Category Archives: Tech Tips

Great Tip on Creating a Secure Passphrase

Recently from ITCS

  1. First, make up a sentence you can remember.  For example: My dog, Sylvia, has a birthday January 14.
  2. Next, take the first letter of each word and…
    1. Make 1-2 letters upper case
    2. Make at least one letter a number
    3. Make at least one letter a special character such as, ! @ # $ % ^ & * ( ) = +
  3. The new passphrase:  Md$habJ1 (don’t use this one!).

Hacker programs crack your passphrase by trying every word in the dictionary and other tricks.  Here are a few things to avoid:

  • Never use personal information to create a passphrase.
  • Never use the word, password, as your passphrase.  This includes using numbers or special characters to make the word look different.
  • Never use easily-obtained, personal information such as license plate numbers, telephone numbers, etc., as part of your passphrase.
  • Never use any word contained in a dictionary, spelling list or other word list in any language.
  • Never use transformations such as reversing the spelling, changing upper case to lower case or using all caps.
  • Never select a passphrase that is common to everyone (Go@Pirates!).

For more information on passphrase security, please visit www.ecu.edu/itcs/ithelpdesk/passphrase.cfm.

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Some simple things you may or may not know

So how can you control the computer without your mouse? Well firstly, the easiest thing to do is use the ALT key and the ATL + TAB key combo. ALT + TAB lets you switch between programs and just pressing the ALT key on your keyboard focuses onto the menu options, such as File, Edit, etc.

The right-click keyboard shortcut is to hold down SHIFT and then press F10. That’s one of my favorite keyboard shortcuts because it comes in VERY handy and sometimes it’s actually easier to use the keyboard than the mouse.

There are some other handy Windows keyboard shortcuts that you should know in case you are stuck in a bad situation:

CTRL+ESC: Opens the Start menu (then use ARROW keys to select an item)

ALT+DOWN ARROW: Opens a drop-down list box

ALT+F4: Closes the current program window

ALT+ENTER: Open the properties for the selected object

from http://www.online-tech-tips.com/computer-tips/right-click-keyboard-shortcut/ 

 

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Catching Up!

So much going on so many emails.  I even missed sending last week’s blog so will do double duty today!

First here is a neat slide show on Disruptive Technologies 2015-2106 will give you something to think about.

Now if you have missed the recent posts from ECU Learning Technologies Digest let me just highlight some of the postings!

Classroom Selection for Summer and Fall 2015: New Options

As you consider your future classroom technology needs, here is a description of some of the equipment you will find in the classrooms across campus. New options include AirMedia, which allows you to present wirelessly from any device, Desktop Recording with MDR or Tegrity, and Video Conference using Saba or Jabber. Visit the Classroom Technology Database for even more options and to see the complete list of equipment offerings per room.

Read more

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A New Year, a New Semester and there is cold and flu out there!

All does not have to stop.  Yes please all be careful but with the aid of our technological devices, we can continue to deliver course material to students during a shutdown.   Preparedness is the key.

All faculty should have all course content on blackboard or some other web site for students who can’t get to class.  Such blackboard sites need not be elaborate.  OET can help set up these “emergency” blackboard courses but it does need to be done in advance.

Students can’t make it to class but the faculty can

If a class with absences is normally scheduled in a classroom with mediasite recorders, we can simply activate the recorder during class.  We can then deliver these lectures to selected students.  Note that we have fine granularity and can make the presentation available to individual students for instructor-specified time periods.

But if you can’t make it in there is Mediasite Desktop Recorder (MDR) which can be used from any location with an up to date operating system, Windows or Mac. Contact OET for access.

For courses currently being recorded but not normally providing viewing access to in-class students, upon faculty request we can give access to selected (or all) in-class students for a faculty-specified period of time.

Faculty absences or university closure

If we know about this enough in advance, we can make some recordings before the university shuts down.  Students can watch them during the closure since the mediasite and blackboard servers will, presumably, remain up during closure.

OET absences

OET personnel have access to all necessary equipment from home.  To such extent as the security of our own homes allows, we will continue operations as usual from home.  We can consult with faculty by e-mail, skype, lync or telephone.  We can manage mediasite recordings and delivery.  We can provide on-

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Learning on the Go!

Mediasite recordings can be easily uploaded as podcasts or vodcasts so students can make long commutes profitable by listening to lectures after class on their mobile devices.  Still time to to add them to your course!

From a recent article –

  1. Mobile learners study 40 minutes more each week by studying everywhere they go.

  1. Students with smartphones are twice as likely to study between 6a.m. and 8a.m.

Check out this infographic on the fact that Mediasite never sleeps either!

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In case you hit delete . . .more on security

So much comes across our desks but take time and review –

Ensuring the security of your Internet sessions and sensitive information
Posted 10-17-2014 http://www.ecu.edu/cs-itcs/allnotices.cfm 

Please use the following directions to disable SSL on your Windows computers that are not installed by ITCS. This is the only way toensure the security of your encrypted Internet sessions and the sensitive information they contain.

The SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) encryption protocol has been used for many years to establish secure connections between computers (e.g., for credit card transactions on the Internet). However, the SSL protocol no longer provides adequate protection for encrypted Internet sessions.

On the ECU campus, ITCS will disable SSL in Microsoft Internet Explorer on university-owned faculty and staff Windows computers connecting to the campus data network. However, ITCS cannot fix this condition in other browsers installed on university computers or on any browser on your home computer.

 

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So after three weeks . . .

Are they listening, do they understand, blank stares?  Why not “test” their knowledge unanimously with clickers!  Turning Point software is installed in all classrooms and OET has many clickers to loan.  Works on both Mac and PC’s, try it out!!

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Qualtrics is what?

ECU offers lots of tools for sharing information as well as obtaining information.  One very handy and user friendly tool is Qualtrics Survey Software.  Qualtrics is a web-based survey software for East Carolina University faculty, staff and students. There is lots of training, tutorials and webinars available from Qualtrics on how to use this powerful but easy to use tool.  How about adding a poll to the end of your Mediasite recording? Specific to the content in the recording?

OET has helped create surveys for CAHS departments if you would rather pick OET’s brain than read the tutorials!  

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A time for everything!

As the Educational Technologist for the College of Allied Health I am all about promoting technology but a recent article from Campus Technology caught me eye and perhaps yours.

“Research: The Proof is In! Multi-Tasking in Class Reduces Test Scores

Contrary to what students might like to think, when they multi-task in class on non-academic activities, their test scores go down. And that’s true for even the smartest students. Those are the initial results of a $439,000 study by a Michigan State University research project that was reported on in the September 2014 issue of Computers & Education.”

I still advocate for technology in the classroom BUT why not enrich the learning experience by providing lecture recordings for review and/or preview to course content?

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