students

The Results Are In – SU Food Bank Challenge!

December is always a busy month but the University took the time to show its community spirit by coming together and raising always welcome donations for the Student’s Union Food Bank.

IT Services and Financial Services threw down the gauntlet again this year and challenged each other to see who could raise the most donations and the results were fantastic! A total of 874 food items and a whopping $1,239.00 in cash was raised. Shelly Tuff, USLU Health & Dental Plan Administrator, said that the USLU foodbank has been well stocked. “Thanks to IT and Financial Services for all the food and cash collected, it will help out a lot of students in need. And thanks to all who donated, we at the Student’s Union are very grateful for your generosity!”

The friendly rivalry started early in December with both departments collecting food and cash donations. IT Services had a Chili Cook Off fundraiser which was very well supported. Managers donated their time and chili and The PMO Office came out victorious with the most votes for the favorite. All those who attended enjoyed some great food and donated generously. Plans are in the works to host another cook off next year.

For cash donations, IT Services raised $934.00 followed by Financial Services with a total of $423.00. For food items IT Services collected 514 items and Financial Services collected 360.
The response was overwhelming and we would like to thank everyone from both departments for their enthusiasm, generosity and support. The victors in this friendly competition are definitely the students in need.

We’re looking forward to another spirited competition next year!

 

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Faculty & Staff: Office 365 is now FREE

 

Information Technology Services is pleased to announce Microsoft’s latest offer of Office 365 ProPlus free of charge to current faculty and staff at the University of Lethbridge.

“Earlier in the fall, Microsoft offered the Office 365 Student Advantage Program free to currently registered students, and now they are also extending the offer to current employees of the University,” says Terry Kirkvold, Infrastructure Manager. “Microsoft has re-branded the product as Office 365 ProPlus to include employees’ personal use. This is a significant offer from Microsoft.”Office 365 ProPlus

Kirkvold adds the offer is solely meant for home or personal use since the University currently provides Office products to all employees for work purposes via a site license. Employees will no longer need to purchase it with Professional Supplement and personal funds.

This offer is identical to the Student Advantage plan, and permits installation of all Office products on up to five different Windows and Apple devices including laptops, desktops, smart phones and tablets.

“We would also like to advise those who choose to download the product during the Christmas break that should they have any difficulties with the installation, we will not have staff working to assist them with troubleshooting.”

Those who download and install on devices that currently do not have any Office products on them should not experience any issues, he says. But those who have old copies of Office software on their machines could run into difficulties if they do not carefully read and follow the instructions on the Microsoft website.

“We wanted to get the information out now to make faculty and staff aware of the offer in the event they receive a new device for Christmas and decide to purchase Office 365. It will save them a bit of frustration when they find out it’s free after the fact.”

In summary:

  • Students have been offered Office 365 for free since September through the Student Advantage Program.
  • Microsoft is now extending the same offer, Office 365 ProPlus for free to faculty and staff for home/personal use
  • Office 365 can be installed on up to five (5) personal devices
  • Downloading on devices that do not currently have Office products installed should result in a smooth installation
  • Downloading on devices that already have Office products may cause issues if instructions are not followed closely
  • Do not purchase Office 365 products when you can get them for free

For more detailed information on this Microsoft offer, visit the IT Services website.

Click here to download the Office 365 ProPlus package.

Here are some sites that may assist:
Getting Started with Office 365

Online Community Support and troubleshooting page

For more information:

Please contact the Solutions Centre at (403) 329-2490, help@uleth.ca, or drop in to E610 in University Hall.

Students – download Office 365 free!

 

Recently Microsoft announced the Student Advantage Program which provides a free copy of Office 365 Pro for students.

This includes the full version of Office (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote, Outlook, and more) which can be installed on up to five PCs and Macs, and includes Office for iPad and other mobile devices.Student Adv. logo

If you already use the free portion of Office for iPad for reading, viewing and presenting, once you have a valid Office 365 ProPlus license, you can also create and edit Office documents on your iPad with Word, Excel and Powerpoint.

You can download the software here using your U of L username and password. For step-by-step instructions, visit our site.

For more information, contact the IT Solutions Centre at (403) 329-2490 or help@uleth.ca.

Wi-Fi – oxygen for students

 

During the next four weeks, IT Services’ communications technology staff will be busy working on a major $20,000 wireless upgrade to Kainai and Piikani residence buildings which will effectively double the current capacity, says Terry Kirkvold, Manager of Infrastructure Maintenance and Support.

“Each building will have 14 new access points – four per floor. These buildings will be on par with the coverage provided at the newer residence buildings,” says Kirkvold. “Students will see a dramatic increase in the coverage. This wireless upgrade demonstrates our Destination 2020 commitment to continuously improve the student experience at the University of Lethbridge.Maslow's Wifi

Upgrades to the Tsuu T’ina and Siksika townhouses are scheduled in the coming months and all buildings are expected to have increased Wi-Fi coverage by the end of the academic year.

“We’re anxious to provide what they need and I think they’ll be very happy with the improvement,” Kirkvold adds. “As one student eloquently put it: ‘Wi-Fi is our oxygen.’”

For more information, please contact the Solutions Centre at (403) 329-2490 or help@uleth.ca

Wrapping up Google Apps

Welcome to Google Apps! Through May and June, more than 26,000 email accounts were migrated to Google Apps for Education.

“We had some minor delays with the migration, but all in all, it’s been a successful project,” says Chris Roberts, Information Technology Services (ITS)Project Manager. He adds that some administrative work, and a few loose ends still need to be tied up.

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Roberts says most people, students and alumni, had no difficulty changing over to Google Mail. “From a user perspective, it went very well. The vast majority are quite happy with the new service.”

From an implementation perspective, the project was a success. “We met our deadlines—in fact, even with the delays, we finished the migrations ahead of the June 30th deadline.”

If you would like to learn more about our new Google Apps service, please visit our “Welcome To Google Apps” site.

Questions? Contact the Solutions Centre at (403) 329-2490 or at help@uleth.ca.

Mobile app developed for Portal – first for U of L

 

The U of L will soon be launching itself into the mobile age thanks to a mobile application version of the Student Portal coming later this summer. Students will soon be able to download the app from the iTunes App Store and Google Play for iOS and androids respectively. Jamie Chinn, IT Services Applications Development Manager, says an email went out to all summer students the week of June 23 to make them aware and to solicit feedback for future versions.Mobile App

“We are very aware of how much students use their mobile devices, and we thought providing a mobile app version of the Student Portal would be a good place to start. While the portal performs quite well on a mobile phone browser, this app will make it even easier to navigate from feature to feature on a smaller device like a smartphone,” says Chinn.

The team is busy polishing the prototype with the University’s brand, colors and images, and testing the app for functionality. Following that will be getting it into the App stores. “It takes about a week to get an app approved by Google Play and three weeks to get approval from Apple.”

Chinn says the first version of the app will include much of the same functionality in the portal, and as new features are added to the latter, they will likely be added into the app as well. Mobile app-specific features such as push notifications when final grades are entered are being investigated for a future release.

Students can provide feedback on the App by visiting the Portal site: https://portal.uleth.ca/ , and either submitting a vote in the features poll, or by clicking on the blue Feedback tab on the right side of the page to submit ideas not found in the poll. With each suggestion or vote, students’ names are entered into a weekly draw for a $100 gift card until the end of August.

The Development team expects to have the app available mid-to-late August, which will coincide with the full launch of the student portal.

For more information, contact the Solutions Centre at (403) 329-2490 or help@uleth.ca.

Student Portal off to good start

The launch of the University’s Student Portal project this week was the culmination of months of intensive work by IT Services, the Registrar’s Office and a variety of stakeholders across the campus.

Jamie Chinn, IT Services’ Application Development Manager, says feedback from students so far has been overwhelmingly positive. “We’re thrilled. Not only do they like what they see, but they’ve provided us with great ideas for new features, and how they’d like to see the content and features laid out.” To encourage continued feedback, the portal team is running a 10-week contest for which every submission is entered into a weekly draw for a $100 gift card.PortalScreenshot

The portal currently integrates Moodle, The Bridge, Library and Bridge Bucks systems. Students can find their grades, account balances and course information, along with critical information such as important deadlines, crisis communication and other announcements.

Chinn says the work will continue over the summer to enhance and adjust the portal’s features, and monitor its performance. Next steps include integrating Google email and calendaring, as well as providing information and helpful links for new applicants to the University. The versatile system is configured to display only information that is specific to the user. “For example, only new applicants will see the information that is relevant to them,” says Chinn.

“The portal is available to all students now but we’ll be pushing out our communications to students more broadly in the fall. That version will incorporate as many suggestions and improvements as possible over the summer.”

The portal can be accessed at http://www.portal.uleth.ca

For more information and to keep apprised of the portal’s continued development, visit http://blogs.ulethbridge.ca/portal-update/

More details on the GoogleApps for Education roll-out can be found in our March blog: http://blogs.ulethbridge.ca/it-services/2014/03/27/student-email-moving-into-the-21st-century/

IT Services Weekly Update

Critical Services (Banner, Moodle, Wireless, Internet)

All services functioning normally.

Service Improvements

We have installed arms to allow monitors on classroom lecterns to be easily re-positioned.  This was due to student and faculty feedback that these monitors were causing partially obscured views of the whiteboard from many of the seats near the front of each classroom.  This improvement has already been implemented in Anderson Hall, and will soon be completed in all other classrooms exhibiting this issue.

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New Campus Map

Unlike the previous facility-driven campus map, the new map contains expanded content, focusing on both services and students. Visitors to the map can browse campus buildings, services, directions, and contextual information (example: parking lots are labeled, but also the times parking is enforced). But it expands on parking and buildings by providing information like food outlets, operating hours, prices, counseling services, and even the location of the campus defibrillators. It is searchable by keyword and can also provide driving directions from campus to anywhere in the city. In addition to being a way-finding tool, future and new students can use it as a basic online campus tour. The technology also uses wifi signals to shows the user’s device location right on the map itself.

Try out the new Campus Map.

Wireless enhancements

Wireless accesses on campus are now at more than 53,000 per day, as compared with 38,500 at the same time last year. Work done during the summer by the Infrastructure team has dramatically improved the capacity of the University’s wireless network access.