Recent Updates to Canvas: August 2016

There are some fantastic updates to Canvas recently.  Check out this video for some of the highlights or read the full release notes for all of the details.

Here are some of the new and updated features in Canvas:

  • Dashboard Course Card Images: The course cards on the Dashboard view can now have an image uploaded on them.  Were you missing having a banner image in your course?  This is a great way to bring back that personalized feel.
  • Hyperlinks Underlined: Would you prefer to view all links as underlined links?  If so, you can now customize this setting in User Settings.
  • Calendar Events: Have you ever mistakenly added an event to a calendar and then realized you put it on the wrong course calendar?  Now you can edit the calendar where the event appears.  Note: This does not yet apply to other calendar items like Assignments.
  • Desktop Sharing in Conferences: You can now use the Chrome browser to share your desktop in a conference session.  New enhancements should make desktop sharing faster, as well.
  • Style Updates: Modules, Assignments, Conferences and Quizzes have received a style update so they are easier to read and words won’t get truncated on smaller screens. In addition, instructors will see a green bar to the left of an item if it is published in addition to the usual green cloud with a check mark to the far right of the item.

You may also want to check out the many free webinars that Canvas offers every month.  There are many webinars over the next month.  Check them out at the Canvas LIVE website.

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Posted in Home Page, Canvas

New Accessible Course Template for Fall 2016

Over the last few weeks, you liknew Canvas home page ely received an email stating that your fall 2016 courses were updated with a new course template.  This new Canvas course template homepage is accessible to screen readers as the campus moves to compliance with federal law. The template is more streamlined than the original we were using.  Links to Library Assistance and Atomic Learning are now in the left navigation bar.  The new template removes the Q & A Course Discussion Board, the “Welcome to Canvas” Announcement, and the Textbook and Course Materials page.  New additions to the template include an updated “Course Intro.” module that includes pages to helpful links for using Canvas and college policies.

We have also added a “Practice Quiz” (meaning it doesn’t factor into the course gradebook), regarding FERPA in multiple section courses.  If your Canvas course contains more than one section of students, please be sure to have your students answer the one question quiz and alert Linda Macaulay if anyone does not agree to be a part of a combined course.  If that occurs, we can change some course settings and implement some design changes to protect the student information. If you don’t use Canvas or the course is only comprised of one section, this quiz can remain in an unpublished state so it is not visible to students.

If you do not see the new template in a course you plan to use this semester on Canvas, please be sure to email macaulayl@etown.edu ASAP so that the new template can be correctly copied into the course.

 

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Posted in Home Page, Canvas

Connecting ChromeCast Correctly

ChromcastIs your internet slow? Does the connection repeatedly fail? The culprit could be wireless devices like ChromeCast interfering with the internet connection. If you don’t set it up properly, ChromeCast could be eating up the signal.

To avoid connectivity problems, make sure that it is connected correctly. ChromeCast can work on campus without disrupting internet connectivity if it is configured and connected correctly.
ChromeCast cannot be connected to a computer while on campus. A computer must connect to EC_JAYNET_LOGIN while ChromeCast must connect to EC_OPEN_WIFI in order to function properly. Instead, connect your ChromeCast to a non-computer device like a television or game system, then connect to EC_OPEN_WIFI.
To configure your ChromeCast, read this Knowledgebase Article for assistance.

So, next time your internet is slow or isn’t connecting, don’t blame ITS. Blame Wi-Fi hogs like incorrectly configured ChromeCast devices.

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Posted in Computer Tips, Web Tips, Home Page, Digital Citizenship Tagged with: , , , , ,

Keep Your Devices Safe

ITS_Keep_Devices_SafeYou’re in the library getting some reading or research done. Your stomach has been rumbling for the last twenty minutes. You just want to run to the Jays and grab some chicken tenders before heading back to the library again.

“E-town is safe,” you think, “I’ll only be gone for a minute. No one will take my laptop if I just leave it here. Right?” 

Wrong.

No matter how safe you feel, or how much you think you can trust your peers, leaving your devices unattended is dangerous. Devices often contain personal information such as passwords, social security numbers, or contacts. Your first line of defense for keeping your devices safe should always be to keep them where you can protect them. Never leave your devices unattended on purpose.

If you happen to misplace or lose your device, your second line of defense is a password. Password protect your phones, laptops, tablets, and other devices. This prevents thieves from accessing your information if they do get their hands on your device. The best passwords are long, complex, and contain a mixture of numbers, letters, and symbols. Try auto-generating a password for added protection on important accounts or devices. Here is a free random password generator sponsored by Symantec. Norton Symantec also has a free Identity Safe program that monitors and protects all of your passwords for you. For more information on password protection programs and apps, read this Tech Tip on the Password Safe App.

Your third line of defense is a Find my Phone app and remote lock. Find my Phone apps allow you to search for a lost or misplaced device from another device using GPS. To find out more about Find my Phone apps, check out this Tech Tip: Find my Phone. Many Find my Phone apps have a remote lock feature that allows you to lock the device until is has been recovered. Some remote lock features display a number that a good intentioned person can call to return a lost device to its owner. Others simply prevent a user from unlocking or using the device until it is recovered.

A great additional feature to look for on Find my Phone apps, is the option to remote wipe your device. If you have extremely sensitive information, or if the odds of recovering your device are slim, then you can wipe the device remotely by restoring it to factory settings.

Remember to back-up your device regularly to prevent losing information from a lost or stolen device, especially if you have a remote wipe feature enabled.

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Posted in Computer Tips, New Student Tips, Home Page Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

Setting Up E-town Email on Phone

ITS_Blogpost_register_email2Setting up your smartphone or tablet to receive emails right to your mailbox is quick and easy, and it will save you a lot of hassle in the future. To set up your email, select the type of device you are using and follow the instructions listed in the Knowledgebase article.

Instructions for iPhones

Instructions for Android Devices

For additional assistance, you can email us at helpdesk@etown.edu, call us at extension x3333 (717-361-3333 off campus) or stop by and visit us in person in Nicarry 125.

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Posted in Web Tips, New Student Tips, Phone Tips, Home Page Tagged with: , , , ,

Tech Tip: Downloading Office 365

Office 365 is the complete Office 2016 package available to download on both PCs and Macs. E-town has a licensing agreement with Microsoft that allows currently enrolled students, and all faculty and staff to download Office to their personal computers or mobile devices for free while they are at E-town.

To access Office 365 on a PC or Mac, visit https://portal.office.com/home and follow the steps in the Knowledgebase article for Installing Microsoft Office.

For mobile devices, each Microsoft Office app must be downloaded separately from the app store and then you login with your E-town account information.

Enjoy your free Microsoft Office access!

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Posted in Computer Tips, Web Tips, Phone Tips, Home Page, Office 2016 Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,

Back to School!

backtoschoolWhether you’re coming to E-town’s campus for the first time this Fall or heading back for another year, there are some things you need to do to prepare for your arrival.

To find out what to expect when you arrive on campus and what you should do before hitting the road, watch the Tech Orientation video. If this isn’t your first year, it’s still a good idea to watch the video as a reminder of how to register new devices and to find out what resources are available this year.

Don’t forget to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to the ITS Blog to receive updates and tips about your technology.

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Posted in Computer Tips, Web Tips, New Student Tips, Home Page, Teaching and Learning, Digital Citizenship Tagged with: , , , , ,

Workshops and Recent Updates to Canvas – August 2016

There are some very useful updates to Canvas this month.  Watch the screencast to see some of these features or read the full release notes for all of the details.  Here are some of the salient highlights:

  • Assignments now may be easily excluded from the final course grade.  If you want to use an assignment for formative feedback, but don’t want it to count in the course grade, now faculty can check a box in the assignment settings (upon assignment creation or editing settings later) that will exclude the points given from the final course grade.  Note: This is currently only available for assignments and not possible for discussion boards or quizzes.
  • Speedgrader Navigation – The navigation buttons to move from one student to another is now located on the top right of the speedgrader window so that it is closer to where you work to save time and mouse movement.  Also, to return to the course home page, click the name of the course. The course name is located below the name of the assignment next to the due date.
  • Draft Comments – Now if you write a comment in Speedgrader and move to the next student, the comment is saved as a draft.  To submit a draft comment to the student, navigate back to the student and click the submit button.

If you have any questions about these updates or need additional help with Canvas, please contact Linda Macaulay at x3333 or macaulayl@etown.edu.  There will also be a Canvas Basics and a Canvas Advanced Workshop on Wednesday, August 24th. Register if you would like to attend.  Details are below:

Wed Aug 24 9:00 am Canvas Basics Workshop for Faculty New! (Nicarry Hall 208 (General Purpose Computer Lab))
10:00 am Canvas Advanced Workshop for Faculty New! (Nicarry Hall 208 (General Purpose Computer Lab))

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Posted in Home Page, Canvas

Tech Tip: Atomic Learning Tutorial Videos

Did you know that all faculty, staff and students have access to over 10,000 videos and interactive learning modules? E-Town has a license to Atomic Learning and this resource is full of video resources to enhance your knowledge of technical tools and software. It is more than just technology tutorials, though!  Want to learn how to avoid issues with plagiarism, how to format a paper in APA or MLA, or how to be a better listener or to take better notes?  There are tutorials for that!  Want to learn about Canvas? Or the new Windows 10 or Office 2016?  That’s there, too.  Check out this overview video and then login with your usual E-Town credentials at the Atomic Learning site.

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Posted in Training, Home Page

Tech Tip: Password Safe App

Changing your password regularly is very important. Using different, long, and complex passwords is a major plus for added security. How do you keep track of all of those passwords though? Writing them down seems like a good idea, but if that piece of paper lands in the wrong hands then all of your accounts are vulnerable.

There are downloadable programs that act like a vault to keep all of your passwords safe and in one place. A single password will protect all of your other passwords, so make sure that master password is extra strong. One program, Password Safe, can be downloaded for free from the developer to your computer. You can search for and download others from the Apple App Store or from Google Play.

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Posted in Computer Tips, Web Tips, Home Page Tagged with: , , , ,

Canvas Tip of the Week: Student Enrollments

ITS will automatically enroll all students into Canvas courses two weeks prior to the semester starting.  Faculty and students do not need to do anything to make this happen.  If a faculty member is using Canvas, they will, however, need to be sure the course is published so that students can see the course and the materials in the course when they log in to Canvas.  Here is the help guide for how to faculty can publish a course: https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-2707

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Posted in Home Page, Canvas

Get Kahoot!

Kahoot

Get Kahoot!

Student engagement with course content increases when interactive, game-based learning techniques are used. True or False?

True. Game-based learning encourages the use of friendly competition and game play to enhance a learning experience. Kahoot! enables interactive assessment during class through internet connected devices while keeping students focused and providing instructors ways to monitor student participation in a concrete manner.

Faculty are concerned about distractions in the classroom, and they are primarily concerned with cell phone use. These are valid concerns especially when student success often relies on participation and paying attention. However, cell phones do not have to be the enemy.

Sleepy, disinterested students rarely participate and can make any class a boring class. With Kahoot! quizzes, students will not only participate more, but the information might actually stick in their minds longer than the next thirty seconds.

The presenter, such as the professor, creates the presentation ahead of time using the easy to use Getkahoot.com. Then during class, students visit Kahoot.it, enter the 6-digit quiz code, and voila! In a matter of moments, a traditional lecture can be transformed into an interactive experience with multiple-choice quizzes, diagrams, videos, surveys, and even short discussions.

The student’s device will only show four colors or shapes that correspond with answers to the question that is projected on the classroom screen. The questions do not appear on the student’s device allowing the presenter to keep track of which students are participating, and which students are doing something else on their device. After all students have answered, a graph displays all student responses including the correct answer. This provides a quick guide for the presenter to keep track of what the students do and do not know.

Students don’t always enjoy participating, but students usually enjoy a fun competition. Kahoot awards more points to students who answer quickly and accurately.  After each question, a leader board is displayed. Liven up your classroom! Try Kahoot!

For more information on Kahoot! visit this Knowledgebase article: http://helpdesk.etown.edu/helpconsole2012/KB/default.aspx?pageid=kahoot!

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Posted in Home Page, Teaching and Learning Tagged with: , , , , , ,

Tech Tip: Find My Phone

Losing your phone is terrifying. With Find my Phone apps, the anxiety can be short lived. Apple products come pre-loaded with the Find my iPhone app. You can log into your iCloud account from any computer, tablet, or phone and find your phone with the Find My iPhone app.

Android users can download a Find app. There are tons available. The app Wheres My Droid offers a free and paid version with all the features you might want. Android users can also enjoy the Android Device Manager to locate their lost device.

For any Find my Phone application or software, make sure that Location Services/Access is turned on for that app on your phone otherwise you can’t locate anything. Remember to manage what applications have access to your location to protect your data.

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Posted in Web Tips, Phone Tips, Home Page Tagged with: , , , ,

Tech Tip: Club Email in Outlook

Are you an officer in a club? Do you need access to you club’s email to reconnect with members after a long summer?

Here’s a quick guide for how to log into a Club email. In OWA (Outlook Web App), after you login, your name appears in the top right-hand corner. If you click your name, a search box appears. Type the name or email address of your club then click open. OWA will open your club email if you have access. If you are not approved for access, remember to register your club with Student Senate in order for new officers to gain access to club emails. Read this Knowledgebase article for instructions on club registration.

In Outlook, the process is similar. For step-by-step instructions read the Knowledgebase article on accessing club email in Outlook. Start by clicking File, the click Open & Export. On the menu, select Open Another User’s Folder then simply type in your club name or email address and click OK. On personal computers, Outlook may keep the inbox open in your Outlook, but on shared computers you will need to open the inbox every time.

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Posted in Computer Tips, Web Tips, Home Page Tagged with: , , ,

Club Registration

club registrationBoth new and existing clubs must register through JayWeb for the school year. Each year, clubs will be required to register new officers, update contact information, and upload their constitutions. Student Senate will process the registrations for approval and constitution review. Student Senate estimates a 3-4 day review process for constitutions of new clubs before registration changes are made. Clubs can also use the registration form to request funds from Student Senate.

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 you can gain access to technology resources, like club email and room reservations. Look for club registration information and deadlines in Campus News.

In order to register your club, login to JayWeb, then navigate to the Student tab. On the left navigation bar, click Online Forms, and click to view the Online Forms. When you’re in the Online Forms, on the left navigation bar, click Student Groups. There will be a link on that page to register a student group.

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Posted in Web Tips, Home Page Tagged with: , ,