Welcome Back to the Nest Fellow Hawks

Welcome back to campus for the start of the new school year!

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As you begin to settle back into campus life (or enjoy it for the first time!) and start to accept that you will not have your mom’s homemade cooking again until Fall Break, here is some information for you to read to get your mind off of home.

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Below is some standard information that all students should be aware of whether you are a freshman, transfer student, or going into your final year. If you need help with understanding any of the below information, please visit our KnowledgeBase**.  You will need to login with your SJU username and password.

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Wireless

For instructions on connecting to the campus wireless (sjuwireless) click on the following  link. When connecting to the campus wireless you will need both your SJU username (example: ab123456) and password. Once you connect to the wireless network you will have access to it from anywhere on campus. For the fastest speed it is best to connect an Ethernet cable while using it in dorm rooms.

Office 365

If you have not yet downloaded Office 365 or wish to add another device click here. Every student has five downloads of Office 365.  This allows you to have Office 365 on your laptop, desktop, and iPad if you wish.

Printing

When printing on campus you can use either Mobile Print, or printing from a campus computer.

Here is how to use Mobile Print

  1. Using your SJU email account, send an email containing the document as an attachment to mobileprint@sju.edu
  2. Go to the lab nearest to you and locate an open printer.
  3. Swipe your SJU ID card and select the document from the touchscreen and hit Print.

Mobile Print Locations

  • DMZ (Digital Media Zone) – P1 which is located on the 2nd floor of the PLC
  • Merion – P1 which is located in Merion Hall room 151 print center on Maguire campus
  • Campion – P1 which is located in the Campion 3rd floor computer lab
  • Perch – BW which is located in the Perch
  • PLC (Post Learning Commons) – BW1, PLC-BW2 and PLC-BW3 which the black and white printers located in the PLC 1st             floor computer lab
  • PLC – Color1 which is the color printer located in the PLC first floor computer lab
  • Drexel Library – BW which is located on the first floor of the Drexel Library
  • PLC – Color2 which is the color printer located on the first floor of the Drexel Library

The KnowledgeBase
A great tool that is at the hands of both students and faculty is the Knowledge Base. The Knowledge Base is a website that has articles that answer a variety of questions that you may have concerning technology. If you need help connecting to wireless or accessing The Nest, you can visit our KnowledgeBase and look to see step-by-step instructions on how to set things up.

Asking for Help
When the KnowledgeBase doesn’t help you entirely you can submit a service request for the IT department to look at and give you further instructions for solving the problem. To submit a service request, you can visit our IT Support Portal.  Once on the homepage click on the Submit a Ticket button on the left hand side and you will be brought to a page where you can create your ticket. Once you have submitted your ticket IT will look at it and figure out the best course of action to take to help you solve your problem.

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Gaming/Smart TV’s
A new addition has been added this year to make setting up your gaming system, Smart TV, Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Firestick, or Chromecast easier to set up. To add one of these to the wireless system click on the following linkThis link will bring you to a page where you will be asked for your SJU username and password, then you will be brought to a page where you will be given the password for your device.

PLEASE NOTE: EACH DEVICE NEEDS ITS OWN PASSWORD

You will have to go through this process each time you want to add a device to the network. For example, if you have an Xbox, a Wii, and a Apple TV you will have to go through this process three times. The network that you will be adding your devices to is sjudpsk.

The TSC hopes that everyone has a smooth and successful academic year. If you need any help with setting up laptops, phones, gaming systems, or have any technology question please stop by or call. We are located in the Science Center 129. Calls can be made to (610)-660-2920.

Move-in Weekend

Welcome back to Hawk Hill for the 2016-2017 school year!

As you prepare to settle back onto campus there are a few technology things you should know to make your move in run smoothly. Move-in-Weekend is hectic so come prepared. If you need help with wireless or adding Office 365, or need to know how to set up wireless for gaming systems and Smart TV’s please read this article.

The TSC will be open during Move-In-Weekend from 9am-7pm on both Saturday and Sunday.

Here are some quick things that may help answer some questions you may have during move in weekend.

Wireless

When connecting to the campus wireless (sjuwireless) click on the following link. When connecting to the campus wireless you will need both your student login (ab123456) and password. Once you connect to the wireless network you will have access to it from anywhere on campus. For the fastest speed it is best to connect an Ethernet cable while using it in dorm rooms.

 

Office 365

If you have not yet downloaded Office 365 or wish to add another device click here. Every student has five downloads of Office 365. This allows you to have Office 365 on your laptop, desktop, and iPad if you wish. Once you login you will the pop-up shown below. Hit cancel.

Printing

When printing on campus you can use either Mobile Print, or printing from a campus computer.

Here is how to use Mobile Print

  1. Using your SJU email account, send an email containing the document as an attachment to mobileprint@sju.edu
  2. Go to the lab nearest to you and locate an open printer.
  3. Swipe your SJU ID card and select the document from the touchscreen and hit Print.

Mobile Print Locations

  • DMZ (Digital Media Zone) – P1 which is located on the 2nd floor of the PLC
  • Merion – P1 which is located in Merion Hall room 151 print center on Maguire campus
  • Campion – P1 which is located in the Campion 3rd floor computer lab
  • Perch – BW which is located in the Perch
  • PLC (Post Learning Commons) – BW1, PLC-BW2 and PLC-BW3 which the black and white printers located in the PLC 1st             floor computer lab
  • PLC – Color1 which is the color printer located in the PLC first floor computer lab
  • Drexel Library – BW which is located on the first floor of the Drexel Library
  • PLC – Color2 which is the color printer located on the first floor of the Drexel Library

The KnowledgeBase
A great tool that is at the hands of both students and faculty is the Knowledge Base. The Knowledge Base is a website that has articles that answer a variety of questions that you may have concerning technology. If you need help connecting to WiFi or accessing The Nest, you can visit The Knowledge Base and look to see step by step instructions on how to set things up.

Submitting Tickets
When the KnowledgeBase doesn’t help you entirely you can submit a ticket for the IT department to look at and give you further instructions for solving the problem. To submit a ticket, you can click on this link which will bring you to the Information Technology Support Portal. Once on the homepage click on the submit ticket button on the left hand side and you will be brought to a page where you can create your ticket. Once you have submitted your ticket IT will look at it and figure out the best course of action to take to help you solve your problem.

Gaming/Smart TV’s
A new addition has been added this year to make setting up your gaming system, Smart TV, Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Firestick, or Chromecast easier to set up. To add one of these to the wireless system click on the following linkThis link will bring you to a page where you will be asked for your SJU username and password, then you will be brought to a page where you will be given the password for your device.

PLEASE NOTE: EACH DEVICE NEEDS ITS OWN PASSWORD

You will have to go through this process each time you want to add a device to the network. For example, if you have an Xbox, a Wii, and a Apple TV you will have to go through this process three times. The network that you will be adding your devices to is sjudpsk.

The TSC hopes that everyone has a smooth and successful academic year. If you need any help with setting up laptops, phones, gaming systems, or have any technology question please stop by or call. We are located in the Science Center 129. Calls can be made to (610)-660-2920.

Everyone here at the TSC hopes that you have a smooth and successful Move-In-Weekend. If you need any help with setting up laptops, phones, gaming systems, or have any technology question please stop by or call. We are located in the Science Center 129. Calls can be made to (610)-660-2920.

New Transfer Student? Read on!

The article below was written by our newest TSC Student Technician, Caroline Beaupre. Caroline blog photois an incoming transfer student from Duquesne University who is majoring in Business Intelligence and Analytic’s.

Caroline started at the TSC in July and we couldn’t do what we do without her!

 

Welcome to Hawk Hill!

As a fellow transfer student I understand the amount of stress and unease that you all might be going through. Don’t be nervous about being at a new school, you made a great choice to continue your academic career here at Saint Joseph’s University. Coming to a new school can be frightening because you don’t know all the in’s and outs of campus. In due time you will soon find yourselves embedded in the SJU campus life.

There are likely tons of questions you have that have not yet been answered. These could range from how to log into the nest, to how your Hawk Card works, and how to hook up smart TV’s on campus. Let us help you in getting the hang of a new campus and new student life!

Hawk Card Information

Your Hawk Card is very important in your everyday here on Hawk Hill as it is vital for accessing campus services. Make sure to carry your Card at all times! This Card is crucial to being able to move around campus, as well as eat, print, access your dorm room, and buy things around campus.  It is highly suggested to put it on a lanyard, or in your wallet so that you know it will always be on you. Hawk Cash is cashless, prepaid spending account on your Hawk Card that is accepted on and around the Saint Joseph’s University campus. You must add value to your account before using Hawk Cash to make purchases and have suffice value available in your account to pay for each transaction. Every time you use your Hawk Cash account, the amount of the transaction will be deducted from your account and you may not spend more value then you have. Unused balances roll over semester to semester and year to year.

How do I get my Hawk Card?

Students will receive their new Hawk Card when checking into their residential buildings. Otherwise, cards are issued and distribute at the Office of Public Safety & Security located in Barbelin Room 13.

What if I lose my Hawk Card?

Immediately report a lost or stolen card to the Office of Public Safety & Security at 610-660-1111. To deactivate your Hawk Cash account, call 1-866-341-0101. Replacement cards are issued at the Office of Public Safety, a fee of $20 will be charged to replace your card.

What is my Hawk Cash Number?

Your 16-digit Hawk Cash number is located on the front of your Hawk Card and uniquely your prepaid spending account.

Where the Hawk Card is Accepted

Your Hawk Card is located at many local grocery stores, drug stores, and restaurants. For a full list of accepting locations, click here.

 

Gmail

How to setup my SJU Gmail in Mac Mail

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How to setup my SJU Gmail in Outlook

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How to setup my SJU Gmail on an iPad/iPhone

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Campus Wireless

Saint Joseph’s University offers free Wi-Fi on campus and in all residence halls. To learn how to add wireless to either your computers or phone clink on this link.

 

Smart TV’s

One of the benefits of living on campus is that you are able to use a Smart TV! This is something very unique that Saint Joseph’ offers its students. 

  • Smart TV
  • Apple TV
  • Roku
  • Amazon Firestick
  • Chromecast
  • Gaming Console

Please go to this link to request a password for our DPSK wireless network.

Quick Facts:

  • The TSC is located in Science Center 129, this is where you can get answers about all technology related issues.
  • The TSC offers a service called “Repair IT” for all students, whether you have purchased your computer through the SJU Laptop Program or not. More information on this can be found here
  • If you need to connect a device other than a computer (gaming console, smart TV, ect) to the wireless network, you will need a special password that can be requested here.
  • Students can print from their own devices to the public printers, and pick up their print jobs at their convenience by swiping the SJU ID
  • If you forgot your username of password, click here.
  • Residence halls are fully equipped with wireless, however we do not provide support or allow wireless printing on campus for security reasons. If you plan to bring a wireless printer to campus you will need to plug it in using a USB cable.

TSC Information

The TSC offers convenient walk in hours during the Fall and Spring semesters and modified hours during the Summer sessions. 

Fall and Spring

Monday – Thursday:         7:30am – 7:00pm
Friday:                              7:30am – 5:00pm
Saturday – Sunday:          12:00pm – 4:00pm

Summer

Monday – Thursday:         7:30am – 7:00pm
Friday:                              7:30am – 5:00pm

For assistance after walk in hours, call the TSC at 610-660-2920.  We have technicians standing by to assist you with your technology needs.

Tips and Tricks for Travelers

Whether you’re headed on a vacation or studying abroad, there are some basic necessities to bring with you. But as any frequent traveler knows, there are also tricks, gadgets, and apps to make your experience 10x better:

A universal power adapter should be the first thing you pack if you’re going out of the country. Find one that is all-in-one like this so that you don’t have to worry about losing or forgetting the adapter part that you need for the country you’re visiting.

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Invest in a luggage lock; they can give you peace of mind when you’re out of your hotel for the day but need to leave your valuables in your room.

2 luggage lock One common household item that can prevent travel disasters is a Ziploc bag. Always bring extras! They will prevent spills in your luggage and help keep items separate. Also look for travel space saver bags that roll up to reduce the air in your belongings so you can bring twice as much if needed!

3 pack-mate-suitcase-space-saver-roll-bag-sets-2-medium-1-large--[2]-182-p Noise cancelling headphones can give you peace of mind during a road trip or on a flight. Look for ones that eliminate sound instead of just reducing it so you don’t have to listen to the screaming baby in front of you during those long flights.

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If you’re looking at purchasing new luggage for your trip, be sure to look at 4 wheel suitcases. Studies have shown that baggage handlers at airports don’t throw these bags around as much because they’re easier to handle. Plus 4 wheels means no more twisting your wrist pulling your bag over the curb! Look for one with a unique pattern or color to stand out and save time at the baggage claim.

5 trave640829_205674_jbConcerned about having your bag lost or stolen? Trakdot luggage tracker can put your mind at ease. This gadget uses microelectronics and ground based cellular technology to pinpoint the location of your bag.

6 TrakdotLuggageTracker_Globtrac If you’re going somewhere exotic, consider investing in a SteriPEN, especially if you frequent places with unsafe drinking water. This handy gadget uses UV light to disinfect water! It’s also great for camping and long backpacking trips.

7 steripenApps to look out for

AirBnB: Whether you’re backpacking through Europe with friends or couch surfing across the US, AirBnB is your friend. If you’ve never heard of it before, AirBnB matches trustworthy hosts with travelers willing to stay in one of their rooms for a couple of nights. Listings vary by location and range from a living room to an entire apartment. The locations are generally nicer than hostels, but can be a lot cheaper than staying in a hotel, which is great for students.

9 Airbnb-4.0-for-iOS-app-icon-is-smallEntrain: If you have trouble adjusting to your new time zone, try Entrain to reduce jet lag. It uses light to set your internal clock to the new schedule and gets you back on track faster.

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Foodspotting: Whether you’re looking for a place to satisfy your cravings, or just a good restaurant near your hotel, Foodspotting is a visual guide to good eats in your area.

11 CR082K14-Foodspotting_AppGoogle Maps: Many of you may question why this one is on the list because either you already have it, or you use the maps app already on your phone. But there is a secret trick to Google Maps! When you know you’re going to be out of service or in spotty wifi areas in the future, zoom to the area you’ll need to reach your next destination and type “ok maps” into the search bar. This saves the map that’s on your screen so that you can follow it without service!

12 google mapsJetsetter: You may think that travel apps like this are pointless because you can do it all online anyway, but jet setter has a special feature that allows you to book 4 and 5 star hotels for a very low price on the day of your stay. If you’re in the city and can’t decide whether to go home, or if your hotel turns out to be a cockroach filled dump, check the tonight tab to see what else is available. Even though rooms are posted at noon, and can fill up pretty quickly, it’s a great option for impromptu trips to NYC or other local cities.

13 jetsetter_iconPackpoint Packing List Travel Companion: This app helps you remember what you need to pack based on where you’re going and what activities you’ll be doing. You can also customize your list based on the weather and check out suggestions from other travelers.

14 Packpoint Packing List Travel Companion

Rick Steve’s Audio Europe: Don’t waste money on buying an audio guide in the museum or sightseeing center. With this app, you can download an audio guide the night before (so you don’t have to worry about a spotty connection) and listen to the history and significance of your destination. I used Rick Steve’s guides in Athens and Rome and learned so much more about the cultural heritage sites than I would have just reading the brochures! I’d definitely recommend at least trying it when you travel.

17 rick-steves-audio-europe-iphone-app-2012-iconUber:Quickly gaining in popularity, this app is expanding and the service is currently operating in 45 countries. Uber is a transportation service that schedules a driver approved by the company (but not a professional) to get you from your location to your destination. It’s similar to calling a taxi, but can be a lot more enjoyable.

18 uberWhat’sapp, Viper, and Skype:These apps are perfect for keeping in touch with friends and family while traveling. Viber and Whatsapp are great messengers if you’re abroad and don’t want to end up with an exorbitant bill at the end of your trip for texting or calling home. Skype is geared more towards video chat, if you prefer talking “face to face” but also can be used as a messenger if you don’t get service.

3appsXE Currency App: If you’re going to another country that doesn’t take dollars, download XE Currency. This app converts prices from one currency to another so you don’t have to worry about exchange rates. It also helps you realize how much money you’re spending and whether some of your purchases are really worth it!

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Street Team: Being New at SJU

The TSC Street Team is pleased to announce our newest blogger, Jamie Petragnani. Jamie is a Sophomore, English major and has worked with us for one year.  Stay tuned for more of Jamie’s writing throughout the semester!

 

Hawk Hill is beginning to fill with familiar faces and a slew of new hawks trying to find their dorms, classes, and so much more. As a rising sophomore, it is hard to believe that just one year ago I was in their shoes. I remember the nerves, the excitement, and the major adjustments that come with living on campus. As a freshman, you are no longer living in the comfort of the house where you have spent the majority of your life, where you know where everything is, and most likely you are not sharing one bathroom with 12 other people. I understand the stress and hopefully I can shed a little light on how to make your transition simpler.

After packing up your cars, driving to your building, and lugging all of your stuff into your new “home”, you are finally ready to settle in and get all of your computers, TVs, smart phones, and game consoles hooked up and ready to go. But how exactly are you supposed to do that? First and foremost, it is important to know that the Technology Service Center, or TSC for short, is always here to help you with any problem concerning any form of technology. Need the wifi set up on your laptop? Stop by science center 129. Your phone? Science center 129. Unable to access your SJU Gmail, Blackboard Learn, or The Nest? Science Center 129. Studying (cough) kept you up late and you don’t want to walk down to the Science Center? You can get over the phone support from the TSC by calling 610-660-2920 at any time. We are here to make sure you can always access your classes, finish up your papers, or stream Orange is the New Black from Netflix whenever you need to. (Everyone watches Orange is the New Black right? You should, it’s great.)

S1Cast

 

So, now that you know where to go if you have a problem, let’s talk about some resources you can access to make your transition time at SJU easier. The best resource for all things SJU is “The Nest” which can be access by going to nest.sju.edu. On The Nest you can register for classes, check all of your student bills, buy your textbooks, and so much more! Basically you can access anything related to your academic career on The Nest, but that’s not all. You are also free to post or view listings on The Nest List, located on the home page, for anything from a campus job application to the sale of used textbooks for cheap. The Nest is the University’s portal and the best way to access anything you may need for school online.

Brand new for this year, the TSC is happy to offer our Repair IT program. With this new program, any student who’s laptop may have gotten damaged (through no fault of your own ;]) can bring their system to the TSC, we can diagnose it, and if it needs to be sent out for repairs, the student has to opportunity to pay for the cost of repairs and nominal labor fee, then get a loaner from the TSC while their computer is being repaired. This way, no student needs to be subjected to sitting for 8 hours at a time in the middle of the library while attempting to finish their work.

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All in all, transitioning to college can be intimidating. For some students, you’ll be moving states away from your parents, friends, and everything that is familiar. The most important thing to remember is, everyone feels like this. Everyone is a little scared, a little excited, and a whole lot of nervous about being on their own for the first time. To work through the awkward “get to know me” phase of your freshman year, there are little things you can do to break the ice with your roommate, your suitemates, or your floor-mates. Do you have a Netflix or Hulu account? Why not host a movie night? Do you have an Xbox or PS3? Why not host a Madden or FIFA tournament? Have season tickets for basketball? Ask around and get a group of people to sit together and cheer on the hawks. The best thing to remember is that every freshman is new to campus and is looking for some new things to do; by setting up this simple events, you can easily get people together and talking and before you know it, SJU is going to feel just like home. Just make sure you have some snacks: if you have snacks, they will come. (Shout out to Field of Dreams).

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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: Holiday Gift Ideas

BYOD

With the holiday season sneaking up on us, now is the perfect time for an article with some new and exciting tech gifts. These gifts can be perfect to give to friends or family. You could even ask Santa for a few of these if you want to. Some of these ideas, such as different iPhone cases, pens, bluetooth keyboards and headphones, could really come in handy for everyday life .

There are a bunch of different iPhone cases on the market today. Some are meant for just style, others are for durability, waterproofing, and even charging. OtterBox and LifeProof cases are the most common iPhone cases. OtterBox cases are generally cheaper than LifeProof cases, but LifeProof cases are waterproof. They can range from around $30-$100 if you are paying full price. Some cases that are meant for style can be found for much cheaper. Some can be found on amazon for just a few dollars. There are new iPhone cases that have built in chargers. If your phone is low on battery you can put it in the case to get extended battery life. One brand, UNU, sells these cases for $45 at full price.

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A major part of college is note taking. There are now technology pens that help you with your notes. While you take regular notes with ink on paper, all of your notes are converted into digital notes that can be later edited, archived, and shared. You can take multiple pages of notes with these pens with ease. There are apps that can be downloaded so these notes can be viewed directly on your smartphone or tablet. These pens can be very handy but are relatively expensive. There are many different brands to buy from that have different features on these pens that can be found anywhere from $100-$300.

 

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Bluetooth keyboards have become very popular and useful for note taking and writing papers on the go. These keyboards can help write on tablets or phones. Typing a twenty word text message or post on Facebook can be simple enough on different devices, but writing a two page paper on a touch screen tablet would not be very pleasant. Keyboards allow you to type efficiently and easily. Some keyboards are specifically made for Android phones and tablets. Apple also has Bluetooth keyboards that can connect to any Mac, or iPad. Both of these keyboards can be found generally at around $70.

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Headphones are a great gift to think about for the holidays. Many people don’t want to spend a ton of money on big designer headphones that go over your ears, but some of the in-ear headphones don’t block out sound enough. Lots of different companies have been working on noise canceling in-ear headphones to get the best of both worlds. Sony has had Noise canceling ear buds for a while for around $70 at full price. This is still much cheaper than paying $300 for Beats by Dre. Bose has also been putting out commercials for their new noise canceling headphones which are around $100 full price.

 

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Many products are designed specifically for apple products, but there is a new innovative product that apple does not have first dibs on. Samsung has recently come out with a smart watch that is connected with your phone. This watch is only compatible with the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy S 4. This new watch is equipped with a touch screen and allows you to receive cals, emails, and text all on the watch. This can be done so in a much less distracting way then having to pull out your phone in the middle of a conversation or other scenarios.

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Bluetooth seems to be a very common feature that has been incorporated in almost all technology products on the market today including speakers. Bluetooth speakers now come in all different shapes, sizes, and prices.  Some of the more standard speakers like the Jambox by Jawbone have a good quality sound to them and can get relatively loud for the size of them. They go for around $100 and can allow 10 hours of listening time before recharging the battery.  You can find much cheaper alternatives for about $15-20 that have very similar features but the quality of music will not be as good and the batteries can only last about 6 hours. Depending on how loud and what sound quality of music you want to listen to you can find the perfect pair of Bluetooth speakers with such a wide variety to choose from.

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The holiday season brings tons of new items on the market. The good news about all of these new tech gadgets that can be very helpful to college students is that there are always sales during this time of year. With non-stop sales for the next month or so all of these gifts could be found at great prices.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!