Sunken Garden

Technology Task Force

Draft Meeting Notes - June 4, 2015 

Present: Brandon Gainer, Rich Hansen, Cecilia Hui, Sharon Luciw, Joe Moreau, Joan Peña-Ferrick, Jose Rueda; Vanessa Smith (notes) 

Virtual desktop demo

Luciw began by explaining that ETS partnered with the Communications Office at De Anza to create a new logo. She then presented the Virtualized Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) pilot. 

In response to Luciw’s comments, Hui asked what “typical use” means. Luciw explained that is usual faculty and staff use. Hui asked if the virtual desktop is similar to VMWare. Luciw said it is similar, but VMWare is a 1-1 relationship with software installed locally on the computer. VDI information is on district servers accessed over the network. 

Rueda passed around a zero client device and a Chrome device that can be connected. The zero client device supports BYOD and physical access to computers is not required. 

Gainer asked if these devices would replace faculty PCs and computers in student labs. Moreau said ETS is still trying to figure out how it serves faculty and staff. Moreau said it might be more appropriate for one or the other depending how devices are used. Faculty might still be provided virtual desktops because it gives easy access to everything. But what device is used to access might require more time for people to look at options. In a lab, the zero client is the computer and students don’t have to bring anything. 

Luciw added that right now ETS is focusing on labs. Staff or faculty gets a computer and it’s not touched for five years unless there is a problem. Moreau said people would like the systems to be touched more often. Improved end point security management means not having to wait for reimaging for updates. 

SSRS has a combination of zero and thin clients. Veterans Resource Center had their computer needs met within a day. Rueda demonstrated how the VMWare Horizon Client works. The app is free. Students can download and come into the lab with their own laptop. Hui asked if the possibilities are limited by number of computers. Luciw said you might be limited by the number of licenses. 

Moreau said profiles can be built for any disciplines, courses or departments so it’s easy for students to access all resources they need in one place. Faculty can add other resources like e-texts, PDF files or other things that might not be applications but that they want students to have access to. Theoretically there’s no limit but server resources need to be allocated appropriately. Luciw added there are physical limitations too. 

Rueda demoed how quickly apps open up over the wireless. Moreau said only the display and data output come over the wireless. The app stays on its server, and only the input/output comes over the network. This makes less of an impact on network traffic than one might think. Hansen asked if, basically, the app is on the server and the user just gets a window into it. Moreau said the caveat is you have to be connected to a network, wired or wireless, all the time. 

The flexibility is that users can go to another computer and access their desktop without always having to have a laptop. Rueda said he actually downloaded an app so he can see his computer from his phone in the backyard. Luciw said there are some use cases where faculty want the ability for students to save their work. There are other ways to do that without having a persistent desktop. As a student is working he/she can save to a different file server. Gainer asked if items can be saved  using the zero client. Rueda said yes, things can be saved to local source like a thumb drive. However, some students (film students, for example) may have difficultly moving very large files around, so centralized storage might be best. 

Gainer said in Language Arts there are three computers for part-time faculty. Would it be practical to move to zero clients? Luciw said as those computers die out they can be replaced with the zero client. If all that is being used is Microsoft Office and Adobe products, it’s not worth having a $1,500-$1,600 computer sitting there. Rueda said some of those computers in MCC are the same. Hansen asked if the demo product would be available for more advanced things. Rueda said yes. 

Gainer said sometimes the virtual machines on older machines run Windows slowly. Luciw said it would go away completely. Gainer agreed that at the very least, student services should be able to use this for registration, etc. Luciw said the backend resources aren’t needed. Rueda said they started replacing machines seven months ago and haven’t had a single complaint. Gainer said the only thing they use in Language Arts is the browser. Rueda said they’re testing the units, but having issues with headsets and microphones. Gainer asked about other challenges. 

Moreau said most people in the room wouldn’t run Word or other apps on their phones, but students would. Hansen asked about timeline. Rueda said apps can be downloaded now but it’s not hooked in to the larger system. Early adopters are more than welcome. Moreau said to put in a ticket with the call center. 

Educational Master Plan

Cruz gave a presentation on the Educational Master Plan. She added that Instruction and Students Services have since merged as 3SP has required thinking about more deliberate ways the two are aligned and integrated. The committee made an effort to make sure the plan reflected that. The integration is throughout all planning areas. 

Hui asked if Library Services is under Student Services. Cruz said that it got integrated into Instruction/Student Services. Cruz showed the latest draft plan to demonstrate where Instruction and Student Services connect. Cruz added that during the summer when Mallory Newell returns, the committee will finalize the metrics -- for example, the Outreach section of the plan. EMP has not determined if they will look at specific geographic locations. Because of that they will need to gather some data. The group will review that particular one and incorporate institutional goals requested through accreditation. More tweaking and editing will happen during the summer before it is posted as final in September. 

Hansen asked if process timeline is in the document. Cruz said no but it will be approved as final draft on June 11. Hansen said if input is wanted, it must be submitted quickly. Cruz said yes. The committee has been on the road since the first week of May, and the input period ended right before it was finalized. 

Strategic capabilities for tech planning

Moreau asked what kinds of tech initiatives are required to support what faculty might do with students, students with students, etc. Moreau talked about the retreat with Gardner. He took extensive notes and said having a format that could tie together tech plans would be useful. It wouldn’t limit either college from doing what they find most relevant. Moreau said over the summer he will bring out initial thoughts on how each TTF and ETAC would use framework to do tech planning and revisions annually, and come up with a process each group would consider and provide feedback to. District tech plan is up for major revisions this coming academic year. 

Gainer said he would be available any Monday-Friday within the first six weeks of summer for a retreat. Others will email availability. 

Technology Task Force
Building: ADM 153
Contact: Vanessa Smith
Phone: 408.864.8948

Last Updated: 11/5/15