News

Workday Student - Registration, Sage, Resources

July 15, 2021

The Registrar’s Office, Student Financial Services, and Workday@Brandeis team kicked off the inaugural registration and financial billing in Workday Student and Nelnet, respectively - passing another milestone in the transition from Sage to Workday. The teams would like to remind the community of the following activities:

Not sure where to start? Faculty and students can refer to the helpful Workday Student Training Activity Guides to see a list of resources broken down by common tasks. Students can get technical assistance with the registration process during the virtual, office hours on Monday, July 19 from 9:30 a.m. - 12p.m. and 3 - 6 p.m. Visit the Workday Student website to view the complete library of resources including job aids, instructional videos, and FAQs. For questions or help, please contact workday-help@brandeis.edu.

LATTE Upgrade

Thursday, Aug. 12

8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

LATTE, the University learning management system, will undergo a software update on Thursday, Aug. 12 from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. LATTE will be unavailable during this time. The maintenance window will include an upgrade to a recent release of Moodle, critical security patches, and a number of feature updates (e.g., QuickMail, Activity Chooser, H5P). In addition, the changes will apply overall system optimization to increase responsiveness, performance and ensure reliability and stability of the system. The new version will look and feel like the current version, and the upgrade includes some enhancements to functions that will be spotlighted in future communications to faculty and students. For questions, please email help@brandeis.edu.

Learning Management System Assessment

June 3, 2021

Learning and Teaching Technology Environment (LATTE), our Moodle-based learning platform, is the university’s learning management system (LMS). In order to ensure the system meets the needs of the Brandeis community, the Academic Technology Advisory Committee (ATAC) is sponsoring an assessment of the LMS which will be conducted by an external firm and involve a large cross-section of our community.   
 
During the summer months, ATAC members will evaluate and identify a consulting firm that will be engaged to complete the assessment during the fall semester. The assessment will consist of interviews and workshops with faculty, students and staff. Topics would include but not limited to: the effectiveness of the current university LMS, current and future needs of LMS functionality, LMS best practices of functionality and usage and support models among peer institutions. 
 
While the assessment is not an exercise to replace Moodle/LATTE, it is an overall assessment of the functional, technical and financial aspects of the system which will inform the strategic planning of the university’s LMS. ATAC members will review the outputs from the assessment and make recommendations to the Technology Prioritization Committee by the end of the year. 
 
Additional information will be provided in the upcoming weeks. For questions, please contact Jonathan Estwing (Sr. Project Manager, Information Technology Services).

Academic Technology - Overleaf Now Available

April 22, 2021

The Academic Technology Advisory Committee (ATAC) approved the University’s license of Overleaf, a collaborative LaTeX platform, and premium access is now available for students, faculty and staff! Overleaf is an online scientific writing and publishing tool designed to make the process of writing, editing, and producing scientific papers quicker for authors and collaborators. You can sign up (or sign in) for your Overleaf professional account using your Brandeis login credentials through the Overleaf for Brandeis portal. For additional information regarding academic technology tools, please contact library@brandeis.edu.

Project Updates - Keeping Campus Connected and Secure

March 25, 2021

Information Technology Services (ITS) and Campus Operations are partnering together on key technology infrastructure projects to ensure faculty, staff, students, and guests have a secure and safe experience while on campus. There were two notable outcomes from the active shooter drill and campus security assessment conducted a few years ago. Specifically, it was identified that there were issues with the campus cellular coverage and camera system which needed to be addressed. Below is an update on two key infrastructure projects underway that address these deficiencies:

  • Cellular coverage: starting in the Fall, the community will see noticeable improvements to the campus-wide cellular service. There has been an ongoing issue with limited coverage in certain buildings. In the upcoming months, ITS will be installing a distributed antenna system on campus to enhance coverage and network signal throughout all of our campus buildings. Locations on campus that have large numbers of people (e.g., libraries, dining halls, residential buildings, etc.) will be targeted. In addition, Brandeis will be integrating cellular voice service from AT&T and Verizon into the campus system. 

  • Security cameras: an updated camera system is being installed to address a 20+-year old security structure and remediate gaps in coverage such as building entrances and exits. In addition, new cameras will be placed in public, high traffic areas such as parking lots and crosswalks on Loop Rd. The new security system will primarily enhance post-incident investigations with higher quality imagery. Analytics or facial recognition technologies will not be used. 

For more information about these initiatives, please reach out to Campus Operations or the ITS Security Office.

Security Awareness Training: Become a Phishing Detection Expert

March 11, 2021

Email is essential to our everyday communication and interaction with one another. Did you know that more than 90% of data breaches start with a phishing email? Phishing attacks are scams that look like they come from a trusted source but trick you into giving up private information. Even with Brandeis’ sophisticated security measures, YOU are still the best defense against phishing emails. To help the community become experts in detecting phishing or fraudulent emails, ITS is launching a two-part program to increase security awareness. 
 
Beginning in mid-March, faculty and staff will be enrolled in a security awareness course hosted by KnowBe4. Individuals will receive an email notification when the training is available. The message will have the subject line of “Now Available: Security awareness training.” The first module is a short video that provides a foundation for identifying social engineering and phishing attacks. ITS will provide additional modules to conduct ongoing security awareness training. Starting in April, we’ll see if you can pass the Security Office’s simulated phishing test. ITS will periodically send you simulated phishing messages designed to imitate real scams. These simulations are done in a safe, educational environment and there are no negative consequences if you mistakenly reply to the simulated message. If you click on a link, you will be redirected to an informational page identifying the message as a phishing simulation along with helpful tips on identifying these messages in the future. If you recognize an email as a phishing scam, we encourage you to report it

Don’t get caught by a phish! Report any phishing or suspicious email you receive or may have responded to by forwarding the message to phishing@brandeis.edu. Visit the ITS website to learn more about phishing awareness and tips for staying secure. For questions or more info, contact security@brandeis.edu.

Manage Your Online Academic Content - Echo360 and LATTE

February 25, 2021

Calling all instructors - did you know you can use Echo360 to manage, host, and record academic video including Zoom recordings? Take advantage of the recent integration between Echo360 and LATTE which makes posting videos to LATTE quick and easy. Also, Zoom cloud recordings are automatically copied to your Echo360 library for extended storage, management, and sharing. Echo360 is also available to students and is a great solution for submitting course video assignments. 

Why should you consider using Echo360 for teaching?

  • Manage and store your video lectures including your Zoom recordings
  • Quickly and easily post videos to LATTE
  • Make your videos accessible with editable auto transcripts
  • Add interactive quizzes to your videos
  • Edit your videos with the integrated editing tool
  • View analytics to see how your students are engaging with the content
Want to learn more? Check out the Echo360 resources on the ITS website for more information about key features including the Echo360/LATTE integration or email help@brandeis.edu for assistance.

Academic Technology - Approved Products

February 25, 2021

The Academic Technology Advisory Committee receives, proposes, prioritizes, and submits recommendations related to the acquisition and use of technology in support of the academic mission of the University including the areas of teaching, learning, research, and scholarship. 

The IT Governance web page lists the products approved for this academic year including Gradescope, Prism, BeyondLabz, MacMillan Achieve and LaunchPad, Sapling Plus, and PsychLearn. Overleaf has recently been approved as well, and more information regarding the university-wide license for the product will be available soon. For additional information regarding these products, please contact library@brandeis.edu.

Be Technology Smart: Apply Computer Updates & Restart

February 11, 2021

The spring semester may be off to a wintry start, but you can be technology smart!  The Technology Help Desk would like to remind the Brandeis community to keep their computer—whether university-issued or personal— up to date with the latest software updates and security patches. Don’t forget to restart your computer after applying an update. In fact, a weekly restart is a must to keep your machine updated and running smoothly!

It’s equally important to review and remove outdated software, including the old antivirus software (Symantec); users with university-provided Windows machines are directed to follow these uninstall directions. Mac users should contact the Help Desk for assistance. 
 
A friendly reminder to check out this helpful checklist and resources for working remotely. The Help Desk is available to provide technology support and services no matter where your “office” may be - contact the team of computer support specialists via help@brandeis.edu or 781-736-4357.

Teaching with Zoom: Tips and Tricks

February 11, 2021

Want to learn how to get the most out of Zoom to engage with students in a virtual classroom? Visit the new Teaching with Zoom webpage for helpful FAQs addressing the most common questions about using Zoom’s interactive features such as solutions for taking attendance, using breakout rooms, virtual whiteboard solutions, and tips for keeping your class secure. Be sure to review how to keep your meeting secure and using the new live transcription feature. 

To learn more about Zoom features, how-tos, training, and support, visit the ITS website or contact the Technology Help Desk at help@brandeis.edu.

Zoom Update: Live Auto Transcription Service Now Available

January 28, 2021

ITS, Digital Communications, and Student Accessibility Support are excited to announce that your Brandeis Zoom account now has live captions and subtitles! Meeting hosts can enable the live transcription feature to make their Zoom meetings more accessible for all participants. It is strongly recommended that meeting host(s) enable the live auto transcription for all meetings or classes hosted on Zoom. 

The new feature uses automatic speech recognition (ASR) technology to generate text as the participants speak and displays the text in the video window during the meeting. The meeting host can enable the new feature at the beginning of a Zoom meeting by clicking on the “Live Transcript” button on the meeting toolbar and selecting “Enable Auto-Transcription”. This will start the service and participants will see a notification on their screen that the transcript is available. Participants can then choose whether to view or hide the transcript and/or subtitles based on their personal preference. Transcripts should be reviewed and edited for accuracy after the event before sharing the meeting recording publicly.

Please check for updates on the Zoom application to take advantage of this new feature. To learn more including instructions and helpful tips, visit the Zoom Live Transcription webpage. For questions, contact the Technology Help Desk at help@brandeis.edu.

Zoom Security: New features and best practices

With the continued use of Zoom for remote learning and working, ITS would like to remind everyone to follow Zoom best practices including using a Brandeis Zoom account when hosting a university-related event. Users should regularly check for updates on the Zoom app as new features and security measures are added.

Take advantage of a new feature that now allows for co-hosts to manage breakout rooms. including starting or ending breakout rooms, assigning participants, etc. Meeting hosts can use a new security feature that enables them to pause a meeting in the event of a disruption. Hosts can select ‘Suspend Participant Activities’ from the security icon in the meeting toolbar to remove an unwanted participant without needing to end the meeting. Learn more about managing breakout rooms and other in-meeting security options.

Review ITS’ Zoom Security Resources for best practices to secure your virtual meeting. Refer to these guidelines prior to hosting a Zoom event. Zoom also provides helpful documentation and tutorials on its features in the Zoom Support Center. For additional help or questions, contact the Technology Help Desk (help@brandeis.edu).

Here are several key Zoom articles worth bookmarking:

Webex Web Conferencing Now Available

ITS is pleased to announce the availability of Webex to all Brandeis faculty, staff, and students. Webex is available for free to the community as an alternative web conferencing tool; Zoom will continue to be the primary method for remote instruction. Webex is a collaborative meeting tool - similar to Zoom - where you can meet, collaborate, present, and share content remotely. Features of Webex include access to online whiteboards to make annotations and joining on the go with your mobile device.Visit the ITS website to get started using Webex. For questions or more information about video conferencing at Brandeis, please contact Help Desk at help@brandeis.edu.

IT Governance

With senior leadership support, ITS launched an information technology (IT) governance program at the start of 2020 and is incrementally expanding its scope and refining its processes. The program was established to facilitate decision-making processes about technology strategies, priorities, services, and investments by engaging stakeholders across the University. Four primary committees - Workday Production Advisory, Workday Student Advisory, Academic Technology Advisory, and IT Strategic Advisory - consisting of representatives across campus have been established to support the university’s administrative, academic, and operational technology needs. To learn more about the objectives, responsibilities, and membership of these committees, visit the ITS website.

Hangout or be a Slack(er)

Tools to connect and collaborate

Do you miss connecting with your colleagues after a meeting, passing each other on campus, or water cooler conversation?  Although you have email, video conferencing and the traditional phone call to connect, ITS would like to share that there are alternative communication tools to consider to stay connected and engaged with one another during this time. Google Hangouts and Slack are two chat platforms for individuals and groups to connect through direct messaging with an individual or a group; helps keep conversations organized, and is accessible from anywhere, anytime.  Google Hangouts is a click away in Gmail - available at no cost to the community and allows you to send instant messages to individuals or groups. Slack is an alternative chat platform that offers both free or paid tiers; in addition, to direct messaging, you can create public or private channels around a specific topic or project, files, and links can be shared too. 

The use of these collaboration tools are not intended to replace emails, but rather gives the option of instantly messaging a Brandeis colleague. To learn more about each of these tools including a comparison of features or to get started, visit the ITS website.

LastPass Password Manager

One password to remember them all!

Are you overwhelmed by having 1,234 different passwords or creating and remembering them for each of your online accounts? Did you know that 81% of security breaches are caused by weak or reused passwords? ITS is excited to offer LastPass, a password management tool to the Brandeis community. LastPass is a secure way to store and manage your login info for your online accounts. You can also easily create a strong, unique password for every online account to improve your online security. All you need to remember is a single (master) password, so when you visit websites, LastPass can automatically fill in your credentials for you.  Learn more and enroll today.