About Macon State
This is a concept page for the new Macon State College portal, scheduled to debut in early 2007. The portal remains under development and its appearance will likely change, but this image provides an idea of what the final product will be like.
By Bill Weaver
Macon State is one of a growing number of University System of Georgia institutions developing what's known as a "portal," an industry term that's accurate but not very descriptive, and one that certainly doesn't boast of any seeming significance.
Not so in this case - it very much is significant, despite the difficulty some may have in understanding the term.
A portal is most often thought of as a doorway or a window - you might go through it to get into another room, but then it's behind you. Once you go through Macon State's portal, however, where are you?
Think of it this way. Macon State's current website is available to anyone with a computer and an Internet connection. All of the website's content is public, and there's no way to present information only to a certain group - everyone sees everything.
A "portal" is the equivalent of a private website, and it may be viewed only by people with permission to enter. In our case, that includes anyone with an official connection to Macon State - such as our students, faculty and staff. Not only is information available only to those who can get in, but users can customize the content they want to see - they can delete some features (such as photos or world news), add some features (such as games or stock quotes or a personal calendar) and move things around so what they see is more to their own personal liking.
But the most significant features of the portal are those that permit users to communicate more effectively with specific individuals or groups of their choosing - a professor and her students, students and their classmates, administrators and their staff. Messages may be targeted to everyone, or only to those who need to see them - such as only those students who need to visit the business office, or only those faculty members who are up for tenure, or only those staff members who work in the same building.
The portal, an important and significant step forward in the progression of Macon State's electronic information delivery system, is currently under development and scheduled for launch in early 2007.
Members of the Macon State team working on the portal include Beverly Bergman, assistant director of administrative systems; Brandon Hill, systems administrator; Ginger Powers, systems support specialist II; Roger Dixon, chief information officer; Tommy Davis, director of network administration; and Joel Morgan, systems support specialist IV.