Thursday, December 22, 2011

Winter Break

Semester breaks are a time when the CGU community vacates campus offices leaving thousands of desktop computers unattended.

The Office of Information Technology offers the following tips to take appropriate measures to keep your computer, your files and our network safe.

— Take the time to back up your data. This will be valuable in case of any type of system malfunction or failure that may occur during the break.

— Identity theft is highest this time of year. Many of these frauds will be perpetrated by e-mail. Do not disclose any person or sensitive information over e-mail. As a matter of fact, OIT highly recommends not storing (or at least limiting) personal information on laptops.

— If you own a laptop, please be mindful of where it is at all times. Do not walk away and leave it unattended in a public place. This includes leaving it in a locked automobile. Laptops are a thief’s prime targets this time of year.

— Unless instructed otherwise by your CGU’s technical staff, please turn off your CGU-provided computer during the break. Personal computers should be taken home during the break.

— If you choose to leave your computer ON, please make sure that your office/work area is physically locked, all accounts are logged off, and any peripherals (monitors, printers, scanners) are turned off.

— If your machine must remain on and you cannot log out of your machine before leaving, make sure that you either enable a screensaver with password protection or LOCK your computer when you leave. Windows users can select a password-protected screensaver from Start > Control Panel > Display > Screensaver. Windows users can LOCK their computers by pressing the Windows Key + L. Apple users should simply log out or set up a password-protected screensaver and activate it.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

February 2012 is Excel Month!

Due to the CGU Holiday Break, the OIT bimonthly Professional Development Announcement will be released the first week of January. The January-February offerings will include: Sakai Orientation webinar, iPad Tips & Tricks, and Home Computer Maintenance, Evernote Introduction, and Skype Basics (tentative). Additionally, we are pleased to announce "February 2012 Excel Month"! As a part of our ongoing efforts to address feedback from the October OIT Survey, we have developed four new Excel workshops to be delivered the month of February. These sessions will range from introductory to advanced and will last around 1+ hours depending on group size and Q & A. This is a collaborative offering. Presenters are: Sunny Chau, Instructional Technology Consultant, and Jeanette Gurrola, Institutional Researcher. A brief description includes:

Class #1: Basic navigation; Text entry & formatting; Working with columns, & rows; Viewing spreadsheets side by side; Page setup; Inserting versus copying Excel spreadsheets to Word

Class #2: Simple formulas, including order of operations; Introduction to functions; Paste special features; Relative, absolute & mixed referencing; Sorting data; Drop down lists for data entry

Class #3: Helpful functions & formulas; Introduction to Tables; Introduction to conditional formatting; Charts; Mail merging

Class #4: Introduction to IF statements; Introduction to pivot tables

Please watch for the January-February OIT Professional Development Announcement for further information!

Have a wonderful Holiday Break and Happy New Year from OIT!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Apple World Travel Adapter Kit

Are you planning a Winter Vacation and are taking your iPad or iPhone? You will need a Apple World Travel Adapter Kit to ensure power connectivity in most countries you may travel to.
$39 at

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

QR Codes Are Coming!

Have QR codes assisted you in your shopping for the holidays or other celebrations? I'm finding their increased use by retailers to be fascinating - and they are beginning to work their way into educational environments. I noticed while attending two professional conferences this year that QR codes were cleverly used to distribute presentations and for promotions by vendors. They have indeed 'arrived' as a creative, useful technology to engage and communicate!

OIT is exploring ways to use QR codes to assist with communication and connection with CGU users. We have been brainstorming ideas where QR codes might be useful and would welcome your suggestions and ideas! Please send them to me, Dr. Carleen Shaffer -

If you would like to know more about QR codes and their use in education, please see the following resources:

eCampus News "Quick Response codes catching on in higher education"

The Chronicle Profhacker "How To Use Bar Codes at Conferences (and Why You Might Want To)"

Tom Barrett Presentation "43 Interesting Ways to Use Bar Codes in the Classroom"

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Keeping Up With Technology Changes

How many times have you said (or heard) "It's impossible to keep up with the changes in technology"! No matter if it's a professional responsibility or just one of your 'passions', keeping abreast of the changes in technology presents continuous challenges and frustrations! 

I follow several technology blogs and a recent post ("Twitter, Facebook, RSS feeds, Email- why/when use each one") by a high school physics teacher helped me to reflect upon the tools I use on a daily basis to at least make an effort at keeping abreast of technology news, information and utilization. Similar to the poster, I typically use Twitter, RSS feeds, email, and Facebook for a variety of reasons. I find Twitter extremely beneficial for following experts, organizations, businesses, educators, etc. in my profession. However, because of the speed and frequency I may miss important information or content so my 'backup' is Google Reader, my choice for RSS feeds. Often I follow the same experts, groups, etc. but I am a bit more secure that I'm not missing updates. 

Admittedly, many of the ways I use Facebook are related to connecting with family and friends. However, I also 'Like' the same experts, organizations, businesses, and educators that I follow via RSS and Twitter which gives me yet one more way of cross-checking relevant news and information in my profession.  This may sound like a lot of work or repetitive, but I'm usually 'scanning' the news and have developed the ability to quickly 'weed out' extraneous or irrelevant information.

Of course my work and personal email continue to be an integral part of my daily technology use and, as the poster notes, I don't believe that email is going away anytime soon! So we learn to live with it and develop strategies to decipher how and when to 'delete' and move on! It's simply a 'necessary evil' for doing business and staying connected.

I encourage you to explore any of these tools for 'keeping up with technology changes'. Perhaps following OIT's Twitter accounts (@CGUoit and @CGUiPad) for news, information and updates (CGUiPad includes iPad app specials) might be a way to 'test the water'!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Do You Diigo?

In our first OIT webinar we provided a broad overview of three collaborative, i.e. 'cloud' technologies: Diigo, Dropbox and Evernote. This month's 30-minute session focused upon Dropbox (recording available on our Academic Computing Professional Development page) and on Friday, December 9th, we will focus upon Evernote (contact to register). Our 2012 schedule has not been established yet. In the meantime, there are a few valuable resources that might entice you to use Diigo as a collaborative technology to enhance teaching and learning in the classroom or share resources with your coworkers, family and/or friends. Diigo provides a way to build a life-long professional library that is accessible from any mobile device. It is easy to use and has many valuable features including the ability to highlight and create private groups. As with the other web-based technologies (cloud) they are flexible and available beyond your time at CGU. 

Educause Quarterly "Classroom Collaboration Using Social Bookmarking Service Diigo"

The Chronicle ProfHacker "Annotating the Web with Diigo on the iPad"

...and to get you started "Diigo Introduction"

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Microsoft Office for iOS coming

A report from The Daily claims sources have confirmed Microsoft has an iPad version of its Office app in the works alongside a new Lion compatible version of the desktop suite.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

How to secure your PC in 10 easy steps

Making your PC secure is something everyone should be doing. Please read the following article on how to secure your home PC.

Read how to here

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Dropbox Basics

Our next cloud technology webinar will be held on Tuesday, November 29th. This will be a 30-minute presentation featuring Dropbox Basics. Dropbox is widely used and provides many features to assist you with accessing and sharing your files as well as backing them up in case of problems with your hard drive. For faculty and students, Dropbox enables submission of assignments and projects while minimizing unnecessary emails. For staff Dropbox allows sharing of departmental or group documents and files. Files are seamlessly synced to insure all users have the most recent version. To register for this webinar, write For additional ideas and information regarding Dropbox and file sharing in the cloud, see the following articles:

The New York Times "Dropbox Will Simplify Your Life"

Educause 7 Things You Should Know About..."Organizing Files in the Cloud"

The Chronicle of Higher Education ProfHacker ""

Thursday, November 3, 2011

CGU WiFi Upgrade:

Tired of spotty wireless coverage on campus and of having to login each time your device goes into standby or when you arrive on campus?

You may have noticed a new wireless network being broadcast on campus--Claremont-WPA. This summer we installed over 130 Cisco 802.11a/g/n access points in all CGU buildings and many outdoor areas with the latest wireless technology and WPA2 encryption to increase security for mobile users. Claremont-WPA is the preferred wireless network for CGU students, faculty and staff.  Another benefit of the new Claremont-WPA wireless network, is that once you register your device you will only need to log in again when your password expires.

For more information on how to connect to the new wireless network please visit: If you suspect an area still needs more wireless coverage, please email with the location.

Please note: Claremont-WPA is also broadcast at Honnold Library and at the other 5C campuses so you can have the same auto-connect functionality at those locations. If you experience wireless issues when visiting other campuses, please contact the respective campus IT department to report the problem.

Campus Wireless Coverage

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

How to update your Android Device

1 Turn on your Android device and press the “Home” button.

2 Press the “Menu” button (represented by four horizontal lines, the word “Menu” or four small squares) and select “Settings.”

3 Scroll down and select “About Phone.”

4 Tap on “System Updates” and your phone automatically checks for new software. If there’s no new software to be downloaded, you’ll see a message confirming you are “Up to Date.”

5 Press “Install Now” if there is new software available. The update will download and your phone will restart.

Blogs as a Collaborative Tool

The OIT October webinar focused upon blogs and wikis as cloud technologies. For those who could not attend, the recording is located on the OIT Academic Professional Development Opportunities page. In the blogging portion of this presentation, we suggested several ideas for using blogs as both a professional development tool by following experts and organizations in your field as well as a collaborative classroom tool with students. We also described how OIT is using CGU Tech Buzz for "tech news, alerts, opportunities and recommendations". As a graduate institution, using a variety of strategies to focus and model the development of writing skills is yet another reason to encourage blogging as a collaborative tool inside and outside the classroom.

This morning, my alma mater's Facebook page (the University of Illinois Urbana Campus) noted a 'refresh' on the website that included a new blog created by the Chancellor. This provides yet another excellent example of how blogs are used in higher ed - as collaborative communication tools in the broader academic community. As noted by Chancellor Wise, her blog is an opportunity to gather feedback and thoughts from U of I faculty, staff and students about what the campus does well and what it could do better.

There are so many ways blogs can be used effectively and strategically to connect, collaborative, communicate and co-create knowledge. Please consider how you might use them to enhance your teaching, collaboration, and communication! For assistance with creating your blog, please email

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Happy Birthday! Windows XP turns 10

“Few products have impacted more people than Windows XP. Microsoft officially launched the operating system -- the first for consumers based on the NT kernel -- on Oct. 25, 2001. That's right, 10 years ago today. But PC manufacturers started offering XP systems in early September 2001, a week before terrorist attacks against New York City and Northern Virginia. XP is the most popular Windows version ever released. Even today, depending on the analyst crunching numbers, more people use Windows XP than any other PC operating system (although Windows 7 is nearly tied).
Windows XP is a workhorse. Microsoft kept it in market longer than any other Windows version, allowing a very stable ecosystem of third-party applications and products to evolve around it. The operating system fulfilled the vision set for Windows 95 six years earlier -- release of stable, 32-bit code suitable for businesses and consumers. Microsoft's biggest development challenge: Providing compatibility with games and supporting hardware drivers that wanted access to the kernel, which NT blocked for security reasons.”

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

iPad Keyboards

As we discuss in our OIT session "iPad Tips & Tricks", many iPad users find the iPad's touch keyboard problematic when it comes to creating or writing documents and content. To address this issue, we provide a couple of alternatives that can be used as a solution. A recent CNET review of iPad keyboards, "Keyboarding your iPad: Best keyboard cases", provides a variety of options for consideration. 

For those who have missed the first two opportunities to participate in "iPad Tips and Tricks", this session will again be offered on Wednesday, November 16 at 1:30 pm. To register for this session please email 

More information regarding November and December professional development opportunities for faculty and staff is located on the OIT Academic Computing website

Microsoft's Windows 8 preview

Have you upgraded to Microsoft's Windows 7? Well get ready for Windows 8!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Mindjet for iPad

As a student and as faculty, I have found mindmapping tools to be useful for brainstorming as a group or as a planning tool in preparation for writing papers, articles, etc. I wanted to find one that would work well on the iPad and a recent blog post on socialmediatoday provided interesting and valuable tips as well as a good, free mindmapping tool called Mindjet. The article, "Writing Tools, Part 1 - Why Authors Need iPads", included five reasons the author recommends iPads as valuable tools in the writing process. The importance of these mobile devices as productivity tools is becoming widely recognized. For faculty in higher education, the iPad with a mindmapping tool could greatly assist in organization, planning, and presenting research and published articles. OIT has iPads available for faculty and staff to utilize and evaluate for professional and personal purposes. Contact Carlos Miranda for further details.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Top 5 things to consider when buying a smartphone

#1 Your phone provider – If you don’t plan on switching phone providers, make sure you look at the phones that your carrier only supports. There are a lot of smart phones out there that don’t work with certain providers.

#2 The data plan – Smart phones are a little more than your usually mobile phone. The reason this is because you’re going to have to add on a data plan. Make sure you compare prices to other mobile carriers to ensure you’re getting the best price. How much data you will use is another consideration.

#3 The battery life – You can get a lot of reviews online and while the manufacture will generally tell you how long the battery is going to last, you may want to get an opinion from actual users. You don’t want a phone that is only going to last a few hours.

#4 The operating system – In today’s day and age, all smart phones have different based operating systems. Whether you’re using an Apple, Android, or BlackBerry you will want to know what each operating system can do for you.

Also go into a Cellular/Electronic store and spend some time trying some of these devices before buying one.

Monday, October 17, 2011

iPad and iPhone Users Get 50 GB FREE is giving away 50 GB of free storage to anyone who uses a Box Personal account on an iOS device. That’s right, it’s 50 GB in the cloud completely free, forever. Your 50 GB of storage isn’t just limited to your mobile device – you get it anywhere you use your Box account, like on your laptop at home or your desktop at the office.

This is a great way to backup all of your important data.

This promotion only runs for 50 days, so get your free space in the cloud by following these steps:

  1. Visit the app store and download the Box app for your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch
  2. Log in to your account or register for a new one directly from the app
  3. Start sharing and collaborating in the cloud

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wikis in the Classroom

On Thursday, October 27th OIT will deliver the second webinar focused on Collaborating in the Cloud. This month we will provide an overview and comparison of blogs and wikis. Both of these technologies provide valuable possibilities for enhancing teaching and learning. As with other cloud technologies they allow students and faculty to connect, communicate, collaborate and co-create knowledge. Blogs can be utilized as online journals while wikis are useful for group projects or repositories. The article "Wikis in the Classroom: Three Ways to Increase Student Collaboration" provides good ideas from one faculty member who has had success using wikis in his class. 

Please consider joining us for more discussions and information regarding blogs and wikis. Contact Dr. Carleen Shaffer to register at

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

iOS 5 and new iPhone 4S

iOS 5 coming soon, iPhone 4S coming Oct 14.

Diigo Bookmarking

Last week's OIT webinar provided an overview for three tools: Diigo, Evernote, and Dropbox. Additional sessions will focus on each of these individually. 

Diigo is described as a social bookmarking tool that is 'in the cloud'. However, this tool does far more than simply bookmark favorites. As listed on the website, Diigo is "a personal research tool, collaborative  research platform, social content site, and knowledge-sharing community". By creating a private group for your class you give students continuing access to resources outside the classroom that become a part of their personal library. Diigo is a tool that can be used as a lifelong technology.  Students and faculty can build an annotated bibliography that is accessible anytime, anyplace and from any mobile device. For further information Student Learning with Diigo.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

iPad competition heats up

Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet was finally introduced Wednesday. It will sell for $199, feature a 7-inch touchscreen and ships on Nov. 15.

The new Kindle tablet from the world's largest online retailer has been anticipated for months as the first device that really might be able to challenge Apple's iPad, given Amazon's ability not only to sell hardware at a low price, but also to offer a full suite of downloadable music, movies, TV shows, eBooks and apps.