Posts Tagged ‘help’

Spoken Notes – A New Feature

Yesterday I wrote about the challenges teachers and administration face due to issue of cheating and getting around‘s algorithms.

Something released a month ago appeared on my radar today: spoken notes that can be attached by a teacher. My reaction was “Niiice!”

Check out the short demonstration video below:

Questions for you

Are you using for your papers?

Is the equivalent of using a chainsaw to cut a piece of paper for your needs? If so, what do you use to provide feedback/suggestions?


The Printer is Going Wireless

Google released “Cloud Printing” today for Windows users. Read the announcement here:

This means you can be on the road and print your important document at your printer of choice. It’s that simple. No biggie, right? Of course the printer is going wireless, isn’t everything?

It’s time to install the application and print while on the way to school/work! Hold that thought.

Academia is often slower to deploy such eye popping technologies for a variety of reasons, support being one of the biggest. Security is incredibly important and the I.T. world is not known for it’s rapid deployment of new technologies. The path followed is likely to be described as “Tried and true.” It’s safe and it’s proven. Two words a CIO will like.

What is the present state of printing at your institution?

  • Can you print via the wireless network?
  • Can you print from a laptop via Ethernet or wireless?
  • Can you print to any printer or only a select printer?
  • Do you have to swipe a card to release a job?

What would be the best solution for you – students, faculty, staff?

The Sarah Lawrence College Technology Survey 2009-2010 Response Numbers and Chart

A 29.97% response rate from the Sarah Lawrence Community without any incentives… Fantastic!

Below is the response chart for the tech survey. As you can see the response rate jumps significantly after a reminder is sent. Below the chart are the numbers used to create the graph.

Additional data will be posted soon. The survey close at midnight last night.

Click to view complete graph

Date    Total Responses    Complete Responses    Incomplete Responses    Remaining        Time
4/13/2010*    0    0    0    2161    launch    12:00
4/14/2010    161    136    25    2025        9:00
4/15/2010    179    152    27    2009        9:00
4/16/2010*    186    159    27    2002    reminder
4/19/2010    285    240    45    1921        9:15
4/20/2010*    295    251    44    1910    reminder    9:53
4/21/2010    359    304    55    1857        10:00
4/22/2010    369    313    56    1848        12:00
4/23/2010*    372    316    56    1845    reminder    9:00
4/26/2010*    432    368    64    1793    reminder    9:54
4/27/2010    557    467    90    1558    closed    9:13

* = reminder sent

The Sarah Lawrence College Technology Survey 2009-2010

After some tweaks based on feedback after last year’s initial technology survey I launched, what is now, the 2nd Annual Technology Survey at The Sarah Lawrence College using LimeSurvey. If you are in academia and use LimeSurvey please contact me if you are interested in using our survey at your campus.

This year we released the survey to the entire campus in one fell swoop – last year we released it in two phases: students then faculty and staff.

I will be tracking the daily numbers and will post response rates as I did last year.

The important changes/additions include:

  • iPad interest and purchase plans
  • eBook interest
  • eReader interest and purchase plans
  • Microsoft Office ownership, use, and interest in purchasing a discounted copy
  • Open text field asking for suggested uses of any technology for use on- and off-campus. We asked them to think big!
  • Due to the financial standing of the institution no incentive was made available.

Stay tuned.

Syncing a GMail Calendar with Entourage and iCal w/Calgoo

I have read blogs and forums on how to do this but ran into troubles or became frustrated by the instructions.

Background – My primarily calendar is in GMail. All my calendars are caldev’d in iCal. Entourage was recently installed on my work machine meaning I had zero events in its calendar.

Without noting clicks for ‘next’ or other similar buttons Here is the ultra streamlined version…

  1. Open Entourage
    1. in Preferences, Sync Services, click Synchronize events and tasks with iCal and MobileMe
  2. Open iCal and verify that a new calendar called ‘Exchange’ has been created
  3. Open Calgoo
    1. create a new connection,
    2. use the Sync an Apple iCal Calendar with a Google Calendar option,
    3. name the connection — I used: ical 2 gmail,
    4. click iCal, click the box next to Entourage,
    5. enter your GMail user|pass,
    6. select a GMail calendar,
    7. and finish up
  4. Optional – In the Calgoo settings change the Synchronization frequency; it is set to 1 hour by default.
  5. In iCal, un-check the Entourage calendar so it is not displayed

If you run into any troubles with these steps please post a comment below.

Voila. Your GMail, caldev’d iCal, and Entourage calendars will sync every xx minutes. Add events in any of the three calendars noted (GMail, caldev’d iCal, Entourage) and you’ll see the new event in all three applications (web, iCal, Entourage) pending the Calgoo Synchronization frequency – I set mine to 10 minutes.

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When will my Gryphon Mail account be deleted?

As graduation approaches Sarah Lawrence students begin asking the question “When will my Gryphon Mail account be deleted?” There are two ways to answer this question.

The short answer is…


The long answer is…

Sarah Lawrence College students (undergraduate and graduate) that complete their degree keep their SLC email for life. There is no need to use it every week, month, year to keep it active as was necessary in the past. Remember, the address is a great tool to use when applying to jobs, sending out your work (writing, music, etc.), reaching out to SLC alum, etc.

Alums that graduated before Gryphon Mail was implemented can claim their Gryphon Mail account here:
Your account is waiting for you.

Please refer to the Help Desk page to read the Gryphon Mail FAQs if you have questions.

Tech Survey – Results Preview

The first SLC Tech Survey ended yesterday morning. Results are in and a review of the responces and questions are underway. While we sort through the data I thought it might be interesting to post some details from the survey.

The total number of complete responses was 548 (1561 students were invited). This means 34.79% of the student body responded to the survey, a huge success.

This time of year is stressful to students because they are working on multiple conference papers – typically 20-30 pages long though sometimes they are shorter and sometimes they are longer. For the past two years Academic Computing and the Help Desk have been sending out notices to students offering suggestions on how they can back-up their work. At every Committee on Student Life Meeting I attend, near the end of each semester, I remind the student body, faculty, and staff present of the amount of free space available in Gryphon Mail. This year it is over 7 GB. It is something I approach the advisory with slight humor and with substantial importance. Based on our practices – email and in person reminders – the student body has listened and taken advantage of Gryphon Mail in ways we could not have predicted. Please see the graph below:

GM backup important files

Click image to enlarge

Your Gryphon Mail account can store over 7GB of emails, documents, and attachments. Do you use your Gryphon email account as a backup of your important files?

Yes, primary backup – 30.02%
Yes, but not my primary backup – 39.23%
No – 28.36%
No answer – 2.39%

Considering the numbers of visits to the Help Desk over the past two years this explains a great deal why fewer and fewer visits have been about lost data due to hard drive failure. Students are using the cloud as a key method to backup their work. More importantly they are using a SLC provided service. Fantastic!

It is often concluded that students are aware of school policies because they have been told and/or they have access to information online, in the student handbook, they can ask a faculty or staff member, etc. We wanted to know if students knew about SLCs email policy regarding official email communication. The numbers obtained were very surprising to some. Please see the graph below:

Click image to enlarge

Click image to enlarge

You are responsible for reading all emais sent to your SLC email account from SLC administrative offices. Were you aware of this policy?

Yes – 41.80%
No – 58.20%
No answer – 0.00%

Since we have only begun a review of the data we have not discussed how, other than presenting the information in a survey, students can be informed/reminded of policies. I’m sure ideas will come about in future discussions.

A full report will be posted on MySLC in the near future.