September 28, 2017 | University Life

Logo, Ed Tech News and image of circuitsBy Philip Pecorino

Welcome back to a new academic year!

CUNY Computer Information Systems spent a busy summer, advancing CUNY’s Educational Technologies and its infrastructure of support for faculty.

A Single Sign On
Have you ever wished you had just one password to remember?   Over the summer, CUNY got closer to achieving that goal!  Faculty can now log in to Blackboard, DegreeWorks, and FACTS using their CUNYfirst username followed by and their CUNYfirst password.   After an (expected) slow start, the number of successful logins is at least 85% and rising as people learn of the new protocol.  Soon, perhaps by the end of this fall, faculty will also be able to use their CUNYfirst password to access VIRTUAL BOOKSTORE and CUNYSTART.

Not only is it now possible to enter programs with the single login, but there is also no longer any need to open a new browser to consult a second program, as with the combination of CUNYfirst and Degree Works. Soon it is hoped that the “time out feature” will also be synchronized—another boon to faculty engaged in advisement.

Virtual Bookstore
There are now 12 colleges that are using the virtual bookstore service operated by Akademos and linked to the CUNYfirst information:  Brooklyn College, City College, Hostos Community College, Hunter College, School of Medicine, Guttman Community College, Graduate School of Public Health, and York College, John Jay College, Medgar Evers College, Queens College and the CUNY School of Law.  More CUNY institutions are expected to join as their current legal obligations expire.

CUNY Fiber Network Expansion Completed.
The CUNY Fiber Network now reaches all CUNY colleges with the addition of Kingsborough Community College in July providing all with a redundant high-speed Internet access at 20 Gigabits per second (Gbps)—a twenty-fold increase over the prior average.

CUNYfirst Down Time lessened
After current planned maintenance efforts are completed the down time for CUNYfirst should be lessened.

CUNYfirst Network Connectivity Upgrades.
A second fiber optic circuit was added between CUNY and the CUNYfirst hosting service which, afer some adjustments by the provider, will result in a ten-fold increase in available network bandwidth between CUNY and CUNYfirst with expected performance improvement, especially during peak CUNYfirst usage.

Cyber Security Month
National Cyber Security month is here and CUNY community will receive helpful messages each week.

Online Education at CUNY
The search process for a single vendor to offer a menu of services to all CUNY units is now complete. After contractual issues are resolved the proposal should go to the Board of Trustees and all of CUNY’s campuses will be able to use the support offered by this vendor to develop and grow their online degree programs.

The CUNY Council of Academic Officers has taken up issues related to online instruction.

The CUNY Committee on Academic Technology is forming a subcommittee on Online Instruction to serve in an advisory capacity to CUNY.

The Professional Staff Congress and CUNY will establish a Labor Management Committee that will address online classroom teaching observations and any modifications of current contractual language that online education might require.

Ed Tech News is a UFS Blog series on educational technologies of interest to CUNY faculty. Colleagues are invited to weigh in.

Philip Pecorino is Professor of Philosophy at Queensborough Community College and serves on the UFS Executive Committee.

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