Remote Access to Software for Remote Instruction and Teleworking
The launch of the new software distribution portal software.uvm.edu/ in the fall 2020 semester continues to enhance our technological capabilities to support remote instruction and teleworking. Over the past few months, ETS has been able to rapidly respond to academic requests for remotely accessible software by utilizing streaming application delivery and virtual desktop (VDI) technologies. Not only do these technologies allow us to provide remote access to graphically intensive academic software, but they also facilitate access to Windows-only software for MacOS users. ETS remains eager to partner with the academic units to provide specialized software access for specific colleges and grant access to various software packages based on student course enrollment. Through these latest methods, ETS is also making it possible for staff working remotely on non-Windows devices to access many of our Windows-only administrative software applications. As we move into the spring 2021 semester, ETS will continue to work toward expanding the catalog of remotely accessible software and further improving the performance of software delivery and access. For more information on how to access software remotely, please visit www.uvm.edu/it/kb/article/appsanywhere/.
UVM students living on campus will notice considerable improvements to the wireless network in seven residence halls this spring semester. A partnership between Residential Life and Enterprise Technology Services has led to the completion of residential hall wireless upgrades to the hospitality style access points. The aging access points in Harris, Millis, Harris/Millis Commons, Mason, Simpson, Hamilton and Redstone Hall were upgraded over the winter break. The upgrade provides a 5 GHz ready wireless network supporting 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless with enhanced data rates. Essentially, the technical parameters of the new wireless network will allow students in these upgraded spaces to access the internet at an enhanced speed.
Students experiencing difficulties with the wireless network in these residence halls, should contact the ETS Helpline at 802-656-2604 or at Helpline@uvm.edu.
New Features in Microsoft Teams
A breakout room feature is now available in Microsoft Teams to enable meeting organizers to separate participants of a meeting into several subgroups. Organizers may randomly or manually assign participants, and can move freely between these breakout rooms to check-in on ongoing subgroup discussions. Please read more about this and the many other useful features and functionality of Microsoft Teams at www.uvm.edu/it/kb/article-categories/teams/.
Although not new, we want to remind the campus community that Microsoft Teams allows for the use of virtualized backgrounds, which can be used to conceal one's physical surroundings, create a more professional learning environment, and reinforce the Catamount identity. University Communications has provided some approved images to be used as virtual backgrounds. Instructions on how to download an image and use it as your virtual background can be found at www.uvm.edu/it/kb/article/meeting-backgrounds/.
OneDrive as Institutional Cloud-based Storage Service
The university continues to offer OneDrive for Business to all students, faculty and staff. OneDrive is a cloud-based storage and synchronization service operated by Microsoft as part of its Office Online suite available to members of the UVM community. Your UVM OneDrive account offers 1TB of storage, which enables you to share and access files from all of your Internet-connected devices. Ultimately, the use of this technology improves collaboration and efficiency in the areas of file sharing. Additionally, OneDrive promotes a greater level of control over institutional data and records both for the purposes of retention and continuity of operations. Other cloud-based storage services (such as DropBox or Google) should not be used to store UVM data. Purchases of these services will no longer be reimbursed or permitted. More information on OneDrive can be found at www.uvm.edu/it/kb/article/onedrive/.
Spam and Phishing Attacks
Spam, phishing attacks and email impersonation all seem to be on the rise, but our email filtering system continues to detect and discard the great majority of these messages. We ask everyone to be vigilant in their computing habits to help us fight email impersonation along with its ultimate malicious intent. Before you respond to “unusual” emails, always take a moment to wonder whether a familiar person would have sent such message to you in the first place. When in doubt about the authenticity of an email, make use of other means of communication (Teams, cellphone) to check with colleagues as to whether they have sent you a message that appears unauthentic. Please refer to the following link for more information on how report spam, phishing and other related computer concerns www.uvm.edu/it/how-report-information-technology-concerns.
We encourage all members of the UVM community to visit our IT Service Catalog at www.uvm.edu/it/catalog/ to discover the myriad of services available to you. You can also visit our Knowledge Base Articles at www.uvm.edu/it/kb to obtain instructions on how to use specific technologies.