Big Sur Install Delay Due to Software Compatibility

With the advent of any new operating system there is always the potential that problems may occur. Vendors work diligently with the OS manufacturer in order to ensure that their software is ready from the moment the new OS is released.

Apple’s new OS, Big Sur, is presenting some particular challenges to manufacturers, as we have received notice from several, stating that their software will not be compatible at the time of Big Sur’s release, urging us to delay our adoption of the new operating system.

The following vendors have notified us that their software will not be ready:

  • ESET Antivirus
  • Minitab
  • Wolfram – Mathematica versions older than 12.1 will not work under Big Sur

You may also be getting messages that certain extension on your current system will no longer be compatible with future versions of the Macintosh operating system. This means that if you upgrade, it is very likely that particular software will no longer work or work correctly.

Because of these and potentially other unforeseen issues, we would like to strongly urge you to delay your upgrade to Big Sur. We will continue to monitor the situation to know when it is safe to install.

Additionally, Microsoft has announced end of support for Microsoft Office for Mac versions 2016 and older. You may have gotten messages to upgrade because of security concerns. Rest assured that your Office 2016 will not stop working. The security concerns are that Microsoft will no longer update the Office 2016 product and therefore Microsoft Updates and Security Updates will no longer be available.

Although this situation does not pose an immediate threat to your systems, we are taking this end of support seriously and will do our best to upgrade all Macintosh system to the latest version of Microsoft Office. We will attempt to automate the upgrade process with a tool called Munki to minimize our in-person interaction, but if there are any issues we can certainly make a visit to your office to process your upgrade.

If your system requires it, you will be prompted by the Managed Software Center for necessary updates after the Fall 2020 semester concludes. Your Macintosh will need to be on campus to perform the updates. If you will not be able to come to campus or need Office upgraded sooner, please contact the Technology Support Center.

AWS Educate in the Classroom

AWS Educate, Amazon’s cloud-based web services platform geared specifically towards educational institutions, has made its debut at the University of Scranton as part of a pilot for the new Data Science Concentration.

The service, which grants access to virtually the entire suite of services offered through Amazon AWS, enables faculty and students to create and manage their own dedicated virtual environment free of charge from anywhere they have internet access. Through the classroom interface, a Professor can configure which services are available to their students and can connect to and manage each student’s computing environment. Virtual classrooms give students the freedom to operate on their own while still allowing the professor to effectively manage the course curriculum.

In the pilot, Dr. Jason Graham of the Mathematics Department is introducing his students to the R programming language and its IDE, RStudio. With AWS Educate, his students are able to deploy their own dedicated EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) virtual machine with all of the required software pre-configured for its immediate use all in a matter of minutes. Not only does this save the students from having to install complex software on their personal machines, it also saves Dr. Graham from having to devote precious class time to troubleshooting issues caused by disparities in student hardware.

Cloud-based services are becoming more and more common as user and organizational needs change. By having services like AWS Educate available for students, we’re giving them the opportunity to learn valuable skills which will serve them well when it comes time for them to leave the University. After all, the future of IT is in the cloud!

Get Started with AWS Educate

Faculty members can register as an educator using their University email address at https://aws.amazon.com/education/awseducate/. This will associate their email address with the University of Scranton’s AWS Educate institutional account and allow them to create and manage virtual classrooms.

Please note that as you enter the required information, you will be prompted to either enter an existing AWS account or sign up for a “free” Amazon Educate account. If you sign up for the free account, it’s good for a year but doesn’t require any credit card information. We recommend the alternate option where you associate your AWS Educate account with an AWS account, which requires a credit card. This option is permanent and doesn’t cost anything as long as you stay within the credits allocated through AWS Educate.

Downtime Notice and Videos – *New* My.Scranton Design

Information Technology is upgrading the My.Scranton Portal and Single Sign-On. As a result, access to My.Scranton will be unavailable on Saturday, October 12. This update is necessary due to security compliance.

Access to resources through our portal will not be available during this time, this includes D2L, Engage, CMS, Office 365 email and applications. The University website and mobile app will continue to operate.

On Sunday, after the upgrade, you will notice a new portal design.  Here are a few enhancements to look forward to:

  • The cleaner and simpler workspace design introduces collapsible boxes and eliminates excessive text.
  • Existing links have been reviewed and in some cases reorganized. This allows for a simplified and more intuitive navigation that will make it easier to find important information in fewer clicks.
  • Keeping in mind the ever-growing usage of smartphones and tablets, the portal will be responsive – visually appealing and functional on all devices.

Please review the following resources for more details:

 

Business Improvement: New RoyalSync Platform by Presence

The Center for Student Engagement is proud to announce that RoyalSync, the University’s co-curricular campus engagement platform, will be relaunched this fall powered by a new platform, Presence. Presence is a web and mobile software platform that helps campuses identify ways to increase student engagement, enhance assessment practices and promote opportunities, ultimately improving outcomes and retention. Presence will allow the Center for Student Engagement to simplify processes with student organization and event management, track student involvement with card swipe technology, identify student involvement trends and behaviors with real-time analytics, and help students make progress toward skill development through a co-curricular transcript.

When OrgSync, the previous platform that powered RoyalSync, was scheduled to be retired, the Center for Student Engagement, along with partners across the Division of Student Life and the Kania School of Management, began to search for a suitable replacement product, with the support of the IT division. The IT division helped us navigate the Third-Party Software Evaluation Lite assessment process to help us evaluate potential replacement products. After several rounds of demos from potential vendors, we selected Presence as the replacement platform for RoyalSync.

Over the spring semester, the Center for Student Engagement and the IT division have worked with Presence to build out the platform for our campus needs and attended web-based training to learn all the essentials of the platform. Undergraduate students will be the primary audience that RoyalSync will serve, providing information about student organizations and events all in one place, while student leaders with support from faculty/staff moderators can plan club/organization campus activities.

The new RoyalSync will be launched at the start of the Fall 2019 semester with in-person and web based training being offered to students and faculty/staff users. Please feel free to check out the new RoyalSync at royalsync.scranton.edu. For additional questions, please email cse@scranton.edu.

Written by Michael Ritterbeck, Director of the Center for Student Engagement at The University of Scranton

Update: IT Resources

IT Training Resources

All of our training materials are now available online. Simply visit scranton.edu/ITtraining to access our new SharePoint folder. Authentication will be required.

Website
We have created the following new web pages in response to various campus requests:

Social Media
We invite you to follow us today at our respective social media websites listed below.

Twitter: @ScrantonTSC

Facebook: The University of Scranton’s Technology Support Center

Coming Soon to your Desktop

Security While you Sleep

While you’re home resting and refreshing, your office computer will be refreshing, too! This new strategy for updating office computers in the early morning hours will secure them from vulnerabilities like never before with minimal disruption to you. This includes KBOX updates, Windows quality and feature updates, anti-virus and anti-malware scans, Windows health checks and more!

VPN Client for Laptops

This new client provides the ability to access on-campus services from off-campus networks! This includes licensing services for software such as Matlab and Windows/MS Office activations as well as access to on-campus network drives. All new laptop deliveries will include this client while current laptop owners will receive it with KBOX updates as soon as February 2019.

Come to the 2018 IT Fair on Wednesday, November 7.

IT Fair – Wednesday, November 7 from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Come to the 2018 IT Fair on Wednesday, November 7 to find out what services and opportunities the Division of Information Technology has to offer! Ask IT experts about ongoing projects, security best practices, computer maintenance tips, classroom technology, Royal IT Support, Two Step, file storage, Banner, Office 365, and so much more.

Let us know you will be attending.

The Details

  • All are welcome to this fun event.
  • Drop in! The fair will be ongoing from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Advanced registration is preferred, but not required.
  • Snacks and drinks available.
  • Drop in for presentations and demos, or just to say hello.
  • Prizes and giveaways.

10-Minute Sessions

  • 11:00 a.m. Royal IT Support
  • 11:30 a.m. These Public Applications will help you do your job.
  • 12 p.m. PowerBi Demo
  • 12:30 p.m. Microphone Tutorial
  • 1:00 p.m. Ellucian Mobile Demo

IT Forum Recap: Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

The Division of Information Technology will be deploying MFA as a preventative security measure to our campus starting this summer.

MFA requires users to provide multiple factors of authentication/information to access an account:
• Factor 1 – Something you know. Example: MyScranton Password
• Factor 2 – Something you have. Example: Typically your mobile phone (Mobile App, SMS text message / Phone Call, Hardware tokens, and one time code.)

Next steps:

  • Purchase Duo by the end of May (MFA product)
  • Develop and refine policies
  • Phased release beginning during the Summer 2018

 

IT Forum Recap: IT Ticketing System

Footprints, the IT system that is currently used to log technical issues or requests will soon be replaced. This July we will the launching Royal IT Support, our new ticketing system that will provide our campus with improved communication around IT issues and requests.

Royal IT Support will allow you to:

  • Report an issue through a simplified form (on your behalf or on someone else’s)
  • Request support based on a specific service
  • Review your open and closed (completed) requests

User training will be available in July and August.