2015 Fall Semester IT News and Updates

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The following updates from Information Technology Services (ITS) may be helpful to you as we enter the beginning of the 2015-16 academic year:

Self-Service IT Portal – New!

All Framingham State Faculty, Staff and Students are now able to report problems, submit requests and obtain answers to frequently asked questions anytime from anywhere with access to the Internet using the University’s new IT self-service portal.  Whenever you report an incident or submit a request directly through the self-service portal it will get entered into the service management system ITS uses to intake, triage and resolve incidents or fulfill routine requests.  Soon thereafter you will automatically receive an E-mail with a reference number confirming that your incident or request has been received by the IT Service Desk who will then act on it.  We encourage everyone to make use of this new resource as a convenient way to access IT services, particularly when submitting requests which can be more efficiently processed this way.  Click here to login and you will see that over a dozen different kinds of requests can be submitted directly through the portal (in addition to reporting a problem).    Just remember to type “Campus\” in front of your username when you login as a Faculty or Staff member.  (Students need to use “Student\” in front of their username).


Information about ITS on the Framingham.edu Website – New!

The landing page for ITS on the Framingham.edu website has been restructured.  Click here to visit the new page.  Some of the content is new.   For instance, there are links to descriptions of the services we provide which are being published for the first time.  It’s not an exhaustive list with descriptions for everything.  Not yet at least.  But the information is made available even as we continue documenting service descriptions.  We hope to make it easier to understand the array of services offered by ITS and what they consist of such as; what is included, eligibility, prerequisites, how to submit requests or get help, and what to expect in terms of response, fulfillment of requests or resolution of problems.  A good place to start might be to click here on the link to “Professional Services” which takes you to a list of services within this category, all of which provide “read more” links to individual service descriptions.  Or just click here to go directly to the service description for “Management of Information Technology Incidents and Requests” to see an example of one that pertains to everyone.


Lecture Capture – New!

A lecture capture solution is now available to create and share searchable recorded content that can be accessed from any device.  Click here to learn more including how to get assistance with getting started.  Also consider taking advantage of a related workshop which is being offered on September 23rd and again on September 24th in the Marion Scherner Leonhard Lab located in Hemenway (HHG07).


Blackboard 24x7x365 Support – New!

The University entered into an agreement with a new third party provider of 24x7x365 support services for Blackboard.  Calls for assistance with Blackboard (only) are now answered by personnel at the BlackBeltHelp organization.   Faculty may wish to make a note of this change on syllabi by providing the new phone number to call which is: 1-844-718-1602.


Blackboard – Upgraded

Some new capabilities are available following an upgrade to the Blackboard Learn software at the end of the spring semester.  Faculty can preview courses as a student with just one click, more easily integrate plagiarism detection (a.k.a. “Safe Assign), utilize a new Portfolio assignment tool, and access additional grade book features and functionality.  Also consider taking advantage of related one-on-one consultation, workshops and periodic professional development institutes.  Additional information regarding dates and locations of future workshops and institutes will be provided.  Click here to learn more.


FSUgo Mobile App – Version 2.0

A new version of the University’s FSUgo mobile app is available for download to any iOS (Apple) or Android (Google) device.  It can also be accessed from any Internet browser by clicking here.  Some new features and functionality have been added such emergency notification, a news feed, and feeds from Facebook and Twitter.  Enhancements to pre-existing aspects were made as well including a better campus map, events calendar, dining, and campus directory.  Click here to learn more.


Technology Enhanced Campus – Expanded and Enhanced

The Hemenway Laboratories addition, the Hemenway Annex, and Hemenway Hall have been outfitted with a total of 21 new and/or updated projectors and touch panel controls with connection to Global remote monitoring software.  Room 534 in the Annex has been renovated to include (4) 80” monitors and moveable furniture creating a collaborative learning space, including the ability to switch displays from a panel controller.  Additionally, Room HH 212 (now HH312) has been completely re-designed and upgraded to include the ability to switch displays for three screens, upgraded HDMI document camera, rear camera control, preview monitor, microphone and audio system, and 10” touch panel controller.  Lastly, we have redesigned the HH G20 (now 122) computer lab to include (5) 50″ flat panel displays and huddle space configuration along with new furniture and an updated service desk area.  Beyond that another 15 other classrooms in different buildings across campus have been upgraded to include new NEC projectors and new HDMI inputs to accommodate the computer technology.  Please contact us to get more information about these changes and assistance with using the new technology if you like.  Click here for information on the various ways to do so.


Wireless Network – Improved

Additional resources have been added to improve coverage, performance and reliability of the campus-wide wireless network.  New and improved wireless technology was added to O’Connor Hall, Towers Hall, Larned Hall and the new science addition to Hemenway over the summer.  All the residence halls have been completed to this point with the exception of Linsley Hall and work is scheduled to begin for this building in September.  Whittemore Library, May Hall, Hemenway Hall and Hemenway Annex have also been completed.  Dwight Hall, Crocker Hall and the McCarthy Center are in the planning phase.


Telephony System – Updated

This project is in the final phase and consists of replacing telephones across campus with new models that include a digital display.  New voicemail features are also being deployed at the same time.  The biggest benefit of the upgraded voicemail is “voice-to-email” functionality.  This feature allows you to retrieve voice mail messages from within your @framingham.edu E-mail account by simply clicking on a link to listen to them from your computer.   The replacement of phones and upgrade of voicemail was completed for administrative departments over the summer.  A representative from ITS will reach out next month to academic departments to begin scheduling replacements as time allows.


Questions or concerns?  Just contact us!

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