May 2011 administrative updates
OIT offers Google Apps
The Office of Information Technology is pleased to offer Google Apps as a service to faculty, staff and students of the Texas A&M Health Science Center. Google Apps includes a suite of tools that can serve to ease information exchange, promote collaboration and increase efficiency.
One particular application, Google Docs, allows creation and modification of online documents with real-time collaboration. Web-based documents, spreadsheets, drawings and presentations can be viewed and edited at the same time by multiple users so everyone always has access to the latest version of their shared documents. Instead of multiple users working on a document via emails back and forth with different revisions, TAMHSC users can use Google Docs and work on the document together in real time.
With Google Docs, users can access work anytime and anywhere. It is securely powered by the web, allowing the flexibility to be productive from the office, on the road, at home and on mobile phones or mobile devices as long as there is a network connection.
Google Docs works across operating systems in the browser on PC, Mac, and Linux computers and supports popular formats such as .doc, .xls, .ppt, and .pdf. Files stored on Google Docs are always accessible while on the TAMHSC Enterprise Network or remotely. Access to Google Docs is done securely though the use of HTTPS. Secure access controls allow document owners to manage file sharing permissions in order to share and revoke file access at any time.
Google Docs is not to be used for confidential, critical or protected data of any kind. The potential for the loss of this data is greater when users place data onto a hosted service like Google Docs when compared to storing data on an internal server.
Many other Google Apps, including Google Sites, Google Talk and Google Calendar may prove useful for TAMHSC users on a daily basis. To see the full list of supported Google Apps available through our institution, go to https://helpdesk.tamhsc.edu/google-apps-supported-at-tamhsc/ or to access Google Apps through TAMHSC, choose the application you need to access from the same site. You will then be directed to the Shibboleth login, and you can enter your active directory username and password to begin. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (800) 799-7HSC (7472).
Like any other technology tool of TAMHSC, Google Apps access through your university username and password is for official university business only. You may wish to create a separate Gmail account for personal use.
Support available for iPad and Android tablets
Consumer demand for a useful portable device with good connectivity and battery life has enabled the tablet industry to take off like wildfire. The devices can display documents as well as support basic office tasks like email, web browsing and text input.
Due to growing use of these companion devices, the Office of Information Technology now offers Apple iPad aficionados and Android tablet users support for configuration of email, wireless and VPN at the Texas A&M Health Science Center, as well as assistance in synching calendars and contacts.
Because of the dozens of devices and the myriad of apps, much of tablet computing is left to the resourcefulness of users. There is no limit when it comes to ingenious applications that can aid to increase efficiency or even to just entertain.
OIT is pleased to support the faculty, staff and students of TAMHSC with regard to this dynamic technology. With daily changes within the tablet industry, there is surely more innovation and excitement to come. For updated information, please visit it.tamhsc.edu.
If TAMHSC users are interested in using an iPad or tablet, it would be beneficial to consult a local OIT Support Services technician to see if it will meet their specific needs. Apple’s iPad (http://www.apple.com/ipad/) has proven to have great appeal and broad functionality. Google recently unveiled Honeycomb (http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2384318,00.asp), its tablet-specific Android OS, and Sony is scheduled to launch two Android tablets (http://www.engadget.com/2011/04/26/sony-to-launch-two-honeycomb-tablets/) later this year.
CMS video tutorials available
Content management system (CMS) video tutorials were recently produced by the Office of Information Technology Web Services Group in order to provide additional support for CMS users.
The tutorials include step-by-step instructions on completing common tasks within Cascade Server 6.7, the content management system for the Texas A&M Health Science Center. The videos are meant to enhance user proficiency and to complement CMS training sessions that are held monthly by the Web Services Group.
The video tutorials are available on OIT’s CMS Training Site (http://training-cms.tamhsc.edu/) as a user resource. CMS users who wish to view tutorials can click the “Tutorials” tab and choose a specific topic. If a video is available, a link will be listed directly under the page heading.
The new site also provides users with quick reference sheets, tutorials, frequently asked questions, and a thorough user guide for Cascade Server 6.7. Additionally, it features a tab for easy registration for CMS training sessions, which are held the last Friday of every month.
Please contact IT Support Services at (800) 799-7HSC or e-mail email@example.com if you need assistance in accessing the site or registering for an upcoming training session.
BCD’s Dr. Berry re-elected to SEBAC
Dr. Charles Berry of the Baylor College of Dentistry has been re-elected as the Texas A&M Health Science Center representative to the System Employee Benefits Advisory Committee (SEBAC), serving from Sept. 1, 2011, through Aug. 31, 2013.
As our elected representative, Dr. Berry will represent the benefit needs and concerns of all TAMHSC benefits-eligible employees and retirees. As a past member of this committee, he already has demonstrated a mature judgment and sincere interest in employee insurance programs, as well as a willingness to devote adequate time, not only to attend periodic meetings, but also to solicit input from all of us about benefits coverage for employees and retirees and to keep us informed regarding committee activities.
Dr. Berry can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (214) 828-8208.
In addition, Jim Nachlinger and Carl McLin have been appointed to serve as ex-officio non-voting members of SEBAC.