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'!