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ITS Newsletter


August 2017 ITS Newsletter Header


Remember to Check Your Tech before the New Semester Begins

Faculty are encouraged to use Information Technology Services' Pre-semester Technology Checklist as they prepare for the fall semester.

The checklist provides detailed information about: 

  • verifying that your MSU Denver NetID, password, and email are working. 
  • confirming that your Blackboard Learn courses are set up for the semester. 
  • verifying that you and your classrooms are equipped with the necessary software and equipment. 
  • updating your laptop by connecting it to the MSU Denver “wired” network or by bringing it to the ITS Helpdesk. 
  • verifying that your syllabi include the ITS Helpdesk contact information for technology support.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the ITS Helpdesk at 303-352-7548 or support.msudenver.edu.

Student Orientation Course for Blackboard Learn

Student Orientation to Blackboard Learn course (listed as 00 Blackboard Student Training 2016 in Blackboard) is available to all MSU Denver students and faculty members. The self-paced online orientation is designed to provide students with detailed instructions for using the basic operations and functions needed to successfully navigate, communicate, collaborate, submit coursework, take assessments, and otherwise participate in courses delivered through Blackboard Learn.

Although completing the orientation is not required, it is recommended for anyone who is new to Blackboard Learn or for those who need to brush up on their skills. The orientation will remain on your list of courses in Blackboard Learn, even after you have completed it, so you can use it as reference whenever needed. Log on to Blackboard Learn via the Student Hub to explore the orientation. Be sure to read the Course Overview page in its entirety to learn how to customize your learning path and quickly navigate course content.

MSU Denver's Wireless Network Has a New Name

The name of the 'MetroState' wireless network was recently changed to 'MSUDenver' to align with MSU Denver's branding standards. The change will require you to connect your devices to the 'MSUDenver' wireless network in order to use it. Step-by-step connection instructions for connecting to the 'MSUDenver' network are available at www.msudenver.edu/wifi. 

Telephony Initiative Update: Wave 1 is Almost Done

The ITS Telephony Implementation Team recently deployed new telephones to 22 departments in the Central Classroom, West Classroom, Plaza, and Arts buildings (Wave 1). The goal is to have Wave 1 completed by Aug. 18.

Within the coming weeks, the ITS Telephony Implementation Team will focus on Wave 2, which includes the Administration, Science, and Tivoli buildings. They will be reaching out to department contacts to setup an interview to review staff lists and identify current telephone use cases. If your office is located in one of these buildings, and you would like information about what you need to do prior to receiving your new telephone, please watch the entertaining and informative What's Needed From You? video. It provides helpful information about preparing your workspace prior to the telephone deployment in your department.

If you’ve already received a new phone, it is recommended that you:

  • Change the greeting on your old phone number to inform callers that you have a new number. This message will remain on the AHEC phone system through December 1, 2017.
  • Set your old phone number to not accept voicemail messages.
  • Update your profile in Banner with your new phone number.

The First Steps webpage provides instructions for completing the steps above. You can also find helpful information about how to use your new phone at www.msudenver.edu/newphone and general information about the project on the Telecommunications Initiative webpage.

A New Way to Stay Informed

ITS recently implemented Statuspage.io, a system status tool that will make it easier for you to stay informed about the various systems provided at MSU Denver, such as Blackboard Learn and Banner. On the MSU Denver ITS Service Status webpage, you can get up-to-date information, including announcements about planned maintenance, outages, and security alerts.?If you would like to receive notifications whenever ITS creates or updates an incident, click the 'SUBSCRIBE TO UPDATES' button on the MSU Denver ITS Service Status webpage and sign-up to receive emails, SMS messages, or both. 

New Information Security Policies are Now Available

The Information and Information Technology Policies have been entirely rewritten to make them more applicable, comprehensive, and understandable. The new policies are also easy to access in the University Policy Library. The policies are focused on protecting critical data and information systems of MSU Denver from loss, damage, or inappropriate modification or disclosure. They will be reviewed on an annual basis, with any changes or additions being submitted through the University's policy review and approval process.

TLTS  and PitchLX: Free Innovative Professional Development Opportunities Coming in October

Faculty and staff are invited to register for the 6th annual Teaching and Learning with Technology Symposium (TLTS) to be held Friday, October 13, 2017, on the Auraria Campus, hosted by the MSU Denver Educational Technology Center. This year's symposium introduces an exciting new format you won’t want to miss: instead of a traditional session and track-based event which is passive in nature, TLTS 2017 will challenge you to think critically, work collaboratively, and take an active role in shaping the event. In a single day, attendees will collaboratively Discover, Frame, Imagine, Prototype, Engage, and Reflect upon unique solution designs focused through the lens of one of three interest groups: Creativity & Design, Equity & Social Justice, or Leadership & Vision.

Additionally, the ITS Educational Technology Center (ETC) has been cultivating a collaborative network of partnerships in support of Prospective Innovations in Teaching and Learning Xperiences (PitchLX), to breed innovative thinking and cultivate ideas that meet the ever-changing expectations of students.

Open to all higher education professionals, and driven by a live pitch-off event on Thursday October 12, PitchLX will bring together a broad range of participants to deliver pitches for existing or theorized innovative ideas which have the potential to significantly shape the future of teaching and learning with technology (moonshots welcome). Following each pitch, a panel of expert judges will conduct a live Q&A/critique, and award points based on feasibility, creativity, sound pedagogy, and overall delivery. Prizes will be awarded and resources invested, so innovative thinking and preparation are critical and highly encouraged.

  • To learn more about TLTS visit www.msudenver.edu/tlts  
  • To RSVP or submit a pitch for PitchLX visit www.msudenver.edu/tlts/pitchlx

Space for both events is limited, so register early!

The Name of the Game is Continuous Improvement

In order to prepare our students for successful careers, and meet our shared mission of providing high-quality, accessible and enriching education, it’s essential that we look towards continuous improvement of our courses. The CourseLaunch, CourseAssist, CourseConstellation and ELITE Certification programs are designed to facilitate such ongoing improvement. This is just a quick reminder to all MSU Denver faculty to apply.

We invite you to explore the options below and encourage you to submit your application for the Spring work cycle (courses to be taught Summer or Fall 2018) as soon as possible:

  • CourseLaunch (application deadline Friday, Dec. 15th, 2017) 
  • CourseAssist (application deadline Friday, Dec. 15th, 2017) 
  • CourseConstellation (application deadline Friday, Dec. 15th, 2017) 
  • ELITE Certification (application deadline March, 15th, 2018)

Want to learn more? Check out our articles in the previous Information Technology Services March 2017 Newsletter, "Need a Course Makeover?" and "Get a Competitive Edge!". 

Scheduled Maintenance on September 8

ITS will perform maintenance on the Banner system from midnight until 6:00 a.m. on Friday, September 8. Banner will not be available during the maintenance period. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the ITS Helpdesk at 303-352-7548 or support.msudenver.edu. 

Are You Practicing Safe Social Networking?

From the Educause Security Awareness Initiative webpage

Who Else Is Online? Social media sites are not well-monitored playgrounds with protectors watching over you to ensure your safety. When you use social media, do you think about who might be using it besides your friends and connections? Following are some of the other users you may encounter.

  • Identity thieves. Cybercriminals need only a few pieces of information to gain access to your financial resources. Phone numbers, addresses, names, and other personal information can be harvested easily from social networking sites and used for identity theft. Cybercrime attacks have moved to social media, because that’s where cybercriminals get their greatest return on investment.
  • Online predators. Are your friends interested in seeing your class schedule online? Well, sex offenders or other criminals could be as well. Knowing your schedule and your whereabouts can make it very easy for someone to victimize you, whether it’s breaking in while you’re gone or attacking you while you’re out.
  • Employers. Most employers investigate applicants and current employees through social networking sites and/or search engines. What you post online could put you in a negative light to prospective or current employers, especially if your profile picture features you doing something questionable or “less than clever.” Think before you post a compromising picture or inflammatory status. (And stay out of online political and religious discussions!)

How Do I Protect My Information? Although there are no guaranteed ways to keep your online information secure, following are some tips to help keep your private information private. 

  • Don’t post personal or private information online! The easiest way to keep your information private is to NOT post it. Don’t post your full birthdate, address, or phone numbers online. Don’t hesitate to ask friends to remove embarrassing or sensitive information about you from their posts, either. You can NEVER assume the information you post online is private.
  • Use privacy settings. Most social networking sites provide settings that let you restrict public access to your profile, such as allowing only your friends to view it. (Of course, this works only if you allow people you actually know to see your postings — if you have 10,000 “friends,” your privacy won’t be very well protected.)
  • Review privacy settings regularly. It's important to review your privacy settings for each social networking site; they change over time, and you may find that you’ve unknowingly exposed information you intended to keep private.
  • Be wary of others. Many social networking sites do not have a rigorous process to verify the identity of their users. Always be cautious when dealing with unfamiliar people online. Also, you might receive a friend request from someone masquerading as a friend. Here’s a cool hint — if you use Google Chrome, right-click on the photo in a LinkedIn profile and choose Google image search. If you find that there are multiple accounts using the same image, all but one is probably spurious.
  • Search for yourself. Do you know what information is readily available about you online? Find out what other people can easily access by doing a search. Also, set up an automatic search alert to notify you when your name appears online. (You may want to set alerts for your nicknames, phone numbers, and addresses as well; you may very well be surprised at what you find.)
  • Understand the role of hashtags. Hashtags (#) are a popular way to provide clever commentary or to tag specific pictures. Many people restrict access to their Instagram accounts so that only their friends can see their pictures. However, when someone applies a hashtag to a picture that is otherwise private, anyone who searches for that hashtag can see it.

My Information Won’t Be Available Forever, Will It? Well, maybe not forever, but it will remain online for a lot longer than you think.

  • Before posting anything online, remember the maxim "what happens on the web, stays on the web." Information on the Internet is public and available for anyone to see, and security is never perfect. With browser caching and server backups, there is a good chance that what you post will circulate on the web for years to come. So: be safe and think twice about anything you post online.
  • Share only the information you are comfortable sharing. Don’t supply information that’s not required. Remember: You have to play a role in protecting your information and staying safe online. No one will do it for you.

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