Frequently Asked Questions
SJSU's Tech Upgrade
Three years ago, San Jose State University launched a five-year, $28 million technology initiative. A detailed progress report is summarized in this quick reference guide.
What is the “Next Generation Technology” initiative?
Why is it needed?
Innovation in technology is necessary to improve the California State University system so it can support the needs of the labor market. The U.S. needs to develop and expand a highly adaptable, innovation-ready workforce to sustain a vibrant economy. We seek to become and be known as innovation leaders in using technology to enhance learning and the educational process, in support of student success.
SJSU’s technology infrastructure had become outdated, inadequate and inefficient. Numerous campus committees had studied the issue for years. While there was a general understanding that the campus’s technology assets were inadequate, there was no strategy or plan to address this deficiency. Students, faculty and staff complained about the lack of basic technology for classrooms, meeting spaces and computer labs. The campus relied on five telephone systems, two nearing obsolescence. WiFi access was slow, unreliable and unavailable in many parts of campus.
We seek to become and be known as innovation leaders in using technology to enhance learning and the educational process, in support of student success. We promote “unbounded learning” to enhance student success through continuous learning innovations. Our goal is to become and be known as innovation leaders in using technology to enhance learning and the educational process, in support of student success.
What are the educational benefits of the new technology in the classroom?
- Technology in the classroom enhances student learning, helps build a sense of community, increases student engagement, and facilitates communication and collaboration.
- 50 classrooms have been upgraded, including 43 mobile rooms["1] and seven fully integrated classrooms featuring video lecture-capture and video conferencing technology. These tools allow faculty to record lectures for students and to bring guest lecturers and other experts “into” the classroom. More than 30 faculty members and their students are now using these rooms.
- TelePresence helps instructors bring the world to their students by connecting the classroom to industry experts. WebEx helps faculty members and students connect swiftly and securely to collaborate. Both of these collaboration tools help instructors record teachable moments for students who can revisit the recording later online. These tools also expand our notion of what it means to be in class to include a classroom on campus, a virtual classroom, or a hybrid of the two.
- 13 mobile TelePresence units are available now with twenty more arriving by the end of October.
- Wi-Fi is now in all classrooms, campus buildings and student residences. Outdoor wireless will be completed by August 2016.
- See what SJSU professors are saying about the new technology.
What is the status of the 51 new classrooms?
- SJSU set the goal of 51 new classrooms based on the number of codec devices (video streaming devices) the network could support for video conferences and lecture-capture recordings. Fifty-one codec devices were purchased and are on site at SJSU, installed or ready for installation. The codec devices can be used in classrooms and meeting rooms. New software means SJSU’s network can now support more than 51 codec devices simultaneously, if the need arises.
- Codecs have been installed in 14 classrooms and 11 conference rooms and offices. More will be installed after Academic Affairs surveys learning spaces and creates priorities. Six mobile units are available for short-term use on campus. To request a conference room update, classroom update, or mobile unit, contact the IT Help Desk (408-924-1530, firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Faculty members are using classrooms and conference rooms outfitted with the new technology tools. Based on their experiences, these instructors will provide critical input that will be incorporated into plans for additional rooms over the next three years.
- In the end, more than 51 classrooms may well be enhanced with varying degrees of technology. Plans will evolve to meet needs and available solutions.
What are the benefits of the new telephone system?
- The new telephone system replaces five independent, aging systems with an Internet-based (so-called voice-over-IP, or VoIP) unified communication system.
- The new system integrates with mobile devices and desktop computers.
- “Reach-me-anywhere” features give each faculty and staff member the freedom to select the device that best meets his or her needs.
- Faculty and staff members have three choices: a telephone handset with video; a telephone handset without video, and/or telephone software (Jabber).
- No one is required to have a video telephone. Everyone has the option of skipping the telephone handset altogether and using software instead to access a work telephone line through a cell phone, desktop or laptop computer.
- The IT Help Desk (408-924-1530, email@example.com) offers telephone system training and helps employees switch handsets.
- The new telephone system will allow SJSU to integrate emergency communications through all campus, classroom and office telephones as well as digital signage.
- It should be noted that many SJSU departments now have lower telephone bills. You’ll find more information on this below.
What are the new collaboration technologies and how do they work?
- Collaboration helps individuals and organizations communicate more effectively both inside and beyond our campus walls. More effective and efficient collaboration can improve productivity, foster innovation, and streamline administration.
- Unified Communications is a campus-wide Voice Over IP (VOIP) phone system that enables sophisticated communication methods for all employees, including video phones for all campus employees. Calls can be sent automatically to user devices like a laptop, tablet computer and/or smart phone.
- WebEx is a web conferencing service available to all faculty and staff. The WebEx experience includes video, audio and computer interactions for all meeting participants. Other individuals inside and outside of SJSU can participate in the scheduled conferences. WebEx can also be used in the classroom. Instructors are able to use WebEx to record class activities and share the recording with their enrolled students for review after the class session. Online training materials including video tutorials, reference guides and short how-to materials are available to support the use of the new tool. You can access WebEx from the MySJSU homepage, and use your SJSUOne ID & password to sign in.
- TelePresence is an alternative teleconferencing tool that offers an "in-person" meeting environment. It extends the classroom by enabling next-generation teaching and learning, improve administrative efficiency, and reduce carbon footprints. Students can connect with schools around the world, researchers can collaborate face-to-face more frequently, and finish projects more quickly, subject matter experts from around the world can be brought into the virtual classroom for guest lectures, and students can receive career mentoring from the private sector.
- Jabber gives teams the freedom to be productive from anywhere, on any device. Jabber lets you access presence, instant messaging (IM), voice, video, voice messaging, desktop sharing, and conferencing. Now you can find the right people, see if and how they are available, and collaborate using your preferred method.
- Spark brings teams together instantly in rooms where you can send messages, video chat, and share files, all in one place.
What is a next generation network?
- Changes to the campus network technology will allow for end-to-end centralized management of all networking resources. Once installed, these network improvements will allow for easier network management; reducing effort and time to make user requested changes, improved network security and increased agility in effecting change to meet campus requirements.
What are Next Generation learning spaces?
- Next Generation learning spaces are enhancing campus classrooms with state-of-the-art audio, visual and lecture capture technology to enhance collaboration and communication with students and instructors/speakers—both onsite and remote locations. The room has the capability to record entire classroom sessions and make these available for students to review shortly after the end of class.
How is all the digital signage on campus intended to be used?
- Centralized content management software integrates the content (text, image and video programming) flowing to digital LCD monitors across campus. Touch screen enabled applications provide an interactive experience for way-finding and information retrieval. The initial signage was installed in high-traffic locations in the King Library, Student Union and Spartan Stadium.
NEW! How do students, faculty and staff tap into all these resources?
- The Division of Academic Affairs offers faculty members many opportunities to learn about technology and technology-enhanced pedagogy through the Academic Technology office, the Center for Faculty Development, and college-level initiatives. Faculty members can also access a variety of online resources through Academic Technology, the Center for Faculty Development, and Information Technology. King Library supplements these activities.
- Web conferencing (WebEx) services via most devices is available to all faculty, staff and students anywhere the Internet is accessible, including all classrooms, meeting rooms and offices.
- Information Technology hosts annual expos. This year, The expo will be held on October 1st and 2nd at the Student Union Ballroom. The event will showcase technology solutions designed to help the entire university community. Faculty members can learn about opportunities to enhance the instructional environment. Staff members and students will learn about collaboration technologies that can raise productivity and help students better manage the learning process. Details for the event are posted on the Information Technology Events website.
- Everyone can check this Information Technology website for a list of rooms equipped with Next Generation technology for classes and meetings. These spaces offer current, reliable infrastructure, including state-of-the-art video conferencing (TelePresence) as well as audio, visual and lecture-capture technology to enhance collaboration and communication between students and instructors. Recorded sessions are available for review almost immediately.
What more has been accomplished?
- In the past two years, the campus network capacity has tripled. During the first week of fall term 2014, the number of devices connecting to SJSU’s network was more than double that of the previous year. Total wireless traffic the same week nearly tripled from 1,239 GB to 3,400 GB. The average daily number of concurrent computing devices connected to WiFi at SJSU increased from 4,626 devices in 2013 to 14,500 devices in 2014.
- Even with over 16,000 devices connected simultaneously to WiFi, the SJSU network is not at maximum capacity. SJSU believes the concurrent connectivity for any other CSU campus is 16,000 devices. In addition, SJSU is expanding the network to cover outdoor common areas.
- After years of complaints, students, faculty, staff, and visitors are now able to access the Internet wirelessly from almost anywhere on campus. This is especially significant in SJSU’s residence halls, home to 3,600 people who previously had very limited Internet access. WiFi is now available in all University Housing student rooms. Students report seeing Internet speeds over 100 megabits.
- Since fall 2012, over 100 computer labs on campus have been refreshed with 1,600 new computers and laptops as well as 1,500 new monitors. Information Technology is now replacing outdated faculty and staff computers.
- Data security and support services have been enhanced. This is less noticeable to the naked eye, but critically important in an age of increased data security threats.
How was the tech upgrade funded?
Through equal contributions from three sources: the Continuing Education Reserve Fund (CERF); the lease and eventual sale of campus broadband capacity; and campus operating funds.["2]
What about student fees?
A portion of the Student Success, Excellence and Technology Fee (SSETF) is set aside for ongoing technology investments.
There are rumors of missing technology equipment. Is that true?
On Oct. 1, 2014, the University Police Department arrested Jose Javier Farias on suspicion of burglary and embezzlement of university property. Farias, a university employee, was booked into Santa Clara County jail. He later posted bail and was released. The police investigation that began in March is continuing. University police encourages anyone with potentially relevant information to contact UPD at 408-924-2222. The university is pursuing recovery of the missing equipment.