Technology Service Improvements for the 2017-2018 Academic Year

Date: 
Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

Welcome to the 2017-2018 academic year!  Illinois Tech’s Office of Technology Services (OTS) is pleased to share with the university community some highlights of the improvements that were made over the summer to make students’ campus experience even better.


Having now settled in to their campus home-away-from-home, students may have noticed that in collaboration with Residence and Greek Life, OTS expanded the wireless coverage in MSV wings to improve the wireless connections.  Wireless enhancements to Carman Hall will be coming this fall.  OTS also teamed up with Residence and Greek Life to improve cable TV service in the dorms. Besides using a standard cable connection, students can also use any of their mobile devices, desktops or laptops to watch TV while connected to Illinois Tech’s wired and wireless infrastructure.


If any student hasn’t already downloaded HAWKi, Illinois Tech’s mobile application, he/she is going to want to do so even more now.  On August 18 HAWKi 2.0 was released to Google play and the App Store.  HAWKi 2.0 features a brand new user-interface, thanks to the valuable feedback from the Student Government Association’s (SGA’s) Student Technology Advisory Board (TAB).  Students no longer have to put in their passwords multiple times as they move from one application link to another.  The app also has a dashboard that will allow students to track assignments, view grades and notifications, see announcements, and view discussion boards all in one place!


Additional features in the new release include modules for the Academic Resource Center and TutorTrac, which allows students to schedule appointments online for the Academic Resource Center, check visits, review available books, review online discussion forums, and select whiteboard sessions. Students can also access TechNews directly on their mobile device. There is now a link to the Campus Emergency Guide, which provides helpful information on what to do, who to call, where to go, etc. in the event of an emergency, as well as a link to the Public Safety website.  There is also a link to the International Center and a printing link that allows students to release and manage their print jobs from their mobile devices under the new Papercut printing system.

The new Papercut printing system replaces the previous Pharos system and allows for a common printing platform across all of Illinois Tech’s campuses.  One of the major advantages of this new system is the elimination of having to preload a separate printing account when students’ free printing credits run out. The new system works with TechCash, so students will be able to access their TechCash funds when they have used up all of their free printing credits.

To be able to print from a personal laptop with the new printing system, students will need to install a different program than what was used with the now-defunct Pharos printing system.  This new program is available for free to download at http://mcmobile1.otsads.iit.edu:9163/help/client-setup/.  Please note this link is only available when on any Illinois Tech campus and connected to the university’s network.   In addition, as mentioned, print jobs can now be released through the HAWKi app or at http://print.iit.edu; students no longer need to log into a special computer at each printer!


As for classrooms, faculty and students will notice that all of them now have wireless-display connectivity through Crestron AirMedia, which is similar to what has been available in the atrium of the Rettaliata Engineering Center for the past few years.  This technology not only allows authorized users to present their lectures wirelessly; it also allows users to invite students to collaborate by having multiple students present their work simultaneously on the same screen.


In addition, access to PC-lab software has been reduced to just seconds!  OTS’s Virtual Computing Lab (VCL) now includes Microsoft Office.  The free-rental laptops available at the Galvin Library Circulation Desk are equipped with all of the PC-lab software for the community’s convenience.


The Galvin Library Circulation Desk is also where students, faculty, and staff can now check out for up to one week Sprint MiFi devices, providing portable Internet service when needed off-campus (in the U.S. only).  A one-week-extension request is available online.

If you were not previously aware, Illinois Tech’s Idea Shop in the Tower basement houses Bird, a finger-attached device, capable of moving projected computer images simply with hand movements, like what Tom Cruise did in the movie Minority Report.  Bird frees users from accessing their PCs or other devices to manipulate those images and allows the presenters to focus on their audiences. It also greatly facilitates collaboration when multiple users wear the devices and manipulate the same image.

The OTS Support Desk and the Chicago-Kent College of Law IT staff have partnered together to expand the Graduate Campus’ Help Desk to support students from Chicago-Kent, Stuart School of Business, and the Institute of Design.  The Help Desk is located in Room 540 and can be reached at 312-906-5300.


On Mies Campus the OTS Support Desk staff are available to offer assistance.  Located on the second floor of Galvin Library, Support Desk staff are there to help if any member of the university community is experiencing technology-based difficulties. The Support Desk can also be reached at supportdesk@iit.edu and 312-567-3375 (on campus x7DESK).  The Support Desk is open 24 hours a day, Monday through Friday, Saturday from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM, and Sunday from 12:00 noon to midnight.


The OTS Support Desk would like to remind the Illinois Tech community that Illinois Tech, OTS, and the Support Desk will NEVER send an email or call to ask for your user information or password, claiming, e.g., that your email has reached its limit and your password is required to ensure you can still use your email. If anyone receives a fraudulent email, please report it to the OTS Support Desk.


Finally, earlier this year OTS began meeting biweekly with the SGA’s Student Technology Advisory Board.  As mentioned, TAB’s input was invaluable to the improvement in the HAWKi 2.0 app. This relationship offers students the ability to directly address OTS leadership with their technology concerns that impact their student experience at Illinois Tech; at the same time it offers OTS a forum to communicate its new technology initiatives to the student community.  There will be an OTS-TAB Technology Town Hall Meeting on Wednesday, September 13 from 12:30-2:00 PM in the McCormick Tribune Campus Center (MTCC) ballroom, wherein topics are slated to include: an Illinois Tech Technology Roadmap presentation from the Vice Provost and CIO; an overview from each OTS departmental leader on his area and how his team’s work impacts students; and an open forum for students to ask questions.  We hope to see you there!