IT News

Important Information for the Spring 2013 Semester Regarding Demonstration Classrooms

Starting December 2012, IT will begin to transition all Demonstration Classrooms to a virtual environment. This process will continue in stages throughout the semester. We will start in the Forsyth and McKee buildings, and then move to the rest of campus during Spring Break.

What is virtualization and what exactly is changing?
Virtualization is the creation of a virtual (as opposed to actual) version of something – in this case, a computer desktop. Though clients will be using the same equipment, they will be logging into our VMware software environment, at which time the desktop they access will be hosted from one of our servers. We are not removing equipment from the room; we are only changing how you will use the computer.

Why change? Is not this working well already?
The biggest benefit from virtualization is the speed with which we can address issues. Any needed changes will be applied immediately to the entire campus without disrupting any class currently in session. This initiative will help keep WCU up-to-date and allow us to be ready for the future.

What happens to my class?
Operationally, your class should not change. You will still login at the machine using the same credentials and you will have access to the same suite of programs that you are used to. Things may look a little different, but everything should work the same.

Who is going to be affected?
Initially, only those who teach in McKee and Forsyth will be affected by this change. However, after Spring Break every Demonstration Classroom will be virtualized. We want to roll this change out in stages in order for instructors to get familiar with how the virtualized classroom will work, as well as to gather feedback from those using it.

We will be giving more information to those who will be teaching in McKee and Forsyth at the beginning of the semester as well as providing training sessions and instruction sheets at each teacher station. Again, your input will be very important to us as to insure that we have the best possible environment for instruction. You may contact the IT Help Desk by phone locally at 227-7487 or toll free at 866-928-7487, via e-mail at ithelp@wcu.edu, or via the Online Help Desk at http://ithelp.wcu.edu/ if you identify any changes that will need to be addressed.

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