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Technology Update

December 18, 2013

Table of Contents

Windows XP and XP Mode End-of-Support
Data Backup Service with CrashPlan
Email Encryption Services
Software Updates and Incompatibilities
How to Spot a Phishing Scam
What’s New in MS Office 2013
Collaborate: Off to a Great Start
Migrating From Wimba to Collaborate
Best Practices for Capturing and Posting Web Links in Learn
Remember the System Outage Window for Drexel Learn
New in Turnitin: Upload PowerPoint Files
Mobile Content Capture Options: TechSmith Fuse and Fuse for Camtasia Relay
Find Out More about Accessibility for Your Students
Sign Up for OLT Workshops


Windows XP and XP Mode End-of-Support

On April 8, 2014, extended support will end not only for Windows XP, but for Windows XP Mode as well. End-of-support means that Microsoft will no longer provide automatic fixes/patches, security updates, or online technical assistance for XP or XP Mode. Therefore, these products will become highly vulnerable to compromise by or before April 8.

Don’t wait! To protect your computer from security threats and prevent possible network isolation, it is imperative that all XP installations be upgraded to Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (or Windows 8 if appropriate) immediately.

Note: If you upgrade to Windows 7, ensure that you install Service Pack 1 or higher to receive software updates.

Microsoft has published a Windows Support Lifecycle fact sheet that covers Windows XP up to Windows 8, the current version of the Windows operating system. On it, you will find the established end-of-support, end-of-sales, and service pack and update availability timelines for Microsoft’s operating systems.

Contact your IRT or departmental support technician as soon as possible. For more information about Microsoft product support and retirement, see Microsoft’s Support Lifecycle page.


Data Backup Service with CrashPlan

IRT now offers a new backup service for your computer's hard drive. CrashPlan PRO, which replaces Connected Backup, backs up more data, doesn't noticeably slow your computer during backup, allows files to be retrieved via the Web, and costs less than the old service. Connected Backup service is being retired as of Dec 31. Make arrangements with IRT ASAP to begin using CrashPlan.

Data backed up with CrashPlan is stored in the Cloud, but the encryption and decryption keys needed to access it are stored at Drexel. Separating the data from the keys provides an additional layer of security.

There is no limit on the size of CrashPlan backups and no restrictions on the types of documents (Excel, images, etc.) that can be stored. The cost is $7.00/month per user, and there is no setup fee. To request CrashPlan service, contact the IRT Accounts Team at accounts@drexel.edu.


Email Encryption Services

Drexel has begun automatically encrypting email containing select sensitive data that is sent from a Drexel address to an external address. (Note that emails sent from one "@drexel.edu" address to another "@drexel.edu" address are never encrypted.) Senders will be notified when the system automatically encrypts one of their outgoing messages.

The definition of what is "sensitive" data will change over time as the system is continually reconfigured to protect data as required by law or as dictated by common sense. Initially, the system will catch credit card and social security numbers. Later, the system will begin scanning for additional financial data and health records so that emails containing such information can also be encrypted.

When someone outside of Drexel receives an encrypted message for the first time, they will be invited to set up an encryption account and password. After that, secure messages will be delivered as password-protected PDF files. The PDF has a "Reply" button to encrypt replies; using Outlook’s "Reply" button doesn't encrypt, but it also doesn't include the sensitive data.

Sophos Add-in for Outlook

An add-in for Outlook is available to make general email encryption easy. You can download the plugin from the University software server at http://software.drexel.edu in the "Faculty and Staff" folder for PC software. It works with Outlook 2010 and newer.

After you install it, restart Outlook and click the "New Email" button. You'll see that a new Sophos "Encrypt" button has been placed at the left side of the window above the "Send" button.

Before using it for the first time, click the small icon (see the circle near the number 1 in the picture below) then make sure that the "Add Internet Header" box is checked (as in the circle near the number 2), then click "OK."

Once the plug-in is installed and setup, you need only click the "Encrypt" button to securely send emails.


Software Updates and Incompatibilities

A variety of software incompatibilities have come to our attention concerning the Mac update OS X Mavericks (10.9). Reports have surfaced of inconsistencies between Mavericks and older versions of Parallels as well as Apple Mail. Due to these reports, we recommend waiting, to install Mavericks, if possible, until you are sure of its compatibility with your other applications.

As a general note, be wary of installing optional software updates the moment they are released, especially if you use applications with known or possible compatibility issues. It is usually best to wait before installing these updates to ensure that any bugs and incompatibility issues are worked out with subsequent patches.

Note: All updates related to security or discovered vulnerabilities should be installed as soon as they are released.


How to Spot a Phishing Scam

We have all received phishing scams before, and some of us have even fallen victim to them. As countermeasures evolve to combat email scams, the scams respond in kind with cleverer and cleverer ploys. It is therefore incumbent on us, the general public and the target of these scams, to learn how to spot a potential phishing scam and remove the threat before it can become a problem.

We should be even more vigilant as we enter the holiday season. Scammers will be ramping up their efforts as more people go online for holiday shopping and communication with friends and family.

Therefore, bear in mind these tips from TechRepublic’s Web site for spotting a phishing scam:

  1. The message contains a mismatched URL
  2. URLs contain a misleading domain name
  3. The message contains poor spelling and grammar
  4. The message asks for personal information
  5. The offer seems too good to be true
  6. You didn’t initiate the action
  7. You are asked to send money to cover expenses
  8. The message makes unrealistic threats
  9. The message appears to be from a government agency
  10. Something just doesn’t look right

For more information about each tip, see TechRepublic’s full article, 10 tips for spotting a phishing email.


What’s New in MS Office 2013

In Office 2013, Microsoft has added new features and completely redesigned the Office interface for a cleaner look. Some of Office’s improvements include compatibility with smartphones and tablets, better file and meeting sharing, more templates, and access to files and applications in the Cloud.

Not only can you access Office applications from any computer (even if that computer does not have Office installed) using Office on Demand, you can also store your documents in the Cloud via SkyDrive and access or edit them from anywhere online. You can even collaborate with others to work on a document simultaneously.

Office 2013 also includes more templates to help you get started with projects, and improved “Save As” and “Open” functions to help you finish projects.

For more information about changes and features in Office 2013, see Microsoft’s Web site. Faculty and professional staff who are interested in upgrading to Office 2013 can contact the IRT Help Desk at consult@drexel.edu.


Collaborate: Off to a Great Start

Collaborate Web Conferencing, available in Drexel Learn, is designed for Web-based, synchronous meetings. Before you begin using Collaborate, it is imperative that you set up your computer, audio, and/or video to ensure that everything is working properly. To do this, visit IRT's Collaborate page and check out the First Time Users link, as well as a number of other resources for getting started.

Java is required to run Collaborate. The First Time Users link (see above) will verify that you have the correct version of Java installed on your computer – if not, instructions will be provided on how to obtain it. You can also go directly to the Java Web site to download and install the latest version of Java.

The final step in the setup process is to join the open Collaborate test session available in Drexel Learn. After you have signed in to Learn, click on the “Tech Support” tab and then locate the http://bit.ly/dlcollabtest link in the Collaborate module on the right-hand side of the screen. Clicking this link will allow you to launch the application and test all of the components you’ll need for your live session.

If you have any questions or concerns about Collaborate, please contact the Online Learning Team at olt@drexel.edu or 215-895-1224.


Migrating From Wimba to Collaborate

Wimba Live Classroom will no longer be available as of December 31, 2013. All synchronous sessions must use the latest version of the product, which is Collaborate Web Conferencing. For information about Collaborate, you can visit IRT's Collaborate page. The Online Learning Team is also offering training sessions through the end of the year on how to get started with Collaborate.

If you have archives in Wimba that you will need in the future, you can download them as MP4 files. These files can then be hosted outside of Wimba, and a link can be provided within your Learn course so that students can access them. If your presentations could use some updating anyway, we encourage you to take this opportunity to re-record them using the new Collaborate platform.

Every case is different, so we recommend that you contact us at 215-895-1224 or olt@drexel.edu with any questions about this process.


Best Practices for Capturing and Posting Web Links in Learn

If you are a user of social media, you might be accustomed to clicking a Facebook or Twitter symbol on a Web page to instantly post a link that your friends or colleagues can follow. Posting links for your students in Learn is almost that easy, but you should be aware of some possible problems with capturing the Web address, and you should know that there is more than one way to post them.

To see the rest of this article, visit AskDrexel.


Remember the System Outage Window for Drexel Learn

In order to ensure proper functionality of the Drexel Learn system, an outage window is reserved for system maintenance from 6:00 a.m. to noon (EST) every Sunday. Although this window is not always utilized, it remains in place so that users will know when to expect an outage, should maintenance need to be performed.

We recommend that instructors refrain from scheduling tests or setting assignment due dates during this window. Since the system could be unavailable, students would therefore be unable to complete quizzes or submit assignments.

Outages for the Learn system are posted as announcements in Drexel Learn as soon as they are confirmed. These announcements are visible both from the Drexel Learn sign in page as well as from the “Announcements” module on the Home tab


New in Turnitin: Upload PowerPoint Files

PowerPoint files (.pptx, .ppt, .ppsx, and .pps) can now be submitted to Turnitin via file upload, Google Drive, or Dropbox. The text and images on the slides will be visible and available for feedback in the Document Viewer and Turnitin for iPad app. Since files are converted to static PDFs, any dynamic elements such as slide animations, transitions, presenter notes, and audio/video will not be included.

This enhancement opens up new possibilities for how you can use Turnitin; now, when your students give live presentations, you can evaluate their presentations—slides and all—with Turnitin. Below is a proposed workflow for efficiently evaluating live presentations:

  1. Create an assignment for the presentation.
  2. Create a custom rubric for the presentation or import this rubric on presentation evaluation from Turnitin Teaching Tools.
  3. Create a custom QuickMark set for common feedback that you can readily use to evaluate live presentations. For instance, your QuickMark set for “presentation delivery” could include: clarify, enunciate, make eye contact, don't read notes, engage audience. Of course, you'll want to give feedback on content as well.
  4. Have students submit their PowerPoint presentations to Turnitin.
  5. While students are presenting, you can view their PowerPoint slides in Turnitin on a laptop or in the Turnitin for iPad app, and record QuickMark comments and feedback.
  6. After each presentation, you can quickly grade the presentation with the rubric.

When class is over and your grading is finished, your students can have immediate access to your feedback on their performance.


Mobile Content Capture Options: TechSmith Fuse and Fuse for Camtasia Relay

TechSmith, best known as the creator of the Camtasia suite of media development products, has recently released several new products that enable users of mobile devices (Android and iOS) to capture audio, video, and still images for direct publishing or for incorporation into Camtasia Studio or Camtasia for Mac projects.

TechSmith Fuse

Simply put, TechSmith Fuse uses your Android or iOS device's camera and microphone to record content (photos or videos). You can send this content directly to Camtasia Studio, Camtasia for Mac, or Snagit (another screencast/capture product from TechSmith).

Have you ever snapped a photo or recorded a video on your phone or tablet that you'd like to incorporate into a lecture or tutorial? TechSmith Fuse makes this process not only possible, but very easy. If you don't already have Camtasia Studio or Camtasia for Mac, contact olt@drexel.edu (training is required to get a license).

If you are already a Camtasia user, go to http://www.techsmith.com/fuse.html for more information on TechSmith Fuse.

TechSmith Fuse for Camtasia Relay

In a nutshell, Camtasia Relay is a simple, easy-to-use system that lets users quickly record screencasts and automatically publish them to a media system (in Drexel's case, DragonDrop). The Relay client is available for Windows (7 and newer) and Mac OS X (10.6.x-10.8.x; the 10.9 version is still in the works).

Now, there's also a mobile-specific client known as "Fuse for Camtasia Relay." While this client doesn't capture your device's screen, it does use its built-in camera (front or rear-facing) and microphone to create recordings that are automatically uploaded and published to your Relay playlist in DragonDrop. To use this function, you'll need an account on Drexel's Relay system; contact olt@drexel.edu for assistance.

If you just want to learn more about Fuse for Relay, visit http://www.techsmith.com/fuse-for-relay.html.


Find Out More about Accessibility for Your Students

The provision of accessible course content for differently-abled students is an important and escalating issue in higher education. The Online Learning Council (OLC) at Drexel, in conjunction with IRT and others, created a course in Learn that deals with Creating Accessible Online Content. Their goal was to provide information and resources concerning accessibility for faculty, as well as any professional staff who need it.

To find out more about the basics of this crucial topic, simply sign in to Learn. You will find the Creating Accessible Online Content under the “Courses” tab, in the "Courses Where You Are a Student" section. If you do not see it listed, contact the OLT at olt@drexel.edu to enroll.

The Accessibility Committee of the OLC gathered information and resources on accessibility and organized it into five modules for this course. These modules are rich elements that you can use to make your course content more accessible for your own students. Since the course is modularized, you can go through them one at a time, as your schedule permits. All told, it should take three hours or less to peruse all aspects of this course—time well spent. Special thanks go to Dan Allen (Goodwin) and Michel Miller (School of Education) for coordinating this effort with their OLC colleagues and others.


Sign Up for OLT Workshops

The Online Learning Team conducts training sessions on Learn, Camtasia, DragonDrop, Web basics, Mac OS X, Respondus, SharePoint, and more. In addition, several brown bag lunches and workshops on technology products of interest are held each month. These training sessions are open to members of Drexel’s community as well as the general public.

To reserve a spot at any of these workshops, email us at olt@drexel.edu with your name, institution (if other than Drexel), contact information, and the name of the workshop(s) you would like to attend.

Below is a sampling of workshops taking place in January:

Learn Basics Workshop
Thursday, January 9, 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

SharePoint Basics
Tuesday, January 28, 10:00 a.m. – noon

Set Up Your Course for This Term
Tuesday, January 7, 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Visit our Web site for our complete training schedule and workshop descriptions. If you need a separate workshop for your department or faculty group on a specific topic, you can email the Online Learning Team to coordinate a session.