IT is CAS-ifying Zimbra!

Next Wednesday, March 12th, the Office of Information Technology will implement a change to the way Zimbra authenticates users which will require a change to the Zimbra login page (zmail.sju.edu).   With the change, Zimbra will use a single sign-on authentication method called Central Authentication Service (CAS) that unifies the login process of many SJU applications (such as The Nest, Blackboard, Zimbra). Instead of having to manually login to each application separately, only one login, regardless of the application, is needed per browser session. As long as you do not exit your browser, any application you wish to use will automatically be authenticated with your credentials, removing the need for multiple logins. This makes it easier to access multiple applications simultaneously.  CAS also provides a means for these applications to remain secure while not inconveniencing you with having to log on to every service.

 

If you typically log into Zimbra through zmail.sju.edu, the login page will now look different than what you are used to.

However, the login page will now be uniform with other SJU services.  Here is a sneak peek of what you can expect to see on March 12th:

zimbra-CAS login.png

For security purposes, we would like to remind you to log out of all SJU services when you are finished working in them.

All you will need to do is click “Log Out” or “Sign Out” in the top right corner of the application and close out of your browser!

 

If you have any questions about this upcoming change, please contact the TSC.

The Launch of The Nest – March 17th!

The Nest

We are pleased to announce that SJU’s new information portal, The Nest, will be making its debut on March 17th.  The primary focus of this pilot launch is to enhance the student’s portal experience.  For the pilot, we have worked very closely with students and student-focused departments on campus to help determine the immediate needs of our students.  We chose to launch before registration for Summer and Fall 2014 to grab the students’ attention and gather feedback prior to the end of Spring semester.  After our pilot launch, we will widen our focus to also deliver a content rich portal to our faculty and staff.

 

The overall goal of this project is to give everyone at SJU, students, faculty, and staff, an easier, more modern, and personalized way to access SJU-related resources online.  This first phase of the implementation will give the campus community a taste of what’s in store as we continue to refine this new service.  Based on input and feedback from many campus constituents, including students and campus offices, we have designed The Nest to be more useful and convenient than MySJU.

Nest Home

One of the most useful and desired features of The Nest is the ability to directly link to specific sections within The Nest. For instance, a direct link for graduation information can be emailed to students and if the student is already logged into The Nest, they will be taken directly to the information. If the student is not logged in, they will be immediately directed to the information after logging in.  This means there is no longer the need to provide a list of steps for navigating through various tabs and channels!

While we are excited to bring this new portal to our campus community, MySJU will still be available for some time to smooth the transition.  You will still be able to log into MySJU if you are unable to find the resource you need within The Nest or if you simply prefer to use the more familiar features for quick access.  MySJU will continue to be available until later in the Fall 2014 term when it will be phased out.

When you log into The Nest, you will be invited to take a short video tour of the new features.  We encourage you to watch the video and take some time to acquaint yourself with the new features and content.

Beginning March 17th, simply go to nest.sju.edu and log in using your SJU username and password.  During the Registration window in late March, students will be able to use The Nest.  In addition to a customized Registration area which guides you step-by-step through the process, Degreeworks will be available to help students monitor their academic progress and plan their future coursework.

resgistration portlet

We welcome and encourage your feedback! Please contact that TSC at techhelp@sju.edu or 610-660-2920.

Please Turn off Classroom Technology

Media Services requests that you shut down the control system (end session) and log off the computer at the end of your class.  The 15 minutes between classes is enough time for the system to reset and the projector to cool down.  This will reduce daily lamp usage and consume less electricity in the long run.

Also, please be aware that “display mute” does not shut down the projector, the lamp stays on and projects a black image giving the illusion that it is off.

Taking these steps can save money by needing fewer lamp replacements and limiting superfluous power usage.

Thank you for your understanding.  If you have any questions, please contact Media Services at mediaservices@sju.edu, or call us at x1770!

TSC is proudly offering BYOD to SJU students!

What is BYOD?

BYOD stands for Bring Your Own Device. Basically, this means that if you are an SJU student, the TSC will support any computer you come to campus with.

In the past, we were only able to provide hardware repair support only to students enrolled in the SJU Laptop Program.  Now, in order to provide a better service to our students we will provide hardware repair support for all students for a fee plus the cost of parts.


Why did we start this program?

Short answer: a number of reasons.  At the end of each school year, the TSC sends out a survey to SJU students to find out what technology services you like and what services you would like to see implemented.  Last year, you voiced that they would like to see more technology support offered for those of you who are not members of the Student Laptop Program.  We also realized that as a student, you may have limited access to transportation or funds to take your computer to a repair store.


How does it work?

Bring your computer along with any operating software to the TSC in SC129.  Our certified technicians will diagnose and relay the problem to you.  Once diagnosed, we will provide you with a price for labor and parts. At that time, you can decide if you would like to go ahead with the service from the TSC.  You always have the option to turn down the service.  If you choose to have us fix your computer, you can simply pay with your Hawk Card!

We truly think this is a great service that we now offer to all SJU students and we are thrilled to be able to provide it. You have the convenience of having your computer fixed on campus at a much cheaper price than you’ll find at a store.

For complete, detailed information please stop by SC129.

 

BYOD sign

Annual Project Review Process

For fiscal year 2015 (starting June 1, 2014), the Office of Information Technology will be implementing an Annual Project Review process to align IT resources more effectively with strategic institutional priorities and utilize IT resources most effectively and efficiently. In addition to this annual process, there will be regular meetings with the leadership of each SJU Business Unit. These will be scheduled through the Project Management Office (PMO) and will be used to discuss scheduled, deferred or cancelled projects.

Submitting a project in the prescribed solicitation window will be the best route to project approval, and ultimately, completing the project when originally anticipated.

The exact dates below are estimates and will be adjusted for each calendar year.

Project Solicitation: December 1, 2013 – January 15, 2014

During this time, any projects for the next fiscal year (i.e. projects with a target completion date after June 1) should be submitted through the online Project Management Tool.

PMO Review: January 15 – February 15, 2014

The PMO will conduct individual reviews in this window. This review will ensure that all essential business requirements are collected and fully defined. Projects that involve only one resource will be forwarded to the appropriate Unit Manager for feasibility evaluation and estimated development days.

Unit Review: February 18, 2014

In this step, Unit Managers will review all cross‐divisional projects in a day‐long event. A final list will be compiled for the Information Technology Advisory Committee (ITAC) project review subcommittee, Enterprise Systems Advisory Council (ESAC), and full ITAC membership.

University Vetting: April 1‐May 15, 2014

The Information Technology Advisory Committee (ITAC) project review subcommittee, Enterprise Systems Advisory Council (ESAC), and ITAC will review the IT portfolio; provide feedback and guidance to ensure that the IT portfolio aligns with the strategic initiatives of the University.

FY 15 Begins: June 1, 2014

FY 15 IT projects are underway. Additional project submissions will be reviewed and business requirements gathered on a bimonthly basis. Additional project resources will be evaluated and advanced to IT unit managers for portfolio changes. IT advisory bodies will weigh into the vetting process for additional projects throughout the year.

Project requests should be funneled to the appropriate IT liaisons* for submission:
Advancement – Tamsin Burns
CAS – Anne Szewcyk
Enrollment Management – Bob McBride
Financial Affairs – Maryann Flynn
HSB – Peggy Allen
Human Resources – Matt Petitt
Student Life – Karla Castro
*The IT project management office is also available to assist with project submission.

annual review

Street Team: Legal Ways to Watch Movies

As winter break progresses, some of you might start feeling a bit bored of flipping through TV channels during your free time. You’ve worked your shifts for the weeks if you have a winter job, and you’ve caught up with most of your friends from home, so now you’re wondering what should I do next? Before you go online to download some movie or TV show illegally to pass the time, check out this list of places to watch them legally, and enjoy your holiday without getting into trouble with the law.

Subscription sites

  1. You have probably all heard of Netflix before, but in case you haven’t, it is a place to “watch TV shows and movies anytime anywhere.” It offers tons of free movies but you do have to sign up and get a subscription for $7.99, but they do offer a free month if you want to try it out.
  2. Another super popular place to find streaming videos is Hulu. Hulu has a bunch of B-rated movies you might never have heard of but there are some gems you can find if you search for a bit. Some of the better titles are available on Hulu Plus which is also $7.99 a month but gives you a week to try it out ( we won’t judge if you watch to binge watch all your TV shows the week of your free trial).
  3. Amazon Prime lets you watch popular movies and TV and also gives you free shipping and a free kindle book loan each month. It gives you a free 30-day trial but after that is gets pretty pricey at $79 a year. But it does offer more for its subscribers than most other sites.
  4. Xfinity TV If you’re a Comcast subscriber, you already have access to movies on demand on your TV, Fancast provides a wider selection of free movies to watch online. You can also rent the movies on your TV with on demand.

Rentals

If you don’t feel like paying for a monthly subscription, a few companies have pay-as-you-go move rentals such as Blockbuster’s On Demand, Best Buy’s CinemaNow, Vudu, and even iTunes. These sites are generally better for those of you who want to watch new releases instantly.

Free

1. A lot of these sites provide you with films that are on the public domain, which means they will most likely not be the newest releases. These sites are great if you want to brush up on your classics, westerns, indies, or noir films.

CrackleInternet ArchiveYoutubeTop Documentary FilmsOpen CultureGoogle VideoSnagFilms

Street Team: Managing Space on your iOS 7 Device

Since the release of iOS7, we’ve seen many users encountering issues with free space on their iPhones, iPads, and iPods. The upgrade, if done directly on the device, requires several gigabytes of free space on its own.

 

Over time, smartphones, tablets and other portable devices can quickly become filled with music, video, picture and application files. This is especially true for Apple devices, given the size of the iTunes App Store and the ease of syncing content to the devices.

 

If you’re having issues with free space on your device, there are a few easy steps you can take to both figure out why you’re using up so much space, and address the problem.

Firstly, it’s a good idea to take a look at the built-in storage management that iOS comes with. Tap settings, then general and then finally tap usage and it should take you to a screen that gives you a description of how much space each application is taking up.

You may find that graphics-intensive games will take up a good bit of space, as will videos and oftentimes pictures. If you see an application you’d like to delete to free up some space, you can simply tap on it and then tap “Delete App” to immediately free the space.

 

If you don’t see any applications that are taking up exorbitant amounts of space, then the most likely culprit is media content. When it comes to music and videos, it may be best not to store the files on the iOS device at all, and instead opt to use streaming services for music such as Spotify, Google Play Music, Netflix, etc. Otherwise, music and video files can very quickly end up filling a 8GB or 16GB iOS device to capacity.

If photos and emails are your main culprit, there’s an (likely) easier solution. With iOS 6, Apple released a new feature called the iCloud. This essentially allows you to access your files (music,  contacts, photos, emails, etc.) on your device from anywhere, as long as it has a data—3G, 4G or WiFi—connection. In order to enable this feature, you simply enter the settings menu and tap iCloud. From there, you can select all the items you want to store on the iCloud. Apple offers 5GB of space free for all users, so while this can be useful for photos, mail, contacts and calendars, you must be a little careful with how much you decide to store.

If you follow all of the above steps and your iOS device still doesn’t seem to have any space available, the final step is to plug the phone into your computer and open iTunes to check the storage usage. Once iTunes is open, select your device in the top right hand corner of the library. Immediately at the bottom you should see a breakdown of what types of content are using data on your device. If music or videos is the problem, then you simply need to remove some of that media content via iTunes to free up space.

If you see a large yellow bar with “Other” taking up a ton of your space, then freeing space is a bit more tricky. This is a common issue with iOS devices, although much less common since the release of iOS 7, and it results in large amounts of storage being used up by temporary files or files that are no longer in use. Bringing your device into Science Center 129 is recommended in this case, because it can often be a bit demanding to figure out how to clear out the space occupied by files designated as “Other” by iTunes.

As always, if you have any other issues with your iOS device or questions about keeping free space on it, stop by the TSC in Science Center 129 for assistance!

Street Team: Tablet or iPad – Worth the Expense?

With ads and news about the release of the latest tablet constantly bombarding the consumer market, you may be wondering if a small piece of technology is really all it is hyped up to be.

This past summer, I purchased an iPad 4 so I had a portable system for studying in China. 218415_10151521358298302_363919494_o

While abroad, it replaced my usual computer and was perfect for travel. I hadn’t thought about tablets too much before then though. My brother had gotten one as a gift and raved about it, but I did not really understand the allure until I got one myself. It was a blessing in disguise while abroad, as I could carry it around wherever I went. However, I did not realize just how much it would affect my study experience here back at Saint Joe’s. As the semester progressed, I began to compile a list in my head of good and bad things about having a tablet, which I’d like to share.

Pros

Lightweight, small, and portable

    I never carried around my laptop for classes because it was cumbersome and took up a lot of space in my bag. My iPad on the other hand conveniently fits into any school bag so I bring it to class almost every day.

Apple product compatibility

    I know many people believe this to be just a stupid gimmick to buy Apple products, but it really does come in handy. My iPad automatically syncs to my other Apple products and backs up to my iCloud.

Apps

    There are some really cool apps you can download that make your life ten times easier. Some examples are notetaking apps, comprehensive calendar apps, news apps, and social networking apps. I previously wrote an article on some cool apps which you can check out here (http://sites.sju.edu/oit/index.php/2013/09/25/top-apps-for-college-students/)

Entertainment

    I love watching Netflix on my iPad in bed. It is probably one of my favorite ways to take a study break. The tablet is great because I can hold it any which way and it’s not as heavy or cumbersome to have in bed as a laptop. There are also some really fun gaming apps to pass the time. I generally check out what’s popular in the app store and download hours of fun.

EBooks

    One of the biggest draws for people who purchase tablets is EBooks. I downloaded an app (OverDrive Media Console – Library eBooks and Audiobooks) that gives me access to my local library and its large digital collection of books.

KindleFireB

I love being able to read at night, especially because I do not have a bedside lamp at school. I can freely download and read books for fun or I can also catch up on that last minute bit of reading for tomorrow’s class. Many users claim that they don’t like not being able to feel and physically turn the pages of a book. But for me, the iPad is often lighter than some of the books I read, I don’t fiddle with a physical bookmark, it’s easier to read at night in bed.

e-books1-1024x772

Textbooks

    This is probably the best part about having a tablet and one of the main reasons why I bought mine in the first place. I was required to bring a 500 page textbook to China. When I found out my weight limit for luggage was 45lbs, I looked into alternative ways to bring such a large textbook. I didn’t think I would use my iPad for textbooks other than that; I liked physically highlighting my texts and writing notes in the margins. The iPad allows you to do all this and more. You can highlight and make notations in any books and then search for them later. The ability to scroll through everything you’ve marked is wonderful for papers and studying for tests. You also can search for key terms. I especially like this feature because I tend to get books that are different from my professors. So if they are lecturing in class and start quoting a passage, I can immediately look it up and find it within seconds. I downloaded the Kindle app and got the majority of my textbooks for less than half the price of what they would’ve been at the bookstore. Some of my smaller books were even free! I love the fact that I have access to almost all of my books in one place and I can carry them all to class without having a 50+lb bag. It very convenient to have all my books with me at all times especially if I have a few minutes to read in the library, say if a class got cancelled or I have a meeting.

Cons

Silverlight/QuickTime software compatibility

    One thing I’ve noticed is that my iPad is not compatible with QuickTime or Silverlight, so I can’t watch things online like Hawkvision. You often have to download the apps for things like Hulu and Xfinity, and they don’t always offer the same content as on their website.

Netflix Facebook US Integration Screenshot

Excel/Word

I did not purchase the Office suite for the iPad because it was a few hundred dollars and it got poor reviews. There are similar apps available such as Pages, but they’re also expensive and it is hard to share papers and projects with non-iPad users. I generally end up converting something or sending it to myself to fix later.

Typing

    One of the little things that always seems to get me is typing. I found it hard to type on such a small screen at first and I’ve always liked having something physical to push on a keyboard. I constantly make typos which then autocorrects the word to something entirely different. It has definitely been an adjustment.  One upside to a touch screen keyboard is that you can undock and split it so you can type using your thumbs as you would with your phone.

Wireless

    This is probably the bit that annoys me the most. I did not purchase a data plan with my iPad. So while I can have access to wireless almost everywhere I go, when it gets spotty half my apps don’t work. I went on a road trip and brought my iPad in the car with me. I didn’t realize that almost all games require the wireless to play. Also, if I’m in a spot where there is wireless access, but not a very good signal, apps won’t work. For example, the Google Drive app often won’t allow me to make changes on my documents if the wireless signal isn’t strong enough.

 

Our GA Claire also uses an iPad for her classes- “I use an app called Note taker HD (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/note-taker-hd/id366572045), it has a wrist guard for taking notes which is super helpful because I’m left handed. I like using it to draw on the slides the teachers post.  You definitely have to invest in good stylus for note-taking, I use one from Belkin. The bad ones don’t write as well so they’re much harder to take notes with. But even with a good stylus you have to practice to be able to write good notes. One bad thing about taking notes on an iPad is that some teachers don’t like you to have technology out while their teaching. They just haven’t fully accepted it. Also, not all apps are integrated, so file sharing with group mates is sometimes difficult. You end up having to convert a lot of files. The iPad is a lot less to carry and I like it for textbooks because I can easily search for a word. It has been much more convenient to find all the textual resources especially at end of semester for papers. I don’t really like using it for EBooks as much, but it’s nice that I can read in bed at night without a light.”

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“If you’re willing to spend the money, it’s amazing”  and I totally agree. Despite the few flaws a tablet might have, it is the best purchase I’ve made in a while.

You may be looking for a gift for the upcoming holiday season, or simply interested for the latest innovation. Either way, tablets are increasing in popularity. If you are interested in starting a search for a new tablet, I would suggest checking out http://reviews.cnet.com/best-tablets/ and other reviews carefully before making your decision.

Street Team: Academic Dashboard

Academic Dashboard – Andrew Wyschnskyj

             I recently contacted Gerry Donahue, Assistant Director of Business Intelligence and Analytics in the Office of Information Technology, about the Academic Dashboard.  The Academic Dashboard is a newly released tool, created by IT.   Gerry me some insight about how the Dashboard is used and what the purpose of the Dashboard is.  IT designed the Dashboard, with input from Faculty and College Deans, with the hopes of improving the campus environment.  The overall goal of having the Academic Dashboard is to make SJU a better place for all students and faculty in general.

IMG_9939

The purpose of this article is to explain to my fellow students how the Dashboard can improve the lives of SJU students, so I had to find out how it works. The Dashboard takes different information and data from SJU’s administrative database and uses multiple tools that allow for easy access to the information. The Dashboard conveniently makes that information available for the faculty administrators and deans.  Those individuals will use the data from the Dashboard in the course of their decision making.  IT wanted to keep the tool as simple as possible so everyone can understand how the system works without needing advanced computer skills.

Some pieces of information that will be available are different class sizes, and how many sections there are for each course being offered. Different courses would benefit by having a smaller student to teacher ratio.  The Dashboard helps to determine that.  By having an appropriate number of students in each course, the students can have a closer relationship to the teachers and improve learning conditions. The teachers would have an easier time keeping track of all their students. Since the Academic Dashboard can show how many students are enrolled in each course, they may notice that the class sizes are getting bigger than what the University wants.  Because the appropriate people have access to this information through the Academic Dashboard, they will be able to make an informed decision to increase the number of sections available for students to take. This will not only benefit the students and professors, but the University as a whole by maintaining a distinguished standard of classroom environments.  Similar situations can be improved due to the availability of information in the Academic Dashboard. There may be certain courses that have too many classes available during certain semesters. This can lead to classes not being filled because the students enrolled in the class are distributed relatively evenly leaving openings in different classes. Now that this information is easily accessible they can make decisions to reduce the amount of sections for this particular course.

commlab

The Academic Dashboard is a great asset to the SJU community. There are many advantages to having the Academic Dashboard on our campus. Maintaining the Dashboard, and updating the system whenever necessary will help improve the experience the students have during their time at Saint Joseph’s University. It will also help make the faculty and staff’s lives easier by preventing a surplus or deficiency of students in each class. Overall it will help improve everyone who is involved with this campus, and we should be very thankful to have the Academic Dashboard at our disposal.

If you have any questions about the purpose and function of Academic Dashboard, please contact the TSC!