COUGAR SMARTBAR STREAMLINES TECHNOLOGY

Anna Kessenich works with a student at the SmartBar.

Calling all the organizers … and also those who wish someone would take over that task and present them with the finished product. Collin College is here to help make your life easier with new technology.

Students were recently introduced to the latest technology at Collin College with the new Cougar SmartBar initiative. Representatives were available at all of the college’s main campuses in Frisco, Plano and McKinney.

What’s in it for me?
Think ahead to the time when you are applying for a scholarship, a job or to a university. You need to know when you volunteered for which organization, what positions you served in, the dates of events, and how many service hours you have. If you haven’t been tracking this information, that used to mean digging through scraps of paper and e-mail, and calling contacts. With OrgSync, all of that information is waiting to be downloaded.

First of all, if you haven’t signed up for a student organization, you can subscribe to OrgSync, and learn about all of the different organizations, events and even meeting times.

Anna Kessenich, assistant director of Student Life, describes OrgSync as life outside the classroom and Canvas (read on to learn more about this new technology) as life inside the classroom. According to Kessenich, you can request an official co-curricular transcript, complete with the College’s seal, or download an unofficial transcript any time you want.

Andrew Klentzman, who is pursuing a degree in behavioral studies uses OrgSync all the time.

“I like it because it connects you at Collin with the organizations you are part of. There is a calendar, scheduling is easy to navigate, and the alerts are really great. It notifies me about an event or transfer fair or organization meeting,” Klentzman said.

According to Mark Garcia, dean of Strategic Initiatives, Collin College students have access to five terabytes (TB) of storage which is equivalent to the storage capacity of 39 iPhones. With Google documents, students can also work on the same document simultaneously, and, yes, you can redirect your e-mail to your favorite e-mail address.

Jason Cavanaugh, who is pursuing a degree in business, says he loves the fact that Canvas has an app.

“When I used Blackboard on my phone I had to log on via the Internet. I couldn’t slide to see things. It wasn’t mobile friendly. With Canvas, it looks simpler. It has a nice bar at the side to access everything. It is user friendly.”

Michael Demings, who is pursuing a degree in business, agrees with Cavanaugh that Canvas is much easier to navigate than Blackboard. He also enjoys using CougarWeb, another Collin technology.

“There is so much you can do on CougarWeb. I use CougarWeb to check my schedules and receive announcements. I use it to pay for my classes. I also use the library resources. Final grades are posted at the end of the year there, and I check my unofficial transcript on CougarWeb.”

Demings says the Cougar SmartBar is really helpful for students.

“I wish we had something like this when I first started at Collin because I had to learn it on my own,” he said.

While you’re having fun using all of Collin’s technology, don’t forget to watch your CougarMail for the next Cougar SmartBar event. If you have issues, don’t forget you can call student technical support 24/7 at 972.377.1777.

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