College House Computing: ITAs and Our Role

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An introduction to the Information Technology Advisors at the University of Pennsylvania.

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  • In Penn terminology, we are your “Local Support Providers” for anyone residing in the College Houses – any issues you have are brought first to College House Computing.
  • Computer labs in each College House with PCs and Macs, laser B&W and colour printing, open 24/7 except during breaks. In Ware, the lab space is right around the corner from the RAGA office, so it’s really close by and accessible.CHC is also responsible for technology-enhanced “learning spaces” suitable for collaboration, individual work, or, when not otherwise used, entertainment.CHC has 8 professional full-time staff, and 100 student workers in ITA roles.
  • [VINAY]Some of the standard services we provide are listed here. Ethernet and TV coaxial cables are available for free year-round.All 100 ITAs across the College Houses are trained for a baseline of Windows & Mac.Any ITA who’s been here longer than a year should be adept at most consumer mobile devices – except Blackberry, which doesn’t work on APN.If you are hosting a house event requiring A/V equipment, most ITAs should be capable of helping – Managers are also trained on using the built-in A/V in high rise rooftop lounges.
  • To provide these services, we have two main mechanisms:40 core hours of help desk support, in Morris 313, Sunday through Thursday, generally 4pm through midnight.In-room support, for more difficult or localized issues, like weak wifi signals in room, printer malfunction, TVs, etc; any time mutually convenient for the resident and an ITA – these tickets can be filed directly online or initiated at the help desk.Day-time M-F 9-5 Central Help Desk in Stouffer, by appointment only, but this is usually a last resort.
  • [VINAY]We’re here for you now, collective “A-Team” providing early move-in support next week. “A-Team” consists of experienced students (primarily ITA Managers and senior ITAs).
  • Before most of your residents arrive, our ITAs will be here ready to do support for students new to the University, mostly by getting them setup on wifi.“crush” – lower paperwork demands, faster throughput, also trains our ITAs for AirPennNet.
  • During the school year, we have 8 staff in Ware.But there are some 500-600 residents and a couple dozen RAGAs, of which, a lot will need our help at some point during the year.
  • [VINAY]As we’ve mentioned,wifi is usually the main responsibility on our list. Under normal circumstances, an ITA will help individuals who have networking issues. Usually it’s an isolated incident, and the ITA is able to resolve it or refer it to one of us to resolve. This works fine most of the time.
  • [VINAY]But, like we said, we have 8 ITAs. Only 8, of which, neitherVinay nor I live in Ware.We have limited resources, and the help desk isn’t staffed 24/7. So, in rare occasions, we’re counting on you to help us out.
  • A wifi outage (affecting more than just one person), if left unresolved, could become a big issue. A single ITA on duty might not even realize it’s going on, and a lot of residents might not know where to go for help if their Internet goes down and their roommate’s.
  • We (ITA Managers) are well prepared to handle systematic outages, and can get Networking Operations to respond pretty quickly depending on the scope of the issue. ITAs are trained to escalate the issue to us if they see it happen, but if a whole bunch of residents come to you because they’re all seeing wifi dropping, that’s something that you should report directly to us. For incidents 10 < students affected < 96, Networking guarantees 2-hour response time or resolution by next business day, and if it’s more major than that, it goes all the way to immediate dispatch.In the meantime, use an Ethernet cable.
  • [VINAY]Our bosses wanted us to let you know that you can help us by submitting tickets if something goes wrong in the lab (e.g. printer, scanner, TV, no toner), so we’re including this slide – but in reality we don’t think this will be necessary, since our ITAs should be the first to notice and report that. We honestly don’t want you to take on even more responsibilities as RAGAs who already have so much on your hands.
  • College House Computing: ITAs and Our Role

    1. 1. College House Computing: ITAs and Our Role
    2. 2. We work for the same team. College House Computing Your College House College Houses &Academic Services
    3. 3. We provide IT support for students, faculty, and staff. … but only in the College Houses!
    4. 4. We deal with a lot of things. × 13 labs open 24/7 8 full-time staff 100 ITAs
    5. 5. Main CHC/ITA services Wifi setup & troubleshooting Malware prevention & removal Mobile devices (with exceptions) Printer setup Audiovisual equipment media players, gaming consoles
    6. 6. 3 ways to get IT help Help desk MTWR+Sun, 40 hrs/wk in each house In-room support requests can be filed online http://rescomp.upenn.edu/ Central help desk M–F, 9–5 in Stouffer Commons by appointment only
    7. 7. ITA Managers start now • Now on campus to assist RAGAs and students who move in early Monday, August 27 Tuesday, August 28 “A-Team” Support Harrison, Hill, KCECH, Upper Quad
    8. 8. Full ITA service starts soon • 6 new hires arriving Sunday Wednesday, August 29 Start of Full Service initial “crush” period
    9. 9. There are ~8 of us in each house. With hundreds of residents and a few dozen RAGAs, it’s likely a lot of you will need our help.
    10. 10. When wifi goes down… HELP! My Internet is down!
    11. 11. There are only a few of us. We have limited resources. The help desk isn’t staffed 24/7. In rare occasions, we need the assistance of the RAGAs and house staff.
    12. 12. In a severe case… HELP! My Internet is down! HELP! My Internet is down! HELP! HELP! HELP! HELP! HELP!
    13. 13. If you observe a systematic outage… Call the ITA Managers. We can get central networking to respond quickly. In the meantime, try wired Internet, or relocate.
    14. 14. House staff can help us out! http://rescomp.upenn.edu/ file reports for lab issues
    15. 15. Some ideas for ITA involvement • Tech-oriented, student-led seminars • Collaborative coding projects • PennApps hackathon is happening in Ware!
    16. 16. Questions? Visit the CHC site for up-to-date contact information! http://rescomp.upenn.edu/
    17. 17. Frederick Ding ITA Manager, Ware College House dingfred@seas.upenn.edu

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