Save the Date: Canvas Nights are August 9 & 10

Canvas NightsIn preparation for back-to-school, IT Training will be hosting Canvas Nights on August 9th & 10th.  These evening webinar sessions are offered to faculty members who may be unable to join us during the day for our Canvas Boot Camp workshops.

“I was delighted to learn that our last Canvas evening session afforded the opportunity for several adjunct faculty members who work elsewhere during the day to still participate in our workshops” stated Jason Warner, Director of Academic Technology.  “Canvas Nights is intended to be that extension, and we are working hard to provide as many learning opportunities as we can. I’m hoping the evening sessions will be a great supplement to our weekly sessions and upcoming Canvas Boot Camp.”

The following workshops are part of the Canvas Nights series and are focused on getting you ready to use Canvas for your courses quickly and easily. Please, join us for one or more of these new evening webinars.

August 9, 6-8 PM

  • Intro to Canvas (6 PM) & Mastering Modules (7 PM) – Register here.

August 10, 6-8 PM

  • Canvas Quizzes (6 PM) &  Assignments & Grade Book (7 PM)  Register here.
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Security Holes in iOS 9 Patched with Update

iOS HomescreenApple just released the iOS 9.3.3 update, the final version for iOS 9 before the new iOS 10 this fall. For this reason, Apple allowed for extra testing time taking over two months with five separate betas to ensure the OS is as secure and stable as possible. With this update, Apple patches security holes in iOS 9‘s Calendar, CoreGraphics, FaceTime, and Safari apps. Each of these fixes addresses the ability for hackers to run unauthorized code or expose private information.

The two important security issues dealt with in the iOS 9.3.3 release are remote code execution and accessing API process lists. Previously hackers were able to run code on your device from a malicious site. The two image-handling vulnerabilities allowing attackers to do run the code is patched with this update. The other major security hole allowed for hackers to get information from the process run on your device. These API calls are now blocked for both getting the process list and getting additional info about each process, including information about the signing certificate.

The iOS 9.3.3 is available for iPhone 4s and later, iPod touch (5th generation) and later, iPad 2 and later. If you’re running an iPhone or other iOS devices compatible with the update, the OIT Security Team recommends updating to iOS 9.3.3 to resolve these issues.

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macOS Sierra: Apple’s New Era Operating System

In the past few years, Apple has worked to integrate features from their highly successful iOS to the desktop realm. The newest version, macOS Sierra, is the most integrated version yet. The connection between the Mac desktop and Apple’s mobile devices is stronger than ever.

Siri, meet macOS.

macOS with SiriOne significant move Apple has made with Sierra is bringing Siri to the desktop. Not only can Siri do all the things she could do on your phone, but she will now be able to interact with apps and settings on your desktop, as well. For example, one will soon be able to ask Siri to search for specific photos and then click and drag the desired photo into a document. Along with increased developer access to Siri’s capabilities, Apple hopes to now focus on what they call “Siri intelligence” to beef up their stature in the increasingly competitive AI field.

Software & App Improvements

macOSWithin Sierra’s Photos app, Apple has integrated facial recognition to better organize your photo collections by people. Also, just like the Photos app in iOS 10, your desktop will be able to automatically create video slide show of your photos using the Memories feature.

On the more technical side of things, macOS Sierra will introduce an early experimental preview of a new file system, APFS, which will allow easier storage snapshots and file indexing. Also, you will now be able to have multiple “tabs” within applications to keep your desktop uncluttered. You’ll also be able to watch videos in a new picture-in-picture mode for easier multitasking.

The new macOS Sierra is in beta and only available members of the Apple Developer Program. Apple plans on releasing Sierra to the public later this fall.

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Web links rewritten by new anti-spam feature

AnitPhish (Anti-Phishing Campaign)On Tuesday, July 2, SMU implemented a new feature as part of our anti-spam defense to rewrites web links considered questionable, included in inbound emails. The purpose of the rewrite is to prevent phishing and malware scams by forwarding certain web requests to a proxy service for analysis. While some benign links might be overwritten, the service protects against “zero-hour” exploits where the threat could be unknown. If a link is still considered suspect at the time it is clicked, the you will receive a prompt to either decline or proceed to the website in question.

The URL rewrite policy was recently adjusted on Thursday, July 7, and our team will continue to monitor the service to ensure that the policy is neither too lenient, nor too aggressive when rewriting the web links. Please contact the IT Help Desk at help@smu.edu if you have any questions regarding this change.

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Save the Date: Canvas Boot Camp – August 16 & 17

OIT Canvas Boot CampThis August the Academic Technology team and IT Training have partnered to arm faculty and staff with Canvas instruction and resources during a two days for a Canvas Boot Camp. These workshops have been created to answer those critical questions instructors may have at the onset of a new semester.

You may be asking yourself, “What methods of communication does Canvas offer?” “Can I create online tests?” “How can I track what files my student have accessed?” “How do I use the Grade book?” and even, “Where do I go for help?” It might be a little overwhelming, but don’t worry. All these questions and more will be answered during the Canvas Boot Camp.

Registration is not required to these drop-in sessions. However, seating is limited and we will be accommodating those on a first-come-first-served basis. Can’t make it to Canvas during the day? Consider joining us for Canvas Nights!

Canvas Boot Camp sessions include: Continue reading

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Important Changes to Courses.SMU

UPDATE:

Due to an unprecedented chain of events yesterday, June 29th, SMU was unable to login to Canvas for several hours. The connection between SMU and Canvas has since been restored.

These events yesterday disrupted our expected timeline, and in order to recover and move forward, access to Blackboard via courses.smu.edu has been removed 24 hours earlier than scheduled. If you need your materials off of Blackboard, please contact your academic technology director in your college, or put in a ticket at the Helpdesk.

Direct Support Contacts:
James Pan Dedman School of Law/Perkins School of Theology pan@smu.edu 214.768.1820
Jeff Liew Cox School of Business jliew@smu.edu 214.768.4770
Scott Martin Simmons School of Education smartin@smu.edu 214.768.4864
Merlin Wilkerson Lyle School of Engineering merlin@smu.edu 214.768.8649
Mousumi Tanha Meadows School of Arts mtanha@smu.edu 214.768.2548
Michael Robertson Dedman College robertsonm@smu.edu 214.768.1148
Steve Snider Guildhall ssnider@smu.edu 214.768.1879

July 1st is going to be a big day for learning management systems at SMU. There will be some significant changes to Courses.SMU as we move away from Blackboard to Canvas. As advertised throughout the 2015-2016 academic year, the following changes will take effect on June 30th.

Continue reading

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Apple iOS 10: The New Bits

Last week’s Apple Worldwide Developer Conference has come to a close. Now that we’ve heard all that the folks in Cupertino have had to say about what’s new in the world of Mac and iOS; we can now summarize all of the great new things we can all expect this year.

In our summary last week, we only skimmed the surface of the new features of iOS mentioned in the WWDC opening keynote. Since then, several more tricks have been up iOS’ sleeve. This article is still only a snippet of the new things to know in iOS 10, but for a complete rundown you can visit Apple’s iOS 10 Preview page. Continue reading

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New Summer IT Training Offerings

IT Training

Two new full-day Canvas Boot Camps, the new Sitecore 8.1 classes, and Using Appspace for Campus Signage are just some of the offerings for summertime learning. Continue reading

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Summertime Learning with Lynda

Tall Grass, Blue Sky, and Fluffy Clouds

Lynda.comSummer offers the perfect time to enrich yourself with some summertime learning. With lyndaCampus, you have access to the leading online learning platform that helps anyone learn business, software, technology and creative skills to achieve personal and professional goals. Here are a few suggested tutorials to learn some new skills, grow professionally, or just have some fun. Continue reading

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LinkedIn & Lynda.com: The Dynamic Duo!

LinkedIn LogoLet’s say you’re in that stage of your academic career where it’s time to start looking to your future professional career. Be it an internship or a full-time job search, it can be difficult to stand out in a competitive job market.

Along with increased competitiveness, the process of the job search has changed significantly in the past decade, with social media taking an essential role. LinkedIn, the social network for working professionals, has become another place to showcase your talents and work history beyond the paper resume. Continue reading

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