Zachary Schuetz

Posts by Zachary Schuetz


Curricular Technology Team Notes, 2015.08.18

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Present: Stacy, Heather, Amy Collier (Associate Provost for Digital Learning), Joe A., Jamie, Mack P., BKoul, Zach, Adam, Amy Slay (MIIS Digital Learning Specialist)

Main Topic: Canvas Pilot Preparation

  • Update on MIIS Course building in Canvas: so far so good, one prof left to add
  • Kickoff meeting next week during this meeting slot. We’ll use this slot for pilot meetings throughout the semester where possible. (MIIS may need to schedule things slightly differently on occasion, given that their semester schedule is different.)
    • Joe will send out further reminders for things for faculty to check before the kickoff meeting.
    • Let’s finalize course lists at that date so we aren’t constantly requesting new stuff from Cindy Peet (manual importation of students).
      • Add/drop will be manual; finalize at the end of the add/drop period.
  • Review of timeline; looks good.
  • Instructure meeting: signoff on branding, Midd KB document. KB signoff activated support: we tested submitting a support request through the interface and got a response within half an hour.
    • Todo: enable support for importing Moodle courses. Need to find out if faculty will use it first.


Goals and Outcomes

  • What questions should we ask?
  • How do we assess the course-building process?
    • Let’s ask ASAP after courses are built (quite soon for MIIS, by Sep 8th for Midd).
    • “What did you enjoy? What excited you about the platform? What didn’t you like?” Assume that everyone had both positive and negative experiences, and try to hear about both. Trying to ask people to directly compare to Moodle may not be productive; they may not ever have built a Moodle course, or built one years ago that they’ve been using since. “Like asking someone to compare their first year of college to first year of high school.”
  • Difficult to balance collecting useful data during the pilot about how well this works for Midd, vs. helping faculty use the new tool in the best possible way.
    • Moodle and Canvas are two different tools; it’s quite difficult to compare them directly. Different features.
    • Not just about using the tool; the focus should be pedagogy. Educational technology should be educational. If they were only going to be doing the same things they’d be doing in Moodle, there’s no point in switching.
    • We don’t want to just throw people in the deep end as far as support goes; be available for question.
  • “What are your goals for participating in this pilot?” (ask in e-mail before kickoff meeting, then go around the room). Help make connections between faculty of different disciplines.
  • “How do you picture this enhancing your pedagogy?” (+ check in again later)
  • It’s definitely worth asking the same question more than once to see how things change over time. We can directly ask the faculty about what’s changed over time, as well.
  • Questions for students: No inspiring questions for the beginning of the semester; we’d like to get a general answer to “What do you want in a course website?”
  • We should e-mail out a more-formal survey for mid-semester (students and faculty). We should come up with good questions by October.
  • Joe has some letters and other communication that other students have used. Questions from MISO survey: Bill will get from Terry.


LTI (Learning Technology Integration framework)

  • Adobe Connect is a good example. The way other schools do it is to pay an integrator a yearly fee (AC outsources their LTI.)
  • Canvas’s release schedule means integration is a moving target.
  • LTI use gets complicated very quickly. Ex: integrating TurnItIn broke assignment dropbox. We should have a process. (SR goal for this year is to clarify support models, we can start by being clearer with this.)
    • Support, privacy (FERPA), data use, etc.: draft recommendations. “If you’re thinking about using a tool, here are some considerations to be aware of.”
    • Stanford policy: Can’t force students to use a tool that uses personal data for a graded assignment. Has to be an option.
      • Amy Collier has talked to Chris Norris about how to start a conversation around how we handle this at Midd. In the meantime, let’s stick to guidelines.

Issues with the Middlebury-Monterey network connection

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Hi all,

The VPN connection between Middlebury and Monterey is seeing intermittent issues, dropping in and out. It’s being actively worked both here in Middlebury and in Monterey. This will impact all connections between the two campuses, including email and many Middlebury campus based services.

We will update this post when service has been restored.

Adobe Creative Cloud 2015

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Users of Adobe’s “Creative Cloud” products (formerly Creative Suite) may have noticed that in the Creative Cloud dashboard, there’s a prompt to “Update” any installed products to the CC 2015 editions. Although normally we recommend keeping software up-to-date, this is a major new version that comes with a few issues:

  • There have been some reports of instability with the new software as compared to the 2014 editions.
  • After updating from the CC dashboard, the license will not be recognized and the software will be in “trial mode”. This is an unfortunate side effect of the way Adobe does enterprise licensing.

At this point, our general recommendation is to stick with the 2014 version of your Adobe apps. We will update this post with more information as we test the new versions and establish a smooth upgrade path. In the meantime, those who wish to update to the 2015 editions (including “Adobe Acrobat Pro DC”), or have already done so, should make sure all new software that you want is installed, then update the license file. To do this, please do the following:

  • Mac users should go to Self Service and run “Adobe CC 2015 License”.
  • Windows users should submit a ticket with the MIDD number (on the blue sticker) of the computer in question, requesting to have the Adobe license updated.

If you have any questions, please contact the Helpdesk at 802.443.2200 or Thanks!

~Zach Schuetz
Information Technology Services

Wireless Updates

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Hi all,

The MiddleburyCollege network went live on Tuesday, and devices of all kinds have been connecting successfully since. However, we want to give people more time to make the switch, so we will not be removing midd_secure on Monday but rather on the morning of Wednesday, March 11th. We anticipate that Midd-standard will be removed the following week as planned, with a possible delay of one to two days to allow time for those who need to move to the special MCPSK network that will be introduced on Wednesday.

Please take a moment now to connect your device to MiddleburyCollege so you won’t have anything to worry about as we retire midd_secure and Midd-standard. You may see a warning about the certificate, but it is safe to continue and connect. The most alarming warning comes from Windows 7, and looks like this:

cert warning

Again, in this case it is safe to continue connecting – the certificate is valid, but some devices do not recognize it by default.

Special Note: College-owned Windows 7 laptops should not see the above certificate warning, but may see the following message:

false alarm

This is misleading; if you click Close and wait 1-2 minutes, the connection should complete successfully.

If you are unsuccessful in connecting to Middlebury College after a minute or two, we suggest rebooting your device and trying again. Any warnings should only appear once – after that, your computer or device should save the configuration settings and reconnect quickly and smoothly from then on.

As usual, please direct specific issues to the Helpdesk; broad questions should be asked here so everyone can benefit from the discussion.

~Zach Schuetz
Middlebury College ITS

Wireless Updates

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Hello everyone,

There was a minor technical issue that prevented us from making the wireless change planned for today (removing midd-unplugged and adding MiddleburyCollege). We are back on track to make the change tomorrow morning, March 3rd.

Further updates as events warrant. Please contact the Helpdesk (x2200) with any questions.


~Zach Schuetz
Middlebury College ITS

Wireless Network Changes

Categories: Midd Blogosphere


Over the course of the next several weeks, we will be replacing the wireless networks at Middlebury.

What do I need to do?

Starting March 2nd, please connect to the new secure wireless network named MiddleburyCollege (like midd_secure but better). Middlebury Faculty, Staff and Students will login with your standard Middlebury username and password. Guests will need to create a Middlebury guest account and use it to connect to MiddleburyCollege. This is not a change for change’s sake – we are confident that the end result will be a wireless network that is more convenient and more secure for everyone.

Why are we doing this? What are we trying to achieve?

Some devices have trouble with the current configuration of midd_secure. Midd_secure was created many years ago and wireless standards have since evolved. Additionally, guests have traditionally connected to midd_unplugged, a non-secure network.

It is important that all wireless devices, including those of faculty, staff and students as well as guests, have a way to connect to our network securely, quickly, and easily. Also, as part of our improved security posture, and to comply with all regulations and generally accepted guidelines, devices on our network need to be identified and associated with an individual, for everyone’s benefit.

What will the new configuration look like?

  • Anyone with a Middlebury College username, including faculty, staff, students, etc., will connect to the new wireless network called MiddleburyCollege using their username and password. Guests will also connect to MiddleburyCollege with their guest account name and password, where they will have access to the Internet, but not our internal servers.
  • Guests from other institutions that are also part of the eduroam project will continue to connect to the eduroam network (for Internet access only).
  • Guests and others who do not have a username and password, either because they haven’t created an account or they have forgotten their password, will connect to a new open wireless network created for this purpose, called GuestAccountCreation. No password is required, but connections are limited to intervals of 15 minutes. When they connect, they will be offered links to create a new guest account, reset their guest password, or activate/reset their Middlebury account password.
  • Certain older or residential devices, for technical or procedural reasons, do not support standard security protocols (username and password), and require what’s called a “pre-shared key” instead (a shared password, like Midd-standard has now). For these devices, we are creating a limited-access pre-shared key network called MCPSK. This is only for devices that cannot use MiddleburyCollege. If you suspect this applies to you, please contact us (see “What if I have more questions?” below).

How will we get there? What is the transition schedule?

To reduce the impact of this change, we are planning on a phased implementation that gives people time to transition from one network to another. For performance and capacity reasons, we cannot have more than four different wireless networks at once, so we will introduce new networks on the following schedule:

Now to 3/2 3/2 to 3/09 3/09 to 3/16 3/16 forward
midd_unplugged (transition to midd_secure)
MiddleburyCollege MiddleburyCollege MiddleburyCollege
midd_secure midd_secure (transition to MiddleburyCollege)
Midd-standard Midd-standard Midd-standard (transition to MCPSK)
eduroam eduroam eduroam eduroam (unchanged – for guest access from other institutions)
  1. Anyone currently connecting to midd_unplugged should take a moment now to transition to midd_secure. If you have trouble connecting to midd_secure, please contact the Helpdesk for the password to Midd-standard.
  2. On Monday, March 2nd, midd_unplugged will be removed and we will introduce the new MiddleburyCollege network. From then on, all faculty, staff, and students should connect to MiddleburyCollege, though midd_secure and Midd-standard will continue to work for enough time to allow a smooth transition. We will prepare offices that frequently bring guests to campus to help them get connected to Midd-standard if necessary during this transitional period. In short, midd-unplugged will cease operating on 03/02/2015 – use midd_secure before then, and MiddleburyCollege after.
  3. On Monday, March 9th, all College personnel should be connected to MiddleburyCollege, and we will remove midd_secure to allow for the introduction of the MCPSK network. Starting on this day, anyone who hasn’t been using midd_secure due to incompatibility should first see if they can connect to MiddleburyCollege. If your device doesn’t support it, please contact the Helpdesk so we can connect you to MCPSK. For most devices, switch to MiddleburyCollege before midd_secure goes away on 03/09/2015.
  4. By Monday, March 16th, all individuals who have been using Midd-standard should have moved to another network, so we can remove Midd-standard and add GuestAccountCreation. To recap, switch to either MiddleburyCollege or MCPSK before Midd-standard goes away on 03/16/2015.

Other Frequently Asked Questions:

Are you saying guests will connect to the MiddleburyCollege network? Isn’t that a little weird from a security perspective?

There’s some behind-the-scenes magic there – people with Middlebury Guest accounts will be isolated from the regular Middlebury network and be provided with Internet access only.

Why start by removing midd_unplugged instead of another network?

For starters, it’s slow and insecure, but a good chunk of people keep using it, unaware that that’s the primary reason for their bad experiences. As much as possible during this transition, we want to make life easier for the people who are currently depending on the faster secure networks. We did consider temporarily disabling eduroam instead, since not as many people use it, but it’s part of an agreement with other universities and we want to honor that.

If I’m bringing a guest to campus after March 2nd, how can I make their experience easier?

The best thing to do is direct them to Middguests so they can create an account before they get here. Then, once they arrive on campus, they can immediately connect to MiddleburyCollege with their guest username and password. If they’ve forgotten their account info, once the GuestAccountCreation network is in place, it’ll provide links to help them reset their password or create a new account.

What about College faculty, staff, or students who’ve forgotten their password or don’t have one yet?

The GuestAccountCreation welcome page will also have a link to the password activation/reset page, and the Helpdesk phone number should anyone get stuck.

What if I have more questions?

If you have a technical issue, now or at any time, or if you need access to the limited MCPSK network, please make a ticket or call us at 802.443.2200 so we can assist you. If you have general questions about the plan, please post them here so everyone can see the answers.

Peace and change,

~Zach Schuetz for the Helpdesk

CfA Network Event

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

We are currently experiencing network difficulties in the Center for the Arts. We are on the scene and the problem will be resolved as quickly as possible.