Staff

Printing Posters or Large Pages


This Tech Tip answers a question that has been asked many times, “What are my options for printing posters or pages larger than the standard letter and legal pages?” Find out the answer HERE.

Setting up Secure Passwords

We invite you to take a quick moment to review the following Tech Tip on the Password Policy for setting up secure passwords.

Strong passwords are the front line protection for all user accounts at Malone.  A poorly chosen password may result in the compromise of Malone University’s entire network. Therefore, the Malone University community–including faculty, staff, students, contractors and vendors with network accounts and/or any form of access that supports or requires a password for any system within Malone’s network–is responsible for taking the appropriate steps as outlined HERE to select and secure their passwords.

Back up [and recover] your files!

Hello Students, Faculty, and Staff:

Blessings to you as you finish this semester. We have had a number of people contacting us about recovering lost files in the past couple weeks. We wanted to share some tips about how to prevent the loss of these important files.

Strategies for keeping your data safe.

Save files to an alternate location

As a Malone student, you have access to a couple places to back up your files. The first place is your “H:” or personal network “Home” drive. When you are working in a computer lab on campus, you can save directly to the H drive. Your H drive is backed up nightly and will follow you to whatever Malone computer you sign into on campus. It is a great option especially if you use the computer labs or classroom computers a lot. You can also access your H drive from your personal computer– on or off campus– using the “Remote Access” service. Instructions on how to use Remote access can be found in FAQ140 and FAQ40.

A secondary option is to upload your file to your Google drive account. You can upload files without having to convert them to Google format. Google provides an overview of using this feature if you are interested in using it.  Each student is allocated 30GB of space for this purpose.

Set up a cloud-based backup of your files or of your entire computer

There are a few options for doing this. There are free and paid versions of this type of service.

“Magic Folder” Services

There are several out there. Our favorites are dropbox.com and box.com but there are many others. There are advantages and disadvantages to these services. In these sorts of services, you typically choose a folder on your computer that will be “synchronized” to the service. Be careful to review and accept the company’s privacy and copyright/data-ownership policies before proceeding with a particular service. Many have free accounts available and you can purchase additional space as a yearly subscription.

Magic folder services are handy because the backup is done without you having to intervene. As long as you save the file to the synchronized folder on your computer, the service will automatically copy the file to “the cloud” when you have an Internet connection. When you are away from your computer, you can then retrieve the file by visiting the service’s web site and signing in with your account.

Backup your entire machine

Internet Cloud-based options are often subscription based services, the likes of Carbonite or Mozy. These will back up your entire hard drive rather than some select folders. This is very handy if you have a large music collection or want to make sure that you have EVERYTHING. Remember that the first time you back up to one of these services it will take a LOOONG time. Subsequent backups are quick because it only tracks the files that have changed since the last time you backed up.

You can also opt for an external hard drive back up. Apple users can back their computers up using a service called “Time Machine.” For Windows-based computers, most external hard drive manufacturers will have utilities that can be downloaded or used for backing up your machine.

Looking for a reliable external hard drive? We have had very good luck with Western Digital mybooks. For added safety of your data, use an external dual-drive that copies data to both disks. This is called a mirrored RAID in geek speak. Shop around for the best price and beware of reconditioned drives as they normally do not carry a long warranty.

Email a copy of your files to yourself

One of the easiest ways to make sure you have a copy of that important paper is to email a copy of the file to yourself. Just be careful to keep track of which version is the latest version– you don’t want to turn in an older draft as the final paper.

Tip: When you download a copy of the file from email to edit it, remember to “Save File to Desktop” rather than opening and editing it directly. If you don’t save the file to your desktop or to some other known location on your computer first, you might not be able to find it again. This one tip can save you hours of heartache 🙂

Recovering lost files

Inevitably, your computer hardware will be lost, stolen, or will suffer some catastrophic failure (otherwise we wouldn’t have bothered writing about backing your files up). When this happens, it is time to recover your data. The amount of time and pain this will cause is directly related to how much attention you paid to backing up your files and having a plan.

From your backup service

If you have a backup service, you can usually sign into their service web site and browse and retrieve your missing files. Backup services will often keep multiple versions of your files too, so if your file was overwritten or corrupted somehow, you can look at the document history and try earlier copies of the file.

From temp files on your computer

Sometimes when an original file cannot be found, there will be pieces of, or older versions, of the file still on your computer. You can look for temporary files that have similar names to the original. In Microsoft Word, these files will sometimes have a tilde (~) in front of the file (this changes from version to version, you can do an Internet search to find more strategies for recovering a file from temporary files.)

From a paper copy

If you don’t have a backup but you happen to have a paper copy of a draft, you can save some work. Short of typing your paper back into the computer manually, you can scan the draft using a copier on campus and then use Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software to translate the picture of text (the scanned copy) into text that can be edited in a word processor. Here are the steps:

  1. Go to the closest public copier (library has one and so does Media Services in the lower level of the library) and scan-to-email your paper draft. If you need help with this, ask the nearest librarian or come the IT Help Desk located near the Media Services copier. You can scan using the “text/line art” settings, no need for color here.
  2. Retrieve the file from your email. You now need to “OCR” the scan. You can use Adobe Acrobat Pro — this is installed on the computer lab computers– using the “Recognize Text” option or you can upload and convert the document into Google docs. In the upload options, specify “Convert text from PDF and image files to Google documents” option.
  3. Once the conversion is complete, you can copy and paste the text into your preferred word processor.

With the help of the IT Help Desk!

If you are unsure how to proceed, we will do our best to assist you. Please stop by the IT Help Desk “garage door” in the lower level of the library during business hours.

Resources for Presentations

Hello Students, Faculty, and Staff:

Learning how to discover, develop, and share ideas and then doing it is what higher education is all about. When we work within the context of Malone’s Mission Statement, that means that we could be changing the lives of the people who surround us. Presenting concepts and ideas in a clear and coherent way is how we “close the loop” in our personal, academic, and professional endeavors.

We hope that what you see below will help you in your quest for delivering content clearly and effectively.

Improving “the look” of Presentations

Malone University Presentation Templates

Especially if you are representing Malone at a conference or to an outside group, you may want to use a ‘Malonified’ PowerPoint or Keynote template. You can download these from the Information Technologies tab of Malone Xpress.

Poster Presentations: Wide-format printing and tools for authoring

There are a thousand different methods for putting together a poster presentation. The Information Technologies and Media Services Help Desk can assist you in the creation of items for your board. You might also choose to create your presentation using a layout program like Adobe InDesign available in several of the computer labs and can be installed on other Malone-owned computers.

When you have completed your file, you will need to PRINT IT. You can print up to 11″x17″ full color prints on campus. We have partnered with a local company called Repros to do larger. Visit FAQ183 to get pricing information and contact information. They can print 24″x36″ or even 36″x48″ posters in less than 24hours turn around time.

Alternatives to PowerPoint

That data projector can show things other than PowerPoint. There is a variety of presentation software out there. Some of them are web-based and others are installable programs. If you are in a classroom that has a SMARTBoard, you may want to checkout SMART Notebook.

The Worst PowerPoints Ever

Winner of the "Worst PowerPoint Slide"

The projector manufacturer InFocus had a contest to find the “Worst PowerPoints” ever. Check out the winners here. My favorite is the winner for worst powerpoint slide. I am happy to say that it was created by an IT department!

Improving the Delivery of Presentations

Use of Kensington Wireless remote

One of the worst things about using PowerPoint is being tethered to the computer in the room when it is time to advance your slide. You can overcome this through the use of a wireless presentation remote.

We like the models from Kensington. They are inexpensive and ultra-reliable. They also stow easily in your satchel, pocket, or purse. We sell these (at cost) through the IT Help Desk or you can purchase them online or at stores. One of the great features is that they are omnidirectional. This means that you can put the remote in your pocket and click to advance your slides without having to take it out or point it at the computer. Don’t forget to grab your receiver when you leave the room!

Backchannel Communication

We and others have written about backchannel communication before. There are tools that can be used to pull these conversations into the foreground. My new favorite tool for live tweeting during an event is Twitterfall. You can give your audience a #hashtag and set up twitterfall to monitor any posts that use that tag. You might also use the freeform text poll in a service like PollEverywhere.com. Read more about that in the next section.

For more information on using Twitter in the face-to-face and online classrooms, take a look at Dunlap and Lowenthal’s article in the Journal of Information Systems Education titled: Tweeting the Night Away: Using Twitter to Enhance Social Presence. This is a link to the journal through EBSCO, if you are off campus, you will need your library barcode off your id to access it. Many thanks to my classmate Adonis Baptista for sharing this with me.

Poll the Audience

Using technology to poll the audience is another popular trend in the classroom. You can use hardware solutions like TurningPoint. There is a 25 user TurningPoint kit available for checkout from the IT Help Desk. You might also use a web service like PollEverywhere.com. You can sign up for a free account for educators to use the service or pay a yearly subscription to gain access to additional features.

Cognitive Loading

It is important to think about the concept of Cognitive Loading when preparing to give a presentation. You should also consider your delivery method when constructing your content. A presentation given as a recording, say on eCollege, should look very different than a presentation given in a live setting. Cognitive loading involves using the two available input channels to the mind, audio and visual, to their maximum capacities.

Live Presentations should have a certain amount of repetition and redundancy built in to assure that your audience receives your message whereas…

Recorded Presentations should have ALL extraneous information and repetition removed. Remember that a recording can be rewound and played again. You might even encourage your audience to rewind (read: give them permission) when they are not sure they understood info given the first time.

For more information on preparing recorded presentations you can check out resources like Mayer’s Multimedia Learning or one of his newer titles that is available from the Malone Stacks. Here are the seven highlights covered in the text:

  1. Multimedia Principle: Students learn better from words and pictures than from words or pictures alone. Make use of both channels, visual and verbal.
  2. Spatial Contiguity Principle: Students learn better when corresponding words and pictures are presented near rather than far from each other on the page or screen.
  3. Temporal Continuity Principle: Students learn better when corresponding words and pictures are presented simultaneously rather than successively.
  4. Coherence Principle: Students learn better when extraneous words, pictures, and sounds are excluded rather than included.
  5. Modality Principle: Students learn better from animation and narration than from animation and on-screen text.
  6. Redundancy Principle: Students learn better from animation and narration than from animation, narration, and on-screen text. Eliminate redundant material.
  7. Individual Differences Principle: Design effects are stronger for low-knowledge learners than for high-knowledge learners and for high-spatial learners than for low-spatial learners.

Set up your Question and Answer Pairs on or before Tuesday, February 7

Dear Faculty and Staff:

Beginning after hours on Tuesday February 7, all faculty, staff, and students must have four question and answer pairs set up in the Malone password management system. If you have not already done so, you will need to set up your four question and answer pairs in our password management system before you will be able to sign in to any online services including:

  • Malone Xpress
  • Online Learning
  • others…

Many of you have already done this back in the fall. This change will not impact you if your question and answers are already set up.

Proceed to https://userid.malone.edu/manage to check or set up your question and answer pairs.

We encourage anyone who is not sure that they have already set up their question and answer pairs to go to the web site above and do this prior to the cut off date. This is especially important for those of you who teach in the classroom and online. Make sure you aren’t caught having to set these up at the beginning of a class you are teaching.

How do I know this isn’t a phishing email and you aren’t just trying to get my password?

It is a good question to ask before clicking a link sent to you in email. There are several ways to check whether a link in an email is legitimate. In this case, you can 1) float your mouse over the link and make sure that the address that appears matches the address listed. Pay special attention to the part of the link immediately preceding the .com or .edu part of the address, for example: google.com is good but google.xyz.com is not good. You could also copy and paste the address into your web browser or manually type it in, making sure that you are visiting the place you want to visit.

Wireless Changes Made Over Break

Hello Faculty, Staff, and Students:

Thank you to the 130 of you who took the wireless survey. You have made your voice heard. You can view the results of the survey in a previous blog entry here. Our networking team made several changes to our wireless as a result of your input. These changes are summarized here:

Administrative and Academic Buildings

The users who responded to the wireless survey helped identify four areas on campus where the WiFI coverage was inconsistent. Those areas were:

  1. Founder Hall North
  2. Mitchell Hall First Floor
  3. Regula Hall First Floor
  4. Cattell Library Lower Level

We installed additional WiFi equipment in those areas and re-tuned the existing equipment so WiFI coverage was more consistent.

Residence Halls

Radio interference from non-WiFi devices in the Residence Halls continues to be an issue (poorly shielded microwave ovens, cordless phones operating in the 2.4GHz and 5.1GHz spectrum, e.g., non DECT 6.0 compliant telephones, etc.). The Woolman-Whittier-Fox building cluster (WWF) reported the largest number of issues. We continue to identify those non-WiFi devices and have them removed. This will be on-going process as devices come and go on campus.

Individuals

Several survey respondents requested that they be contacted directly with specific issues that they have experienced. We have responded back to those clients and have resolved many or all of their concerns

Questions about Wireless on Campus?

Please visit our Wifi FAQ188.

Or… you can contact the IT Help Desk. We can be reached via email at helpdesk AT malone DOT edu , via the web at http://www.malone.edu/helpdesk or by phone at 330.471.8428.

 

 

Wireless Survey Preliminary Results

Hello Students, Faculty, and Staff:

We have preliminary results of the wireless survey and are sharing them with you now! You have until this Thursday to add your voice. Sign into Xpress to complete the survey and help make wireless as best as it can be on campus!

We have followed up directly with several students and staff members who asked us to contact them and have already resolved a couple problems as a result! Thank you to those who have already responded!

Wireless Survey for Students, Faculty, and Staff available

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:

From now through December 15, we are asking Malone students, faculty, and staff to complete a survey about the campus wireless infrastructure.
To participate, sign in to Malone Xpress and check the announcements in your student, faculty, or staff tab!

Long Distance Codes and Departmental Bill Back for Long Distance

Dear Faculty & Staff:

On Tuesday, October 25 after 5pm, we will be converting the way in which we bill back for long distance calling. You will notice two major changes in how you enter your long distance code.

Your code will change

The new system requires that we use 4 digits instead of 3. You will use the same code as you used before except that you will add a leading zero to it.

Example: If your code was previously ‘123,’ then your new code will be ‘0123’

The prompt will change

If you have made a long distance call before, you will know that the prompt says, “Please enter your account code followed by pound.” This will no longer be the case. When you need to enter a long distance code, you will now hear two beeps in quick succession. The onscreen display of your phone will say “Enter Authorization Code.” When you hear the beeps, you will enter your four-digit code and then press the ‘#’ (pound) key.

Explanation: Why are we making this change?

Our current Long Distance provider is no longer supporting the system which prompts us for our account codes at a reasonable long distance per minute rate. We have been able to negotiate a better rate from another carrier however their systems cannot support the same long distance code prompting.

By in-sourcing this service, we are preventing our long distance bills from roughly doubling for the same amount of minutes. We can also leverage bulk minute purchase rates from multiple carriers to ensure that our costs stay low in the future.

Departments being billed back for long-distance minutes will not see any change in the method in which this is completed.

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

Microsoft Office 2010 in Classrooms, Offices, and at Home

Dear Faculty, Staff, & Students:

This post is dedicated to all things Office. Students, faculty, and staff should tune into the following areas:

Faculty & Staff:

  • Classrooms will be patched (including office 2010) over fall break, October 20-21.
  • Work-At-Home licensing for Microsoft Office is now available for Faculty and Staff.
  • Installing Office 2010 (or Mac 2011) on your office laptop or desktop.
  • Common questions about transitioning from 2007 to 2010.

Students

  • Where can purchase office at a significant discount?

Office 2010 to be installed in all classrooms over fall break

During fall break the IT department plans to patch and upgrade all classroom computers. This patching will include updates to the latest versions of Firefox, Flash, Internet Explorer, etc. as well as upgrading Microsoft Office to 2010.

Please let us know if you have loaded any specialized software in any of the classrooms. We have tracked most of these installations however there may have been some that were never documented.

Work-at-Home copies of Office 2010 (and 2011) available to employees

Our campus license allows employees of the University to install and utilize Microsoft Office 2010 on one home computer for University business purposes. There are five copies of the installer that can be checked out from the IT Help Desk in the lower level of Cattell Library. You must sign a waiver form (you can download and sign ahead of time if you choose) if you want to install office.

There is a similar set of discs available for Mac Office (version 2011). If you use an Apple computer at home, be sure to specify when you come to pick up the disc.

If you are running Windows 7, you will probably need to install the 64bit version of Office. The checkout DVD contains both the 32bit version (for Windows XP) as well as the 64bit version (for some Windows Vista and most Windows 7 machines). The disc contains instructions in case you encounter problems installing office. In some cases, the old version of Office will need to be manually removed.

Installing Office 2010 (or 2011) on your office computer

Please contact the IT Help Desk if you are ready to upgrade your office computer to Office 2010. This will be done over the network. Your machine will be unavailable during the installation and the process takes from 20-40 minutes (we recommend you reboot at the end of the day or during your lunch hour).

Faculty and staff who use an Apple computer can be upgraded to Office 2011 over the network as well. Please contact the IT Help Desk to initiate the upgrade.

Common questions regarding upgrading from Office 2007 to Office 2010:

Will Office 2007 documents open up in Office 2010?: Yes.

Will Office 2010 documents open up in Office 2007?: In most cases, however some files which use features found in 2010 but not 2007 may look different when opened up with Office 2007.

The office.com web site has lots of resources for newly transitioned users.

I am a student, can I get Microsoft Office 2010 (or 2011)?

While it is not covered under our campus agreement, students can get a significant discount when purchasing Microsoft Office. Visit cdwg.com/malone to check out pricing and purchase Office. It is also available for order from our campus bookstore.

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