Technology Digest: September 12, 2013

ECU Faculty and Staff:

The Department of Materials Management and ITCS are working collaboratively to reach out to the University community regarding software compliance. Managing software licensing agreements for large government agencies like East Carolina University is a very difficult and complex but increasingly important task. Software licensing for large organizations require negotiations and renewals throughout the year and when software licensing involves various types of agreements, the ability to stay compliant becomes increasingly difficult. The worst time to find out if an organization is compliant is when a software vendor performs an audit.

Whose responsibility is it to make sure ECU is software complaint? 

Well the answer is quite simple. It’s everybody’s responsibility. If you have an ECU-issued computer, it is your responsibility to know what programs are installed on your system and to be able to provide proof of purchase for software licenses. Departments should work together to manage software licenses by tracking the number of installations per software licenses and document what systems have software installed. For example, if your department purchased a product such as Adobe Professional and the purchase came with five licenses, how many machines should have this Adobe software? The answer is no more than five. Any more than that and the university is not compliant.

The university spends hundreds of thousands of dollars on software so what’s the big deal if we go over a few software licenses?

Software is big business. The types of software licensing packages we buy are often negotiated with software vendors to get good pricing. The fact we are out of compliance ultimately means we are stealing. Software companies can charge us large penalties, unbudgeted “true-up” expenses for what the vendor deems the right level of licensing, not to mention the embarrassment, and even worse potentially pull our licensing all together. Can you imagine this campus trying to operate both academically and administratively without core products such as Microsoft, SPSS, and Adobe?

How can I do my part to ensure software compliance here at ECU?

To start with, we are asking all faculty and staff to complete an inventory of software on their systems.

PC Users Instructions:

  1. Go to Start
  2. Control Panel
  3. Programs and Features

Mac Users Instructions:

  1. Go to About This Mac
  2. More Info
  3. Software
  4. Applications

Then we are encouraging all departments to coordinate an effort to inventory all software installed on machines and be able to locate the proof of purchase for the software licenses. ITCS and Materials Management may contact departments and request information about software purchases and the systems that have the installed software.

Working together, we can ensure success.

The reality of a software audit can be scary but by working together, we ALL can ensure that ECU stays software complaint. We encourage departments to contact the Department of Materials Management regarding questions or concerns about software compliance.

Technology Digest: August 30, 2013

ECU Students: We hope your semester is off to a great start! We invite you to take a few minutes to learn about ECU Learning Technologies and the resources available to you at ECU.  The Getting Started page is a great place to start if you are new to ECU. If you need technology assistance throughout the semester, please contact the IT Help Desk at 252.328.9866 (toll free 800.340.7081) or help.ecu.edu.
 
In this edition:
 
·         A Taste of ECU Learning Technologies (Blackboard, iWebfolio, SabaMeeting, and more)
·         Using ECU Information Technology Resources Responsibly
·         Mobile Computing Security Tips
·         Technology Help Resources
 
A Taste of ECU Learning Technologies
 
A variety of learning technologies are available and used in online, hybrid, and face-to-face classes. As you will quickly see, the learning technologies used in your courses will vary depending upon the tools of choice selected by your instructor. This newsletter will give you an introduction to some of the technologies you may see this semester and helpful resources.  If you have questions or need assistance, please contact the IT Help Desk at 252.328.9866 (toll free 800.340.7081) or help.ecu.edu.
 
What is Blackboard?
Blackboard is ECU’s learning management system where instructors may post course information (including the syllabus), announcements, discussions, assignments, exams, and much more. Log into Blackboard with your PirateID and passphrase at https://blackboard.ecu.edu.
 
Blackboard can be accessed on your mobile device via Blackboard Mobile Learn! You can view grades, the class roster, and even comment on your course blog or discussion board.
 
If you are new to Blackboard or need a refresher, we invite you to Explore the Blackboard Student Orientation Course (click the link and log in with your ECU PirateID and passphrase).  You will also find helpful tips on the Student Support tab of the Blackboard Blog.
 
iWebfolio
iWebfolio is an advanced e-portfolio management system adopted at ECU. As students, you will be directed by your faculty member when to use it for e-portfolios. Each college has requirements and templates which are customized to the department.
 
Visit the Student Tutorials tab on the iWebfolio blog site when it’s time to start creating your portfolio.
 
Read&Write GOLD
Read&Write GOLD is assistive technology software that reads electronic text from e-books, Web sites, and documents created in word-processing programs. Read&Write Gold helps writers with predictive spelling, word choice, dictionary and thesaurus features. The program includes voice dictation that also reads aloud what students write and helps them identify errors.
 
This software is available as a free download from the ECU Download Center (Classroom Tools). For help using Read&Write GOLD, visit the Texthelp training guide page.
 
What is SabaMeeting?
SabaMeeting is a web conferencing program that enables a group of people to interact with one another in a virtual online meeting environment. SabaMeeting can be accessed “live” anytime from anywhere attendees have access to a computer and an Internet connection. SabaMeeting sessions may be recorded for playback at a later time. ECU faculty use SabaMeeting for live, interactive class meetings and to provide access to recorded meetings.
 
As an ECU student, you can even set up your own SabaMeeting meetings for student group work and course discussion, watch the How to Create a Meeting in SabaMeeting video to learn how. We also invite you to visitQuick Reference Information for Students to learn more about SabaMeeting.
 
What is Tegrity?
Tegrity is a software lecture capture system integrated with Blackboard. Tegrity is currently available in a number of classrooms on campus as well as a desktop recording solution for course content. Tegrity captures audio, video, and computer screen activity. If your instructors are using Tegrity, you can easily access course recordings inside your Blackboard course.
 
You can stream Tegrity recordings directly to your mobile device with the Tegrity Mobile App. Tegrity provides access to your Blackboard course recordings with native apps for iPad, iPhone, and Android devices. Just download the app and use the Generate Code button on the Tegrity Settings link. Please note that the code you generate is for your use only. Never give your code to anyone. The code provides access to all the Tegrity recordings available in your Blackboard courses. Click the Android OS devices and Apple iOS devices  links to find out how to get the Tegrity App for your device.  We also invite you to visit the Student tab on the Tegrity blog for more information.
 
What is Yammer?
Yammer has been described as a Facebook + Twitter solution for a university. A number of ECU classes are using Yammer to communicate and collaborate throughout the semester. If you are in one of these classes you will either be invited to join Yammer or if you are already a network member you will simply be enrolled into the Yammer private group being used for course discussion. Your instructor will inform you if they plan to use Yammer. Yammer allows you ask questions, comment and share information among your fellow students and instructor. Yammer can also be used for group work and network crowd sourcing. If you are interested in joining Yammer go to http://ecu.edu/yammer.
 
Using ECU Information Technology Resources Responsibly
 
By using university IT resources, you are accepting that you are accessing the university-owned network, and that unauthorized or illegal use of the university network is prohibited. You are attesting that you will comply with university IT policies including, but not limited to, university information technology (IT) policies located atwww.ecu.edu/cs-itcs/policies, the University Student and Employee Computer Use Policy athttp://www.ecu.edu/prr/08/05/04 and Academic Computer Use Policy at http://www.ecu.edu/cs-itcs/policies/academicpolicy.cfm.
 
All users of university IT resources are reminded that copyright infringement is the act of exercising, without permission or legal authority, one or more of the exclusive rights granted to the copyright owner under section 106 of the Copyright Act (Title 17 of the United States Code). These rights include the right to reproduce or distribute a copyrighted work. In the file-sharing context, downloading or uploading substantial parts of a copyrighted work without authority constitutes an infringement.
 
Penalties for copyright infringement include civil and criminal penalties. In general, anyone found liable for civil copyright infringement may be ordered to pay either actual damages or “statutory” damages affixed at not less than $750 and not more than $30,000 per work infringed. For “willful” infringement, a court may award up to $150,000 per work infringed. A court can, in its discretion, also assess costs and attorneys’ fees. For details, see Title 17, United States Code, Sections 504, 505.
 
Willful copyright infringement can also result in criminal penalties, including imprisonment of up to five years and fines of up to $250,000 per offense.
 
For more information, please see the Web site of the U.S. Copyright Office at www.copyright.gov, especially their FAQ’s at www.copyright.gov/help/faq.
 
 
University employees who violate university computer-use policies will be subject to disciplinary action as governed by policy. Student violations are misconduct under the applicable student disciplinary code. Sanctions may include revocation of access privileges in addition to other sanctions available under the regular disciplinary procedures.

 
Mobile Computing Security Tips
 
Mobile devices include but aren’t limited to cellular phones, BlackBerry devices, iPhones, Androids, Smartphones, iPads, tablets, and portable storage devices, such as flash drives. Most of these devices are used to perform multiple tasks such as placing voice calls, sending text messages and e-mail, surfing the Internet, and debit/credit card transactions. A significant amount of personal and work-related information is stored or accessed via mobile devices, which makes them just as powerful as desktop or laptop computers. The increased productivity is great, but mobile devices are subject to an increased risk of loss, theft, and unauthorized use.
 
What are the threats?
 
·         Exposure of confidential or sensitive information due to –
o   Connectivity to unsecured public networks
o   Storage of data in an unsafe manner
o   Transmission of data in an unsafe manner
·         Lost or stolen devices
·         Mobile and e-mail viruses
·         Spam
 
What can YOU do to secure your mobile devices?
 
·         Keep your mobile device physically secure.
·         If your device is lost, report it immediately to your carrier or organization.
·         Control what data is stored on the device. Do not store unnecessary or sensitive information.
·         Enable storage encryption.
·         Use a secure password or PIN to access your device.
·         Disable features and services that are not needed (e.g. Bluetooth, GPS, etc.).
·         If available, install firewall and anti-virus software.
·         Keep all software up-to-date.
·         Before disposing the device, be sure to wipe all data from it.
 
Bottom line: treat your mobile device as if it was cash!            
More information: ECU Smartphone Security Guidelines (pdf)
 
 
Technology Help Resources
 
Reach the ECU IT Help Desk at 252.328.9866 (toll free 800.340.7081) or help.ecu.edu.
 
Visit our Mac Support Website for help on Mac operating systems, security, and other Apple products:http://www.ecu.edu/itcs/mac/index.cfm.
 
Contact the ACE Student Computer Support Center on Main Campus (108 Rawl, 252.328.5407) or Health Sciences Campus (3330 Health Sciences Building, 252.744.5380).