A Town Hall to Support Communication and Collaboration Across Campus

On November 19th, bConnected, Educational Technology Services, and Research IT co-sponsored a Town Hall, Powering Communication Across Campus. The two-hour One IT event gave Berkeley staff, faculty, and researchers the chance to learn about how various departments are working together to support collaboration across campus.

Bill Allison, director of Architecture Platforms and Integration, opened the event by sharing with the audience that all his talking points were stored on Google Keep — just one small example of the ways people can use available technology tools to boost efficiency. Bill shared his vision for the next Town Hall, which would feature lightning talks showcasing creative uses for collaboration services.

Next, bConnected Service Manager Jon Hays reviewed the bConnected Roadmap and underscored the commitment the Service Team has made to provide campus with up-to-date information about changes coming from our vendors (Google, Box, Microsoft and Canvas). Hays also discussed upcoming changes to on-premise email systems including mailing lists and routing.

Michael Leefers, representing CalShare, talked about improvements to the service, including Project Server 2013 integration, and the CalNet ID lookup, which is in development. For CalShare, the future holds SQL reporting and the ability to federate with other entities.

From ETS, Deputy Director Meggan Levitt talked about the benefits of bCourses Project Sites for instructional planning and research projects, and gave an update on the development of the Academic Innovation Studio, a collaborative workspace in Dwinelle Hall where instructors, academic support staff and researchers will be able to learn and share ideas from one another.

Finally, Chris Hoffman shared how Research IT helps researchers with the tools, spaces, and expertise they need to collaborate. Their major programs includeResearch Data Management and Berkeley Research Computing which provides high performance computing, and consulting for cloud computing and on-demand analytic environments. Hoffman also showcased Research IT’s involvement in Digital Humanities and CollectionSpace, the open source museum collection management system.

An engaging discussion among presenters and audience members covered topics ranging from staff collaboration through Wisdom Café; the complexities of rolling out Google Groups, Sites, and fully enabled Hangouts; recommendations for user friendly directory updates, and how email can be used more judiciously. Stay tuned for updates on the next Town Hall and how to participate.

View the Collaboration Town Hall slides.

This article was originally posted on the bConnected site.