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Portal to make online experience better

September 24, 2010 by admin

An image of the new MyBrookdale portal site due to open for students Oct. 4.

By Charles W. Kim

Students will have a new and easier way to find the online information they need starting Oct. 4, according to officials.

The college has designed a new web “portal” that will allow students, staff and faculty to log into the system once and be able to access many different applications such as Gmail, Webadvisor and the Angel learning system, Information Technology Sevices Executive Director Patricia Kahn said.

“The institution needed something badly,” Kahn said. “There are so many usernames and passwords (used now to access different features).”

Starting Oct. 4, students will sign up for a single “net id” account that will let them into several applications to get the most up to date information on events, classes, scheduling and others, Kahn said.

“(The portal) will open doors to lots of things,” Kahn said. “We really hope (using) it takes off.”

While students will not be able to use the system until Oct. 4, faculty and staff have been using it since August in what Kahn termed a “soft launch” to work out the bugs.

Technically, the new venture relies on an “active directory” which ties together all of the information the college has online relating to many different areas. The directory will serve as a master database so the various applications can be integrated and display proper information to users based on their associated roles, Kahn said.

In addition to the regular features like Gmail and Webadvisor, the new system allows for users to create profiles, use an instant messaging client among friends, post on blogs and user-created knowledge bases known as “wikis,” Kahn said.

Teams of faculty, students and staff have worked on the design and integration of the new system for about a year, Kahn said.

“It is vitally important that students create their net id account,” Kahn said.

In order to smooth the process, there will be training for students to help guide them through the set up process during the week of Sept. 27, Kahn said.

Thirty-minute sessions will be held daily throughout the week for students to show them how to set up a mock account, and then a live account once the portal goes “live” Oct. 4, Kahn said.

The Information Technology department will also be available to help train students after the Oct. 4 launch, Kahn said.

“We are trying to hit all avenues (to help students use the portal),” Kahn said.

Students who would like to set up an appointment for one of the Sept. 27-Oct. 1 sessions should contact Michelle Branagan at (732) 224-2088 or e-mail her at mbranagan@brookdalecc.edu.

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