Early Issues with ExamSoft and El Capitan

examsoftEl Capitan (OSX 10.11) was recently released to the public by Apple. While it is exciting to be the first one to use a new OS, if you use ExamSoft, we would urge you to wait.

At this time, ExamSoft’s SofTest is not compatible with El Capitan due to a vulnerability identified during the initial testing. If you are running El Capitan as your OS, ExamSoft will preventing you from downloading or registering SofTest on your device.  We urge you to please refrain from updating to El Capitan until an official support announcement has been made by ExamSoft.

Questions about Mac OS upgrade should be directed to the Help Desk.

If you need to access your ExamSoft account, please visit www.examsoft.com/smu. Log into the account under the ‘Administrator/Faculty’ area.  If you forgot your password, use the ‘Lost Password’ link to have it resent to you.

Post Updated 10/02 to include information about Mac OS upgrading and Examsoft account login.

Posted in Announcement, Classroom Support, Software Updates | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Wi-Fi Assist and Managing Cellular Data

Apple recently released iOS 9 with a new feature called Wi-Fi Assist. Wi-Fi Assist allows the device to use cellular data to keep your internet connection active in areas where the Wi-Fi signal may not be very strong.

Smart Network Switch

Andriod’s Smart Network Switch

Android has had a similar feature for some time called Smart Network Switch. To the chagrin of some users, they are finding their cellular bill higher as data overages have been incurred. With application management, you can find it possible to leave the feature on and still not rack up huge data charges.

Disabling Wi-Fi Assist

Disable iOS 9's Wi-Fi Assist

Disable iOS 9’s Wi-Fi Assist

Let’s start with how to disable the Wi-Fi assist. Some users may just want to turn the feature off and not risk those charges.

To disable Wi-Fi Assist:

  1. Launch Settings.
  2. Select Cellular.
  3. Scroll to the bottom.
  4. If the switch for Wi-Fi assist is green with an |, the feature is enabled. If it is colorless with an O, the feature is disabled. To turn the Wi-Fi Assist off, tap the green switch.
  5. To enable the feature, tap the switch again.

If you are concerned about the possibility of an extreme amount of cellular data usage and the fees that may come with it, we recommend disabling the Wi-Fi Assist, or Smart Network Switch in the case of Android users, feature off and manually controlling when your device is on Wi-Fi vs cellular network. Continue reading

Posted in Tech Tips | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Faculty and Students: Receive free hands-on-training for Mathematica

hoswm-mainWolfram has created a new outreach program that gives faculty and students free hands-on training for Mathematica and SMU has been invited to participate.

Join a free online training session to learn different ways to interact with Mathematica—enter queries through free-form input and the Wolfram Language, create notebooks, perform symbolic and numeric calculations, generate 2D and 3D graphics, create interactive Manipulates, analyze data, and turn your notebook into an interactive presentation. This is an exciting opportunity to learn directly from the authors of the book Hands-on Start to Wolfram Mathematica and Programming with the Wolfram Language and ask questions during the interactive Q&A. Participants will need access to either Mathematica for the desktop or Mathematica Online to utilize the hands-on aspects of this training.

Posted in Tech News, Tech Tips, Training | Tagged | Leave a comment

Classroom Support Enhancements

In addition to upgrading the technology equipment in several classrooms, we are also working on a few new processes to provide quicker response to classroom calls as well as keep faculty informed of maintenance issues in their classrooms.

Emergency Response:

  • We currently have 4 full time staff on the AV/Event Support team.  These individuals are currently serving as first responders to classroom calls.  They also have a team of student workers and the OIT Desktop Support team to assist as backup.
  • As we implement the shared services model in IT, there will be embedded desktop support technicians throughout campus.  These individuals will be responsible for providing quick classroom response due to their location.  They will continue to be dispatched from the Help Desk, but can provide a quicker response time as they will be in near proximity of the classrooms in their area.

Classroom Maintenance

  • When classroom technology fails and requires maintenance, the AV team will first attempt to install temporary equipment in the room that day to be used until the room is unoccupied for maintenance to occur.  Carts are being compiled with the necessary equipment and will be stored in various buildings on campus.
  • The AV team is implementing a notification process to alert any faculty that are teaching in an impacted classroom of the technology issue and if temporary equipment is available.  The faculty will be notified via email throughout the fulfillment of the maintenance activities.
  • A webpage has been built which will automatically display a list of any classrooms that are currently under maintenance as well as a status of these rooms. The information is available at www.smu.edu/BusinessFinance/OIT/classroommaintenance
  • We are also in the process of implementing new management tools to provide reporting, health checks and possibly even remote capabilities for the classroom equipment.  As these tools are implemented, many issues can be prevented or resolved quickly without dispatching a technician.

Finally, we realized that our instruction sheets in the classroom were not updated following the upgrade of equipment in several rooms.  We are working on new instructions and will ensure that these are accurate and available in all classrooms quickly.

We will continue to look for opportunities to improve our classroom response service as it is a critical component for instruction!

Posted in Classroom Support | Leave a comment

A Sneak Peek at New Technology Services

There are several exciting new services that will be available to the SMU Community during this Academic Year.  The following are a few projects that are underway to deliver new technology to the campus community.  Each of these will be highlighted in various blog posts and newsletters over the next several months.

Box (File Storage replacement for Locker)

BoxLocker.SMU and Bstore.SMU will be replaced by a popular file storage solution, Box.  Box was selected for the replacement service as it will offer unlimited storage for all faculty, staff and students in addition to providing a robust and more user-friendly interface!  Box is a cloud-based system that allows you to store documents online so you can access, manage and share them from anywhere (in
cluding your mobile devices).  This project has just launched, so a timeline will be provided in a future update.

Canvas:  New Learning Management Tool

CanvasAs announced by the Provost, Blackboard will be replaced by Canvas for the next academic year.  OIT is working closely with the Center for Teaching Excellence and the Office of Assessment and Accreditation to coordinate the transition to Canvas.  Many faculty have begun using Canvas this semester as a pilot group.  All faculty will have the option to transition to this new platform for the Spring semester.  Blackboard will be decommissioned in June of 2016. Workshops, migration options and other resources will be made available throughout the semester to ensure a smooth transition to Canvas.

LyndaCampus: Online Training for the SMU Campus

LyndaLynda.com offers over 2,000 self-paced training classes on a variety of applications.  Click here for more details about this service.

Duo (Two Factor Authentication)

Duo provides two-factor authentication before accessing various applications or content. This requires both your SMU credentials and a quick verification process that can be completed with the click of a button on a mobile device.   OIT is currently reviewing the list of applications to select the appropriate ones to integrate with this extra security component.  Our intention is to protect the most sensitive information first, such as direct deposit information and other financial information.

Unified Messaging (New Voicemail for On Campus Phones)

Unified MessagingWe are currently in the pilot phase of the new voicemail replacement project.  During the summer, we migrated approximately 75 accounts to the new system.  We will begin the campus wide implementation during the month of October.  This new service will deliver voicemail messages straight to your email mailbox.  A speech-to-text transcription will be included in the email message along with the actual audio file.  In addition, users can call into the voicemail system to retrieve messages as well as access email, calendar appointments and more.  If an individual calls your number but does not leave a message, a missed call notification will be delivered to your email as well.  All of these features (and more) can be controlled from the options menu within webmail.smu.edu.

Power BI (Business Intelligence Application)

Power BiThe Power BI service was recently enabled via Office 365 for faculty,staff and students. This online service enables you to find and visualize data through dashboards, shared reports and more.  To activate Power BI, you must login to office.smu.edu with your @smu.edu username and account password.  Select the Power BI icon to begin the activation process.

We look forward to bringing these new solutions to the SMU Community during the upcoming academic year.

Posted in Announcement, Apps | Leave a comment

Help Desk: New Location, New Hours

Help Desk MapOver the summer, the Help Desk relocated to the Hughes Trigg Student Center while Fondren Library is under renovation.  They are conveniently located on the main floor, right next to the M Lounge.

Semester Hours:

Monday through Friday 8:00AM until 8:00 PM
Saturday 9:00AM-5:00PM
Sunday 12:00pm-6:00pm

Contact Information:

Phones: 214-768-4357
Email: help@smu.edu
Online Support Portal: help.smu.edu
Walk up support in Hughes Trigg

We have hired a great group of students who will be assisting our full time staff in providing support during our open hours.  The STAR students will also continue working on a variety of projects including web publishing, graphic design and assisting faculty with instructional projects.  We look forward to a great semester in our new location!

Posted in Announcement | Tagged | Leave a comment

LyndaCampus Coming Soon

LyndaThe Office of Information Technology is pleased to announce the expansion of our online training solution.  We will no longer require a checkout license for lynda.com training as we have purchased  lyndaCampus. lyndaCampus provides academic institutions with unlimited, organization-wide access to the entire lynda.com library of instructional videos. With  over 2,000 self-paced training classes, practice files and environments, the SMU community will have the ability to access topics including: the entire suite of Microsoft and Adobe products, website development, business skills, design skills, audio and video tools, creative inspirations, and much more.

All of the courses are taught by expert instructors and have fully searchable transcripts.  Additional benefits include:

For Faculty

  • Assign tutorials to students utilizing LMS integration
  • Map content to syllabi
  • Embrace the flipped classroom model
  • Pursue professional development

For Staff

  • Keep pace with technology
  • Support the daily workflow
  • Create playlists for employees or colleagues
  • Get immediate, just-in-time answers to questions

For Students

  • Explore hundreds of topics in multimedia, design, web development, and social media
  • Perform independent study
  • Expand a resume and prepare for the workforce
  • Build presentation, time management, and research skills
  • Get immediate answers to technology questions


  • Shareable course playlists to support individualized learning
  • Mobile device access
  • Searchable course transcripts for quick answers
  • Bookmarks for favorite sections and easy reference
  • Downloadable courses and exercise files that reinforce retention
  • Certificates of completion may be produced and uploaded to your LinkedIn profile
  • New courses added every week
  • Privacy and security—FERPA, COPPA, and TRUSTe compliant

We are finalizing the subscription setup to allow the SMU community to use their SMU account and password to access the tutorials.  We will make the service available during the month of September and notify campus as soon as it is ready.


Posted in Announcement | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Eduroam Available Throughout Campus

Eduroam logoIf you will be traveling to other universities this year, be sure to checkout eduroam.  The eduroam wireless network is available at SMU as well as thousands of educational institutions around the world. SMU participates as both a service provider (for users on-campus) and as an identity provider (for users off-campus). Basically, you can use your SMU Credentials to connect to the eduroam network on other campuses and visitors can use their educational credentials to connect to the wireless network at SMU.

There is more information available on the wireless service page at www.smu.edu/BusinessFinance/OIT/Services/Wireless

eduroam maps!

You may be interested to see a map of institutions worldwide that participate in eduroam and offer the eduroam wireless service on their campuses. Note that it may take a while to load the large amount of data on these websites.

How can I use eduroam?

Simply find the eduroam wireless network with your wireless device. For the username, use your SMU email name (i.e., user@smu.edu), and the same password you would use to logon to Webmail or my.SMU. You may be prompted to trust the wireless network certificate, which is safe to accept.

Once you’ve joined your device to the eduroam wireless network, you’ll find that your device should automatically connect to the eduroam wireless network here at SMU as well as at other participating institutions without being prompted again for credentials.


Posted in Announcement, Tech News | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Chrome Ends Support for Java and Silverlight

This month, certain plug-ins will cease functioning in the Google Chrome web browser. This is a decision Google made in its development roadmap over a year ago. As Google phased out the plug-ins, there has been some workarounds, but even those workarounds will cease to function. We are aware Google Chrome is a popular browser on campus and SMU has been in conversations with the vendors of the university’s affected web applications. The suggestions based on those conversations are below.

  • AdminImages.SMU (Java) – The software vendor is working on replacement; use Internet Explorer (for linking) or Firefox for now.
  • Inside.SMU – Microsoft has offered no correction plans. Internet Explorer is the best method to work with Inside.SMU.
  • TeamDynamix (Silverlight) – Working with vendor. Use Firefox for now.

While plugins like Java and Silverlight are two of the more popular plug-ins losing support, the change is not limited to them. Below is a sample list of some of the plugins that are affected by this change to Google Chrome:

  • Java
  • Silverlight
  • Acrobat Reader (prior to Adobe Reader X)
  • Quicktime
  • Shockwave
  • Windows Media Player

All web pages that use plug-ins like these will cease functioning in Chrome in September of 2015. Chrome users will see the following messages when viewing web pages using these plugins:


For those wanting more information on Google’s decision, below are links to extended discussions on the matter.

Posted in Announcement, Tech News | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Jonathan Bull Joins Help Desk Team

Jonathan BullThe name Jonathan Bull may sound familiar. Jonathan has been part of the Help Desk student team for the past four years. After his completing his Religious Studies degree in May, Jonathan’s time as a student worker was over. We hated to say goodbye to this wonderful student. Luckily, he felt the same.

Jonathan had once considered attending SMU as Music Performance Major. He had played Bassoon in both middle and high school. Upon his acceptance to SMU, he found Religious Studies to be his path. To prepare for his transition away from SMU, Jonathan spent the winter break working as a server at a local steakhouse. Being a shy introvert, he found the experience a bit strange. Yet, providing great customer service in that high paced environment was very similar to working at the Help Desk.

In August, Jonathan accepted a full time position as part of our Help Desk team. He is excited to continue to provide support to the campus. When asked about the new position, Jonathan commented, “To help so many people in so many different ways – the job is never boring.” With the hundreds of tickets Jonathan processed in the past couple of weeks, he is definitely not in danger of getting bored anytime soon.

In his free time, Jonathan enjoys playing with his Xbox One and spending time with his fiance.

Posted in Announcement | Tagged , | Leave a comment