The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

ITS hosts session to educate students

by Rossi Ramirez

As the new year begins, students are preparing for another  semester at Texas A&M-San Antonio.

A new semester brings new students with questions regarding access to accounts, email, and other resources used on and off campus.

To answer these questions, the university held a new student orientation Jan. 11 and 12 about the activities, clubs, and resources that A&M-San Antonio has to offer.

A total of 84 students attended the orientation.

Information Technology Services held a session during the student orientation to inform incoming students specifically about Blackboard, e-books, Jaguar Connect, student email, Jaguar Pass and open access labs.

Sherita Love, senior instructional designer, Michelle Martin, e-book program coordinator, and Vaishali A. Bhatt, interim coordinator of user services, hosted the hour long session.

The ITS department informed students how to access and create accounts linked with a K-number including Jaguar Connect, Blackboard and how to create a student email.

These programs help students and professors to communicate and keep up with university events.

Students can also register for classes, check the status of financial aid, update personal information  through Jaguar Connect, print and copy using their Jaguar Pass––which includes $25 credit upon registration–– and access their online classes, assignments, and e-books through Blackboard.

During the session, ITS members encouraged students to use the self-service password reset link to reset or update passwords, and recommended taking advantage of the benefits and features that Blackboard and e-books have.

At the ITS session, Michelle Martin, e-book program coordinator, said that e-books result in textbook savings of 60 percent.

Students can also take advantage of making notes, search keywords, and highlight as they read using the e-book features. This can help students keep track of their notes and study for exams in the future.

Sherita Love, senior instructional designer for ITS, also recommended that students get familiar with Blackboard, a tool used by many professors. In Blackboard students can follow announcements, check the class syllabus, contact professors and use Smarthinking, a tool where you can get academic help online with just about any subject.

Blackboard and e-books are also available for use through mobile devices, iPads, and open access labs where they also have the option to print, copy, and utilize Wi-Fi.

Overall students left with information that would have an impact on their textbook savings, accessing Blackboard, and other tools that can help them throughout the semester.

“The Informational Technology Services orientation was very helpful and gave me a lot of information that I didn’t know about such as the benefit of e-books,” said Education junior Reba Valdez.

Jessi Box, computer information systems junior, said, “The orientation should be held earlier so other students can be aware of all these resources available to them.”

“All these resources available to me can save me money and time; I’m really looking forward to this semester and using all these resources to my benefit,” said Gladys DeLa O, Business junior.

For more information contact ITS at  210-784-4357 or email ITS is located in Room 307 at Main Campus or Room 144 at Brooks City-Base Campus.

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