Grossmont College Technology Plan 2007-2010.

Technology

Instructional Computing Services

Instructional Computing Services (ICS), a department within the Learning and Technology Resources Division, provides campus-wide support in the use of instructional technology. ICS provides technical support in the following areas:

Help Desk

ICS offers a Help Desk that provides on the spot solutions for faculty and staff with applications problems. Problems that may need Network Specialist attention are posted to a task list. The task list is prioritized accordingly. ICS also helps to coordinate lab rollovers and the distribution of rollover computers to faculty offices. The Help Desk also supports faculty dial-up access, office computer configuration, and software installations. The Dean of Learning and Technology Resources advises and approves the purchase of hardware, software and peripherals.

Faculty and Staff Computers

Most faculty and staff members receive computers from the lab rollovers. In the absence of rollover computers, departments may choose to purchase computers from departmental budgets. An inventory of faculty and staff computers is kept up to date and provides prioritization of computer distribution when rollover computers become available. Departments should check with ICS before purchasing new computers in the event rollover machines are available.

Learning Centers

The Network Specialists provide technical support to all the learning centers on campus including areas that incorporate technology in the curriculum. Support includes lab computer configurations, access to network printing, installation of hardware and software and troubleshooting hardware problems. In addition, five Learning Assistance Center Specialists are employed by the Learning and Technology Resource division to help maintain the Math Study Center, English Writing Center, CSIS labs, Tech Mall, and the Tutoring Center.

The Technology Mall

The Tech Mall is the only general lab on campus and is part of the Learning and Technology Resources Division. It houses 178 computers including 12 which are ADA equipped with adjustable desktops and/or specialized software. Students may access for word processing, tutorials, email, chat and graphic programs. There are 5 pay printer stations. Trained tutors are available to assist students with the software.

The Instructional Computing Committee has always advocated that as funds become available by the College for technology the learning assistance centers are to be a top priority. In addition, the State Chancellor’s Office issued guidelines that recommends student use labs turnover after a life cycle of three years.

Lab Rollovers

For the past five years, we have adhered to a lab rollover schedule. This schedule has helped the College stay current with technology. The lab rollover schedule for 2003-2010 is contained in Table 1. In order to develop the schedule, Instructional Computing Services, with the cooperation of the faculty coordinator of each lab, has considered instructional needs, the age of the equipment, the number of software applications to be installed, the sophistication of the software, and the hardware configuration necessary for student access. There are 29 identified Learning Centers. Each year, depending on funding, five or six labs will be turned over.

In addition to a lab rollover schedule, a software review request and a software installation request schedule for labs have been developed (Tables 2 and 3). This schedule allows for the timely testing and installation of software needed for instruction within each of the Learning Assistance Centers. As most lab rollovers are done between semesters careful planning must be done. Hence, in order to complete the numerous tasks that are required at the beginning of each semester, departments that miss the deadline for requests will be put on a "first come, first served" basis. Late installations will be scheduled after the second week of classes.

Description

ICS has been striving to maintain a high standard of service to the faculty and staff. Because we provide support and assistance, we recognize the need to stay on top of technology. It is our goal to consistently serve and help the faculty and staff so they can serve the students.

To that end goal in mind, ICS operates a server room which houses 16 servers, numerous network switches, UPS units, central phone system with voicemail, and other phone and network equipment and accessories. We anticipate that more servers will be put in the server room over the course of next few months and years. The rapid growth in the number of servers as well the changes in technology and weather patterns (global warming) present a challenge in the coming years. The thermal characteristics of new servers are pushing the envelope and adding more and more of these new servers to our existing server room puts increased strain on the current air cooling system in the room. A new Environmental Management System for the server room is going to be a requirement in the days ahead.

The current trend in web, video and graphic applications means faster network speed as users need to access gigs of data. We anticipate bigger and faster storage systems, as well as faster network infrastructure over the next three years. More complex software and utilities will come out to challenge us and we need to be ready.

To meet the ever-changing technology trends, ICS personnel will engage in training by self study as well as classroom-based study. One of our goals is to constantly improve our support and assistance to the faculty and staff. To that end, we will train ourselves in international standards of network administration.

Curriculum Impact

Due to the explosive growth in web, video and graphics applications, we can only imagine the impact on our network infrastructure in the next three years. There will be more users going online to publish and retrieve information and the bandwidth and speed of our network must be able to scale up to meet the coming demands. Bigger and faster storage system will be necessary to serve the needs of our users.

Approximate Number of Students Served

With TechMall, ICS serves 100% of students enrolled in Grossmont College. TechMall alone houses 178 computers that students may access for word processing, number crunching, tutorials, email, chat, graphic and animation programs. There are 5 pay printer stations. In addition, there are 12 ADA stations equipped with adjustable desktops and/or specialized software. Since the opening of Grossmont Science Building and Grossmont Digital Arts Building, additional PC’s and Macintosh computers have come online as well. We anticipate an increase in the number of students who may access computers and network resources we provide.

Support Impact

Due to the addition of two new buildings as well as more complex systems coming online, we anticipate more technical and personnel support will be needed in the future.

Year 1 (2007-2008)

Objective

Our initial goal is to address the basic infrastructure shortcoming in the area of Environmental Management System. Our existing air cooling HVAC system has proven to be inadequate and is becoming obsolete technologically. Because environment control is such a critical and fundamental area, we must start by evaluating and analyzing our current situation in Year 1.

Another goal is to continue training to meet the international standard of network and system administration through self study and classroom based study.

Lab Specialist will need to upgrade their computers from current P4 1.6Ghz to the newer Core2Duo-based PC’s to run more demanding applications such as Office 2007 and Vista.

Finally, we must plan for Vista/Longhorn (new windows server technologies) implementation campus-wide. Since the beginning of January 2007, new computers will, by default, come pre-installed with Vista, Microsoft’s new Windows Operating System. Vista is a great departure from Windows 2000 and XP with its emphasis on security and reliability. Most of our existing scripts have to be re-written not only to take advantage of new Vista features, but to run at all. Training, as stated above, is one way to plan for Vista at this stage.

Action to Meet Objective

We will need to purchase new computers for Lab Specialists to replace their aging computers.

We will need to purchase a color Multi-Function Printer with fax, scan, copy and print capability to enhance our communication and response to faculty and staff.

We will need to purchase various computer, network equipment and accessories to improve support and assistance to faculty and staff.

We anticipate no further support personnel needs at this point.

Year 2 (2008-2009)

Objective

With data gathered from evaluation and analysis of our server room environment, we expect to finalize on an Environmental Management System that will meet or exceed our need at this point as well as in the next three years.

We will start deploying Vista as default desktop operating system campus-wide.

We will continue training to meet the evolving international standards of network administration.

Action to Meet Objective

We will need to purchase an Environmental Management System, which will greatly save energy cost as well as increase efficiency and longevity of existing computer network hardware in the server room. It will ensure that new servers and other network equipment may be added to our existing network infrastructure without breaking HVAC and thermal envelope.

We will need to purchase various computer, network equipment and accessories to improve support and assistance to faculty and staff.

We anticipate no further support personnel needs at this point.

Year 3 (2009-2010)

Objective

We will fine-tune and adjust for growth in the server room by monitoring the new Environmental Management System.

We will start deploying Longhorn (new Windows Server).

We will continue training to meet the evolving international standards of network administration.

Action to Meet Objective

We will need to purchase various computer, network equipment and accessories to improve support and assistance to faculty and staff.

We anticipate no further support personnel needs at this point.


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