UMass Lowell Information Technology has identified an issue in the vLabs virtual computer lab environment where a client may disconnect and the session will be terminated without warning. In consultation with both VMware and Microsoft, we are currently working on a solution and will be rolling out a fix to remedy the issue over the next 24 to 48 hours. In the meantime, it is advisable to frequently save your work to a USB flash drive when using vLabs.
As of April 8, 2014 Microsoft will discontinue all support for its 12-year-old Windows XP operating system, including security updates (http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/lifecycle). This poses an information security risk.
By June 30, 2014, all computers on campus running Windows XP need to be updated or removed from the campus network.
IT has identified 225 computers running Windows XP, but there are likely more.
Of greatest concern are the computers that require Windows XP due to hardware compatibility or legacy application dependencies that need to be connected to the internet. If they do need internet connectivity, departments need to work with IT to develop alternate security measures to mitigate any security risk.
The remaining outdated XP computers need to be upgraded to Windows 7 or swapped out with ‘reclaimed’ machines running Windows 7.
If you have a computer in your department running Windows XP, please contact the IT Help Center at 978-934-4357. Or go tohttp://helpdesk.uml.edu, and login with your UMass Lowell credentials. Select “IT Issue”, then select “Windows XP Upgrade.”
After significant research and testing, the IT Network group has fixed the issue which caused some older model PlayStation 3 game consoles from seeing the wired and wireless network. All residential students using PS3’s should now be able to connect to the wired and wireless network.
‘ Click here for information on connecting a game console to the wireless network
‘ Click here for information on using a game console in a LAN party
Details (for those who are interested): The affected older model PS3’s use a single set of circuitry for both wired and wireless network connections. It appears that these network interfaces are not following all of the industry standards in terms of wireless signals, specifically the quantity of ‘management’ signals which pass over modern Enterprise-grade wireless networks (such as the one in use at UMass Lowell, although we have found other organizations that have had similar issues). We discovered that the network circuitry (wired and wireless) on these PS3 systems was essentially shutting down as a result of what it interpreted as bad wireless information or too much wireless data. This behavior is highly unusual ‘ no other devices have ever had a problem ‘seeing’ our networks. We disabled a specific management-communication function on our wireless network and this appears to have resolved the issue. Caveat: we may need to re-enable this function at some future time, which may cause the issue again. If this happens, we will communicate the change.
If you have any questions, please contact the University Help Desk or Resident Technical Services (ResTec) in the following manner:
Lydon Library, first floor, 8:30a ‘ 5:00p (M-F)
O’Leary Library, first floor, 10:00a ‘ 4:00p (M-F)
University Crossing, Mezzanine Level, 8:30a ‘ 5:00p (M-F)
For students in residence halls: ResTec@uml.eduor 978-934-5027, 4:00p-10:00p, (Su-Th)
Steve Hall, Director of Networking Services
You’re a college student at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. You just sat through a lecture and know you missed some valuable points. No worries. The session was recorded through Echo360, a lecture capturing tool. In fact, lecture capture at the UMASS Lowell campus continues to expand and has become a mainstream resource for students and faculty.
What started as a resource in one lecture hall to facilitate student achievement in Calculus 1, during the Spring of 2005, has developed into an infrastructure currently installed in over 50% of the classrooms on campus. This semester, 80 classrooms are equipped with the Echo360 lecture capture appliances, and are used by over 100 faculty in 130+ course offerings. Additionally, 75 faculty have installed Personal Capture (PCAP), a software based recording tool, on their personal computers, to facilitate learning module recordings without the need of classroom technology.
Over the past nine years, growth of the system was achieved by including faculty in the process of expansion. Departmental meetings were attended by IT staff to highlight the benefits of the technology for both students and faculty. As more hardware was deployed on campus, yearly student surveys were conducted to determine student usage, satisfaction, and how use of the resource affected their performance in recorded courses. Survey results indicated high student usage, satisfaction, and the desire for expansion. The Executive Team at UMASS Lowell expanded funding for the project and growth has continued each year. ‘College Deans were excited about the system,’ says Michael Lucas, Director of Instructional Technology Services at UML. ‘They acted as project champions during the funding request process to the Executive Team.’
Grant funding was secured from the lecture capture provider, Echo360, and a seed grant project was created to help faculty use recording tools in their course delivery. Grant topics included ‘flipped classrooms’, assessment of student performance, student usage characteristics, and developing blended offerings. 12 grant winners from UMASS Lowell shared their experience during an Echo360 grant recipient luncheon at the conclusion of the funding period. ‘Faculty were once hesitant in adopting lecture capture,’ says Randy Tyndall, Instructional Technologist. ‘Now they are actively contacting our office to schedule their course recordings and many have begun creating their own laptop recordings for a flipped classroom approach.’
Senior UML students now have had the opportunity to use this resource for their entire college career and are comfortable with the system. Usage numbers continue to grow as more faculty use this as a staple in their course delivery. For the past four academic years, usage numbers have increased by at least 10% per year. Fall 2013 statistics indicate an increase of nearly 45% from Fall 2012 (45,000 views in Fall 2012 compared to 67,000 in Fall 2013).
The UMASS President’s office, along with each of the UMASS campuses, has collaborated on a system-wide licensing agreement with Echo360. This new agreement allows for discounted pricing for each campus, lower hardware costs, and a unified capture platform across the system. Future steps may include a centralized storage and distribution infrastructure, which will increase potential savings.
By the Numbers ‘ 2013 Academic Year at a Glance
103,000 student views
220 full course recordings
4000 views per week
570 views per day
Peak usage: Between 9pm and Midnight
10,500 student views between the hours of Midnight and 6am
Check out Echo360
Thank you for your patience as we work to remedy the issue and stabilize the environment. If you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to contact the UMass Lowell Help Center firstname.lastname@example.org