CAEN News Center Home

The Michigan Engineering information technology environment is continually evolving. In order to keep the College community informed about what’s happening around the network, CAEN regularly posts news articles on this site. Important notices about current and upcoming service outages can also be found on the CAEN Service Status page.


Cable-free presentation available in CoE classrooms

All 50 College of Engineering (CoE) classrooms are equipped with Apple TVs to allow the presentation of slides or other content without physically plugging-in a device. The type of connection supported, called “AirPlay,” is built into Apple devices including laptops, iPhones, and iPads. You do not need to be on a particular wireless network for this to work. Apple provides some instructions on how to use AirPlay:

AirPlay video from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch

Use AirPlay to display video from your Mac on an HDTV

What if you are not using an Apple device? CAEN offers licenses for a utility called “AirParrot” to instructors using Windows-based computers and tablets in CoE classrooms. Note that it is necessary to connect to a special wireless network called “CAEN-Presenter” before AirParrot will work with any device. This network requires a password, which we can provide on request.

Why might you consider using wireless to display? One advantage is you do not need any special adapters, which may be needed to connect certain devices to the room’s HDMI or VGA cables. Also, if you have a tablet computer, wireless frees you to walk the stage and annotate in real-time, or even pass the device to a student to demonstrate a solution if desired.

What are the steps to get connected? It’s pretty simple. Just select the “Apple TV” source on the room’s touchscreen panel. Then connect your device to the AirPlay destination named for the room number, for example, “Dow 1013 Apple TV.” To ensure the connection to the display is coming from inside the classroom, a 4-digit code will be shown on the screen, and your device will prompt you for this code to enable the connection.

The big question: Is this all reliable? The wireless connection is typically very reliable, however it is possible that interference from other devices can cause a disconnection. CAEN is working to minimize this by relocating antennas and upgrading hardware as needed. If you run into any problems with wireless display, let us know at caen@umich.edu. A backup option is to use the wired connections at the lectern, and we are available to advise on what adapters, if any, would be needed for your device.

If you would like to meet with CAEN staff in a classroom to go over the process for getting connected, or if you have any other questions about presenting over a wireless connection, contact us anytime at caen@umich.edu.

 


CAD software consulting hours for students

CAEN is piloting Winter term weekly office hours for students who need on-site help with a variety of CAD programs and tools. The weekly office hours are scheduled for Thursdays from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. in the Wilson Student Team Project Center, conference room 1000. After the pilot, the program will be re-evaluated and adjusted to fit demand.

 


Box and Google Drive file streaming clients for your computer

Google and Box have released new file streaming clients for Windows and Mac OS. Google Drive File Stream and Box Drive are available for use now on student personal computers. These new clients make Box and Google storage appear as a network drive to your Mac and Windows computers. Instead of syncing all the files to your computer and taking up disk space, they instead only pull down files when you access them. Changes to files are reflected instantly to the cloud.

To install the newer Box Drive, first remove the older Box Sync client if you have it, and then follow the instructions at https://www.box.com/resources/downloads. You want to install the “Box Drive for Mac/Windows (public beta)” depending if you have a Mac or Windows computer. NOTE: Currently, Box Drive does not allow for offline access, nor can you lock/unlock files at the moment. Those features are expected in the near future.

To install the newer Google Drive File Stream, first remove the older Google Drive for Mac/Windows client, or the current Google Backup and Sync client,  if you have them installed. Then, follow the instructions at https://www.google.com/drive/download. You want to select the Get Started box under the “Business – Drive File Stream” section. NOTE: It is very important that if you run an anti-virus product that you exclude the Google Drive File Stream volume from anti-virus scanning. This is a known problem that will potentially bring your computer to a crawl as well as generate unnecessary network traffic.


CAEN Shapiro Lab to get more computers and new furniture during Winter term

The CAEN Shapiro Lab will be expanded from 42 to 56 computers as soon as possible during the Winter term. This change will likely happen before Spring Break – we are currently waiting on the installation of more work tables and a network switch. We are also evaluating other possible Shapiro Lab enhancements for the future, including new furniture and chair upgrades.

 


Enhanced Gradebook functionality now available in Canvas

There are a number of enhancements that have been added to the Canvas Gradebook for this term. These features are intended to help instructors easily view and enter grades for students, making grading more flexible and intuitive. Additions include Late Policies, which allow instructors to set up rules and be more efficient about grading late and missing submissions.

Other new Gradebook enhancements include:

  • New menus with more filtering and sorting options
  • Visual crosshairs to make it easier to see the current student or assignment cell
  • Custom color coding for assignment status (late, missing, resubmitted, dropped, or excused)
  • Keyboard shortcuts to improve accessibility on grade entry
  • Capability to drag and drop total columns

Features coming soon include:

  • Ability to override final grades
  • Defining if grades should be posted automatically or manually

For the Winter 2018 term, New Gradebook must be manually enabled at the course level under Settings >> Feature Options. In future terms, it will be enabled automatically in all courses. Until then you can revert back to the old Gradebook, except in cases where you have added a grading policy.

Tips for using these enhancements can be found on the Canvas New Gradebook Guide. In addition, ITS has created a video screencast highlighting many of the new features on the Canvas at Michigan site.


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