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Nicholls updates tech services

THIBODAUX – Information technology specialists at Nicholls State University have added several new features to the campus over the past couple of years.

Charles Ordoyne, chief information officer of the new Office of Information Technology, which was created this summer to consolidate academic and administrative IT duties, said the updated services will create a more efficient, affordable and convenient campus experience for students and employees.

Among the new applications is Moodle, a course content management system expected to fully replace the campus Blackboard system by spring 2012.

“Moodle offers the same services as Blackboard, including document storage, message boards and syllabi-posting features – but the user license is free,” Ordoyne said.

Another campus-wide software transition, completed in fall 2010, has helped campus administrative personnel with online recordkeeping. The Banner system, which replaced the Legacy system, “is not only the most efficient package if its kind on the market; it also keeps users up to date on technology improvements and new federal regulations,” Ordoyne said.

Nicholls has also overhauled its e-mail system, from Novell Groupwise to Google Mail. Ordoyne said the new software has a twofold advantage: the system is free of charge (except for internal maintenance), and it exists “in the cloud of cyberspace rather than on-campus servers, a very desirable feature in the event of disasters when the campus is inaccessible,” he said.

Additional IT contributions to the Nicholls campus include an abundance of new network points for wireless Internet, video cameras, cash registers, WEPA printing kiosks and digital displays for campus announcements. Ordoyne said IT personnel have installed more than 4,000 of these points on campus in various places, including 30 at the new Jazzman’s Café and five in the newly renovated Peltier Auditorium.

“A state-of-the-art campus is our mission in IT,” Ordoyne said. “I am quite proud of our staff, and we look forward to improving our campus technologies in the months and years to come.”

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