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Posts Tagged ‘Technology’

Weather delays slow Moodle repair

January 24, 2011 Comments off

By Carmen Brown, Staff Writer

Whether you came back to campus or stayed at home, there were probably two things you experienced during the first week of school- tons of snow and problems with Moodle. Students could log on to Moodle, but students could not look at their courses or student information.

“I thought that they changed it around and I just couldn’t figure it out, until I saw my friends were having problems with it too,” said senior biology major Erena Hinsta from Stone Mountain.

After campus activities were cancelled on both Monday and Tuesday, this problem was brought to the attention of Ken Faneuff, vice president of Campus Technology on Wednesday.

Upon reviewing Moodle, Faneuff realized that students were not only unable to view their courses and student information but also the course and student information would not upload to Moodle.

With the problem identified, Faneuff contacted the vendor to resolve the issue. However, this proved to be easier said than done, since representatives from the vendor were not able to come into work due to the weather conditions.

Because of weather conflicts, it was not until that Saturday that Faneuff was able to work with the vendor to resolve the problems with Moodle.

In the future Faneuff said, “I am going to have a conference call with the vendor, and they will go through ways to prevent this from happening again and [ways] to fix it quicker if it does arise later on.”

Last semester Moodle was launched as a soft launch, which meant the program was for teachers who wanted to use it for their classes however they saw fit.

Despite having problems with Moodle, Faneuff did feel positive about the feedback, since it was not required for professors to use Moodle.

“From my point of view it[Moodle] went better than we anticipated,” Faneuff said in regards to Moodle’s launch and reception from YHC students and faculty.

YHC’s technology team will continue managing Moodle for YHC professors and students.

 

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Technology’s making us stupider

November 27, 2010 Comments off

Photo by Jacob Stone

By Georgiana Sampson, Guest Contribution

Take a quick moment to look around you, right now.What do you see? Probably a television, computer or something else that has a microchip and runs on electricity. Some people see this as a good thing, signifying that access to information has exponentially increased along with the mass production and distribution of technological goods. Technology has allowed humanity to dive deep into the ocean, go out among the stars and improve life here on the ground. However, one must pause and reflect on this. Have scientists gone too far?

Every day there are thousands of men and women with college degrees and stockpiles of knowledge that’s hard to even imagine,working feverishly on some doo-dad or gadget designed to make something easier, faster or unnecessary. At the rate that new products are being made, futures like IRobot or The Matrix no longer seem quite so far fetched. The very scientists creating things to make our lives easier are being crushed by the increasing demand for more; and, every time something new comes out, the creators are already designing the next version of it. Human culture, at least in developed countries, has changed to the point where it revolves around technology. It is the center of daily existence for most people. They feel lost without their phone to keep them connected or their iPod to play music for them. All this ease has allowed people to use less of their brain less often. We’re so spoiled by all the gigabytes and terabytes that the greatest computer of all, the one that birthed all the ideas now floating into our homes and pockets is going to waste: our brains.

Example: Digital clocks are quite commonplace now, almost everywhere. A lot of young kids can’t read analogue-faced clocks because they have no idea how. They’ve become so used to digital, the numbers being screamed so blatantly at them that it would be an insult to human intelligence to misread it, that the big hand and little hand mean nothing. Most people are taught how to read a clock in grade school, if not pre-K. So why have teachers stopped? Because all the analogue clocks are being replaced with digital. There’s no need to teach children a skill they’ll probably never use. The same goes for the use of calculators. For upper-level maths and gigantic numbers, it is perfectly acceptable to use a device designed for exactly such a purpose. However, when a person cannot complete simple math problems, such as 6×8,without plugging it in, there’s an issue. What if there isn’t a calculator handy? What will they do then? Flounder, most likely, which wouldn’t happen if they could do it by hand.

It is very true that technology has improved many things, among them the processing and storing of information as well as gaining access to it. Colleges and other institutions used to have entire buildings to house their paper work, now able to be contained in a single hard drive instead. Right along with that, computers have enabled students to use materials from halfway across the world to cite in their research, something impossible for earlier generations.

The list continues, much too long to recount in one sitting. Contrary to saying that technology should be abolished and everyone should become Amish, most people believe that we should simply put a limit on the amount of technology included in our everyday lives along with buckling down and doing some stuff the hard way. Use a calculator in math class? Go ahead and work out a problem by hand first, then check it. This will give your brain exercise, which it probably is in dire need of, and also allow you to be confident in your answer, as well as your ability to get it yourself. A healthy balance of man and machine is needed here, and the scale is just starting to over-balance. It is up to us to even it out again, to exercise the muscle that spawned all the things we now take for granted. If we don’t, it’s quite possible that we’ll be helpless without it, and who wants to be completely dependent on a machine to do everything for them?

SGA talks technology and TellmeTuesday

November 8, 2010 Comments off

By Carmen Brown, Staff Writer

SGA held their weekly meeting in the dining hall. On the agenda for this meeting was a presentation from the Vice President of Campus Technology or I-Tech and the final dates of the semester for TellMeTuesday.

Ken Faneuff, the vice president for campus technology, spoke to SGA. Faneuff spoke about campus concerns with technology.

One concern was the inconsistency behind Moodle. Currently, not every professor is using Moodle. This is due to the lack of time for professors to get acquainted with this new program and to understand how to incorporate the program into the course.

Another concern was the size of student e-mail inboxes. In the next two weeks the size of the student inboxes will be increased from 25 megabytes to 100 megabytes. As a result, there will not be any noticeable changes, except that students will not have to delete their e-mails as frequently.

For extra security, Faneuff said that provisions have been made so that student passwords can be changed. Once in place, students must change their passwords every 90 days. Students may add to their current password or change it completely.

Campus technology, discussed their role in dealing with computer viruses. Many students are unaware of I-Tech’s ability to help students eradicating computer viruses. Instead of a student buying expensive software to fight off these viruses, students can bring their computers by the office when student computers are facing these problems.
If anyone has questions, concerns or just needs help from I-Tech they can dial x5212, e-mail them at helpdesk@yhc.edu or go by the I-Tech office.

TellMeTuesday is an opportunity for students to give feedback to SGA members on ways to improve campus. The remaining dates for TellMeTuesdays are Nov. 9 and 30.

Technology leads to lack of personal relationships

October 12, 2010 Comments off

Photo by Jacob Stone

Brittney Bennett, Staff Writer

Walk into any crowded place on any given day and take a look around. Chances are, you will see a majority of those people consumed by some form of technology; and, most of those people, in their technical oblivion are too busy to focus on their surroundings.

To me, the excess of technology in our everyday lives has led modern interpersonal communication to be severely lacking. Instead of enjoying the company of those around us, and being genuinely interested in what they have to say, we are too busy texting, reading e-mails or some other frivolous fidgeting with gadgets. Even our everyday interactions with one another have deteriorated because of compulsive multi-tasking and pseudo-ADD behavior that technology has brought upon us.

Seriously, think about the last time you were on your way to work or class. Most likely, you passed more than one person you knew—did you even make eye contact with them? If they happened to ask you how you were doing, you probably mumbled a quick “okay, what about you,” and were well out of earshot by the time they answered. But, no one ever seems to do anything about this seemingly apathetic attitude we have for one another. And, I too am guilty of this, it is almost second nature; but lately, this topic of real interpersonal connection has made me more aware of my actions.

Another example of how everyday over-use of technology really pisses me off is when you are in the middle of what you think is a genuine conversation with someone, then you realize half-way through that the conversation is purely one-sided. This is due to the fact that they are more interested in whatever text message they have just received. It is completely rude; seriously, are you in such a need to stay connected with your phone that you cannot take five minutes to talk face-to-face with a comrade?

Not only has the increase of smart-phones, multitasking cellular devices and the like, disrupted the ability for face-to-face communication, but also the mass use of social networking sites as a form of “communication.” Now, social networking is fine as a way to stay in contact with distant friends and relatives and keep track of business contacts, or what have you. But, it seems as more and more people become “connected” by these websites, the connections to the real-world and ability to function naturally within society start to decay.

Even for just one day, I would love to walk out among my peers and see face-to-face communication everywhere—no cell phones, laptops or any other technology in sight. But, alas, this is the age of technology and I believe that dream has far-passed its expiration.