Moving Large Events Online

One person working in SU Ballroom

As we prepared for a gradual return to campus, we looked at how technology could support campus life and student success outside the classroom. SJSU IT has deployed  a virtual event platform to enable larger gatherings online — things like alumni events, benefits fairs, conferences, career fairs, orientation events, open houses, and even courses with live presentations. These kinds of events create a richer college experience for students, drive engagement, and create opportunities. It was important to carry that experience into the hybrid future. The first event held with this new platform will be University Personnel’s Benefits Open Enrollment event in October 2021. You can visit the support page for our Virtual Event Platform on the SJSU IT website.

This kind of platform isn’t useful only for the short term — it supports our strategy of making our university mobile-enabled, with students able to access services when they need them from wherever they are. That kind of flexibility needs to exist for the entire college experience. 

As we return to campus, a hybrid approach to these kinds of events will ease the strain on campus facilities that were overflowed or overbooked pre-pandemic. For example, students who live far away could attend mandatory campus events without having to pay for travel and career fairs can host even more employers with remote sessions. 

Thanks go to Leon Nguyen, Sree Gandikota, and Ravi Alladi working to get this ready this semester.

Best regards,
Bob Lim
Vice President of Information Technology
and CIO at San Jose State University

Building the Hybrid-Enabled Classroom

In coordination with the Office of the Provost, SJSU IT is upgrading a number of larger classrooms across campus with technology to enable hybrid instruction for Fall 2021 semester. The chosen classrooms will be outfitted with in-person streaming equipment, laptop screen capture, live recording, additional monitors, and more. Having technology in the classroom will help our instructors bridge the gap from Zoom to classroom while we transition back to campus. We’re also upgrading existing smart classrooms that haven’t been refreshed in a while.

These upgrades align with our strategy to be future-facing in the shifting world of higher education. Changes in everyday pedagogy are coming, and SJSU IT is building for tomorrow. Once we’re fully returned to campus, these upgraded rooms will add value for years to come. 

Coe Tran, Bruce Kelbert, Tino Cruz, Trevor Florez, and Marco Rodriguez get the thanks for working on these classrooms.

Best regards,
Bob Lim
Vice President of Information Technology
and CIO at San Jose State University

Labs Anywhere, Labs Anytime with DaaS

Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) represents our University’s next generation of computer labs, allowing students to access labs anytime, anyplace. DaaS not only reduces the need for students to be on campus to do lab work, it’s cost effective, flexible, and adaptable. 

The College of Social Sciences debuted their state-of-the-art “Spartan Experimental Economics Lab” DaaS lab dedicated to their rigorous exploration of complex economic and social sciences topics. Similar labs are up and running in the cloud for other colleges, hosting powerful applications like MATLAB, RStudio, JMP Pro, Python, and more. Our virtual solutions team is always excited to build something new for instructors, whatever department they’re from. DaaS labs give students access to computer resources they may not have otherwise, whether that’s in data, systems, or even creative fields. Simply fill out the request form and we’ll reach out to you

DaaS is a big win for our goal to have a mobile campus where students can study and get work done from anywhere at any time. And that’s where we are today. We’re connecting with instructors to find new ways of bringing lab work directly into the classroom. We’re also using DaaS as a secure solution for our staff who work with sensitive or valuable data — these virtual desktops are protected by our campus network. As we progress toward the goals of Transformation 2030, SJSU IT will be working with DaaS more and more to expand remote work, learning, and teaching opportunities. 

Lee Andersen, Tristan Orlino, TG Tran, and Scott Pham have all done great work getting our DaaS program where we are today.

Best regards,
Bob Lim
Vice President of Information Technology
and CIO at San Jose State University

CARES Act Purchases Update

Dear Colleagues,

I want to provide you with an update on the technology equipment we secured through the CARES Act. Firstly, I want to thank SJSU’s academic leadership for helping us identify and define each college’s needs; thanks to them, SJSU IT was able to make more informed equipment purchases.

Vin, Charlie, Patrick, and I reviewed those requests and collaborated to purchase a wide array of general equipment as well as specialized inventory through the CARES Act. All general items that college deans have requested have been approved to order and will be on-hand and ready for the start of the Fall semester. The following have already arrived and are readily available through the SJSU IT equipment loaning service today:

  • Laptops
  • Hotspots
  • Webcams
  • Headsets
  • Tripods
  • Chromebooks

Other items will also be arriving in the next week or two and will be ready through the equipment loaning service as well. In the meantime, we do have extra, should our students need it now. These include:

  • USB Microphones
  • Adjustable Laptop Stands
  • USB Keyboard/Mouse Combos
  • USB Mice
  • Monitors

Team can put in a request by calling 408-924-2888. SJSU IT will manage, track, and distribute general items (laptops, hotspots, mice, etc.) and software licenses so that we can optimize limited resources and maximize utilization. College/unit-specific items, like Wacom Tablets and ProTools licenses, will go to the college/unit that requested it through your college techs. Similar to last semester, we plan to communicate to our students, faculty, and staff about our offerings.

We’ll also work closely with MLK Library so that they have an inventory of general equipment on-hand for students. Big thank you to Christine Mune for being so collaborative in support of our students.

Rather than buying all of the requested items at once, we’ll make an initial purchase, monitor inventory, and purchase more when inventory for an item is below a certain threshold. Due to budget constraints, we want to be sure that we don’t purchase excess inventory.  Therefore, keeping an accurate inventory is critically important to ensure that our students have access to the equipment they need.

Arranging this and getting everything ready in time for Fall start was a huge collaborative effort. I want to make sure that I thank all of the IT staff across the entire campus, both SJSU IT and the distributed IT staff. Without everyone working together and quickly, this wouldn’t be possible for our faculty, students, and staff.  I also want to thank Bruce Gardner, who has been coordinating the effort and helping manage questions from across campus. Lastly, thanks go to Vicky Van Leer, Jewel Rodeo, and Susan Huang, who are working days and nights getting our equipment ready. Jason Ferguson, Sharon Watkins, Brent Jones, Joseph Chou, and our entire IMS Team (Darlene Bargas, Devona Williams, Trevor Wylie, Daniela Zopiyatle, John Hanley, Cameron Myers, Fred Asuncion, Rod Maciel, Andy Yeung, Frank De Fanti, Phil Braverman, Danny Vo, Bruce Kelbert) put in a lot of work to get this ready for Fall. This group deserves our applause. 

You can view our inventory, request equipment, and get more information at http://sjsu.edu/equipmentcheckout. Because of the high demand for laptops, we’re asking folks to email classroom-support@sjsu.edu or call us at (408)-924-2888 to set up an appointment.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me.

Regards,

Bob-

Critical Zoom Updates

Dear SJSU campus community,

As we move into summer and as we’ve mentioned in previous communications, SJSU IT is implementing improvements to Zoom. As usual, we hold off on any changes through finals to minimize any possible disruption for our faculty and students. Both of the items in this email will greatly enhance the security of Zoom for our university and both will impact how you use Zoom.

Authentication with SJSU

Your Zoom meetings have passwords by default, but anyone with the meeting link can still join your Zoom. That’s fine until your link gets shared with a malicious person outside your class or meeting. This is where authentication comes in, providing an additional layer of security on top of using meeting passwords.

Zoom meetings hosted by SJSU users can now require that all attendees be authenticated through SJSU’s single sign-on. Authenticated attendees are individuals who have signed in to Zoom and been verified as valid Zoom users. For SJSU authentication, this means they’ve logged in to Zoom using the SJSU single sign-on portal. SJSU authentication is a great security precaution when everyone in the meeting or class is an SJSU. We’re implementing this setting to enhance security at SJSU. Remember to double-check this setting whenever you schedule a meeting, as different Zoom clients have different default settings.

LEARN MORE

There are a number of cases where you may not need or want to use authentication and may consider changing this setting: classes with a visiting lecturer, meetings with off-campus vendors, or collaborative research discussions with other institutions, to name a few. To read about how to change this setting, please visit our Zoom Authentication website.

This change will go live Thursday, 5/28/2020. Take a moment before then to review our Zoom Authentication website so you’ll know the extra steps you may need to take before joining a class or meeting. It’s also a good idea to give yourself an extra couple minutes before meetings and classes once this change goes live, just in case.

Zoom 5.04

Beginning May 30, Zoom will require everyone to upgrade to the newer version of their client, Zoom 5.04. This new version has a handful of new features, but most importantly it uses a more secure encryption standard.

If you’re using a university machine, then the update will be automatically installed for you. If you’re currently working remotely on a home device, Zoom will notify you of the new version and help you download and install. You can update early by visiting Zoom’s Download Center and downloading and installing the latest Zoom Client for Meetings.

 

You’ll still be able to use Zoom without updating, but it will launch in the web interface. Zoom on the web is much less secure and has a very restricted feature set. That’s why SJSU IT is recommending that everyone update Zoom to this new version.
Student Conduct & Ethical Development
Lastly, I want to let you all know that we will be sending an email to students shortly informing them of our university processes around disciplinary action for Zoom Bombing. SJSU IT and the Office of Student Conduct and Ethical Development have been working closely on the issue of Zoom Bombing. Our university has only had a handful of cases, a testament to the integrity of our student population.
If you have any questions about the updating process or need help, please contact the SJSU IT Service Desk online or at 408-924-1530.
Thank you,
Bob Lim
VP of Information Technology and CIO