I hope your spring semester is off to a good start! Hopefully everyone had a chance to participate in one of the many Martin Luther King Jr. Day events held on campus. The Office of Information Technology had a busy January thanks in no small part to the approval of several of our transformational funds proposals, the most notable being esports. I will do my best over the coming months to keep everyone informed about the progress of this very exciting and most definitely transformational offering! In the mean time, I hope those of you who need a place to sit down and relax with food, friends and technology have discovered the Bernhard Computing Center. It is a great place for both quiet study AND technology collaboration. If you haven't stopped by already, please do and be sure to walk to the back section of the lab where you will find 60" flat panel 4K resolution displays, whiteboards on wheels and movable furniture that you can rearrange as needed. It's a great place to get comfortable and get collaborating with your fellow Broncos! I would love to hear what you think about the five technology collaboration spaces in the BCC or really any comments or questions you might have about ANY technologies on campus. Please don't hesitate to reach out to the Office of Information Technology Help Desk at (269) 387-4357, option 1 or directly to me at (269) 387-3838, and as always, GO BRONCOS!
Waldo Library Virtual Reality Lab: Can you say GRAND OPENING? After months of hard work and collaboration between the University Libraries and the Office of Information Technology, the new virtual reality lab has opened up on the lower level of Waldo Library. Please stop by to check it out. Hours of operation can be found on the vr lab website. Additional information about this cool new service can be found on the University's collaborative virtual reality website. A grand opening event is scheduled for Feb. 15 from 5 to 7 p.m. and will include food and fun for everyone who attends. I look forward to seeing everyone there! And if you get a chance, be sure to ask Kevin Abbott about his virtual reality development project.
Information Technology Acquisition Policy: Business intelligence processes are only as good as the data that feeds these processes. In order to ensure that the data contained in information systems at WMU are effectively integrated, the IT acquisition policy should be closely followed when acquiring any new technology related services or when moving existing technology services to the cloud. It is important to note that this policy applies to all technology related acquisitions, even if there is no cost associated with the acquisition. The Office of Information Technology offers a product review service that can serve as a critical step towards evaluating the ability of the new system's data to integrate with existing campus data structures. See product review information. Thank you for doing your part to ensure a seamless integration of WMU's business intelligence data.
3D printing: Don't forget to visit the second floor University Computing Center Makerspace if you are interested in learning how to create and/or print 3D images. More information about Makerspace.
Ransomware: Ransomware is a type of malware that locks users out of their own systems and files. The criminal then tries to extort funds from the victim by requesting a ransom in order for the user to regain access to their locked files. This type of crime has been around since the mid-2000s but saw growth of nearly 250% in the past few years. Ransomware is often delivered as an email attachment that may appear to be from a trusted source. Always be very careful when opening email attachments, especially if you were not requesting them. Read the FBI bulletin on ransomware. If you suspect you have received an email containing ransomware, please contact your unit's IT support person, or the Technology Help Desk at (269) 387-4357, option 1 and do NOT open the attachment!
Food for thought: Vending machines are now located in the University Computing Center lab on the second floor.
WMU public safety advisories: WMU's public safety department has created a Twitter account that will be used to issue campus safety and advisory messages as a complimentary service to the Clery Act mandated and regulated WMU Alert system. The public safety Twitter account will inform students and their families, faculty, staff and community members about incidents that occur in the vicinity of campus or in neighborhoods where a large number of WMU students live. The account, @wmupublicsafety, will tweet messages issued by the WMU Alert system as well as other safety advisories. People who do not "tweet" can opt to receive the same information via a text message.
Bulk emailing and spam: The Office of Information Technology has put together information to help the campus community better understand why some bulk emails end up being catagorized as spam, how spam flagging workds, what role third party bulk emailing companies play, and what we in IT can and cannot do with respect to preventing certain emails from being flagged as spam and what you, the end user, can do. Read more about spam email.
Award winning video: The Office of Information Technology Educational Technology Services team recently won an award at the Societ for Historical Archaeology's annual conference for their video collaboration with WMU Professor Michael Nassaney titled "Get Ready to Get Dirty!" which promotes WMU's middle school archaeology camp. The award was issued by the Advisory Council on Underwater Archaeology.
Did you know? In January the Office of Information Technology completed 1,094 work orders with telecommunications, classroom technology and the Technology Help Desk accounting for nearly half of them.