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Three big changes in campus technology will affect students in the upcoming school year: a switch from CULink to Gmail for student email, a new mobile printing capability and improved wireless networking on campus, according to Office of Information Technology PR & Communications Manager Greg Stauffer.
Email to Gmail
The purpose of switching student email from the CU operated CULink to Gmail was to keep student, faculty and alumni accounts integrated and up-to-date with features offered by an email service provider like Google, Stauffer said. Students will also have access to other Google applications along with their Gmail account including Contacts, Calendar, Chat, Groups, Sites, Drive, and others.
“The biggest thing that students will notice is the change in quota,” Stauffer said. “There is 28 times more quota for a Gmail account right now than there was for CULink accounts, and Gmail’s quota just keeps on rising.”
The process to swap student email accounts to Gmail began two years ago, when the IT Center came to CU students government groups with an option to convert to either a Google or Microsoft email provider.
“The students were overwhelmingly enthusiastic and chose Google,” said Stauffer. “It was a pretty clear indication that students wanted Gmail over Microsoft.”
Students had the choice to take initiative and make the jump to Gmail beginning in the 2012-2013 academic year, and Stauffer said about 50 percent of students had switched before the IT Center automatically transferred all CULink accounts to Gmail in June.
While the students were set on Google, faculty and staff preferred Microsoft, Stauffer said. The IT Center is currently in the process of converting faculty and staff email accounts to Microsoft Office 365 and will offer students the option between Gmail and Microsoft in the future, he said.
“I’m a big fan of the switch,” said Dylan Mark, a 2013 sociology graduate from CU and current Internship Development Specialist for CU-Boulder Career Services. Mark had been using CULink since his freshman year at CU in 2009 and now uses his Gmail account for work. “There’s easier sorting, and Gmail is much more user friendly that CULink,” said Mark.
A new mobile printing system that will allow students to print from any device that can access an “@colorado.edu” email address will also be available in the fall.
To enroll in the mobile printing system students must swipe their Buff OneCard at any of the already existing print release station on campus. To print, students then must send an email to one of two addresses, requesting a color or black and white print. “It’s really simple, all email-based,” said Stauffer. “There are no print drivers that need to be installed to use this.”
Finally, an upgrade is underway for the wireless service on campus that will provide “faster speed and it will be able to accommodate more people in one geographic area,” according to Stauffer. So far the UMC, a majority of family housing and the engineering center all have been upgraded, and Stauffer said. Norlin Library will be fully upgraded by the end of the fall semester.
By the end of the process, the entire campus will be upgraded, but Stauffer said there is no set timetable for completion.
In order to optimize the upgrade, Stauffer said students should try to limit interfering with the wireless service. Personal wifi access points, wireless video cameras, wireless game station remotes and wireless printers can all hinder the effects of the upgrade.
“There’s just a lot of things that operate on a similar wireless frequency that people don’t quite fathom how these things work together, and how they can interfere with each other,” said Stauffer. “What’s key is to limit these interference sources as much as possible, especially in high density areas like the dorms and campus housing.”
Contact writer Jake Hazan at firstname.lastname@example.org.