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Google Calendar Gets a New Look

Google Calendar

Google is rolling out a refreshed look for Google Calendar with a handful of new features.

All the basic features you’re used to are still in the same locations, but now have a more modern color palette and design.

New features include:

  • See conference room details when booking a room.
  • Add rich formatting and hyperlinks to Calendar invites.
  • Manage multiple calendars side by side in the “Day” view.
  • Hover your mouse over meeting participants to view contact information.

For additional information about these changes, visit Google’s blog on their website.

You’ll see these changes available to you beginning mid-November at Boise State. For questions about Google Calendar, contact the Help Desk at helpdesk@boisestate.edu, or call (208) 426-4357.

Spotlight on Web Accessibility: Images Links and Alternative Text

Web Accessibility

Do you have images on your website? Chances are pretty good you do. Have you checked recently to see if those images are linking to anywhere? If they are, then you should also have a descriptive alternative text describing the purpose of that link.

When an image is linked, then it has a purpose for being on the webpage. Alternative text should describe that purpose.

If alternative text is not present, this can create accessibility issues for people using access technologies, such as screen readers.

Sometimes, by default, WordPress adds a link to the image file when a new image is uploaded to the Media Library.  If the link isn’t needed, removing it from the image is a way to improve the accessibility of the page.

Another area where links are sometimes added is in image sliders. If a slider link isn’t going to a new webpage, you can remove the link from the slider image.

If possible, try adding a text hyperlink near the image instead of linking the image itself. If you can’t avoid using a linked image, or want to use the linked image in addition to a text link, make sure to include a descriptive alternative text that describes the purpose of the image link.

For more information about image links with no alternative text accessibility error and how you can use Siteimprove to find and repair them on your site, see the Priority Issues page on webguide.boisestate.edu, or contact our Web Accessibility Team for consultation and assistance through the Help Desk at helpdesk@boisestate.edu, or (208) 426-4357.

Update Your Google Drive Client With Google File Stream

Google Drive File Stream replaces Google Drive Desktop App

Google recently released the next generation of Google Drive called Google File Stream. Google File Stream provides us the same great features of Google Drive, the added features of Google Team Drive and improved file management over the Google Drive desktop app (also known as a desktop client or plug-in).

Pop up window explaining that Google Drive client is going away and to install File StreamIf you downloaded the Google Drive desktop app that allows you to view your Google Drive files as a window on your Windows or Mac computer, visit the Google support site to download and update to the new Google File Stream client. You may see the pop-up window on the right if you have the Google Drive desktop app installed.

If you have any questions, or would like assistance installing Google File Stream, contact the Help Desk at (208) 426-4357 (HELP) or helpdesk@boisestate.edu.

Three Simple Steps to Online Safety

national cyber security awareness month

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month.

In order to stay safe online, follow these steps to help provide an extra level of security:

1. Try 2FA Wherever You Can

2FA is short for two-factor authentication, also known as two-step verification or 2SV.

Typically, 2FA works by asking you for your regular password, which is the same every time, and then asking you for a one-time code that is calculated by, or sent as a text message to, your phone. In particular, it helps prevents criminals from stealing your password today and use it again and again for hours, days or weeks.

2FA is indeed a simple step to online safety, but it isn’t a one-off action: it adds an extra step to every login, so you have to change your login process – what time management and user interface experts like to call “workflow.”

2. Use the Longest Mobile Phone Lock Code You Can Manage

Back in 2015, Apple upped the shortest permitted lock code for iPhones from four digits to six.

That’s because adding two digits doesn’t increase the number of different codes by 50% (6 digits / 4 digits = 1.5 = 150%), but takes you from 10×10×10×10 codes (10,000) to 106 (1 million), a 100-fold boost in complexity.

We suggest upping your lock code even further to, say, 10 digits, even though it’s harder to memorize to start with, and takes longer to type in every time.

Although 10-digit codes take 2.5 times longer to type in than 4-digit codes – let’s say close to three seconds instead of about one second – they are, at least in theory, a cool one million times more secure. (The arithmetic here is 10/4 = 2.5, but 1010/104 = 1,000,000.)

That means it’s easier to pick something unique and hard to guess, and harder for crooks – or for your oh-so-witty friends who are dying to send out off-color tweets in your name – to shoulder-surf by watching you typing in your code out of the corner of their eye.

We think the effort is worth it, and we encourage you to increase the length of your lockcode as much as you can.

If you’re worried about forgetting your new, super-long code and being faced with resetting your phone and losing any data you haven’t yet backed up, consider writing down the new code and locking it away at home until you’re happy you’ve mastered the new finger pattern.

3. Log Out of Apps You’re Not Using

We suggest learning how to log out fully from services such as Twitter and Facebook, especially on your phone, where simply closing the app is not enough.

It means logging back in every time you start up the app or load the website again, which is mildly annoying at first.

But it means you’ll be much less likely to share something unintentionally, which will not only protect your friends from scams apparently “approved” by you, but also protect you from what could turn into career-limiting moves.

We think the effort is worth it, and we encourage you to learn to log out regularly.

Admittedly, for all that this is a simple step in theory, it’s irritating to get right in practice, because each social media app seems to have its own way of handling the logout function, and it isn’t always obvious where to find it.

There you have it. As we said above, you might consider these steps a bit of a hassle at first, but that we think you will soon consider them second nature. In fact, you might soon find yourself uncomfortable without them, like driving without a seatbelt or riding without a helmet.

Information reposted from SOPHOS.

Visit OIT’s Cybersecurity website for additional security tips and information.

OIT Support for macOS High Sierra

Mac o s high sierra

Apple recently released the newest version of its desktop/laptop operating system, macOS 10.13 (“High Sierra”).

The Office of Information Technology asks the campus community to delay upgrading university-owned computers to the new operating system until we complete testing to ensure all standard university software is compatible with the operating system.

Once testing is complete, OIT will announce availability to the Boise State community. The update is compatible with most Mac desktops and laptops produced since 2010.

For more information about macOS Sierra, visit Apple’s website.

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

Accessibility Resource Fair Highlights Access Technology and Universal Design October 10

Accessibility Resource Fair

Access technology and universal design will be showcased at Boise State’s first Accessibility Resource Fair on 11:00 am – 2:00 pm on Tuesday, October 10 in the SUB, Jordan A & B.

Presented by the Education Access Center and Office of Information Technology, this Resource Fair will feature many of the campus’ efforts, tools and expertise in providing accessible information and technology to people with disabilities. All students, faculty and staff are welcome to attend.

Highlights include:

  • 3D printing for accessibility
  • Accessible technologies for teaching and learning
  • WordPress and web accessibility
  • High and low-technology solutions
  • Audio access and note-taking
  • Maximizing accessibility in Blackboard
  • Demonstrations on use of accessible technology hardware
  • Reading and writing tools

For more information, contact Wendy Turner at (208) 426-1583 or email wturner@boisestate.edu.

DigEco 2017 Conference Coming November 3

Digital Ecosystems Conference

2017’s Digital Ecosystems Conference is coming to City Center Plaza on Friday, November 3!

Presented by the Office of Information Technology, DigEco brings industry, education, and government audiences together under a shared commitment to advancing the use of digital technology in teaching and learning.

Inspired by the efforts of Governor Otter’s Higher Education Task Force, DigEco 2017 surveys the landscape of public education in Idaho and explores how digital tools and pedagogies may promote long-term, positive change for our state.

Registration is free, and lunch is provided.

For more information, and to register for DigEco 2017, visit https://oit.boisestate.edu/digeco2017/.

G Suite Improvements: Docs, Sheets, Forms, and Calendar!

G Suite Google logo

Google has been hard at work making improvements and adding new features to G Suite over the past few months!

Some of the highlights include:

And, in case you missed it, we also introduced you to Google Team Drive and Google Meet.

If you have questions about these new tools, please contact the Office of Information Technology Help Desk at (208) 426-4357 or helpdesk@boisestate.edu.

DigEco 2017 Conference – Save the Date

DigEco Conference, November 3, 2017 at Boise State University

Boise State’s Learning Technology Solutions team presents the Digital Ecosystems Conference 2017 (DigEco 2017) on Nov. 3, 2017.

Designed to inspire conversations about the opportunities digital tools provide our state, DigEco 2017 explores the innovative work within Idaho’s academic community and the potential advances that arise in education when industry and academe work together.

Conference themes: Access, affordability and quality
When: November 3, 2017
Where: City Center Plaza (Downtown Boise)
Cost: Free!

Contact lts@boisestate.edu for more details.

Come Visit The Help Desk at The Zones

The Help Desk at the Zone provides many walk-in services. We service laptops and mobile devices. You can get help with software at The Zones.

You can print at The Zones and over 80 BroncoPrint stations around campus. Come try the new BroncoPrint Express at The Zone in the ILC when you need to quickly print something and get to class.

You can checkout laptops, iPads and cameras at The Zones.

Faculty, visit the Faculty Support Center in the Micron Business and Economics Building (MBEB) room 3010 to discover and learn how to use the technology in your classroom.

Visit us at The Zones in the Student Union Building (SUB) across from the Bookstore, in MBEB on the first floor and the ILC first floor lobby.

Or, call The Help Desk at The Zones at (208) 426-4357 (HELP).

Descriptive Transcript: The Help Desk at The Zone Fall 2017

[music plays]

The Boise State logo appears as down-tempo hip hop music plays.

The title “Help Desk at The Zone” appears over an aerial shot of the Interactive Learning Center (ILC) on the Boise State campus.

Students walk through the lobby of the ILC toward the ILC Zone location on the first floor.

A young woman walks into The Zone and places a laptop on the desk for the Help Desk student worker to take a look at.

Title: “We service laptops and devices at The Zone.”

A male students works at a computer in The Zone in the Student Union Building (SUB).

“Get help with software at The Zone” appears over a young woman seeking assistance from a Help Desk student at The Zone in the ILC building.

The title “Print at The Zone” appears over a young woman using a multi-function printer in the ILC Zone.

Pages of a document are printed and fall into a neat stack under the title “and over 80 BroncoPrint stations.”

Students print notes at a BroncoPrint station in the River Front Hall building.

“BroncoPrint Express at The Zone in the ILC” appears over computers in the ILC Zone.

Several students use the BroncoPrint Express computers in the ILC Zone.

A student gets help at the desk of the Student Union Building Zone.

Title: “Checkout laptops, iPads and cameras at The Zone.”

Help Desk workers in the Student Union Zone high five. Students work at computers and print documents in the Student Union Zone.

An aerial shot moves in on the MBEB Building.

The title “Faculty Support Center at The Zone in room 3010” appears as we hear and see the fountains outside the MBEB.

A professor walks into the Faculty Support Center and is greeted by a young male student.

Several Help Desk workers answer phones in the room.

A Help Desk worker demonstrates for a professor how to turn on the projector in a classroom in the MBEB Building.

The title “Visit us at The Zone” appears over an aerial focusing on the Administration Building on the quad.

The title “Student Union Building” appears over an external sunny-day shot of the Student Union. “Across from the Bookstore” appears over people working at computers in the Zone in the Student Union.

The title “Micron Business and Economics Building” appears over an exterior shot of the MBEB. “First Floor Lobby” appears over a young woman working at the Help Desk Zone in the MBEB.

“Interactive Learning Center” appears over the building. “First Floor Lobby” appears over a young woman seeking assistance from the Help Desk worker in the ILC Zone.

The title “Help Desk at The Zone (208) 426-4357 (HELP)” appears in white letters over a black background.

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