When college students miss a lecture, they typically beg a classmate to borrow the notes, or pray there’s no exam the next day. But at the University of Houston (UH), begging and prayers are no longer necessary: Students simply log onto the university’s Virtual Technology Center’s (VTC) VNet site. There, digitally captured lectures in over 100 courses are streamed within moments of a class meeting. Backed by Xserves and Xserve RAID systems, VNet offers an easy-to-use, one-stop shop for virtually every educational and administrative function required by UH students and faculty.
VTC is a direct descendant of a similar infrastructure developed in 1997 by Salvador Báez-Franceschi, IT director of UH’s College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and project manager for VNet. Báez-Franceschi designed the first incarnation of VNet for the University of Puerto Rico, with a wish to streamline the various tasks performed by faculty and students during the course of a day.
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