Portal integrates BlueNet, Blackboard, and college e-mail for EC students
A new online portal that will consolidate BlueNet, Blackboard, college e-mail, and student workers’ Kronos accounts, titled “myElmhurst,” will be released in October.
“myElmhurst is a way of increasing convenience for students by bringing everything online to one spot,” said Dean Jensen, EC web application and information specialist, who demonstrated the new portal at the first Student Government Association meeting.
The online portal offers various features, including a student-specific calendar that can synchronize information from a student’s e-mail account and the college’s administration system for events like football games or guest speakers. Students can also create events themselves and share them through their assorted calendars.
“Over the long run, we’re looking to improve collaboration, to give student organizations, administrative departments, and academic departments a virtual space to share information, like documents, calendars, and private discussions,” Jenson said.
Notifications which appear in read are issues that need to be addressed immediately, such as parking tickets or missing health records. Announcements and messages will be targeted to those who need to hear them instead of broadcasted across the entire EC community.
“If you’re not in Schick Hall, you don’t want to hear about its bathrooms being renovated,” Jensen said.
“Intelligent forms,” another feature, allows access to form that can be filled out online. If a particular form needs to be signed by a professor or an administrator, it will send itself as an e-mail automatically to those people and get their signature.
“If I need to fill out a form for advising, why do I have to go to Goebel Hall? Why do I need to run around campus to find all my professors? Let’s get that out of the students’ hands,” Jensen said.
Denying persistent rumors of EC abandoning Blackboard, Jensen said “it is true, but it’s not true. With any technology system, it’s always up for review, but we’re not getting rid of it.”
Student reactions to the new online portal have been very positive.
“I think it’s a good idea,” said freshman Rebecca Hufnus. “You only need to check one place for everything you need to know.”
“It’s going to make things a lot easier,” freshman David Brambert said. “I won’t have to remember so many passwords anymore.”
The testing period for myElmhurst will begin before the end of September on a voluntary basis. Certain student organizations will be offered the option of trying it, including SGA and possibly The Leader.
According to Jensen, the goal is to release “myElmhurst” to the entire community on Oct. 1 and to transfer everyone over by the end of the fall semester.