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OIT makes updates to campus technology

| Tuesday, September 8, 2015

In a world that seems to be making technological progress every day, Notre Dame’s Office of Information Technologies (OIT) works to fulfill its stated mission of providing “effective information technology solutions to advance the University’s mission and goals.” OIT made several updates to its technological services offerings for the 2015-2016 school year, affecting University printers, websites and the ND mobile app.

Katie Rose, OIT senior director of user services, said the new printers across campus and the new computers in classrooms and labs are the most noticeable updates the office made over the summer.

OITGraphic_WEBERIN RICE | The Observer

Rose said OIT ordered new Canon printers for the campus residence halls and computer labs to replace the old Xerox ones, after the University’s contract with Xerox expired.

“The procurement office actually did a request for bids to look for the best deal that the University could get for printing,” Rose said. “And in that process, Canon won out. So that was the primary driver for switching all of the printers out.”

Rose said the Canon printers also provide additional technological services to students.

“We should see better, faster printing with these newer devices,” she said. “Now you can use your ID card to swipe to sign in, instead of having to log in on a release station. And, in addition to that, the printers are all now multifunction devices (MFDs), so you can copy and scan to e-mail as well.”

Rose said although students’ print quotas are now shown in monetary form instead of the old point system, nothing about the University’s print quota system has changed.

“You get the same number of pages that you had before,” she said. “The switch back to using dollars instead of points is because of how the Canon system actually works.”

Rose said OIT also improved some of its existing services over the summer, including the Notre Dame mobile application, Sakai and campus wireless internet coverage.

OIT added new modules to the ND mobile app over the summer that allows students to print, request rides from O’SNAP and view the campus schedule, according to mobileND’s website.

“We’ve added some modules and some adjustments to the Notre Dame mobile app, that will allow [students] to access the modules that students care about a little bit faster,” Rose said. “That way, you don’t have to dig quite so deep into the app. They’re continuing to work on the mobile app and add more modules and more functionality.”

Rose also said OIT made adjustments to Sakai that will allow students to more easily submit group assignments and provide peer reviews in their classes. OIT plans to continue to make improvements to Sakai and other Notre Dame interactive websites over the course of the school year, she said.

“We want to build integrations with Sakai into other applications like Google Apps and e-Portfolio so that you guys have a centralized system to manage your academic work,” Rose said. “We’re also looking at replacements for the InsideND portal so that we can update that and make it a little more mobile friendly.”

Rose said OIT also hopes to make adjustments to the password policy during the fall semester so students could create more secure and easier to remember passwords that would no longer have to be changed every 180 days.

Additionally, OIT is extending its help desk hours, Rose said, to give students more opportunities to get technological support when they need it.

“We’re continuing to build and train the team that’s working there so that you can get even better technical support,” she said. “We’re going to be launching a knowledge base on the web as well that allows you to search for answers to IT questions and find what you need without having to talk to somebody.”

Rose said overall, the OIT staff finds their role at the University to be extremely rewarding.

“I work at a place where the focus of what I do isn’t on a bottom line, it’s on delivering services that enable the University to educate amazing people who go out and do awesome things in this world,” she said. “We can roll out a billion technology services, but if we can’t help everybody make the best use of them and make sure those tools meet everyone’s needs, then we’re not doing our job for the University.”

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About Katie Galioto

Katie, The Observer's former Managing Editor, is a senior majoring in political science, with minors in Business Economics and Journalism, Ethics and Democracy. She's an ex-Walsh Hall resident who now lives off campus and hails from Chanhassen, Minnesota. Follow her on Twitter @katiegalioto.

Contact Katie