Duke ITAC - July 20, 2006 Minutes

DUKE ITAC - July 20, 2006 Minutes


July 20, 2006

Members present : Attendance list not available.


Start time : 4:06

I. Review of Minutes and Announcements:

  • Minutes: Ginny Cake had the following changes to the minutes from the June 8, 2006, meeting:

    II. Messaging & event notification and paging update - Ginny Cake

    Ginny Cake: Duke recently implemented a new paging infrastructure and call structure for the health system. Previously they were on different paging infrastructures and call handling systems, and the goal was to bring them all under one umbrella. That was successful, and we had two major cutovers: one for call handling, and one for the actual infrastructure of antennas, transmitters, etc. Wide-area paging is vendored-out to USA Mobility. We weren’t able to get a vendor to do the local paging because they couldn’t meet out demands for through-put for emergency code paging. Now, the local infrastructure for Code paging operates the same within Durham Regional and Duke Hospital; Duke Health Raleigh elected not to install a local infrastructure, and will remain using their overhead paging system for code calls.

    One advantage of the new call handling system (vendor is Amcom) was an additional software module, eNotify. eNotify allows people to send a message to multiple devices, not just pagers. A message can go to a cell phone, land-line telephone, or e-mail. We’re doing a pilot of eNotify to see where it works best in the Duke environment. Two pilots are currently in the planning stage: one is for emergency and severe weather notification and we’re meeting with a functional team and working out the details; the other is working with DHTS to assist with notifying people where major systems are experiencing major problems or outages.

    This is probably one of larger and more intense projects I’ve been involved with at Duke. Ninety-six people touched this project from OIT, Duke Hospital, Durham Regional, and Duke Health Raleigh. It has been a major undertaking, but I’m pleased with the outcome. The new system has been up and running for almost two weeks and it’s working great.

    John Board: Was there system down time?

    Ginny Cake: We did the cut-over in phases so down time was very minimal. The only true outage was 15 minutes at Durham Regional during which they had to use the overhead paging system for code calls.

  • John Board opened the meeting, commenting that this was the first time in ITAC history we’ve had a six-week hiatus.

  • Announced the shutting down of the Token Ring network on July 31. We loved it when it first came in and we’re glad to see it go. It certainly got us started and it’s now well past its prime.

  • John Board introduced Michael Goodman, the new IT manager at Pratt, who’s been here about a month, and Mark Phillips, director of IT auditing in the Internal Audit department.

  • John Board announced that Greg McCarthy, a stalwart member of ITAC, will begin a job at Yale on Sept. 1. ITAC will miss his service and his pressure on us to keep our facilities state of the art.

II. Mobile content at Fuqua – Nevin Fouts and Matthew Duckworth

Nevin Fouts noted that getting this up and running has been a tremendous team effort, with a number of staff at Duke working with Apple to get it done.
Why are we interested in mobile content? For the marketing value of having mobile content available for public consumption and for prospective students and faculty and research.

Nevin Fouts shows slides of the portal that’s powered by iTunes U.
In phase 2 will be talking with Apple during ongoing visit about having the learning content on an intranet.

Matthew Duckworth gave a slide presentation.
Phase 1 is a publicly accessible iTunes site administered at Fuqua. The team was Matt, Jess Mitchell of OIT, Adam Finley at Apple and Brian Williams at Fuqua, who helped put together content (115 tracks, audio and visual), and Tom Dominick, who’s the Fuqua webmaster.
Phase 2 is an authenticated site to provide private locations for Fuqua constituents – alumni, MBA students, executive education, incoming students, etc.  

Question: What are you trying to achieve by attaching rights management?
Nevin Fouts – I think the key thing is, if we’re providing something, they’re paying for that. Another reason is faculty might not want their content shared at will.

John Board – What’s the main value of using iTunes as opposed to MP3?
Nevin Fouts – Apple is very popular, it’s very easy to use, and it doesn’t have to be an iPod.

Tracy Futhey – So your goal is to have people be able to use it on their MP3 player?
Nevin Fouts – Yes, and we’ll make sure people know they don’t have to use an iPod.

Lynne O’Brien – What was the process for getting clearance from speakers?
Matthew Duckworth – Students just e-mailed speakers and asked and the speakers just e-mailed back saying “that’s great” or “we’d like to see the program before it’s put out there.” Of about 30 submissions, about 25 came back by e-mail in a couple of days.

Question: Now that you’re building all this content, what sort of processes in place to review it or to archive it to make it accessible?
Nevin Fouts: We’re anticipating that there’s going to be a need for some administrative roles to take care of that.

Question: As you consider protecting the content, would that include turning off the ability to burn it.
Matthew Duckworth – As I understand it, that’s part of iTunes, we can’t do anything about that.
Nevin Fouts – We’re more interested in those abilities with phase 2. With phase 1 it wouldn’t matter.

Tracy Futhey – As far as the 2,100 hits in the first few weeks, did you have a target?
Matthew Duckworth – Nope, no target.

III. Observations by Bob Johnson, the new director of Communication Infrastructure in OIT

Bob Johnson – My initial impressions are positive.
My job is oversight of the major communications infrastructure, voice networks and data networks. Has worked at four universities, including Dartmouth.
Just the sheer fact that there are this many people at a summer ITAC meeting is good. At Dartmouth, central computing staff were the ones who were pushing technology into the community. My initial impression at Duke is how much push we are getting from the community to advance the technology. And that essentially OIT was a bottleneck. He’s pushing to build an infrastructure that will facilitate technology for the university.
I’ve been lucky to be living in a bunker since I got here – no one knows my name or phone number. But here’s my contact info: e-mail is RLJ33@duke.edu; phone number is 668-1762 for anyone who wants to contact me.
I look forward to working here, it shows a lot of promise. We can work together. We don’t need to own it. It doesn’t have to be an OIT agenda.

IV. Discussion of Tablet PC grant project by Lisa Huettel of Pratt’s Electrical and Computer Engineering department

Lisa Huettel – Last fall got grant from HP for 21 tablet PCs and some accessories, including a storage cart and batteries. When we proposed the project to HP the idea was to coordinate it with curriculum revisions, so we tied to to ECE 27 since it was new class being developed and we thought it was a nice opportunity to incorporate some new uses of technology.
Just recently we were awarded a follow-up grant for 42 more tablets. The proposal was that we had a successful pilot in the spring and now would like to expand it throughout the engineering school. Next spring the plan is to have it in all four Pratt schools.
ECE 27 is a new intro course. It had 20 students. I taught it. One of things we were trying to do – where the tablets fit in – was in bridging the gap between the lab component and the lecture component. We wanted to integrate the two better. Each student was assigned a tablet for a particular semester, but they couldn’t take it out of the lab. They came into the classroom and got their tablet off the cart. They got the routine down pretty easily.
One of biggest headaches was managing the location of the tablets between the two buildings where the lab and the lecture classroom are. We had to roll the cart back and forth. We used tablets in the lab and in class.
A program called Classroom Presenter allows instructors to create slides in PowerPoint and provide slides to students. Broadcasting the slides was a challenge because of the size of the files. We got around that by posting files to Blackboard, then students could download them. I could put slides on screen and students had them on their tablets. I could write on the screen and they could see it. They could make their own notes. A number of students said they liked having their annotated slides from the lecture in the lab.

Robert Wolpert – Can students take the files on this and read them on their own computers?
 Lisa Huettel – Classroom Presenter is free, so they could do that.  
John Board – They had to FTP them to read them somewhere else.

Robert Wolpert – What about keeping the tablets charged?
Lisa Huettel – The storage cart was powered so charging wasn’t an issue. We had a lab manager and a student who was in charge of getting the tablets where they needed to go.

Lisa Huettel – One of the best features is that not only can students get the slides I’ve prepared, but we also can do in-class problem solving. I can show problem, give students time to work on it, then they submit their work to me.
Lisa Huettel showed an example of how she could see students’ work.
Once I have all of their submissions I can choose which ones I want to publicly display and have a discussion based on correct or incorrect activities.
It really changed the class. The students really paid attention in class because they knew they’d have to solve a problem. I think this was one of the best things.
I can take one of their submissions and address what’s wrong and mark it up.

Kyle Johnson – When it’s marked up, is that available for all students to see?
Lisa Huettel – I can save files and make them available if I want.

Molly Tamarkin – This was for a new class. In the fall it’ll be for one you’ve already taught. It’ll be interesting to see how this transfers in terms of grades.
Lisa Huettel – We will be looking at how it impacts grades.

Robert Wolpert – In six months we will want you back to talk about what happened. What about the amount of additional preparation for the second time you teach a class as compared to the time and focus needed for any type of teaching. If it turns out there’s an overwhelming amount of time and trouble, you’ll have trouble convincing your colleagues.
Lisa Huettel – I was worried about that. For the first couple of lectures I tried to create Powerpoint slides, but I found it wasn’t my style. I found a hybrid – I had a classroom with a screen and a chalkboard and I went back and forth. I was concerned about transitions, but it went quite smoothly.
There’s a continuum there, you don’t have to prepare beautiful Powerpoint slides for every lecture. You can actually go there with a blank screen. The additional time comes in thinking about, What do I want these additional activities to be, what do I want to engage the students in. I’m hoping the fall will be easier because I’ve taught the class before.

Kyle Johnson – Will you have 20 students next time?
Lisa Huettel – We will have 40 students each in two different classes. It won’t be 1-to-1 ratio because we don’t have enough tablets, so there are questions about refreshing them. We are working on how to do that.

Tracy Futhey – Some of what you’ve described here is more sophisticated method of what people do with clicker system.
Lisa Huettel – I’ve never used a clicker system. This is not all problem-solving. Sometimes I had people doing a minute paper. So it’s similar.

Julian Lombardi – Ease of input is one thing, but significantly a lot has to do with enablement of collaboration. What are your views of the relative value of each of them?
Lisa Huettel – The ease of input is critical, especially in engineering. Sometime I had students graph things. Collaboration of students in class or sharing it with me – through the semester we had trouble with exchanging slides. They could download slides from Blackboard, but they couldn’t reliably send slides to me. But it was still beneficial, even if it was just sitting with a neighbor and working on a problem. I’m not sure of relative weight of them, but they were both beneficial.

Robert Wolpert – To what extent is it necessary that they be almost identical machines?
John Board – We were doing nothing that relies on hardware idiosyncracies on the machine. It wouldn’t have to be a specific-model PC.
Could it be different models, speeds, hardware, etc.?
John Board – I would be worried about doing lab-critical things with student-owned tablets if we did not install the software.

Lisa Huettel – Students used the tablets as lab notebooks; and they could capture wave forms from the equipment and import them into their notebook and incorporate lab data. Then students could use tablets to interface with robots, follow robots to see what their sensors were reading, all data was on the tablet which they had in classroom so they could pull up their data and look at that.

Robert Wolpert – Tablets weigh a lot. Is that a problem?
Lisa Huettel – There are different levels of appropriateness for different labs. Here everything was on a tablet, you could carry it around the room. You couldn’t read your sensor data with your notebook and pencil. That’s one thing. It could be done with your laptop. The tablet is not the answer for everything.

John Board – The biggest challenge this year is going from personal machines to not-personal machines. They’ll have to remember to transfer their files. We think they’ll learn quickly.

Lisa Huettel – Feedback from students, we surveyed the students. Fifteen responded, 100% said the tablets enhanced the lab experience and 90% said it helped the classroom experience. They all used it for class notes, lab notes, classroom activities. When ranked the uses were spread out – students liked it for different reasons.

John Board – One note: The first class is usually hard for students to give good ratings. This class and the instructor both got high ratings. We are not going to lose any of those students in their sophomore years.

Lisa Huettel – Word of mouth has been good.

Tracy Futhey – It might be interesting to ask students if a tablet PC was what you were recommended to buy, would you have been accepting of that model.
Lisa Huettel – Informal feedback was that they liked it but if they were buying a computer they would not buy one. A few already had tablets.

Lynne O’Brien – If you are going to use them in classes you have taught before, are you really teaching the same class or do the curricular changes you’re making make it a different class?
Lisa Huettel – Even with the changes made, it’s pretty stable. It was part of curriculum revision and was taught last fall. The change this fall will be the delivery and how the tablets are used.

V. – First impressions from Kevin Smith, new scholarly communications officer

Kevin Smith – Here’s some background, I come from a varied career. My original work was in theology, then I got a library degree, I worked in a seminary library and a library in colleges smaller than Duke. I became interested in issues of intellectual property law, went to law school, got a degree and was admitted to the bar in Ohio.
For the first six weeks I’ve been doing many different things, so I can’t tell you what my job is. There’s been a lot of consultation with people working on projects, usually IT projects, about working with other people’s research and protecting their own property. I’m working with CIT to develop guidelines.
I’m also working a little bit on developing educational resources. That’s a slower process.
I’m also involved in Responsible Conduct of Research program for grad students.
I’ve been looking into alternate forms of publication. One faculty member asked about ways to license a digital publication. I’m involved with the beginning of a project for the electronic submission of dissertations.
Also I’m involved with the library, helping tweak some things regarding copyright law, and helping other schools with policy.
Other things I’m involved in include being aware of and talking about legislation and policy decisions, and getting involved with the office of federal relations and the center for the study of the public domain.
Also watching the net neutrality issue and whether it will get added to legislation and if so, in what format.
So I’ll have to wait and see how all that will shake out before I can tell you what a scholarly communications officer does.
One thing I want to note, I’m not a copyright cop whose job is to come in and say, no, you can’t do that. I do see the role as to help facilitate things and keep them rolling forward.

John Board – Have you been in touch with Chris Cramer?
Kevin Smith – Yes. Chris has a different authority. He can just turn things off.

Question: Where are you?
Kevin Smith – My office is in the library administrative offices.

Molly Tamarkin – Are there more problems with people being unaware of the law or the law not really addressing the technology and the situations that people are in?
Kevin Smith – Yes. Technology is moving so quickly and the law needs to keep up. It’s a challenge. The fiction among copyright lawyers is that copyright law is neutral. But people who are developing technology have the ability to educate people about the technology and what it’s capable of.

Julian – How do you view your role? 
Kevin Smith – I hope that my background in academia will make me an effective advocate not only from a legal point of view but also from a pedagogical point of view.

Tracy Futhey – What we have now is “less fair use.” I’d like to plant the idea the Duke is a kind of place where we could bring some pressure on that issue beyond the campus borders.
Kevin Smith – Fair use just can’t keep up with technology. We need something better. That often means legislation, but I disagree because that usually means more restriction.
The Fair Use Act gets reviewed every year and they talk about all kinds of exceptions to build into encryption. Now they say one exception should be in cases of fair use. People don’t like that because fair use isn’t defined until a judge says what it is.

VI. Arts & Sciences Server Rooms

Molly Tomarkin – Got the idea for a survey of server rooms in May when the main server room overheated. I first noted the window air conditioner. Also, Hunter Matthews in biology was talking about the need to renovate their server room. So we pulled together a server room committee.

Jimmy Dorff and Hunter Matthews visited server rooms in all the A&S buildings and rated them on a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the best and 1 the worst. Looked at space, cooling, other conditions.
None of the rooms were state-of-the art in terms of environmental monitoring, so took that criterium out. They also had little in the way of fire suppression capabilities.

Hunter Matthews and Jimmy Dorff presented a slide show of the different server rooms, displaying photos and explaining what was good and bad about each room.

Molly Tamarkin – Obviously this is a situation we need to correct. We’re going to make changes in Biology to help offload A&S there. Erwin Mill will be revamped. Then we need to work with OIT to determine where some good facilities are that we can use.
The past process at Duke is for people to just buy servers and sometimes you can run the service without buying a server. We have multiple servers to do something that one can do. We need to get out of the habit of associating a service with a physical box.

John Board requested all ITAC members gather to get a photograph taken.

End time : 5:30