Welcome to uWaterloo Connect IT! This blog and video series will provide IT service and event information and updates to the campus, while offering a collaborative environment for University community members to share their comments/feedback and help shape the future of IT at Waterloo.

Change to blog schedule

As we dive into another busy, but exciting Fall term, we've decided to publish blog posts bi-weekly. Look for our next post on September 18, 2013!

Thank you for your continued support of the uWaterloo Connect IT blog.

Widget Wednesdays episode 2: Parking

In our last blog post, we took a deep dive into the Student Portal interface and explored the Routes Widget; one of the many widgets that the portal is comprised of. Today we continue the exploration with the Parking widget.  Please note that the portal is under development and these designs are subject to change over future iterations.

Voting systems

Voting or ranking systems are popular tools used to collect stakeholder feedback relating to something; an event, idea, film choice, potential candidate, etc. If used on a website, site owners are able to post content and, using a voting tool, provide the opportunity to site visitors to rank or vote for the content they see. This information can be extremely useful to the site owner who can then make a decision to act based on the stakeholder feedback.

Out of the office this summer? Let your colleagues know!

The summer holiday season is well underway! The halls are a little quieter and your email inbox is getting a small break from the flurry of messages it’s used to receiving. If you’re planning on catching up on some much needed rest and relaxation this summer, don’t forget to set your out of office replies. Your colleagues, who’ll be streaming peaceful sounds of ocean waves on their work computer, will appreciate it!

Widget Wednesdays episode 1: Routes

In our last blog post, we framed the Student Portal as a digital assistant that helps users organize data that interests them. In this post we will review the interface that is currently under development and take a closer look at one of the many widgets that the portal is comprised of. Please note that the portal is under development and these designs are subject to change over future iterations.

Purpose of the IST reorganization

In November 2012, Information Systems & Technology (IST) launched an intensive process to review the overall organization of the department. Working with Human Resources (HR) and a consulting firm, this process included a review of the department structure and resources, services and systems, and service needs from the university IT and campus communities. An environmental scan of comparable institutions coupled with IT trends in higher education emphasized the need for a proactive approach.

Digital badges: tracking our ‘horizontal’ skills

Recently the Globe and Mail and EDUCAUSE Review published articles on the growing popularity and use of digital badges for tracking and sharing achievements in professional development.

Using technology to build brains and develop a ‘SixthSense’

The university recently posted a news story and Tweet about Dr. Chris Eliasmith’s impressive work in the area of Theoretical Neuroscience. His new book, How to Build a Brain, introduces Semantic Pointer Architecture (SPA), which provides a set of tools used for cognitive modelling. Using these tools Dr. Eliasmith and team have built the world's largest functional brain model, Spaun, which demonstrates the high-level neural activity of the brain as it completes several tasks (i.e. recognition and list memorization).

Designing the Portal is like organizing your junk drawer

Imagine if you had an assistant that supported your life here at the University of Waterloo. What would it look like? Many individuals rely on a human resource; a personal assistant. Unfortunately, this isn’t a practical solution for our campus community. What then is our light at the end of the tunnel? Digital technology. More specifically, a ‘portal’ that provides a gateway to multiple disparate channels of communications and information. The portal will help support you in your journey providing quick, easy access to the organized data you need, when you need it. 

Web Accessibility deadline approaches

One in seven people in Ontario have a disability. Over the next 20 years, that number will rise as the population ages. The University of Waterloo is committed to ensuring that all people, regardless of ability, are able to use our websites. Further, the Government of Ontario has made accessibility a priority, aiming for a completely accessible Ontario. Regulations under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) require that public websites owned by certain organizations, including the University of Waterloo, be accessible by January 1, 2014.

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