The EagleLink portal will be getting an upgrade on Nov. 23, as well as a new name, EagleNet.
The new web portal will provide students with a space for networking and information exchange within the UMW community.
In an e-mail sent to all students and faculty, the Department of Information Technology said that the change is going to be a cheaper and more current technology. UMW is trying to switch from Novell to Active Directory so that all communications will use the same I.D. and password.
Acting Director of User Services Pam Lowery said that EagleNet is based on an application by Microsoft. Microsoft also hosts the new e-mail system that was launched at the beginning of the fall semester.
Unlike EagleLink with its tab set up, EagleNet has a cleaner look with a navigation bar and pull down menus similar to Internet Explorer.
“It has the appearance of being much more sophisticated than before,” senior Deborah Smith said.
The blue and white home page shows announcements and news, plus a link to the Bullet, featuring the top stories for the week.
The navigation bar has only four pull down menus. ‘EagleNet’ returns a user to the home page. ‘Banner Self-Service’ provides access to registration tools. ‘My University Resources’ gives quick access to academics, financial aid and student accounts. ‘Systems Logins’ will provide a portal to Blackboard, the library, net storage, UMW Blogs and e-mail.
“Everything is easier to find: deadlines, test dates and housing contract updates,” junior Gina Longstreet said. “It’s all right there.”
EagleNet also allows UMW users to have a personal MySite page. Here users create profiles and blogs, similar to MySpace. They can also store and share documents, contacts and links.
“I’m looking forward to exploring all the new possibilities [of MySite], especially blogging,” senior Deborah Smith said.
This is not a campus wide MySpace though. It is meant to be academic in nature. Profiles are similar to an online resume, allowing users to display their interests and achievements. Members can display as much or as little personal information as they choose. Unlike Facebook or MySpace, they cannot choose who has access to their profile.
“The page was easy to personalize and create but it almost feels too open. On Facebook or MySpace you get to choose who see’s your information. I’m just not sure if I’m comfortable with putting up a lot of information that the whole school, faculty and alums would have access to,” Gina Longstreet said.
The EagleNet system will not address recent student struggles with web registration. Banner Self Service will still provide students with their registration tools. Students will, however, have easier access to their advisor information, which is now posted directly on the academics page.
“We don’t anticipate any technical problems with the switch-over to the new system,” Lowery said. The Department of Information Technology will address any problems that students have with logging into the new system.
Students will need to access the new portal at eaglenet.umw.edu. They will need their UMW I.D. and a temporary password to log in the first time. The temporary password will be the last four digits of a users social security number combined with their two digit birth month. This temporary password should be changed after the initial log in.
“This may not appear to be a change for some students. If a student hasn’t changed his/her temporary password, and is still using his/her original password, this change to a new authentication method may not seem to be a change,” Lowery said in an e-mail.
After initial log in, students can then create their MySite profile. A tutorial on how to do this can be found under the MySite link on EagleNet.
More information about the EagleNet change can be found at www.umw.edu/eaglenet and students, staff and faculty can use their temporary passwords to log in and preview the system at eaglenet.umw.edu.