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NEWS

Announcing Our New Help Desk @ Zone in Keiser Hall!

Keiser Hall Zone

We’ve excited to announce our newest Zone location in Keiser Hall, which marks our fifth Zone and the first within the heart of Boise State’s residential life.

According to Mark Fitzgerald, Director of Customer Care, “Our new Help Desk @ The Zone location in Keiser Hall opens up access and services where students live and study. We hope not only to become a greater part of the student experience, but also help students in their academic success at the University.”

Similar to existing Zone locations in the Interactive Learning Center, SUB, Multipurpose Building, and MBEB Buildings, the new Help Desk @ The Zone – Keiser Hall offers a wide variety of technology service and support resources, including equipment checkout (laptops, tablets, calculators, etc.), hardware and software assistance.

BroncoPrint scan/print/copy service is also available, as are public computer kiosks.

“Our Zones have been a phenomenal success,” says Fitzgerald, “and a model many throughout higher ed and business have sought our guidance on how to run.”

The new Help Desk @ The Zone – Keiser Hall is located in the building’s lobby, and is open 10:00 am – 7:00 pm Monday – Thursday & Friday 10:00 am – 6:00 pm during the Fall 2016 semester.

 

 

 

New Computer Restart Policy Improves Security Across Campus

Windows logo with restart icon

The Office of Information Technology (OIT) is implementing a new computer restart policy to ensure all computers receive security, software and operating system updates in a timely manner.

Computers that aren’t restarted regularly may have out-of-date software, and can pose a security risk to the Boise State network.

OIT recommends restarting your computer at least on a weekly basis. (For example, rebooting when you leave for the day on Fridays.) If you are already in the habit of doing this, keep it up! If you aren’t, now is a great time to start.

Computers that have not been rebooted within 7 days of receiving Windows updates will be automatically scheduled to restart. When this happens, you will see a “Restart in Progress” notice appear on your computer:

Restart in Progress notice

You’ll have the option to postpone the restart for a maximum of 6 hours. After that time, the machine will restart automatically without any additional warning.

We don’t want you to risk losing any unsaved work, so we strongly suggest finding a time to regularly restart your computer. This would be a great way to use Google Calendar’s reminder feature! (Learn how to create reminders in Calendar by visiting Google’s support website.)

If you have any questions about this restart policy, please contact the Help Desk at helpdesk@boisestate.edu or call (208) 426-4357.

Making Boise State Students Successful with Oracle BI Cloud Service

Oracle B I Cloud Service

Oracle recently featured Chief Technology Officer Max Davis-Johnson in a video articulating our use of Oracle’s BI Cloud Service to discover important trends happening in students’ academic activities.

Professors and administrators use these insights to help guide students on their path towards graduation.

“You look at what you do in higher education from a technology standpoint, you have a lot of diversity.”

“You use transactional systems, you do research, you do classroom technology, you do consumer technology, you have open networks, and we need the ability to look at trends. What factors make students successful? And, what are early warning indicators…maybe we need to reach out and intervene?”

“We’re trying to bring all this diverse data into one place so we can start doing analytics. BI Cloud Service is one of our mechanisms.”

“Our long-term goal will be to bring up student information, course information, teaching loads. It’s very important to us to determine the cost of instruction, the cost of graduation. These all drive a lot of decisions about what programs we move forward, how we do outreach, all these types of things from a university perspective.”

“It’s critical that we have a clear understanding of the analytic capability of all our data, not just partial. That where we see BIX giving us the ability to get the data into one place, but then also the ability to report on it uniformly.”

“The benefits of BIX…I think just the ability to have a ‘single source of truth’ so to speak, not just enterprise ‘ERP’ type data, but student activity over time, learning management system data, a variety of other things that we want to use. Indicators determining are students are on track, do we need to intervene…BIX gives us the analytic capability to do that.”

“Just from a user perspective, most of the interaction that decision-makers have with the system, they aren’t in it at the transactional level, they’re in it at the analytic level, so the information they get, whether it’s visual or it’s through reports…that’s really what drives the university.”

For more information about Boise State’s experience with Oracle BI Cloud Service, contact max@boisestate.edu.

Create, Edit and Manage Videos–all with Boise State’s TechSmith Suite of Video Tools

computer screen with title techsmith tools for video

Last September, we rolled out TechSmith Relay Library which gives you the ability to store, share and manage all your video content in one place.

This fall, we’re giving you the control to record lectures and presentations in any room on campus using TechSmith Relay Recorder. You can then manage these videos from your TechSmith Relay Library. Learn more about how we came to this decision through our Classroom Capture Evaluation Initiative.

Edit Videos and Record Your Screen With Camtasia Studio and Camtasia for Mac

Use Camtasia Studio and Camtasia for Mac to import and edit any video! Camtasia Studio is the recommended tool to make screen recording videos, record Powerpoint presentations and add captions to make your videos accessible on any device for any person. Visit the Video at Boise State website for more information on how to download and install Camtasia Studio/Camtasia for Mac.

Record Your Screen or Classroom with TechSmith Relay Recorder

Use TechSmith Relay Recorder on any computer on campus to create screen recording videos and upload these to your TechSmith Relay Library or YouTube. You can also now use TechSmith Relay Recorder to record your classroom. Download the Relay Recorder from your Relay Library under the “Create” button.

Manage Your Video Content in One Place with TechSmith Relay Library

Upload video files from your computer, create screen recording videos and even import YouTube videos using your Boise State-managed TechSmith Relay Library! Watch this one-minute video to learn about these TechSmith Relay Library features:

  • unlimited storage for your videos;
  • share videos with individuals, groups or the world;
  • seamlessly embed any video from your TechSmith Relay Library into Blackboard;
  • create screen recording videos with the TechSmith Relay Recorder;
  • add a quiz to your video to fully engage your students or audience (and send quiz scores to your Blackboard Grade Center);
  • analytics show you how many people and who watch your videos and for how long.

You can sign in to your TechSmith Relay Library to download the required TechSmith Relay Recorder that allows you to upload videos and create screen recordings.

Training and Help

Visit the OIT Training website for class schedules on how to edit video, record your screen and manage your videos using Camtasia Studio and Relay Library.

For one-on-one help with the TechSmith suite of video tools, contact the OIT Learning Technology Solutions team at 208-426-7530 or lts@boisestate.edu.

WordPress and Web Accessibility Learning Opportunities

Learn WordPress

The Offices of Information Technology and Communications & Marketing are offering a series of WordPress and web accessibility learning opportunities this summer.

Web Accessibility Initiative Presentations

Boise State values inclusiveness and access for all students, faculty and staff. Accessibility standards must apply to our WordPress websites. This session will address how accessibility standards impact current web content, how you can help bring your content into compliance, and best practices for creating future content that both minimizes legal risk to the University and ensures access for everyone.

  • Wednesday, June 29, 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm, SUB Lookout Room
  • Monday, July 18, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm, SUB Lookout Room
  • Thursday, August 11, 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm, SUB Bishop Barnwell Room
  • Wednesday, August 17, 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm, SUB Bishop Barnwell Room

Register for Web Accessibility Initiative Presentations via the OIT Training website.

WordPress Training

This session provides an introduction to using WordPress at Boise State for department and college public-facing websites, and covers creating accessible content, leveraging our Boise State WordPress theme, utilizing Page Templates, and using shortcodes.

  • Thursday, July 7, 9:00 am – 11:00 am, Employee Learning & Development Training Room
  • Thursday, August 11, 9:00 am – 11:00am, Employee Learning & Development Training Room

Register for WordPress Training via the OIT Training website.

Siteimprove Training

Learn how to use Siteimprove to identify and review potential accessibility issues on Boise State University WordPress sites. We will provide an overview of the Siteimprove Accessibility Reports and allow time for participants to review data on their own sites.

  • Wednesday, July 6, 8:45 am – 10:15 am, Employee Learning & Development Training Room
  • Tuesday, July 26, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm, Employee Learning & Development Training Room
  • Thursday, July 28, 10:00 am – 11:30 am, Employee Learning & Development Training Room
  • Thursday, August 4, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm, Employee Learning & Development Training Room
  • Wednesday, August 10, 8:45 am – 10:15 am, Employee Learning & Development Training Room

Register for Siteimprove Training via the OIT Training website.

PDF Accessibility Training

Participants will learn how to create accessible PDF documents using Adobe Acrobat DC software.

  • Monday, July 11, 1:30 pm-2:30 pm
  • Wednesday, August 3, 9:00 am – 10:00 am
  • Tuesday, August 16, 9:00 am – 10:00 am

Register for PDF Accessibility Training via the OIT Training website.

WordPress Drop-In Labs

WordPress and Web Accessibility Drop-In Labs are held every Friday from 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm in the Environmental Research Building (ERB), Room 1100 through mid-August. WordPress Support staff will be on hand to answer your WordPress and accessibility questions.

Video Accessibility Classes

Join us to discover what it means to make your videos accessible. You will learn how to use Camtasia Studio and YouTube to add captions and create transcripts for your videos. You may discover it’s way easier than you think. Find dates and times for video accessibility classes on the OIT Training website.

PeopleSoft Systems Unavailable June 30 – July 1

PeopleSoft Changes are Coming

PeopleSoft Student Center, Campus Solutions, Human Resources and Finance systems will be unavailable from noon Thursday, June 30, through noon Friday, July 1.

This system downtime is related to the upcoming implementation of a new financial, procurement and grants management system effective July 1.

Related to this system implementation, PeopleSoft Time and Labor is unavailable during the June 19-July 2 pay period. Time entry for this pay period may be entered after July 1, and is due by Tuesday, July 5. Time approval is due by 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, July 6.

For more information about this scheduled system downtime, contact the Help Desk at helpdesk@boisestate.edu, or call (208) 426-4357.

For questions specific to the Time and Labor downtime, contact Payroll and Personnel Processing at payroll@boisestate.edu.

Remembering Stan Smith

Stan SmithStan Smith, Instructional Technology Systems architect in the Office of Information Technology, passed away last week.

Stan was an integral part of OIT for over 25 years, most recently improving video, audio and mobile experiences via our Learning Technologies Solutions department. He cared deeply about people he worked with, as well as those impacted by his work. Stan brought a positive presence to every interaction he had with others, whether it was with colleagues, faculty members, students, or service providers.

Stan arrived at Boise State in 1992 as an Apple desktop support specialist. A decade later, Stan was instrumental in bringing IP telephony to the university, leading the conversion from the old PBX phone system to Cisco IP Phones several years ahead of our peer institutions.

Stan also led OIT’s initial effort to modernize and standardize university classrooms, including the implementation of recording equipment in classrooms to improve student success.

“I could always count on Stan to come up with new and different ideas to try out,” OIT’s Mark Fitzgerald said. “If I had heard of something new, I was confident that Stan had already played with one and could tell me all about it. It would always make me smile.”

Chief Technology Officer Max Davis-Johnson summed up the feelings of many: “Stan not only made OIT and the university better, he made everyone better. Stan was a great technologist, but that pales in comparison to just being a great human being.”

A memorial service will be held at 10:00 am on Wednesday, June 8, at the Bowman Funeral Home. It is requested attendees wear Hawaiian shirts or bright colors to the celebration. The memorial is open to the public.

Stan is survived by his wife, Margie (OIT’s Business Services Manager), and six children (Misty, Kristy, Kate, Sarah, Ryan and Shelbie).

In lieu of flowers, donations to the Idaho Youth Ranch may be made in Stan’s memory:

Idaho Youth Ranch
5465 W. Irving St.
Boise, ID  83706

(Memo portion should state “In Memoriam Stan Smith”)

You’re Invited! Help Desk at The Zone Celebrates Five Years!

Help Desk at The Zone Celebrates Five Years

On June 8, 2011, the Office of Information Technology opened Boise State University’s first Help Desk at The Zone walk-in help center.

Fast forward five years and my, how we’ve grown! We now have four Zone locations, with a fifth location opening this Fall. That’s five locations in five years!

You are invited to celebrate this momentous occasion with us on Wednesday, June 8, 2016 from 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm at the founding Help Desk @ The Zone location, Interactive Learning Center (View Map Location) Room 128.

Cupcakes and drinks will be served and a BBQ pork cook-off will take place outside. We hope to see you there!

For more information about services offered at The Zones, please visit the Office of Information Technology website.

Max’s Minute: Cybersecurity is a Team Sport

security lock

In his latest video, Max talks about cybersecurity at Boise State being a team sport, with the University, Office of Information Technology, and you working together to keep your personal and work data private.

Video Transcript

Hi, this is Max Davis Johnson, Boise State University, Office of Information Technology. Today I want to talk about cybersecurity. And specifically cybersecurity here at Boise State.

Cybersecurity is a team sport. The University is one of the players, OIT is one of the players, and you are one of the players.

There are many things that you can do to help protect your own personal identity, and your own personal devices. You know, making sure that your operating system is up to date. If it’s a Boise State-managed machine, we are updating your applications, we are updating your operating system as appropriate. If it’s your personal machine, please make sure your updates are turned on, you are updating your operating system, and you are updating your applications as appropriate.

Also, at Boise State we’ve got a cybersecurity website: oit.boisestate.edu/cybersecurity. There are daily tips, weekly tips, best practices that you as an individual can follow.

Higher ed is unique in the cybersecurity world. We run open networks, which means thousands of people, literally, come in on a daily basis, connect to our networks with their own devices. You know, obviously, students, faculty, guests to the University. That creates its own challenges. We have wide-ranging networks that aren’t necessarily controlled by everybody, so sometimes we have some inconsistencies.

There are a lot of things going on at the University that require us to be extra-vigilant. We have a lot of exposure. So, one of the things that the University does (and OIT does), you are asked to update your password, change your password, every 90 days. It’s important. I know it’s a pain. It’s a pain to me. It’s a pain for everybody that has to do it because we have multiple devices.

It is important. It is important that, from a vulnerability standpoint, that you have a strong password that you change frequently. It makes it harder for people to get into your personal information, it makes it harder for people to get into the University, and it protects not only the University assets, but it protects your assets that are online.

It’s a best practice.

Another thing that we will ask you to do at some point in the future, depending on what information at Boise State you’re going to be accessing, is something called two-factor authentication. You may be familiar with this from your bank. Basically you log in, you get a numeric code sent via text to your personal phone device, and you enter that. Another layer of security if you’re doing important things here at Boise State.

From an email standpoint, our biggest vulnerability comes in through email. We refer to it as phishing. The idea is that it looks like an official email, they ask you to download and open an attachment, the attachment contains some type of virus or malware that infects your machine. That in turn affects the network.

When in doubt, do not open an attachment if you’re not sure of the source or you’re not sure what the attachment is.

Also, Boise State will never ask you in an official Boise State email to provide your password or login. So if you get something like that, odds are really strong that it’s not from us. So do not respond.

Again, cybersecurity is a team sport here at Boise State. It involves the University, it involves OIT, and it involves you.

One of the other things that we do here at Boise State that we do get emails about, and some complaints, is the idea of timeouts, where the system will automatically log you out whether it’s myBoiseState or certain key systems like the PeopleSoft Student Center or like other PeopleSoft systems. And the idea here is that we have a lot of public computers, people get on a public computer, they do their work, and then they walk away from that machine without logging out.

We do this because it’s for your own personal protection, and it’s a best practice.

We are constantly evaluating the length of these timeouts, we’re constantly evaluating if there’s a better way to handle this, but for now timeouts are definitely needed, and we will continue to use this because it is a best practice. Especially where we’re dealing with public computers or computers in an office.


Contact Max

Send your feedback to Max at max@boisestate.edu.

 

Blackboard Downtime Planned for Wednesday, May 18

Blackboard

Boise State’s Blackboard Learn system will be unavailable due to a planned upgrade from 12:01 a.m.-noon on Wednesday, May 18. Instructors are asked to plan accordingly.

This upgrade will include performance and security improvements, but will not include any new features or interface changes. All course enrollments, content and contributions will remain intact during the downtime and upgrade process.

If you have questions or concerns about Blackboard being unavailable, or about the upgrade itself, please contact the Help Desk at (208) 426-4357, or email helpdesk@boisestate.edu.

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