We’ve all had a moment when we sat at our computers, wondering why it was running slower than it did when we first bought it. When you take it in to ITS to find out why, they ask if you’ve downloaded anything recently. You don’t remember downloading anything, but the tech gurus are fairly certain you have a virus or malware. How did this happen?
Whether you realize it or not, malware (the villain of technology) is everywhere. When you visit a website and a pop up appears offering you a free download, it is most likely malware, dressed up as ”must have” software. From offers and ads on websites to that pop up offering you a soulmate for only $19.99 a month, malware is always trying to find a way in to your computer. But how can you keep the villains out?
There are many ways you can protect your computer, including running security scans and installing ad blockers. Etown provides Symantec Antivirus protection and it is recommended that you run a security scan at least once a week to check for viruses and other malware. In addition, most browsers offer an Add On which blocks ads and stops them from downloading anything on to your computer. This includes blocking ads on YouTube and Pandora. Check out the Add Ons available for your browser in the options or tools panel.
To learn more about malware, check out the ITS Knowledgebase (http://bit.ly/ZRoEr6) and this short video from Google on identifying malware: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvIXGeB1WgE
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Avoid looking up a phone number. Instead ask the phone for the number! Don’t even pick up the handset!
Dial extension 1100.
When asked, say the name of the person you are trying to call and you will be connected.
If you really want to look up a phone number use the On-Line Campus Directory.
Go to http://www.etown.edu/directory/index.aspx. Then type the person’s name or department in the search box.
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Using the blog or journal tools in Blackboard, although useful, can be frustrating when it comes to grading. Many instructors have had problems with the single grade you can input for the entire tool, regardless of how many posts there are throughout the semester.
Now there is a creative work around solution! When using the rubric tool, simply create a row in the rubric for each entry and assign points per entry. This solves the singular grade issue and avoids students stressing out because they see a very low grade at the beginning of the semester.
Bonus Tip: Add a row to the rubric each time a new post is due so the total points possible for the assignment is up-to-date with each entry.
Find out more by reading the Blackboard help guide on Rubrics here: https://help.blackboard.com/en-us/Learn/9.1_SP_10_and_SP_11/Instructor/040_Student_Course_Experience/Student_Performance/Rubrics
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When was the last time you attended a webcast or online activity orientated on student success in the classroom? If you can’t remember when (or even if you can) make sure to check out Student Success Week put on by Turnitin October 6 – 10. This online conference is full of tips, tricks, and ideas for innovating the classroom while maintaining a balance between classroom assessments and individual-focused teaching.
Find out more here: http://www.turnitin.com/en_us/resources/student-success-week
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Did you know that Elizabethtown College Faculty and Staff can create personal websites? The Office of Marketing and Communications offers this service along with a pre-designed free WordPress template. If you need help working on your website, there are periodic training workshops offered by the ITS Department and PDF How To’s on the Knowledgebase.
Visit the Faculty and Staff Websites ITS Knowledgebase article to find out how to submit a request, attend a training workshop, receive desk side assistance or “How-To” documentation.
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Do you have a lot of personal pictures on your devices? Do you know where they’re stored? A majority of smartphone users have no idea that their device is automatically backing up these photos by putting copies of them in the Cloud.If you’d like to stop sharing, there’s a simple solution. Click on the link below to read how to stop backing up your photos and keep those embarrassing selfies a secret.
How to Turn Off iCloud Backup
Adapted From Slate.Com by Will Oremus
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Every year some students bring wireless printers or routers on campus hoping to use them. However, attempting to set up these devices interferes with the campus wireless network and can affect not only your devices but those of students around you.
Using a wireless printer is similar to blasting music from your room when the school radio station already broadcasting. The two music streams interfere with each other and neither broadcast can be enjoyed.
Instead of using the wireless feature, bring a USB printer cable and use a wired connection to print in your room. Also, be sure that the wireless is turned off on the printer. If you don’t have a printer that uses a wired connection, don’t worry. Etown allots 500 pages per semester free of charge for printing on campus.
Routers are not allowed in any capacity on campus. They interfere with connections to the campus wireless network and are against the college’s Acceptable Use Policy. All students have signed this policy prior to living on campus and must adhere to it during their time as students at Elizabethtown College. To review the Acceptable Use Policy, click here.
If you have already brought a router to campus and have been using it, please stop immediately. This improves the wireless experience for everyone on campus.
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Clubs, both new and existing, will now register through JayWeb for the school year. Each year between April 1st and September 22nd, clubs will be required to register and Student Senate will process the registrations for approval and constitution review. Clubs can also use the registration form to request funds and make changes to officers.
This change in registration forms also eliminates an issue in the past where existing clubs would lose access to their resources (club email, etc.) until they reregistered. From now on, as long as the existing club reregisters by the deadline, there will be no access loss.
New clubs, which can be started at any point during the school year, can also use this form to register their club. All clubs must be registered and approved by Student Senate before access to technology resources like club email will be implemented.
In order to register your club, visit this link. You must be logged in to JayWeb to view the form.
Student Senate estimates a 3-4 day review process for constitutions of new clubs before registration changes are made.
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Whether you’re taking notes in class or reviewing for a quiz, apps can be very useful for helping you learn. Here’s Etown’s 2014 List of Top 10 Apps for Students:
- Dictionary.com Dictionary & Thesaurus
This handy app not only offers definitions of words, it also features a thesaurus for when you’re looking for another way to say what you mean. It also includes audible pronunciations and search-by-voice. This app is available for both Android and iOS devices and is free! The best part? It works offline too.
This unique app, also known as If This Then That, uses triggers in your phone to start commands that you choose. For example, “If it rains tomorrow morning, remind me to wake up for class thirty minutes early” or “If I am tagged in a photo on Facebook, send me a text message.” IFTTT is fairly new so it’s being updated with new features all the time. This free app also works on both Android and iOS devices.
It can be hard to keep track of spending when it’s so easy to just swipe your ID card on campus to pay for most things. This neat app helps you control your budget and keeps track of what you usually spend your money on. This can help you manage your money and shows it easily with both numbers and charts. This award winning app is free and is available for both Android and iOS devices.
Remember that website you love to use whenever a paper is due? Well now, it’s even easier to cite than before! Simply scan the barcode on the back of the book and the citation is created automatically. You can choose between MLA, APA, and Chicago style and email the finished bibliography once you’re done. Available for Android and iOS devices for free.
Although not a new app, this one is still a great tool while you’re at college. From keeping in touch with family back home to interviewing for a potential job, Skype is a great well-known app to get the job done. Free for Android and iOS devices.
Long distance relationships can be tough, especially when you’re in college. For those trying to make it work, this is the app for you. Using Between, you can share pictures, videos, and voicemails, keep a calendar, and send messages with only your significant other. This app is free and available for both Android and iOS devices.
- Alarmy (Sleep if U Can)
Having trouble waking up for class on time? Hit the snooze button one too many times? Stop missing classes and download Alarmy (Sleep if U Can). This app forces you to get up on time by only allowing you to turn off the alarm by going to a place it says and taking a picture of it. For example: the door of your closet. This app is free for Android users but costs $1.99 for iOS devices (sorry Apple fans).
Struggling with your foreign language course or just want to learn a new one on your own? This app offers 8 different languages (including French, Spanish, German, and Portuguese). Learn by playing games, practicing translations, and gaining experience XP. Already know the basics? Duolingo gives you a placement test to put you in the appropriate place. This app is free and available for both Android and iOS devices.
Studying with flashcards can be very useful, especially around midterm exams or finals. This app allows you to create flashcards for each class which contain text, pictures, or both. It also allows you to weed out the ones you already know so you can focus on the notes that are giving you trouble. This app is free and available for both Android and iOS devices.
That’s right! CliffsNotes has gone mobile. This great resource is now available in the iTunes store (sorry Android users, it’s not available for you yet) and is free.
This useful app keeps track of the water you drink throughout the day and tells you how much you need to hydrate. This can be very useful when working out and you aren’t sure if you’ve had enough water for the day. This app is only available on iOS devices and is free.
2. AnyList – Grocery Shopping List & Recipe Manager
Need to grab groceries but have to ask your roommate because of your busy schedule? Want to share a recipe with a friend? This unique app allows you to share your grocery lists and recipes with other users so you can make sure everything’s ready for dinner. Although not available for Android devices, this app is free for iOS devices.
For more information on the apps above and other useful apps, visit the links below:
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VPN, or Virtual Private Network, allows users to access their network folders and files from off campus by using remote access. Resources you can access include public/private folders, Jenzabar, and class folders. By using an encrypted channel to communicate with the college network, this can all be done securely. When you login to VPN and access your campus computer via remote access, it is as if you are sitting at your actual campus computer. While the terminology of “VPN” or “remote access” sounds complicated, once you have requested access to this service, it really is easy to use in a few clicks. No more emailing files to yourself or worrying about lost or corrupted flash drives!
If you’d like to use the VPN service, ITS will configure your account and help you. Simply fill out the Remote Access Request Form by following the link below.
Visit this link to request remote access and find out more.
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Office 2013 is now available for full time college employees who already use Office programs on their office work computers and would like to use it at home. This special offer allows for the download of Office 2013 on a personal or home computer or laptop for only $9.99. This “Work-at- Home” initiative is intended to make things easier on faculty and staff who wish to work on their personal computers and enjoy the 2013 version they currently use at work. This is a great savings over buying the software elsewhere or bundled with a new computer purchase.
Click here to navigate to the download for Office 2013 “Work-at-Home” offer.
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Whether you’re making notes for a lecture or using a virtual whiteboard in class, apps can be very useful for helping you teach. They can also be helpful when working in office. Here’s Etown’s 2014 List of Top 10 Apps for Faculty & Staff:
- iAnnotate PDF
One of the most popular productivity apps, iAnnotate PDF can be used to read, mark, and share PDFs, Word Documents, PowerPoints, and images. This useful app, available on both Android devices and iPads, can even be used to created new PDFs! With new updates all the time and developers who actually respond to feedback, this app is adding new features all the time. Although free for Android users, this app is $9.99 for iOS devices.
This unique app, also known as If This Then That, uses triggers in your phone to start commands that you choose. For example, “If it rains tomorrow morning, remind me to leave for class thirty minutes early” or “If I am emailed from an @etown.edu account, send me a text.” IFTTT is fairly new so it’s being updated with new features all the time. This free app also works on both Android and iOS devices.
This app is another PDF reader that works on both iPhones and iPads (sorry Android users, not for you). You can use PDF annotations to type in text boxes, draw lines and arrows, add sticky notes, and even make a freehand drawing. On sale in the Apple store for $2.99, this app is a wonderful alternative for iOS device users who don’t want to pay the full cost of iAnnotate PDF.
- Dragon Dictation
Ever wanted a hands free voice-to-text app to use for emails or text messages? Well, now you never have to use the keyboard on your phone again. With 31 languages to choose from, you can speak as you normally would and the app will type out what you’re saying for you in sixty seconds. This app is available for iOS devices only for free. (Sorry Android)
Do you use EventBrite online to schedule extra class sessions or meetings? How about using it to sign up for those handy ITS Workshops? (You really should attend those, you know.) Well, now there’s an app for that! Free for both Android and iOS devices, this app allows you to not only manage your own events, but discover more events, like concerts and gallery openings, near you! Open up a whole new world with the EventBrite app.
This app caters exclusively to instructors and allows you to manage your courses and students with only a few taps on the screen. Available on most iOS devices, this app has multiple languages and also works on Windows 8 devices. You can track attendance, participation, and grades. For those teaching education courses, this app would also be a good recommendation for your students who are student-teaching. The best part? It’s free.
- Cloud On
If you enjoy using Microsoft Office at work, then you definitely need to download this portable version on your devices. Create Word documents, PowerPoints, and Excel spreadsheets at the touch of a button. Although it doesn’t have all the advanced features of the full version, it is an app you’ll love for getting work done at home. This Microsoft Office alternative is free for both Android and iOS devices.
- Atomic Learning
Ever useful for training and instructional videos on hundreds of programs, this website has gone portable with the Atomic Learning iPad app. It’s free for iPads only (sorry everyone!) and allows you to watch all of the videos you desire. You can download a series or single videos to your iPad for viewing later without a Wi-Fi connection and can even store your certificates of completion.
While whiteboards may be the next generation of chalkboards, ShowMe is the next generation of whiteboards. This easy-to-use app works as an electronic whiteboard that you can use to create tutorials with voice-overs to share online. With the ability to draw and erase while recording, there is no limit to your creativity. You can record for as long or as short you like and there is no restriction on how many files you can create. You can even pause during recording if need be. This app, only available on iPads, is completely free.
Another interactive whiteboard, this app allows you to screencast as well. You can annotate, animate, and narrate anything you like as you explain concepts and create videos for class. After making your tutorials or lessons, you can share them with just a click of a button. This app is free and available only on iPads.
This $2.99 interactive app allows you to screencast for class. This app supports most file formats, including PDFs, PowerPoints, Word files, and more. Simply import your file and annotate, narrate, or animate the file before sharing it with others. This app is available for both Android and iOS users.
You know the website and now you know there’s an app! If you want to work on Blackboard from your tablet or iPad, this app can be extremely useful. It’s free to download but costs money to access your courses, relegating it to an Honorable Mention.
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Are you having trouble seeing the data in your Excel worksheet? There’s an easy solution. If you’d rather see as much of the worksheet as possible on one screen, there’s a solution for that too. Zooming in and out can not only be easier on the eyes, it can also give you a bird’s eye view of all your data at once.
Find out multiple ways using a PC or Mac to adjust the zoom in Excel’s worksheet view by reading the instructions and watching the Atomic learning video in the Knowledgebase article.
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