Welcome Back, Faculty and Staff!

It’s hard to believe summer is nearly over and a new academic year is here.

Here’s the latest news for new and current faculty and staff.

WebEx vs. Skype: Is There a Difference?

With both WebEx Cloud and Skype for Business available to ECU users, how do you pick the right online meeting solution? Both tools share collaboration tools, audio and video options, scheduling through Outlook and a Meet Now feature.

However, there are also differences that make the choice clear depending on your requirements. Here’s how you can decide which is the best tool for your meeting.

Skype

Skype is part of the Office 365 download and is available to students, faculty and staff. It is currently ECU’s standard for instant messaging and desktop sharing. It is used to determine another user’s “presence” through Outlook – not available (red), green (available), yellow (away from the computer).

Skype is an excellent choice for desktop sharing and is approved to discuss FERPA information – while holding online office hours, for example. But, Skype is NOT approved for HIPAA discussion. See these security considerations.

WebEx Cloud

WebEx is currently only available to faculty and staff. Users have a personal online meeting room where the URL never changes (ecu.webex.com/join/your-pirateID). WebEx is browser-based and works well with either a Mac or a Windows computer as well as iOS, Windows and Android mobile. WebEx is also approved for both HIPAA and FERPA.

So, both Skype for Business and WebEx are excellent choices for your online meetings, with some situations favoring one tool over another. Still not sure? Visit the video and web conferencing website for more information.

REDCap’s New Informational Website

REDCap (Research Electronic Data Capture) is a secure, HIPAA compliant, web-based application used for building and managing online surveys and databases. All data is secure within ECU’s IT infrastructure.

Over the summer, the ITCS Multimedia & Technology (MTS) team made significant updates to the REDCap website by adding new user guides, frequently asked questions, security information and other resources to assist researchers in using this powerful tool.

New users must meet all prerequisites and approvals before creating an account. See the REDCap online research survey website for details.

OneDrive vs. Piratedrive: Which is Best?

ECU provides two storage solutions for your course work, research and other documents. Read on for the specifics of each.

Piratedrive

All ECU users have a 125GB Piratedrive network storage folder on ECU servers. Piratedrive is approved for sensitive ECU information – good for research data or personal documents. Your folder is named the same as your PirateID and is always available when on campus as a network connection named, Piratedrive (U:). Piratedrive can also be accessed through Pirate Port. See the Piratedrive website for more information.

OneDrive

OneDrive is a feature of your ECU Office 365 subscription. This 1TB cloud storage folder is housed in the cloud and is approved to store your FERPA data and academic schoolwork, etc. OneDrive is NOT approved for storage of sensitive information. OneDrive is different from Piratedrive in that you can share, edit and collaborate online – a good idea to use when you are working with others! You can also sync documents from your mobile or computer to your OneDrive folder. Everything you need in one place and available from anywhere. See the OneDrive website to learn more.

Don’t Forget Your Software!

Windows 10 Operating System

Over the next few weeks, ITCS is making the Windows 10 OS available to staff as a download upgrade for a nominal fee. This OS is available to those with either a PC or Apple computer. We will release more information and download links when available.

Office 365 Subscription Includes FIVE Downloads

Don’t forget that your ECU Office 365 subscription comes with FIVE downloads for Office 2016. It doesn’t matter whether you own a Mac or PC, there is a download available for each platform.

See the Office 365 features page for more apps, links to Microsoft support and Lynda.com video instruction for Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook.

Ransomware: Few Sightings at ECU

Over the last few months, ITCS has implemented multiple security tools to protect devices connected to our network. And it’s paid off; the number of ECU computers infected with ransomware during recent attacks has been low.

However, you can add even more of a protective layer around your information by following these simple steps:

  1. Do not store ECU data on your computer. See the OneDrive vs. Piratedrive article above.
  2. Create and manage a backup for data that is stored on your system. If your ECU computer becomes infected with ransomware, the hard drive will be wiped, and we will be unable to recover your data (unless there’s a backup).
  3. Do not open suspicious emails or attachments.
  4. Do not click the links in a suspicious email.
  5. Keep your operating system and other software up to date.
  6. Remove outdated plugins in your web browsers.
  7. Have one user account for everyday use like web surfing and one user account with a separate password for administrative duties like installing software, etc.

While not foolproof, these simple steps can go a long way toward keeping your data safe from hackers. However, if you find that your computer has been compromised, turn off your computer immediately and call the IT Help Desk at 252.328.9866 | 800.340.7081.

Accessible Email Announcements

Email announcements help us spread the word to the ECU community on all sorts of important topics: department events and seminars, office openings and closings, HR-related information and much more.

By designing email announcements in multiple formats and using ECU’s accessibility guides, you allow those of your audience using screen readers and keyboard-only access to understand your message. These tips are a good start:

  • Structure content using headings
  • Provide sufficient contrast between the background and text
  • Provide alternative text for images
  • Use meaningful link text
  • Use a descriptive subject line

Visit the Accessible email guidelines website to learn more. ITCS also offers a training class specifically for those who write email announcements (registration in Cornerstone).

Technology Links for Faculty and Staff

For an overview of our service catalog, visit the ITCS home page. We also have a page created specifically for new faculty and staff, but those who have been here awhile may also find something new!

“On Premises” WebEx Transitions to WebEx Cloud June 30, 2017

WebEx serves as a feature-rich web conferencing tool for ECU users. On Friday, June 30, 2017, ITCS finalizes the transition from our current “on premises” version to the new WebEx Cloud. After this transition on June 30, the on premises WebEx version will no longer be available.

WebEx Cloud continues the convenience of Outlook scheduling, desktop sharing, audio or video calling, and adds several NEW features:

You Can Transition Now

WebEx Cloud is now live, so you may wish to start using the new interface. Also, after June 30, any scheduled meetings or recordings stored on the WebEx “on premises” server will no longer be available, so you will need to manually move these items as soon as possible.

Get Started with These Four Tasks

Complete these four tasks before the June 30 transition:

Explore your virtual personal meeting room

  1. From webex.com, click the log In link under the ECU logo. Your personal meeting room opens.
  2. Click the floating arrow at the top to open the menus.
  3. Choose the My WebEx tab to access your profile, preferences and support.

Install WebEx Cloud productivity tools

  1. First, uninstall the current WebEx productivity tools on your computer (this is important).
  2. Click the Meeting Center tab.
  3. From the Support drop-down, choose Downloads.

Reschedule meetings

Manually reschedule any meetings in the current WebEx version to WebEx Cloud as they will be unavailable after Friday, June 30.

Download recordings

Download any recorded meetings from WebEx on premises to Piratedrive or OneDrive storage as they will be unavailable after June 30. Both Piratedrive and OneDrive are approved for storage of FERPA information with Piratedrive approved for other sensitive information as well.

  1. Log in to the on premises WebEx: ecuwebex.edu.edu.
  2. Click the Recordings.
  3. Click the drop-down menu beside a recording. Choose Download.
  4. The recording downloads to your computer.
  5. Save recordings to your ECU online storage, then remove recordings from your computer.

Have questions or a problem? Submit a WebEx Teleconference Support service request.

To learn more about WebEx Cloud, visit the WebEx Meeting Center Help Central website.

Video and Web Conferencing

ECU supports several solutions for online meetings, including dedicated conference rooms and classrooms for groups or software that connects two or more individuals through a desktop, laptop or mobile device. Most tools include video, audio, whiteboard and screen sharing.

Here’s what you need to know

Dedicated hardware

High-definition cameras, multiple audio inputs, desktop computers and other equipment permanently set up in dedicated conference rooms or classrooms.

Desktop conferencing

Two or more individuals meet online through a software program or app installed on a desktop, laptop or mobile device. Most conferencing software also allows users to dial in to a meeting using a VoIP telephone for an audio connection. Available device hardware such as webcams and microphones determine how users connect.

Conference room/classroom

Equipped with dedicated AV equipment to connect two or more participant groups.
Find an ECU conference room through the Classroom Technology database.
Schedule a classroom or conference room by emailing the team at videoconferencing@ecu.edu. Techs set up the room and provide support, as needed.

Sensitive information

A conferencing tool, whether hardware or software, must be approved for use with certain types of information. Your solution may depend on whether or not meeting topics include HIPAA, FERPA or other sensitive information. To learn more, visit the sensitive data website.