to be talking about governance processes more broadly? (Bob)
    • If we do approve the request, at what level does that take place? Subaccount? Everyone?
    • If the LTI has a cost, which budget would it come out of? (Mack)
      • Cost will be addressed on a case by case basis
    • Streamlining the faculty experience – should we try to ensure that this request process is similar to requesting WordPress plugins or Google Apps integrations (Zach)?
      • Joe’s gut reaction: we should stick to focusing on Canvas, the governance question is new to us. Let’s focus on success with Canvas governance and then think about how it could be a model for future platforms. We can have the conversation about Google Apps at a later date.
      • Currently no governing body that approves or denies WordPress plugin requests. There has never been a formal system for vetting requests beyond whether adding them will break anything. (Adam)

Weekly Web Updates – September 12, 2016

We completed an upgrade of our WordPress server infrastructure last week, which we believe will address some recent issues with the service.

Updates

Fixes and Tweaks

Welcome (Back) to the Libraries!

Whether you’re new to campus or returning from summer break, we welcome you to the libraries.

Midd Libraries Quick Guide

Midd Libraries Quick Guide

Ready for an introduction to library resources? You’ll find all the advice you need to get started in the Midd Libraries Quick Guide.

Want a deeper look at our collections? There’s a guide for every subject at http://go.middlebury.edu/guides.

Welcome!

 

Weekly Web Updates – September 5, 2016

Updates

Fixes and Tweaks

  • Canvas sites created through the Course Hub will now use the default timezone of the Course Hub through which they were created as the default timezone for the course. MIIS courses should now default to Pacific and Middlebury courses should now default to Eastern.
  • We added the Google Tag Manager and, by extension, Google Analytics code to the Middlebury Course Hub, MIIS Course Hub, and New Library Items site. We also resolved a configuration issue with the MIIS Forms site which was causing the Google Analytics code to be added to the page twice.
  • The Inquiry Form button on the BLSE website was moved from the left column to the center column.
  • The Neatline plugin in Omeka now loads OpenStreetMap tiles with protocol-less links, allowing the tiles to render.

@MiddInfoSec: Information Security is Everyone’s Responsibility!

It is important for each of us to be aware of the increasing security risks to our increasingly connected lives. From laptops and tablets to smartphones and wearable technology, and 24/7 access to our personal data, the risk of sensitive information being exposed is very real.

  • Be Data Aware:

 Travel with, save, or record ONLY the data that is necessary and essential. Always redact or remove unnecessary sensitive data. Always keep your data backed-up and encrypted, when possible.

  • Protect Your Device:

Add a passcode to your cell phone, tablet, or laptop right now! iOS devices automatically encrypt your data once a passcode has been set. Android devices can encrypt your data with a few minor settings changes.

  • Use Strong & Unique Passwords or Passphrases:

Especially for online banking and other important accounts.

  • Use Multi-Factor Authentication when available:

Middlebury is introducing MFA for O365 and other services in 2016. Use MFA wherever possible.

  • Check Your Social Media Settings:

Review your social media security and privacy settings frequently. Enable MFA whenever possible. Keep your social media accounts current or close them.

  • Educate Yourself:

Stay informed about the latest technology trends and security issues such as malware and phishing. Visit http://go.middlebury.edu/infosec for more information. For targeted training visit: http://go.middlebury.edu/infoseced .

  • Get Trained:

Contact ITS – Information Security at infosec@middlebury.edu to set up a training session for your department.

ACTT Extended Team Meeting Agenda for September 6, 2016

The new ACT Team process includes Extended Team meetings. These closed meetings allow the Team to work with expert staff and focus on evaluating solutions that inform recommendations.

Agenda

  1. Video Conferencing – Middlebury is investigating alternative video conferencing services for distance learning. Adobe will be discontinuing their education pricing for Adobe Connect licenses, doubling our costs. Services with comparable features are available with enterprise licenses at the same cost. – Mack
  2. Canvas LTI Governance – Middlebury is adopting Canvas, a Learning Management System developed and maintained by Instructure. Canvas has built-in features that support course activities in an online environment, like discussions, quizzes, and assignment submissions. Canvas also has an extensible architecture that allows for integration with other services. These services, commonly known as apps or LTIs, can be integrated at the course, program and service level. – Joe

Weekly Web Updates – August 29, 2016

WordPress Comment Spam

We received no reports of issues and did not notice an increase in spam comments this week during our test removal of one of the several comment spam measures we use in WordPress, so we’ve decided to leave the one we removed on Monday turned off.

WordPress Plugin and Theme Removals

We have removed the OnSwipe plugin, which was no longer getting updated. This plugin created a tablet view of a blog for non-responsive themes. If you still need this functionality, you can switch to one of our responsive themes, like any of the “Twenty” series or enable the WPtouch plugin.

We have also removed the JournalCrunch theme, which was no longer getting updated and was not being used by any sites.

Additionally, the Magazeen, colorpaper, Blogtheme, Bueno, Monotone, and Mystique themes were disabled, but not removed. Sites using one of these themes will still be using it, but the themes cannot be enabled on any new sites. Sites using these themes are encouraged to switch.

In each of these cases, the theme or plugin is using an old, common program to generate thumbnail images that has had issues in the past. Moving away from this script will help improve the availability and responsiveness of our WordPress service.

Updates

Fixes and Tweaks

  • The Course Hub will now check to see if you have Panopto content before allowing you to delete a Panopto Resource from your course. You will need to delete the videos in Panopto before removing the resource.
  • Fixed various widths and margins in the CCI WordPress theme sidebar. [From our colleagues in College Communications].

Exchange Public Folders Will Be Unavailable 8/30–8/31

The migration of Middlebury’s email services to Microsoft’s Office 365 cloud environment is well underway. As of Friday, August 26th, we have moved 87% of all mailboxes to the cloud. Thank you so much for the help and feedback to date, it wouldn’t be possible without your support. The migration schedule can be found at http://go.middlebury.edu/cloud, updated daily.

For those of you that use Exchange Public Folders for departmental calendars, etc., we have an update. Public Folders will be unavailable for access from Tuesday, August 30th through Noon EST on Wednesday, August 31st. Public Folders are handled differently from mailboxes in Microsoft Exchange, and because of that difference they will be unavailable during their migration to the cloud.

When they are available again on August 31st, some users may need to re-open the Public Folders they normally access. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Here are the instructions for Outlook 2016 for Windows:

In Outlook, press Ctrl-6 to open the Folder View. You should see something like this:

public_folders

To add a public folder to your Favorites, right-click the folder, then select Add to Favorites…. You should now be able to access it whenever you need it, including in the Calendar screen under “Other Calendars.”

Other platforms:

Thanks again for your support and understanding. Please contact the Helpdesk with concerns or issues.