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  OIT Home > Committees > ITPG > Meetings > ITPG Meeting Minutes10/26/00
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ITPG Meeting Minutes October 26, 2000


Present: Arlene Allen, Art Battson, Eric Brody, Glenn Davis, Ken Dean, Bill Doering, Paolo Gardinali, George Gregg, Chuck Haines, Phil Handley, Shea Lovan, Tom Marazita, Elise Meyer, Bruce Miller, Alan Moses, Joan Murdoch, Larry Murdock, Stan Nicholson, Glenn Schiferl, Kevin Schmidt, Deborah Scott, Vince Sefcik, Jamie Sonsini, Bob Sugar, Paul Valenzuela, John Vasi

Highlights of the Report from the Wireless Scouting Party (doc) were discussed. The report divides the wireless space into low speed devices and services such as cell phones, modems and CDPD and higher speed services such as those supporting 802.11.

CDPD was seen as having a short life leading to displacement by cell phones. Beyond watching the market for useful devices there isn't much else to do in the low speed category. Higher speed services present more issues for campus discussion. The physical proximity of buildings in which wireless service might be useful (Psychology and Housing) suggests a need for campus wide coordination.

Engineering has also received a grant to implement a wireless test bed. Five access points with up to 120 laptops and access cards will be provided. Research applications suggest spin off to instruction at some point. Security of access will be an issue; policies on access to campus network would still apply, even though connections are wireless. Caltrans also has a project in this area. This project includes the possibility of locating video cameras at the parking kiosks, which would require coordination with campus groups. Who looks at pictures for what purposes could be controversial. It was noted that, "People have strong opinions on unusual things."

At the minimum, we need a clearinghouse to resolve instances in which radio frequencies overlap and services fail. Also, considering who is to have access ahead of implementation might avert possibilities of mischief. Advice on best practices would also be useful. Thus, it was recommended that we assign responsibility to some specific group to review standards and to publish guidelines and technical updates. Further discussion revealed consensus that the OIT is the proper organization to serve as a clearinghouse and to draft guidelines for review by ITPG. Elise offered to convene the people most directly interested to consider the next steps.

The second major topic of discussion was the use of IT in instruction and how ITPG might address needs in this area. To kick off the discussion, a "Matrix of IT Services in Support of Instruction" was distributed, along with "Welcome to Webster," an introduction to an online webspace creation tool supported by Instructional Development. The page from the ITB faculty survey asking which services respondents thought were important to their teaching was also provided.

To begin, it was suggested that a strategy of "raising the floor" of services available to all, while letting those on the cutting edge go forward on their own, might be appropriate.

The "matrix" suggests questions of how best to support the various categories of service. It was noted that, from a faculty perspective, the services might all fall under the general heading of "Putting My Course Information on the Web."

The discussion then turned to commercial products that support various categories of service in the matrix. The question of whether one or more commercial products should be supported centrally was raised. It was noted that evaluation of these products would require a set of campus goals against which we might rate them (e.g., Is it important to have a web page for every course? What IT services are most effective in teaching? Which services are strategically important to UCSB?) To develop the goals, ITPG needs to tell ITB what option are available. ITB might then provide guidance on which to pursue. Secondly, ITPG might contact the Committee on Effective Teaching to ask for their input.

Instructors' need for lists of class members and their email addresses was highlighted. In general, the ability to communicate with students in courses and majors seems to be the most compelling need. Student Affairs has looked at STAR and other technologies for doing this. Deborah Scott requested assistance in defining the requirements. It was noted that daily updates of courses and majors would be necessary.

The assumption that students would receive formal notices via email was questioned. There is a step from "access" to "expectation of use." Faculty seem to take a range of positions on the subject. How to determine the correctness of email addresses in the LDAP directory is an issue.

Another need is for a central registry of all UCSB classes on the web.

One way to extend the list of needs might be to ask the hosting facilities to identify categories of service which are currently causing difficulty.

If items are missing from the matrix, please contact Stan Nicholson.

Those who attended a recent EDUCAUSE conference noted that all of the vendors are building authentication services into their products, many using the standards that we are developing at UCSB. For example, Blackboard supports LDAP. Also, it was noted that faculty surveys done by EDUCAUSE show that the number one use of the web in instruction is linkage to external sources of information.

The discussion then turned to the next item on the agenda, a presentation by Art Battson on the "Classroom Computer Infrastructure." Elements include the network, the computer and the projector. Issues include the variety of equipment currently installed and the need to balance maintenance of what we have against new acquisitions. Art provided a short history of the use of technology in the classroom at UCSB and provided a diagram of the current generation of computer equipped lecterns. Cost of the lecterns ranges from $6K to $10K depending on features. The presentation was for our information in the hopes that ITPG would be supportive of Instructional Resources' requests for funding through their normal channels.

At the conclusion of the meeting we spent a few moments brainstorming the question of what issues ITPG should consider next. The consensus was that the overall level of staffing in support of IT services is most important. It was also noted that all of the ever growing IT services on campus require staff, space, and equipment replacement budgets if they are to be effective.

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