With Apple’s recent updates to the iLife and iWork applications at the end of March, Apple has made the software available for free to all users. Previously, you had to purchase a new device or Mac to get the software at that price. Now users with older Macs can have access to the latest tools freely. The only downside is the Apple apps usually require more recent versions of the OS and/or computer processor. Continue reading Apple’s iLife and iWork are now available for free.
Last week, Apple released a new suite of professional applications aimed at the K-12 and Higher Ed markets. This Pro Apps Bundle for Education includes their popular Final Cut Pro X for video editing, the award-winning Logic Pro X for audio editing, Motion 5 for motion graphics, Compressor 4 for compressing those videos, and MainStage 3 for using your audio recordings in live audio performances. Continue reading Apple Offers Pro Apps Bundle with Final Cut & Logic for $200
Apps.SMU provides access to a variety of applications within a virtualized environment, removing device and OS barriers and allowing access to the applications from almost any device with an internet connection. For first-time users of Apps.SMU, reading through the Installation Instructions found on the Documentation and Training tab at www.smu.edu/OIT/Services/AppsSMU is a great place to start. For current Apps.SMU users, we have a few usage tips. Continue reading Working Smarter with Apps.SMU
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)
Locker.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 (including your mobile devices). This project has just launched, so a timeline will be provided in a future update.
Canvas: New Learning Management Tool
As 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
Lynda.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)
We 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)
The 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.
SMU is releasing its first official mobile application, SMU Mobile. This new app puts SMU in the palm of your hand. As a student, you can easily access variety of information about the university, including maps, news, grades, and even the course catalog.
Find what is available for lunch in Dining. In Events, find what is currently going on near you, as all of the events from the SMU Calendar are in the app (and we’re bringing in more SMU Calendar users!). Find an event you are excited about, you can bookmark it for later or even share it to your social media account. With Social, the latest updates from SMU’s Facebook feed are available without leaving the app.
For your academic needs, not only do you have the ability to view the course catalog, but you can even view classes and grades within the app. Once you have logged into the My Courses section with your SMU ID and password, you will have access to your course listing and grades. Look for more features to be added to My Courses in the future.
The SMU Mobile application was developed as a collaboration between the Office of Public Affairs and the Office of Information Technology with assistance from the SMU Student Senate. The team will continue to refine and add new features to SMU Mobile. In the coming months, features such as YouTube and Instagram integration will be added. If you have suggestions or feature requests for the SMU Mobile App, please contact the Student Senate Committee or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
SMU Mobile App is available as a free download on iOS and Android. For all other devices, visit mobile.smu.edu.
- The iOS version requires iOS 6.0 or later.
- The Android version requires Android 2.3.3 and up.
Every summer, SPSS goes through a license renewal process. During this time, some customers will be given a countdown for when their license will expire. While this message is distressing, there is a 90-day grace period during which there will be NO disruption of service.
Once SMU has received the renewed licenses, all machines running SPSS versions 21 or 22 and have LANDesk installed will update automatically. Those who have software older than versions 21 and 22 will need to update to one of the two most recent iterations via LANDesk. Those who do not have LANDesk or would like assistance with updating to the two most recent versions should contact the SMU Help Desk for assistance. Version 23 will be made available at this time as well for those who would like to update. And of course, SPSS is available at all times via apps.smu.edu.
If you’re looking to relieve your life of unnecessary stress, try one of these tech-savvy methods to lighten your burden and make you feel ready to take on the world.
1. Calming Reflection
Meditation has proven itself as a common yet efficient way of managing stress, and with apps like Mindfulness and Calm, short meditation sessions are at your fingertips wherever and whenever you need them. The Breathe2Relax app provides you with breathing techniques to help you quickly simmer down in any situation.
2. Soothing Sounds
While white noise machines do exist, you can quickly find hours’ worth of relaxing sounds on sites such as YouTube or Spotify, where there are multiple playlists to choose from, or by using the handy Relax Melodies app.
3. Gadgets and Gizmos
A Dublin startup called Galvanic created Pip, a biosensor which measures electrodermal activity associated with stress levels by having the user place their thumb on a small device. After calculating your levels, Pip can suggest techniques to reduce stress, and warn you if your stress levels are too high.
4. Quality Sleep
A great device to use for a re-energizing catnap is the Phillips Wake-Up Light. Described as an uplifting alarm clock, this accessory simulates a sunrise and accompanying sounds to help eliminate grogginess. According to a review by Health.com, even after just four hours of sleep, the experimenter woke up feeling refreshed, thanks to the new clock. An app with a similar purpose is SleepBot. Previously featured on our blog, this alarm clock app measures your movement while sleeping to determine the best time to wake you and leave you feeling refreshed.
Summer has just begun, which normally means that a future vacation is right on the horizon. Organizing a trip can get a bit wearisome at times, but with these free apps, planning can be an (ocean) breeze!
If you aren’t particular about flight dates, just choose your ideal destination and where you plan to depart from, and leave it to Sky Scanner to find the best deals!
If you have a location you want to travel to and want to know what sights and experiences the destination has to offer, look no further than this app! Tripomatic gives detailed information and pictures for each major sight that your destination presents, from popular restaurants to esteemed museums.
Ever get flight and hotel confirmation emails and have trouble keeping up with all of them? If so, use TripIt to organize your itinerary. You can also add itineraries for multiple trips, so whether you want to plan out a weekend getaway or a business trip, this app is for you.
If you are trying to fill your itinerary, use Gogobot to see what restaurants, sights and hotels at your destination will best suit your needs.
Hipmunk compares hotel and flight prices and puts them all in one place. It also provides ratings, reviews, and pictures, so you know just what you’re getting when you book them.
Once you reach your destination and are looking for shopping or entertainment, use AroundMe to find a variety of locations to visit, whether it be a movie or music festivals or finding the nearest supermarket or gas station.
As finals quickly approach, it can be a real pain to keep all of your tasks, both personal and school-related, organized and on their way to completion. Sometimes, things fall through the cracks and throw your life into chaos.
Everyone has their own methods of managing their tasks, but if your methods don’t seem to be cutting it for your needs, you may want to switch it up with some digital methods!
A very common way to keep it all together is to have a to-do list. For ages this has been done with pen/pencil and paper. But what happens if you lose your list or it gets destroyed by an eager and hungry canine? All that work is gone! For online storage and syncing of your to-do list, there are loads of awesome tools for you to try.
My personal favorite has been Wunderlist. Wunderlist is a free to-do list platform (with a premium pay service available) that makes creating your to-do list and syncing it with all of your devices painless. With apps for not only your computer but also your smartphones and tablets, your tasks are only a couple of taps or clicks away! On top of that, it has a satisfying “DING!” when you finally check those tasks off of your list!
Wunderlist is available for iPhone, Android, Kindle Tablets (FireOS), Windows, and Mac.
Some other great services include Remember the Milk, which has apps for most mobile platforms as well as the ability to connect to your Google and Evernote accounts. Speaking of Evernote, it can also be a great way to keep a to do list on top of its stellar note-taking capabilities.
Another good option for a to-do list across all of your devices is Todoist. Also free with a premium pay option available, Todoist has apps and clients that are available on fifteen different platforms! Todoist would probably work best if you’re more business-oriented, since it also includes a lot of team collaboration features that aren’t found in other services.
Apart from finding the best to-do list service for your needs, another important part of managing your tasks is to get into a routine and stick with it! You’ll be surprised how much more work you can get done.
Back in the dark ages, before Twitter and Tumblr, there were blogs. Individuals tired of going from one blog to another to read all their news, jokes and view cute pictures of cats, created a centralized place where one could read all their blogs while only going to one website, or RSS Reader. Blog engines such as Blogger, and later WordPress, provided authors with a way to distribute their blogs in Rich Site Summary (RSS) to be integrated into an RSS Reader
The gold standard of RSS readers (and my personal favorite) was Google Reader. There I could add blogs’ RSS feeds as I found them and categorize them for later when I was looking for specific information.
As with all things on the Internet, good things don’t last. After the advent of Twitter and the growing popularity of microblogging, Google announced it was decommissioning Google Reader. Many devoted users were upset and signed petitions, others saw an opening in the marketplace and started building their own, many with the ability to integrate not just RSS feeds but also Twitter and Tumblr.
There are now numerous RSS or Blog Readers. Here are a few you might want to give a try:
Bloglovin- Is a place where you can read all your blogs in one place. You can categorize the blogs you add and integrate social media including Facebook. Bloglovin will also make suggestions for other sites based off websites you have added. In addition to integrated apps for phones and tablets, there is also a Bloglovin button you can add to your browser toolbar to make it that much easier to add sites to Bloglovin.
Newsblur- is another news and rss reader with its own social media components. It also has apps for iOS and Android.
Google Chrome RSS Feed Reader plugin- Google Chrome has an RSS Feed Reader broswer plugin that allows you to access and manage your RSS feeds from Google Chrome. It also has a feature to alert you when a website you are visiting has RSS feeds.