Fall 2017 Office Certification Pilot Progress Report

Get Certified with MOS CertificationSMU’s Microsoft Office Certification pilot program, which was announced late September, has proved to be quite successful in a short period. In approximately ten weeks, 88 participants achieved 93 Microsoft Office Specialist certifications. Although December exams are still in flight, over 160 certifications have been issued to date with Microsoft Excel comprising of 75% of the exams completed through November.

“I’m so excited to be overseeing this pilot program,” stated Laurene Klassen, manager of the IT Training & Communications team. “One of my greatest rewards this semester was to train a student in Excel before the program launch and then see her sit for the certification exam. When I met this student, she didn’t even realize that Excel was not on her computer. It’s not uncommon for a student to think that Numbers for Mac is the same as Microsoft Excel,” explained Laurene. While both programs have similar features, there are many key differences in the type of calculations the programs can handle. “This student had no familiarity with Excel and was planning on majoring in Business. It was great to see her build her skill-set in just a couple of months’ time. Now, she has an industry standard certification she can put on her resume and is more prepared for her studies in the business school.”

MOS Excel badgeDuring the semester, the IT Training team has also worked closely with Cox School of Business Professor Allen Gwinn who heavily promoted Excel certifications during class. To date, over 85% of his class has achieved the Microsoft Office Excel Specialist certification with several students already studying for other Office certification exams.

Certification exams are held in Fondren Library East room 109 every Friday and at various times throughout the week. Additional testing times will be scheduled throughout January to accommodate those who want to study during the winter break. Visit smu.edu/mos for more information on the pilot program.

LANDesk Client Upgrade Improves System Update Processes

LANDesk LogoSystem updates can certainly be a hassle, but they are essential to the security and reliability of computers across campus. One particular point of frustration is having to restart your computer for some updates to be applied properly. OIT has made a few tweaks to our computer inventory and management software, LANDesk, to ensure that individuals are notified when a restart is necessary for patch installation.

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Quick Fix: Updating Adobe Licenses on SMU Computers

Adobe LogoIf your SMU-owned computer has recently alerted you that your Adobe license is expiring, don’t fret! Last week, the enterprise Adobe license key expired.  Prior to the expiration date, a task was sent out via LANDesk to update the license key behind the scenes. This was successful for a large percentage of the clients. However, there are a number of individuals reporting issues with Adobe software on their SMU computers. We have a quick fix for you to get your Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Photoshop, or other Adobe application up and running again. Continue reading Quick Fix: Updating Adobe Licenses on SMU Computers

Staff Utilizes Microsoft Office Certification to Sharpen Skills

Microsoft Office Specialist LogoAs our Microsoft Office Specialist Certification Pilot Program moves along, we’re meeting all kind of interesting students, faculty, and staff members who are using Office in many different ways. One example is staff member Jie Sun, who works as an Academic Data Analyst in the Dean’s Office at Dedman College. Jie has just recently earned his Excel Expert certification and is working on obtaining certifications for all of the other Office programs! Continue reading Staff Utilizes Microsoft Office Certification to Sharpen Skills

Legendary Free Audio Editor Gets an Upgrade: Audacity 2.2.0

Audacity LogoIf you’ve ever needed to find a program to edit audio on your computer, you’ve probably stumbled on Audacity in your Internet travels. Audacity has been around for almost twenty years, and the team that maintains the software just announced a significant upgrade! Continue reading Legendary Free Audio Editor Gets an Upgrade: Audacity 2.2.0

Tech Tip: Using SMU’s Password Reset Tool

To ensure security of SMU’s data holdings, SMU account passwords must be changed every 180 days. For years, we have offered the online password reset tool at pwreset.smu.edu to make password changes easier while also assisting with lost passwords.

There have been a few changes to the reset tool in recent months, so we have updated our introductory video to show you how easy it can be to manage your account password in one place.

The Internet of Things: Securing Your Smart Devices

Featuring info and tips from George Finney, OIT’s Chief Security Officer.

It’s the same internet that everyone else uses, but it’s getting filled up with more than computers. Smart devices like light bulbs, wearable fitness trackers, and kitchen appliances now fill the space once reserved for smartphones and laptops. These Internet of Things (IoT) devices are just as susceptible to hacking, and in some cases are more vulnerable.

Devices that support Amazon’s Alexa are a wonder of modern technology, but before taking the plunge, you should be prepared to spend some time thinking about how you will want to secure these devices.

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Upcoming Microsoft Office Certification Info Sessions

Get Certified with MOS CertificationDuring the 2017–2018 academic year, OIT will be providing access to the Microsoft Office Specialist Exams for free to current students. Get certified and stand out among other candidates for those upcoming internships and job interviews next spring! This 30-minute info session will walk you through the process of how to get started, where to get practice exams, and what to expect on the exams. You’ll also learn how to promote your certifications on LinkedIn and share digital transcripts with potential employers.

These info sessions will be located in the Hughes-Trigg Forum on Wednesday, October 18. Sessions will take place at 12:45, 1:30, 2:30, and 3:15.