UTSA Faculty and Staff attend the Panasonic 2017 Campus Technology Tour at UTSA.
The Learning Technologies team of the UTSA Office of Information Technology (OIT) hosted a campus technology tour led by Panasonic on March 3. The FREE event was held in the OIT Learning Studio (BB 3.04.16B) from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and was open to UTSA faculty and staff.
"The purpose of this event was mostly to allow attendees to familiarize themselves with the product lines that Panasonic offers for audio/visual (AV) technology in teaching spaces and to meet our local Panasonic representative in person," said Robert Granado, assistant director of Learning Technologies. "It also provided attendees an opportunity to network with other organizations looking for similar AV technology solutions in their teaching and learning spaces."
A Panasonic representative gives attendees a demo of the interactive LED display whiteboard.
During the tour, representatives from Panasonic provided hands-on demos of a variety of technologies designed to support classrooms, digital signage, auditoriums and lecture halls and lecture capturing. These innovative technologies included:
Attendees gained insights on how these technologies could be implemented and leveraged in their respective departments and at events to meet their AV technology needs. Additionally, attendees were able to learn first-hand how OIT standardizes on AV technologies, such as projectors, which are deployed in various classrooms.
The first of its kind for Panasonic, this year's technology tour enables representatives to introduce higher education institutions like UTSA, which utilize Panasonic technology, to their latest projectors and flat panel displays. Some other campuses where the tour has been held include UT-Austin, the University of Houston Clear Lake, and Baylor University.
In addition, the tour allows representatives to roll out products to institutions that are not currently Panasonic customers in an effort to expand its reach.
"The event at UTSA was fantastic," said Josh Rountree, senior partner sales manager of Panasonic. "The turnout was great, and we appreciate the support we always get from the UTSA team!"
To learn more about the Panasonic 2017 Campus Technology Tour, click here.
In addition, the tour allows representatives to roll out its products to institutions that are not currently Panasonic customers in an effort to expand its reach.
Assistant Vice Provost for Information Technology Vanessa Hammler Kenon, Ed.D., and Director of Application Development and Support (ADS) Jayashree Iyengar presented a webinar hosted by DubLabs on March 1. Titled "Collaborative! Innovative! Successful! UTSA's Mobile Journey," the informative webinar allowed Dr. Kenon and Iyengar to provide attendees a closer look at the UTSA Mobile App.
One of the Mobile App elevator posters used as part of the marketing campaign.
During the webinar, Dr. Kenon and Iyengar discussed how the creation of the UTSA Mobile App helps support the university's mobile-first strategy. In addition, they explored various marketing campaign initiatives such as elevator posters and videos which have been implemented by the UTSA Office of Information Technology (OIT) in an effort to raise students' awareness and usage of the app.
The UTSA Mobile App was developed by the ADS team in partnership with its vendor DubLabs. The app is available at no cost to the UTSA community. It comprises an array of features which allow students to:
For more information about DubLabs, please visit http://www.dublabs.com/.
To learn more about the UTSA Mobile App, please click here or download the app:
We're looking for candidates like you to join OIT!
Job Postings in STARS:
Enterprise Systems Programmer (Financial Services) – open until filled
Please visit the UTSA Human Resources page to view all available positions: https://jobs.utsa.edu/.
Darrell Balderrama and Theodorea Berry, Ed.D., serve as panelists at the SXSWedu 2017 conference.
Faculty and staff from the UTSA Institute for P-20 Initiatives, the Office of Information Technology, the Graduate School and the department of Kinesiology, Health and Nutrition, had the remarkable opportunity to represent the university at this year's SXSWedu conference. The internationally-recognized conference was held in Austin, Texas from March 6th-9th.
Darrell Balderrama, director of Retention Programs and Theodorea Berry, Ed.D., associate dean of Academic Affairs and director of Recruitment and Engagement, along with Vanessa Kenon, Ed.D., assistant vice provost for IT, were selected to serve as speakers at the education conference.
Prior to their selection, the UTSA team submitted proposals to the SXSWedu PanelPicker, a worldwide platform which allows members of the SXSWedu community to suggest engaging and innovative content for presentations, panels, summits, etc. to be featured at an upcoming convening.
Once submitted, proposals undergo a two-fold voting process which first entails crowdsourcing from the public, and then from SXSW staff and its Advisory Board. The UTSA team's proposals were among 240+ to be accepted out of the 1,300 submitted for this year's event.
Balderrama and Dr. Berry's panel entitled "Making the Transition: 1st Gen. to Graduate School," explored research on various initiatives employed at higher education institutions to support underserved students in their graduate school pursuits. During the discussion, the UTSA duo discussed programs such as the TRIO Programs and the P-20 initiatives which are specially designed to provide students access to higher education.
Their session was part of a summit organized by Langston Clark, Ph.D., assistant professor in the department of Kinesiology, Health, which also included two other panel presentations moderated by representatives from other institutions.
Vanessa Hammler Kenon, Ed.D., serves on the iPASS panel.
Dr. Kenon served as a panelist for two sessions in which she presented research. The first was a special session entitled "Partnership and Collaboration- Institutional Perspectives of Scale." The second session enabled her to deeply delve into innovative research regarding the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Integrated Planning and Advising for Student Success (iPASS) grant and its effects in fostering student success and enhancing the role of advisors, faculty and staff.
She discussed different advising technologies including the degree auditing tool DegreeWorks and the Education Advisory Board's Student Success Collaborative (EAB/SSC), which have been implemented in part by the support of this grant.
"I'm excited to see the great presence of UTSA faculty and staff presenting this year," said Dr. Kenon. "They have represented UTSA so well."
SXSWedu unites students and educational professionals from across the United States annually for a series of keynote addresses, summits, workshops and discussions focused on innovation in learning.
To learn more about SXSWedu, please visit http://sxswedu.com/.
We're looking for candidates like you to join OIT!
Job Postings in STARS:
Enterprise Database Specialist – Closes March 6th
(Written by: Ben Garcia, Director of Customer Service and Operations Support).
Director of Customer Service and Operations Support Ben Garcia was a panelist at the February convening of the North San Antonio Chamber of Commerce Monthly CIO Breakfast Technology Series. The panel presentation entitled, "The Softer Side of IT – Cultivating Hard-to-Find Soft Skills in Today's IT Workforce," was moderated by Garcia along with the following panelists:
The panel session presented a discussion on the importance and need for greater soft skills within an organization's employee workforce, how IT leaders have a critical role in the promoting and hiring of employees with such soft skills, and how to drive a culture shift within an organization promoting "The Softer Side of IT."
"As an IT organization, we are providing a customer-centric approach to the offering of IT services," said Garcia.
The presentation also provided attendees with the following takeaways on how to advance key communication and collaboration skills within the IT workforce:
For more information about the North San Antonio Chamber of Commerce Monthly CIO Breakfast Technology Series, please click here.
The Enterprise Managed Customer Solutions (EMCS) and Learning Technologies (LT) teams of the UTSA Office of Information Technology (OIT) are set to upgrade the operating system on all podium and general-purpose classroom computers on the Main and Downtown Campuses this May. To perform this upgrade, the teams will deploy the Microsoft operating system Windows 10 on the computers.
"OIT wants the computers to be on the most updated, secure operating system whenever possible," said Joe Tobares, Director of Learning Technologies. "This is why we decided to move to Windows 10. Every year we do an image refresh and we moved the timeframe for this project to May, when there are very few classes occurring."
Deploying this new operating system will be beneficial for the UTSA community as it will help foster increased productivity, collaboration and innovation amongst users. The EMCS and LT teams, therefore, plan to rollout this new operating system to the UTSA community prior to the start of the summer semester.
"This upgrade will allow OIT to give UTSA faculty access to the latest software that they can use in their classes," Tobares continued. "Also, it will keep our students competitive and up-to-date as we begin to deploy this operating system to other places on campus."
The Enterprise Managed Customer Solutions team is responsible for software configurations, software licensing and assists with managing the computers at UTSA. Along with upgrading the operating system on the podium and general-purpose computers, the team also creates special podium images for classroom computers used by the entire UTSA community.
To learn more about the Learning Technologies and the Enterprise Managed Customer Solutions teams, please click https://utsa.edu/oit.
For more information about Windows 10, please visit https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/.
(Center Director and Professor of
UTSA’s SiViRT Yusheng Feng Ph. D, giving USAA delegates a tour of the UTSA
On February 10th, the UTSA Research Computing Support Group
(RCSG) with the Office of Information Technology (OIT) hosted a tour for the
United Services Automobile Association (USAA) to explore potential
collaboration in the areas of data analytics and visualization. USAA was
invited by the UTSA Simulation Visualization and Real-Time Predication (SiViRT)
Center to initiate the collaboration effort between UTSA and USAA. The tour
involved Vice President of Enterprise Data & Analytics at USAA Office
Michael Kozub along with eight other USAA high-level executives.
Director of Research Computing Support Brent League and Dr. Feng welcoming USAA
At the beginning of the tour, UTSA's Director of Research Computing Support Brent League, along with Center Director and Professor of UTSA's SiViRT Yusheng Feng Ph.D., and UTSA Associate Professor of Computer Science John Quarles Ph.D., welcomed the distinguished guests from USAA before they toured the UTSA VizLab. The event was held from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., allowing the visitors time to view the University's new wealth of solar energy resources and the UTSA Advanced Visualization Laboratory (VizLab).
Dr. Feng led the tour with Enterprise Research Application Support Analyst Zhiwei Wang. At the beginning of the tour, participants were introduced to both the SiViRT Center and VizLab, which was initially funded by the National Science Foundation. USAA visitors were educated on the history and expertise of SiViRT Center faculty as well as its research capabilities to the USAA visitors. Dr. Feng also elaborated that the UTSA VizLab allows researchers from all disciplines of art, science, and engineering to conduct simulation and visualization research to understand complex phenomena better and translate data into images on large-scale and high-resolution
(USAA visitor trying a virtual reality enabled Cardiac Surgery Simulator provided in the UTSA VizLAb)
During the tour, participants were given a first-hand
experience with the VizLab resources available to the UTSA community to see how
the resources could help them in their current business environment at USAA.
One of the participants stated, “The VizWall would contribute to making
communication and presentations easier.” They also indicated how they would be
looking to use the VizWall to “help explore data and display metrics for
evaluating the performance of USAA.”
(USAA participants during an open
discussion on possible collaboration and a possible partnership)
At the end
of the tour, the USAA participants had the opportunity to ask questions and
discuss their needs in the data analytics and visualization. Many of their questions focused on the
VizWall and developing computer models of decision support systems as well as
methods and tools for predicting future trends using big data. Dr. Feng
expressed interests not only in collaborative research but also internship
opportunities for UTSA students. To proceed with the partnership, Christina
Hollman, Assistant Vice President at USAA and point of contact to UTSA, will
arrange a return visit for SiViRT faculty shortly.
The tour introduced them to several UTSA
• The VizWall - VizLab's 14.4' by 6' large
visualization wall with high resolution up to almost 200 million pixels. (Nearly 100 times more clarity than commonly used household television sets)
• SHAMU -the largest HPC cluster at the
• NEMO- a fast GPU dominated cluster empowers
• Oculus Rift- virtual reality (VR) headsets,
which use state-of-the-art displays and optics designed specifically for VR.
• HTC Vive - the latest augmented virtual
Click here to learn more about the available
FREE resources at the UTSA Advanced Visualization Laboratory (VizLab).
Click here for more information on the UTSA
Simulation Visualization and Real-Time Predication (SiViRT) Center.
The UTSA Office of Information Technology (OIT) is exploring the viability of collaborating with additional Information Technology Associates (ITAs) across the University to further streamline its IT ticketing response process.
ITAs serve as technical support liaisons between OIT and various UTSA departments and offices. Currently, ITAs from six departments and offices can initiate ticketing requests through the OIT Service Manager ticketing system (SCSM 2012). These ITAs are based in the College of Public Policy, College of Architecture and Construction Planning, The Graduate School, UTSA Police Department, Office of Enrolment Information Systems and the Office of Student Information Systems.
"For the areas we are partnering with, it creates this unified sense of support for the user," said Ben Garcia, director of Customer Service and Operations Support. "This partnership ensures that both OIT and the ITA support teams are aligned to support the IT needs of our University community."
This partnership also enables ITAs to route support requests directly to technical support groups within OIT to ensure greater visibility and transparency in the ticketing process. Additionally, by incorporating ITAs to perform initial troubleshooting on affected devices prior to routing tickets to OITConnect, this collaboration helps expedite the time for ticket resolution.
(The landing page of the Service Management Ticketing System.)
Due to an increased interest in this initiative, OIT is planning to expand this partnership to ITAs across other UTSA departments and offices. Although still in the early stages of development, this expansion has the potential to further enhance the top-tier customer support service OIT and ITAs offer to the University community.
"This expansion creates a greater partnership between OIT and the ITA technical groups," Garcia added. "It improves customer service for the user as now there is a greater unified team approach between OIT and the ITAs. It also builds a foundation of creating greater transparency, knowledge sharing and greater team effort, thereby improving support."
To submit a ticket to OITConnect, please contact OITConnect@utsa.edu or call 210-458-5555.
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