First virtual IT Briefing breaks attendance record

A record crowd tuned in to the first-ever virtual IT Briefing this week. The longtime Emory IT project update meeting had 177 attendees, shattering the old mark of 115 set when CIO Rich Mendola addressed the Briefing in 2013.

The IT Briefing returned after taking a month hiatus while LITS transitioned into a mobile workforce as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. In this first meeting back, the topics focused on projects where LITS rose to the challenge of world-wide crisis in ways that benefit Emory and its larger community.

The first presenters were Lee Clontz (Director, Teaching & Learning Technologies, Academic Technology Services) and Matthew Aron (Director, Instructional Technology and Design, Academic Technology Services), who talked about how their teams transitioned Emory into an online learning institution through Canvas, Emory’s learning management platform. The challenge was to refocus Canvas for remote learning and the team managed to train nearly 700 people through 86 different training sessions. They also changed the Canvas support model to better address the needs of the students and faculty.

Jay Flanagan (Manager, Enterprise Email and Messaging) gave updates on how Zoom, OneDrive, and messaging have all been catalysts for this period of remote work. Zoom usage alone has seen a 142% increase in the last three months as compared to the previous year. Over the same period, OneDrive usage has increased by over 50%. Jay also discussed various elements of Zoom security and usage.

The final presentation came from Ben Kasavan (Technical Support Assistant, Student Digital Life, Academic Technology Services) who led the effort to use the TechLab to create face shields for Emory Healthcare (EHC) workers who are taking care of patients infected with the Covid-19 virus. Through collaboration with EHC, the Emory Libraries Conservation Lab, and Theater Emory, the team has been using the labs 3D printers and laser cutters to create the shields. Ben showed a video demonstrating the process.

The IT Briefing audience was able to ask many questions during the session, and the presenters did an excellent job in answering them.

If you would like to watch the IT Briefing in its entirety, go to:

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