As students return to campus this fall, they may be in for a few surprises online as the university's technology department rolls out some updates to student email, campus Wi-Fi and learning tools.

The Office of Information Technology is restructuring their department and expanding the services offered on campus, said Greg Stauffer, spokesman for the Office of Information Technology at CU.

So take a few minutes to check out these five latest updates you can expect to see this fall.

1 Buffalo Mail

Notice anything different about your email? Say goodbye to CU Link and hello to Buffalo Mail -- a service of Microsoft Live.

Besides a new look, students, alumni and retirees who will all receive the new service will have access to more then just email and calendars.

Users will gain online access to Microsoft Office tools such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint, instant messaging with audio and video capabilities and 25 gigs of storage.

The migration takes time so if you don't see any changes yet, don't fret.

2 Classroom tools

Last spring, CU announced it would begin offering a new online learning system called Desire to Learn to replace CU Learn for both online and classroom courses.

The system will be available to faculty starting this fall though students may not see the change in every class for another year.


Also available to faculty and students this fall is a CU site on iTunes U. The site allows faculty to post audio lectures, videos and other multimedia content from classes to the web.

3 Buff Bus Wi-Fi

UCB wireless, the campus Wi-Fi service available to students, will be available on the Buff Bus, which runs between housing at Bear Creek and Williams Village to the Boulder campus.

"Students should be able to walk out their front door, get online at the bus stop and stay connected all the way to campus, without switching connections," Stauffer said. "Seamless Wi-Fi is the ideal scenario."

The Wi-Fi will allow student to connect via smartphone, tablet or laptop using their student identification key giving them access to the internet and to internal systems such as the library archives.

4 Guest Wi-Fi

An identification key allows students, faculty and staff at CU to log into campus-wide Wi-Fi but visitors used to have to "jump through hoops" to get online, Stauffer said. Well, not anymore.

CU is now offering free Wi-Fi to the public without a log-in or password from the university.

Parents, guests, visiting professors and even locals can access the web on campus by using UCB Guest and accepting the terms of service.

5 New name, website

The department formerly known as Information Technology Services has changed their name to the Office of Information Technology hoping to expand both their services and accessibility to campus.

"Along with the rebranding of the university, it indicates a new face and a new page for us," Stauffer said.

Along with a new name, the office has also created a new website, restructuring the information online to make it easier to find.