Faculty

IT News and Updates

Hello Faculty and Staff:

The IT department has a lot of things happening right now. Please bear with me as I attempt to summarize.

What is in this message

  • Google email migrations have begun
  • A change to how we do Windows patching
  • NSF grants and research assistance
  • May training is coming
  • InCommon and EDUROAM – why should you care
  • Changes to Internet connections.

Google email migrations have begun

As some of you already know, we have begun migrating faculty and staff accounts to Google Apps email. Many faculty in the Johnson Center have already been migrated to Google. You will have received the emails from IT staff about the faculty, staff, and community distribution groups changing, too. This is all part of the process and I appreciate everyone’s engagement in the process so far.  Our intention is to migrate all faculty first and then make a second pass to migrate staff accounts.

A change to how we do Windows patching

We have sent a few emails out already about this. We have changed the manner in which we patch our computers running Microsoft Windows. We identified an issue with how we have been maintaining Windows OS. Several machines on campus were not getting the patches and updates that they required so we are now having machines automatically download Windows updates in the background. To aid this process, we ask that you log out of your computers at night or – if it is a laptop – restart your computers if it prompts you that there are updates available. The next couple weeks might have extra interruptions as those machines that are very out of date catch up. Please call the IT Help Desk if you have questions.

NSF grants and research assistance

If you are considering applying for assistance and course load release to complete research under the NSF grant, this is a reminder that applications are due on May 15th. Requirements for the application can be found here. Please email me or Jason Courter if you have any questions.

May training is coming

We will be announcing our schedule and sign ups for May training very soon! We encourage faculty and staff to sign up for May training sessions or take advantage of self-paced training on Lynda.com to improve your skills and abilities. You can browse Lynda’s full library and then contact the Help Desk to “check out” an account for two weeks. There are a limited number of accounts available. This year’s May training will take place:

  • Week 1: May 9-13 will be led by the Distance Learning Office
  • Week 2: May 16-20
  • Week 3: May 23-27

InCommon and EDUROAM – why you should care!

A big part of the grant that Malone received from the NSF is breaking down the barriers to collaborative research. In that vein and as part of the NSF grant, Malone will become both an EDUROAM and InCommon peer institution. Both of these initiatives are driven by the Internet2 consortium.

EDUROAM: Global WiFi Roaming for Academia. EDUROAM is a wireless network name (SSID is the technical term) that is shared amongst all the participating institutions. Once you are connected to an EDUROAM network, you are wirelessly connected to ALL EDUROAM networks. This means that if you go to another campus with EDUROAM, your device(s) will automatically be connected to the Internet there. This is an international initiative. You can view a list of peered schools here. Many institutions in the state of Ohio are becoming EDUROAM peers. We will eventually eliminate the “Malone” SSID and only keep “EDUROAM” and “Malone-Guest.” This change will take place sometime this summer.

https://www.eduroam.us/institutions_list

InCommon. InCommon is a similar initiative but, instead of Wifi, it is for services. Once we are set up, you will be able to utilize your malone.edu username and password to sign into any resource that is InCommon enabled. A list of services that are available via InCommon are located here.

https://incommon.org/federation/info/all-entities.html#SPs

Changes to Internet connections

Malone University is now connected to Internet2 as part of the National Science Foundation grant. We are also modifying our Internet connection so that additional bandwidth is available to campus through new agreements with our Internet service providers taking our current subscribed bandwidth from 320 Mbps up to 900 Mbps. These modifications will be completed this summer.

Have a blessed day.

Regards,

Adam Klemann

** M. Adam Klemann, M.S. **

** Information Technology Manager, Adjunct Instructor **

** Information Technologies & Media Services – Malone University **

** email: aklemann@malone.edu **

** help desk: 330.471.8428 – my phone: 330.471.8308 **

** Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/adamklemann **

** Follow Malone Information Technologies on Twitter at http://twitter.com/maloneit **

Serving Malone students, faculty, and staff with effectiveness, efficiency, & excellence.

Click the link to take a virtual tour of our campus!

www.malone.edu/#virtualtour

Google Email Migration for Faculty and Staff Q&A

My HTML5 Word Cloud

Hello Faculty and Staff!

We have heard from 108 of you so far. Thank you so much for responding!

A number of you have questions about the transition. The word ‘cloud’ above highlights some of the words that were included in your questions. If you have not already taken the survey, please take a few minutes to take it. It will help us as we plan to transition.

Questions and Answers

The following is an exhaustive list of the questions that have been asked so far:

Q1: “I live in Outlook email & calendar, so my concern is just not being able to use that and schedule meetings with my staff through there. “

A: You will still be able to use Outlook.
Several of the questions were related to how Outlook and Google Email will interact. You will still be able to use the Outlook program to check your email. Free/Busy information for scheduling meetings will continue to be available both in Outlook as well as the Web-based email and calendar access. We intend to improve this functionality by adding the ability to schedule different meeting rooms on campus. You will be able to see free/busy information for those rooms as if they were a coworker that you are scheduling the meeting with.

Q2: I have used Gmail – and do not like the way it groups conversations. This seems to inadvertently “hide” email responses in the grouping. I am hoping this is only a settings issue (or possibly due to user error) that can be easily remedied. I prefer the layout and organization of Outlook and am hoping that the new application will have like features.

You can continue to utilize Outlook to read your email. However, like many features in the Google mail web interface, the “conversation view” option can be modified. Take a look at this Google KB article for more information about deactivating “Conversation View.”

Q3: Please pick me as an early user! I am constantly battling the “almost out of space” issue.

We are testing the migration tools on ourselves (IT) first to work out the bugs. We will reach out to a “beta testers” group once we are satisfied that the transitions can be done smoothly.

Q4: My question is: “Does this apply to part-time faculty with MS Outlook Online Express Email… Thanks and I think this is an excellent choice for MU.

The transition applies to ALL email use on campus. One of the big advantages to the IT department is that we will have a single platform to support rather than multiple platforms. Malone’s OWA — Outlook Web Access — will be replaced by the Google email interface. You can preview your Google email account by visiting:

https://mail.google.com/a/malone.edu

and signing in with your malone.edu credentials (though it will be empty). Please be warned that you will, at some point in this process, be prompted to set up what is called 2-Factor authentication. This is an additional layer of security to keep you and your students’ information safe.  More information on this is located in Q15 below.

We will work with part-time staff and adjunct faculty either directly or through their respective departments when it is time to move their accounts.

Q5: Would I be able to utilize Google Calendar to allow students to sign up for [appointments] without violating confidentiality and privacy?

Yes. This is a new/different feature of the Google mail system call “appointment slots.” I anticipate faculty and other departments being able to use this feature for scheduling advising appointments and other meetings with students. The idea is that you would post a range of appointment slots into your own calendar, chopping the range into 15, 30, 45, etc. minute slots. You can then send your students a special calendar web page that shows any openings in your appointment slots. They can click on a slot to schedule that appointment with you.

Students cannot see what others have signed up for. Once made, the appointment will show up on their own Google Calendar. They can even have the system text or email them to remind them of their appointment.

We have been experimenting with this, to varying degrees of success (and failure), for first year writing students and their writing mentors. We also used this to schedule background checks for our students at the beginning of the fall. For more information about “appointment slots,” visit Google’s KB article on the topic.

Q6: My husband was recently switched over to Google and has had MANY problems and says it is NOT user friendly. I am NOT in favor of switching to Google!

We understand your concerns. The decision to make such a big change did not come lightly or quickly to Malone. Indeed, we have been discussing the migration since starting our students in Google in 2008. Our transition plan includes time spent face-to-face in each department to both complete each migration and to answer and address concerns and questions. This is a change and change can be hard. We will work with you and others to minimize the impact of the transition to your work days. Indeed, we hope this will be a net-benefit to the campus.

Q7: Will all of the email folders I currently use in Outlook transfer over to my Google-based account? What about my archive files?

Yes. All folders will be transitioned. Google uses a slightly different “tagging” system that behaves similarly to folders. All mail that is currently stored on your Exchange mailbox will be transitioned. Email that is stored in offline “archives” can also be transitioned upon request. This is one of the reasons we asked about “archived” PSTs in the survey.

Q8: I have multiple email aliases. Will these transition to the new system?

Yes. For a limited number of users on campus, we have created aliases because of either historical precedent or technical issues. These will be transitioned to the Google mail system.

Q9: How will my Apple devices (laptop, desktop, phone, tablet) be affected by the change?

The configuration of Apple devices to connect to Google email is virtually identical to how these devices are connected to our existing Exchange server.

Q10: Will I still be able to do “mail merges” through Outlook with the new system?

Yes. Outlook can continue to act as a conduit for completing mail merges.

Q11: Can I share my calendar with others?

Yes. Sharing calendars, in my opinion, is easier to do in Google than in Exchange. You can share to malone.edu as well as to other outside accounts (though I suggest you be careful with the latter).

Q12: I use many Outlook email templates and would want them to transfer over. I manage multiple emails. I don’t want anything to get lost! 🙂

Anything stored as a message in your accounts, even templates, will be transferred. Be sure to talk to us when you migrate your account and draw our attention to special configurations (managing multiple emails, sending email on behalf of another, etc.)

Q13: Will there be a built-in searchable Global Address list for all malone.edu addresses? 

Yes. In fact, it will include all faculty, staff, and students instead of just faculty and staff.

Q14: What features, if any, will be lost in this transition?

That is a bit hard to quantify. There are so many small features that some use and others don’t even know about. All common features are available in the new system. We will work with you to find feature parity among the old and new systems as well as identify any new features that will benefit you, our customers.

Q15: How is the security of Google Docs compared to Exchange?

Email in the Google mail system is as secure and, in some ways, more secure than in Exchange. This is a topic that we have thought long and hard about as we weighed the pros and cons of the change. You can read more about Google’s commitment to privacy and security at: https://www.google.com/edu/trust/ . We would be happy to discuss the security of the system in more detail; please let us know if you would like to have the conversation.

We have also implemented what is called 2-Factor authentication for any faculty and staff accounts. This will, when a faculty or staff member signs into Google directly with Google (not through our campus’ single-sign-on system), mean that you will be sent a text message or telephone call with a confirmation number before you can access resources on a new or untrusted computer. The system will also email you when your credentials are used on a new computer and tell you what city and state that use occurred in.

Updated Monday, 29 February 2016:

Q16: I am a member of MANY professional listserv’s. Will I have to try to hunt down and re-subscribe to all those with the switch? That could be a deal breaker for me…really difficult.

No. You will NOT need to resubscribe. Since your email address will not change with the transition to Google, any listserv’s that you are currently a member will ‘follow’ your email address to the new hosting platform.

Original Announcement and Survey Invitation

Subject: Email system Survey and Announcement – Malone is migrating Faculty and Staff Email to Google from Exchange
Date: December 3, 2015 at 12:10:23 PM EST
To: faculty <faculty@malone.edu>, staff <staff@malone.edu>

Dear Malone Faculty and Staff:

Malone students and alumni have been utilizing Google Apps for Education since 2008. The Administration, in conjunction with the Information Technologies Department, has decided to move all faculty and staff to Google to both provide a more unified experience for the community as well as streamline our support for email, calendaring, and contacts.

Migration Survey: http://goo.gl/forms/3av2DHNW2V

Here are a few of the advantages to moving faculty and staff to Google Apps for Education:

  • No more managing your email mailbox size. You can store as much email as you like; there is no maximum!
  • You will be on the same system as students. That opens up possibilities for calendaring (namely appointment slots, free/busy info, and calendar invites) that were previously not available.
  • Email distribution list archiving. No need to keep ‘faculty,’ ‘staff,’ and ‘community’ emails as they will all be available in the group archive for your reference.
  • You can continue to utilize Outlook or use the web-based tools (or both!) to access your email, calendar, and contacts.
  • Self-service checking of spam filters for missed messages.
  • All system features are available via the web client.
  • Additional end-user devices supported.
  • Additional security for your email through 2-Factor authentication.

We need your help!

We are working through the many back-end details to successfully complete the transition between now and 30 June 2016. We need some information from you to help us plan the transition. Please fill out this short survey. Your information will help us help you better as we make the move.

Survey: http://goo.gl/forms/3av2DHNW2V

But I have questions!?

Take the survey and ask the questions you have in the space provided at the end. We will also come and speak at a department meeting or other gathering at your chair’s request.

 

Changes to HP printers and click rate changes on campus

Hello Staff and Faculty:

This is a quick note letting you know that the way you order toner for HP printers (not Ricohs – you can continue to order those through the MT web portal or by calling the number on the sticker located on the front of the printer or copier) has changed.

In one sentence: You will no longer need to order toner for HP laser printers. 

We have set up automation with MT so that the printer will “phone home” to MT when it is nearly empty. The departmental contact for that printer will automatically be shipped a replacement toner without any intervention on the part of the department.

We will be placing a sticker on any units that auto-order their own toner over the next couple weeks.

Updates to per click rates

We will also be updating the per page rates for all of the printers on campus. The cost to maintain a unit is calculated based upon both the cost of the toner and the cost to maintain a unit in good working order. The latter changes as devices age. We have analyzed our printer fleet age and utilization and will be switching several printers out for new lower cost units over the summer.

Remember that your best value/price to print is to send a job to a copier. The rate for large copiers on campus is 2.5¢ ($.025) per page for a black and white print. The lowest cost color page costs are 5.8¢ ($.058) per page. The most expensive prints will come from smaller desktop units. The cheapest print is one that you don’t print at all! Full screen preview mode in Word and PDF viewers are really nice for previewing documents.

Please send a note or call if you have any questions about printing and copying on campus. We can provide custom reports to budget officers and administrators regarding the printing in your areas on campus to help you plan and drive volume to lower cost devices.

Telephone scams for computer viruses and printer supplies

Good morning Faculty and Staff:

We pray that you are finishing well as we wind down the spring semester. Over the last month or so, we have received scattered reports of two telephone scams that are happening to campus staff and faculty. Please be wary as you answer the phone and your email and make sure that you are talking to legitimate people and are not being scammed into giving away information to fraudulent third parties.

Scam #1: Your computer is full of Viruses

We have received reports – indeed, our own techs have received calls – from someone claiming to be from Microsoft telling them that their computer is full of viruses and wanting to remotely access their machine to ‘fix’ it. DO NOT LET THEM access your computer! They will walk you through accessing system logs on your computer and try to tell you that the entries in the log are evidence that your computer is infected.

So you may ask how you can tell whether a call you receive is legitimate.

  • First of all it will emanate from a campus telephone, so check the callerID on your telephone.
  • Second, it is very rare that one of Malone’s tech’s will cold call you about an issue (it does happen on occasion), so be wary if you receive a call that you did not ask for.
  • If you have any doubt about whether a call is legitimate, tell us. We will not be offended. Ask us a question about an event or coworker. Ask us to come on site rather than remotely access your computer.

 

Scam #2: I maintain your printer and want to ship you supplies

Several administrative assistants have reported receiving calls from outside groups saying they are in charge of their printer and need to get information so that they can ship them supplies. This is also a scam. While we do contract with MT business technologies for maintenance of both our copiers and printers, they would not call you up and need to get information from you to ship you supplies. Here is a checklist to avoid this type of scam:

  • Each printing and copying device on campus has a contract ID and a designated contact in whatever department it is located. If they cannot tell you what the contract number on the device is, then they are full of bologna.
  • NEVER pay an invoice for toner, paper, or copy-machine staples. Departments are NEVER directly charged for laser toner; you are instead billed per page at a rate that matches the cost to operate whatever device you send the job. That rate includes maintenance, paper, toner, and related supplies.
  • When in doubt, call the IT department and we can check the legitimacy of the third party caller. The scammers will likely hang up as soon as you let them know you are doing this.
  • If you are ever shipped toner (or other supplies) that is not from MTBT, please call the IT Help Desk immediately.

Please contact the IT Help Desk if you have any questions or issues. We can be reached via email at helpdesk@malone.edu , via the web at http://www.malone.edu/helpdesk or by phone at 330.471.8428.

 

Wifi upgrades and border routers and Virtualization

Hello Students, Faculty, and Staff of Malone University:

This entry is meant to be a brief discussion of the changes we have been, and will be, making to provide the best possible service that we can to you, our customers.

Campus Wifi Upgrades

In the survey we sent out to students in the fall, there was an overwhelming number of responses about the quality of wifi in Blossom Hall. We made some interim changes to the wireless in that building before you came back from winter break and have scheduled a complete overhaul of the wifi for early summer. It should be 1000% better when you return this fall.

The upgrade that we plan to complete in Blossom is the same “micro cell” design we piloted in Haviland this year. Each suite will receive its own, low power, wifi access point running on the 5GHz spectrum. This means that it will be super fast and the count of devices per access point will remain low so you do not have to share as much wireless bandwidth with your neighbor’s devices. This past year, we also made changes to Randall Campus Center (aka, the Barn), DeVol, and Regula Halls. This summer we plan to make wired and wireless changes to Centennial Center and review wifi coverage issues that have been recently identified in Heritage Hall.

Campus Border Router

Without getting lost in the techno-jargon weeds, we have replaced the campus border router (this is the device that handles ALL incoming and outgoing Internet traffic). The new router promises to service campus for the next seven to ten years and will allow for several opportunities for Malone to enhance campus research, connectivity, and provide for disaster recovery in the event of a major disaster.

Virtualization of our Campus Servers

The Information Technologies department is towards the end of a selection process to virtualize many of our campus servers into a single, but redundant, infrastructure. The project will allow us to be much more flexible in adjusting to campus service demand. It will also lower our power consumption in our [already green] data center, in addition to providing a cost savings by not having to purchase as much hardware as we have in the past.

Questions or comments? We’d love to hear them. Respond on this blog entry, tweet us @maloneIT, email us at helpdesk@malone.edu (from your malone.edu account), or call us at 330.471.8428. We pray you finish the semester strong. Have a blessed summer!

 

Phishing and Spam Reminder

A particularly tricky, and highly believable, phishing email has been making its way through our campus email filters recently.  What people are receiving are attachments that are fake invoices and banking documents that look real, but they are meant to harm your computer.  The attachments contain malware, programs that can mess up your computer and/or steal confidential information.

So far, Sophos (our Antivirus and Anti-Malware software) has been blocking the malware when a user inadvertently opens an attachment (hopefully it is intercepting all of them).  This has prevented the malware from doing any damage, but we don’t want to put Sophos to the test any more.

If your computer starts acting up with unusual behavior (e.g., strange popups or unusual ads in web pages, etc.), please give the IT Help Desk a call.

How to spot phishing emails and spam

There are a few tell-tale signs you can look for to determine if an email is a phishing attempt and/or spam:

  • You were very likely not expecting an email regarding an end of month statement, an invoice for something recently purchased, or a money transfer.
  • The email is from a bogus email address.  This is not always the case, but if it looks like something just isn’t right, err on the side of not trusting it and call the Help Desk.
  • The source for the download (if there is a link) does not match the sender or even a well-known source.  Sometimes, an email mixes legitimate links (like www.westernunion.com) in with not-legitimate ones (www.somethingyouhaveneverheardofbefore.com), so you have to be sure to read, and pay attention to, the entire email and entire link.
  • There are obvious spelling and/or grammatical errors, but that is not always the case.
  • The email just doesn’t make sense or sounds too good to be true.  Why would anyone just want to wire transfer $5,000 to me from Europe or Africa if I just give them my information?

Tips for sending messages so your recipients do not think your message is spam

  • If you attach a document, make sure you tell your recipient  that you are attaching the document and perhaps offer a brief description of the contents.
  • If sending links, stick to well-known web sites or clarify if the sites are not.

What do I do if I receive a phishing attempt or spam?

  • If you can tell it is spam or a phishing attempt, please forward it to the helpdesk@malone.edu and then you can discard the message. Do not click any of the links.
  • If you are getting a lot of spam, let the IT Help Desk know
  • If you are not sure whether an email message is legitimate, you can contact the help desk or even forward it to helpdesk@malone.edu

What if I opened a phishing attempt that asks my password or to reset my password or clicked on a link?

If you find yourself having given your password out to someone through a phishing attempt or clicked on a link, you should…

  1. Call the help desk immediately and let us know what has happened.
  2. Change your password immediately. You can go to https://userid.malone.edu <–note the malone.edu address indicating that the link is legitimate, or
  3. You can also go to www.malone.edu and use the “Account Management” link located under the Malone Xpress log in page.
  4. Contact us at the IT Help Desk, letting us know that your account might have been compromised, so that we can monitor it for suspicious activity.

Remember that our office will NEVER EVER ASK for your password.

Any emails from help desk to the community will always come from helpdesk@malone.edu

Please contact the IT Help Desk if you have any questions or issues. We can be reached via email at helpdesk@malone.edu , via the web at http://www.malone.edu/helpdesk or by phone at 330.471.8428.

 

 

Internet Access Outage Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Update: Wednesday, 4 February 2015 at 12:30 – The outage is now repaired. All three ISPs are routing Internet traffic for Malone’s campus.

 

Good morning, Campus!

At 12:21am this morning, one of our Internet Service Providers began experiencing an #outage that caused all web sites hosted West of Chicago to become unavailable to campus. Since Malone subscribes to several ISPs, we have temporarily rerouted all campus Internet traffic through our other two ISPs until our service provider can repair the issue.

All Internet access is up and running however we are operating with slightly less total bandwidth than normal. Other than noticing problems between when the outage began and when we made the routing change this morning, campus should not notice any difference with its connectivity during business hours (we ‘max out’ our campus bandwidth from around 4pm through 2am each day and anticipate that the problem will be repaired by then).

Free Office 365 for Students, Faculty, and Staff coming soon!

Hello Students, Faculty, and Staff of Malone University:

We are pleased to announce that starting sometime in January, all current students and employees of Malone University will be able to download and install Microsoft Office 365 for free! This suite of applications will include:

  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • and more!

You will continue to be able to utilize the suite of applications as long as you are enrolled at or employed by Malone.

Note to Christmas Computer shoppers!: Make sure that you do NOT purchase Office when you buy the hardware!

Expect to hear more details about how to download and install in January.

Picture Directories of the Courses you are teaching

Hello Faculty:

Tired of taking pictures of your class on the first day or painstakingly copying and pasting Phiz pictures into a spreadsheet so that you can learn the names of your new students?  Use a feature of the Phiz (added fall of last year) that allows you to automatically generate a picture directory of the students enrolled in your course!

You can view an automatically generated picture and other information course list from the “My Groups” function of the Phiz. See FAQ241 for a step by step procedure.

Modular Whiteboard installed in MH203 and Open House

Hello Faculty:

I know you are all busy with end-of-semester tasks. I would like to talk to you about a demo system that we have in Mitchell room 203. These are moveable whiteboards that can be hung and un-hung from rails mounted in the classroom. These boards are excellent for in-class collaborative work or even just to extend your teaching surfaces around the edge of the room. When you think of what this system is, think of permanent 2’x3′ post-it notes that I have seen many of you use in the classrooms.

Here is a photosynth picture of the boards in-place in MH203 (silverlight plugin required):

We are evaluating these boards and will perhaps be installing them in some locations around campus. The first likely locations will be the classrooms in the East campus building when it is renovated. See the product information sheet on this system:

All Terrain Markerboards System

Open House and Request for Comment

Do you like what you see? Want to come see it in person? Take a break from grading exams and term papers and check it out this Friday, December 14th from 10am-12pm in MH203. If no one shows up, I get two hours of uninterrupted time to work on other projects. You can check the boards out or come and chat about other technology-related subjects. You can RSVP with the link below or just show up 🙂

If you can’t make it this Friday, you can check the classroom out anytime it is open. Feel free to comment on this blog post if you have feedback or input about this system.

We saw these during a webinar on collaborative learning spaces. A special thanks to Dr. Nate Phinney for setting that webinar up.

We’re on Twitter!