Blackboard Mobile (No longer free as of 9/10/2012)
During the past year, Blackboard Mobile access has been available to faculty, students and staff on smartphones, iPhones, iPad and other mobile devises. UNMC used the free version which allowed these devices to access Blackboard via ethernet connectivity. As of 9/10/2012, Blackboard is no longer offering the free option as their contract with Sprint expires. Institutions have the option of paying a significant annual fee for the whole campus or allow individuals to purchase and use the tool. UNMC is currently opting for the individual option, which will cost ($2.00 per year per user) or $6.00 per use for a perpetual license. Individuals can purchase this through either the Apple store or Droid store accessible via their portable devices. As of August 1, twelve hundred UNMC individuals had downloaded the current Mobile App.
Notable new features of Blackboard Mobile
- Audience Response: The current Blackboard Mobile can be used to provide audience response during classes and educational sessions by using the survey and test capabilities of Blackboard.
- Testing: Blackboard tests and surveys can be taken using Blackboard Mobile. Basic question types including multiple choice and text response can be used.
- Notification: New push notification capabilities have been added to both the main Blackboard system which allow notification to mobile devices via text messaging as well as email. and the main Blackboard system which allow notification to mobile devices via text messaging as well as email.
Printing Changes – More than 500 pages a semester now will cost five cents per page for those pages printed beyond 500 page limit.
Beginning with the Fall semester, student printing has been changed to allow each student 500 pages of printing per semester. If a student needs to print more than 500 pages, a student can purchase additional pages at a rate of $.05 per page with a minimum purchase of an additional 100 pages for $5.00. Larger numbers can be purchased if the student wants more pages. This change is being made to more equitably provision student printing. The relatively few students who need to print large numbers of pages during the year will pay for the extra pages that they need and the majority of students can still print a limited number of pages during the year.
To check how much printing you have done and how much you can still print, you can look at the print icon in the bottom right of the screen. There is an icon there that displays your current print pages and amount available. The picture below shows you what you will see for your campus id. Click on the double up arrows and then select the print application.
SAS for Students
Students can now purchase SAS statistical software using a credit card ($25). Once payment is received, information will be provided on how to access the software. The link can be found on the main ITS page “Student Resources” and under “Software Downloads” on the quick links.
New computers and Updates
During the 2012 summer, computers were upgraded in Sorrell 1010 (72 computers) and the Sorrell interaction rooms (22 computers). The 2 printers in the Sorrell cluster were equipped with new, high-speed units. Instructor workstations were also replaced in Sorrell 1010, 1012, 4053. Of particular note for students is the replacement of computers in the Student Life Center computer cluster. These units are new, low-cost thin client computers (minimal workstations that run software on an external server). These computers provide for easier updating and addition of software and can provide even more power than traditional workstations do. They also reduce the cost and energy consumption of the individual workstations. ITS is interested in how these are working for students, if you have any comments please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other Notable General Updates and Upgrades of Educational Technology
- New Echo360 version installed providing enhanced recording capabilities and hd quality capabilities. Includes the capability to bookmark points in lectures and the ability to live stream in rooms that have the new HD Recording units installed (UNMC is gradually deploying these units in classrooms during this academic year).