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Technology Update
June 4, 2015

Table of Contents

Accounts and Computer Services Information for Graduating Students
OS X "Rootpipe" Security Vulnerability
Computer Disposal/Donation Procedure
VCaP Team Obtains Extron Audio-Visual Certification
Korman Room Renovations

News and Notes from the Instructional Technology Group

Information about Learn System Outages Window
Four Ways to Interact with the Instructional Technology Blog
Composing Discussion Posts Outside of Learn
What Document Types Can Be Submitted to Turnitin Direct?
Blackboard Profile Inactivity Emails
Sign Up for ITG Workshops


Accounts and Computer Services Information for Graduating Students

Dear Class of 2015:

Soon you will be receiving your hard-earned Drexel degree. We wish you all the best in your new ventures in life. At the same time, we want to call to your attention some of the continuing computing services that Drexel's Office of Information Resources and Technology (IRT) offers you, as well as the changes that will take place with your account this summer.

Details of IRT services for alumni are given at drexel.edu/IRT/NewAlumni.

Some key points:

  • Drexel domain accounts close approximately 30 days after graduation.
  • DrexelOne, @drexel.edu email service, and dunx1 accounts stay open for 2 years after graduation (unless you request they be closed sooner).
  • Lifetime email forwarding is available with an @alum.drexel.edu address available from Alumni Relations, starting approximately 3 months after graduation.
  • Any existing LinkEdu accounts remain open indefinitely.

Please be sure to keep track of your passwords. Once you cease to be an active student, it is more difficult for IRT to authenticate your identity in order to help you reset your password.

We hope these services will be useful to you as you begin new assignments and assume new obligations. If you have any questions, send an email to accounts@drexel.edu or call 215-895-2020. All good luck for the future.

This email has been sent to everyone who has applied to graduate in Spring 2015. For those of you with a continuing active role at Drexel (you are going on for an advanced degree, you are an employee, etc.), your computer account privileges continue as appropriate.


OS X "Rootpipe" Security Vulnerability

In early April, Apple attempted to patch a security vulnerability in OS X Yosemite, but has stated that no such patch will be released for 10.9 and below. Even more concerning, researchers say that hackers can still exploit the flaw despite April’s update. This flaw, called “Rootpipe,” can allow hackers root-level access to an affected computer through a backdoor in the system preferences app.

Until a patch is released for Yosemite, all Mac users are urged to exercise caution. Basic precautions against phishing scams and viruses apply (listed here on IRT’s Web site). Be especially wary of the sites you visit, the links you click, and the files you download.

More information about the Rootpipe vulnerability can be found at TechSpot and Engadget.


Computer Disposal/Donation Procedure

If you have old computer equipment lying around, now is a good time to clean it up and dispose of it. The IRT Web site describes the Used Computer Disposal Procedure, but here are a few key points:

  • If the old computer could be of value in another department at Drexel, it may be listed on the Surplus Exchange site.

  • Departments may contact TechServ at TechServ@drexel.edu to donate working or repairable computers to be refurbished and donated to non-profit organizations.

  • Departments may donate computers to a non-profit agency with which one or more of the department's staff is associated. The recipient agency should provide a thank you letter to the Office of Institutional Advancement for tax purposes.

  • Departments should contact Facilities Management to make arrangements for the disposal of broken and otherwise unusable computer equipment. There is a cost associated with disposal.
It is the responsibility of each department to ensure that all proprietary software is uninstalled and all data is completely deleted from the hard drives of any computer relinquished for donation or disposal. Hard drives should be reformatted. IRT (consult@drexel.edu) can advise you of the best method for securely reformatting the drives.

VCaP Team Obtains Extron Audio-Visual Certification

Members of the IRT Video Collaboration and Production (VCaP) team have recently completed the Extron Control Professional Certification Program. This certification program is designed to prepare individuals to successfully deploy and maintain Extron’s customized audio-visual (AV) control systems. This certification enables access to professional software for larger, more sophisticated AV control systems, and focuses on control system design concepts, advanced configuration techniques, troubleshooting, and best practices.

With ECP Certification, the VCaP team can now provide even more AV service and assistance in Korman classrooms with Extron AV technology installed.


Korman Room Renovations

Korman classrooms 102, 105, and 117 will undergo renovations during the week of June 15th. Both 102 and 105 in particular will be receiving new Dell 9030 All-in-One computers and new FlipIt tables, which, as flexible multipurpose surfaces, allow students to flip up the computer monitor, or close it to provide flat table space. Korman 117 will be replaced with 35 black mobile chair-desks, allowing for a true BYOD experience.


Information about Learn System Outages Window

Sunday mornings from 6 a.m. until noon EDT provide a reserved window for system outages if required. System outages are used for updates to the system, bug patches, and general system maintenance. All scheduled system outages are posted on the Drexel Learn home page as System Announcements, as well as on the sign-in page.

We strive to minimize the impact of outages on the Drexel community as much as possible. Outages are performed sparingly, only when absolutely necessary, and generally don't last for the entire period. Regardless, it is important to be aware of this window so that you can plan your work around it.


Four Ways to Interact with the Instructional Technology Blog

The Instructional Technology Blog is a great way to stay up to date on Instructional Technologies, including Drexel Learn and Collaborate. But did you know that you can do more than just occasionally read our posts?

1. Get notified when new posts are made

If you want to receive email or text notifications when new posts are published, you can create an alert (requires logging into SharePoint with your Drexel Domain credentials). You can configure the alerts setting and choose when you want to receive the alert; we recommend receiving alerts when new items are added. Make sure that you click “OK” to confirm your selections.

Alternatively, you can use the RSS feed to subscribe in the feed reader of your choice.

2. Leave a comment on a post

Every post on the Instructional Technology Blog supports commenting. So if you have questions about the contents of an article, or want to leave feedback related to the topic, you can post a comment. If you're signed into SharePoint, you'll see the “Add Comment” box at the bottom of every article. We'll respond to your inquiries and comments.

3. Narrow the blog to the topics you want to see

Every post on the Instructional Technology Blog is associated with at least one category. From either the Web page or from SharePoint, you can view posts by category. For instance, if you're only interested in how you can get Metrics from your course or about learning more about Kaltura, it's as easy as clicking a link.

Additionally, you can search the entire blog from either the Web page or from within SharePoint.

4. Suggest a topic for a future post

The Instructional Technology Blog is not just a one-way street of information. If you have an idea for content that you think would be helpful for us to post, let us know by emailing the Instructional Technology Group at itg@drexel.edu.


Composing Discussion Posts Outside of Learn

Learn’s Discussion Tool provides a text editor that allows users to compose directly in the system, and change formatting and other nuances of their text as needed. However, Drexel Learn times out after three hours, meaning that if a user is sitting on the same page, without actively clicking any links, then the next link or button they click will bring them to the sign-in page. If a user composes a message for more than three hours without saving, the message will be lost.

To avoid this issue, users can compose longer posts in an external text editor. Users can take as much time as needed to type up their text, save the file locally, and, when they are ready to post, copy and paste the text into Learn’s text editor. The user can then add the necessary formatting (bold, italics, adding lists, etc.). If anything goes wrong, the locally-saved file is always accessible.

Note: We strongly recommend using a plain text editor, such as Notepad in Windows or TextEdit on a Mac. We do not recommend using Microsoft Word or other such editors as they contain HTML code that, when pasted into a post in Learn, can cause display issues.

Alternatively, before clicking “Submit” on your Learn post, you can copy and paste the text from Learn into a plain text file. This way, if anything goes wrong—the connection times out, the browser crashes, the internet connection is lost—your work will not be lost.


What Document Types Can Be Submitted to Turnitin Direct?

Turnitin is a plug-in that allows you to run originality checks and use the GradeMark feature. The grades you enter into Turnitin automatically populate the appropriate column in the Grade Center.

As of May 2015, Turnitin Direct only runs originality reports for the following:

  • Microsoft Word (.doc and .docx)
    • If you create a file in Microsoft Office 365, open it on a computer that has Microsoft Office installed, re-save it, and submit that saved document to Turnitin.
  • Microsoft PowerPoint (.pptx, .ppt, and .pps)
    • Turnitin converts a PowerPoint file into a PDF, and in doing so it removes all presenter notes, embedded video, and animations.
    • Text with visual effects (e.g., shadows, 3-D) should be modified prior to submitting the PowerPoint file to Turnitin.
  • Google Docs submitted via Google Drive
  • Word Perfect (.wpd)
  • PDF
    • These files must contain text; PDFs containing only scanned text/images will be rejected.
    • If you use optical character recognition (OCR) software to convert text images to text, you will need to manually correct the inevitable errors that ensue from that conversion.
  • Adobe PostScript
  • HTML
  • Rich Text Format (.rtf)
  • Plain text (.txt)
  • Hangul (.hwp)
  • Microsoft Excel (.xls and .xlsx)
  • OpenOffice Text (.odt)

Turnitin will not run originality reports on the following file types:

  • Apple Pages
  • Microsoft Works (.wps)
  • Microsoft Office 365 documents created with Microsoft Online/Microsoft OneDrive
  • Password-protected files
  • Open Office files (even .doc files, as they are not 100% Microsoft Word equivalent)
  • Google Docs (.gdoc), unless submitted via Google Drive
  • PDF image files
  • PDFs that are comprised of scanned documents (essentially, images of text)
  • PDF portfolio documents (containing multiple files)
  • PDFs created with software other than Adobe Acrobat

Note that the file size cannot exceed 20 MB. Text-only files (text copied and pasted into a Turnitin submission box) may not exceed 2MB.

Files must contain at least 20 words to be accepted and uploaded.

Please contact the Instructional Technology Group with any questions (215-895-1224 or itg@drexel.edu).


Blackboard Profile Inactivity Emails

Blackboard has begun emailing users who have not used their Blackboard profile in nearly a year. These notifications inform users that their profile will be deleted if it is not accessed within 30 days. While this Blackboard email, which asks you to sign in to Drexel Learn, is legitimate, it refers to your Blackboard Social Profile, not your official Drexel account.

As a reminder, you should always be wary of emails that ask you to provide credentials or personal information. If you have any doubt about the authenticity of a message, refrain from replying or clicking any links and ask the Instructional Technology Group (itg@drexel.edu) about the legitimacy of the email.

So what is a Blackboard Profile?

A Blackboard Profile is the section of Learn where you can upload your avatar or list achievements and goals via your MyEdu account. This area can be accessed by clicking on the global navigation menu (the drop down menu with your name in the top right corner of Learn), and then on the avatar icon (or your avatar if you've already uploaded one). 

How do I keep my profile active?

To keep your profile active, click on the avatar icon in the global navigation menu (just like you were setting it up for the first time). This will trigger an event in Blackboard and your profile will be considered active again, thus preventing Blackboard from removing it.


Sign Up for ITG Workshops

The Instructional Technology Group conducts training sessions on Learn, Camtasia, Kaltura, Web basics, Mac OS X, 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 itg@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 June and July:

Recording and Editing: Camtasia Studio for Windows
Tuesday, July 14, 9:30 a.m. – noon

Getting Data Out of Learn
Thursday, July 9, 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

SharePoint Fundamentals
Thursday, June 25, 10:00 a.m. – noon

Intro to Sitecore
Wednesday, June 17, 2:30 p.m. – 4:00 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 Instructional Technology Group to coordinate a session.

Unless otherwise noted, all training sessions will be held in room 116 of the Korman Center (off the Quad on Drexel’s University City Campus, 33rd Street between Market and Chestnut Streets).