Monday, 31 October 2011

Google+, Libary Clouds and the future of student computing rooms

I spent most of last week doing things I can't really blog about - promotion and regrading meetings, scoring Exceptional Contribution Award cases, that sort of thing, so sorry for lack of posts!

A couple of interesting things happened, which its probably worth mentioning.

Google announced that Google+ is now part of the apps suite. We've already enabled it as part of our test domain, and now we'll be looking at the implications of rolling it out.  I'm particularly interested in how we can use "hang outs" for desktop video conferencing across campus. There will be issues for those of us already using it for our personal accounts, I'm not sure how that will work.

We had a meeting with our colleagues from the Library, who are replacing their existing library management system with a totally cloud based one. They have signed up to be part of the  Ex Libris early adopter programme to implement this next generation of library systems. They hope to migrate fully by summer 2013, and we look forward to working with them on this exciting development.

And finally, one of the sessions I didn't get to at Educause  (there are about 20 parallel sessions so often there's two or three on at the same time I want to go to), was on the future of the Computer Room for students.  As student ownership of laptops increases, and we can virtualise more software, we're often  asked why we provide open access machines. In practice, they are one of our most popular facilities, in the Information Commons there are about 550 available 24/7, many of them pre-bookable, and there is stil huge demand for them.  Peter Tinson attended the session, and has written a really good blog post about it and some of the issues surrounding the provision of student machines, and I recommend a read of it here.

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