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IT at Open Campus Day

August 21st, 2014 Francis Frain

Human Resources hosted Emerson’s first Open Campus Day, in which departments hosted activities and tours through their spaces. IT invited the campus to visit its offices in the Ansin Building, including Networking and Telecommunications, Enterprise Systems, and the newly renovated space for Media Services. Visitors were introduced to the new phone system, our large format org chart, new HD projectors and panels, and tours of the IT Data Center.

Check out the video here!

Changes to the Password Reset Procedure

August 12th, 2014 Francis Frain

Emerson IT is excited to announce that we have improved the online Emerson password reset procedure for forgotten passwords. We have added the ability to receive a reset authorization code via text message, and have also added security questions to help verify your identity.


Please visit and ensure that your information is up-to-date.

It is vital that you ensure that your external contact information and security questions are kept up-to-date. For your security, you will need to verify your identity or we will not be able to reset your password. Resets over the phone, email, or fax will no longer take place.

For your convenience, you can still come to the IT Help Desk to reset your password in person. You must present your Emerson ID (or other valid form of photo identification).

As always, please feel free to contact the Help Desk with any questions or concerns by phone at 617-824-8080 or online at

The IT Project Center

July 28th, 2014 Cyle Gage

We’re very excited to announce a new feature of the IT Website: the Project Center. The Project Center is based on our weekly Change Management process, during which we discuss ongoing IT projects and review new project proposals. Integrated into the Project Center is our Project Request form, which allows anyone with an Emerson account to propose new IT-related projects.

Our hope is that the Project Center will help other areas of the college align their initiatives with IT projects, and generally be aware of what we’re up to. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to send us feedback.

Windows Encryption Update

July 24th, 2014 carlin_corrigan

bitlockerLast month, we were faced with a challenge when our Windows encryption solution, TrueCrypt, discontinued its development.

After further discussion and research, IT has decided to use BitLocker for all Windows disk encryption. We have updated documentation on the IT website. We will be rolling out encryption to all user-assigned Windows machines. Plans to encrypt Macs with FileVault2 have not changed.

If you have any questions or concerns, please leave a comment here or contact the IT Help Desk, 617-824-8080.

Announcing Windows 8 Installations

July 11th, 2014 michael_jessen

Beginning today, IT will be installing Windows 8.1 on new Windows-based computers instead of Windows 7. All new computers with Windows 8.1 will be distributed with a “cheat sheet,” including a link to an instructional guide on our website. You can take a look at this guide now to familiarize yourself with some of the most noticeable changes.

Many of the functions you use day-to-day remain unchanged, and some are even easier. Most importantly, we’re remaining up-to-date with security enhancements and patches, ensuring utmost reliability.

Mac-based computers will continue to have the most recent version of OS X installed on the computer when it arrives, currently Mavericks. This will transition to Yosemite in the fall.

As always, please feel free to contact the Help Desk if you have any questions, by phone at 617-824-8080, or online at

New Canvas Features – June 2014

June 18th, 2014 Christopher Connors

Once again it’s time for some new feature highlights that have been added to Canvas. As usual, the complete set of changes can be found on Instructure’s website, and this feature release is found here.

Grading and Comments, Now Without SpeedGrader Required

One can now make comments and give grades directly from the Gradebook without having to enter the SpeedGrader tool. Here are some screenshots from Instructure showing this new functionality:

Screenshot of Gradebook

Screenshot of Grading Popup

Of course, you can always click on “More details in the SpeedGrader” if you’d like to annotate the submission or review the students’ work.

Total Student Activity At A Glance

Within the “People” section of your course, you’ll now be able to see the total amount of time a student, observer, or TA has spent viewing and interacting with the course.

Screenshot of Total Activity

Take That Mixed-Content!

Finally, a small but very welcome change to us administrators is the ability to have external websites open in a new window from a Module. Previously, websites would fail to load within Canvas if the site was an unsecured site. This lead to many news articles and organizational websites failing to load unless one “right-clicked” and forced them to open in a new window or tab. Now, when adding an external URL, you can force the behavior automatically!

New Window Option











As always, please don’t hesitate to contact ITG by emailing or by calling 617-824-8090 if you have any further questions or requests.

Summer 2014 Workshops and Survey Results

June 9th, 2014 carlin_corrigan

Every semester, Emerson IT hosts an array of computing and software workshops. During the Spring semester, we offered a wide selection ranging from our traditional Adobe CC workshops to our Microsoft Office drop-in clinics. However, our attendance numbers were less than we had hoped for.

In an effort to increase faculty and staff participation, we recently sent out a survey to gather some data regarding workshop interest and preferences.

The data revealed a few things:

  • Over 95% of the survey takers preferred email as their method of learning about workshop opportunities.
  • More than half of the survey takers did not have time to attend workshops.
  • Less than 35% of the survey takers utilize for free video tutorials.

Many workshop topics were suggested but the most frequently mentioned was Excel, followed closely by Adobe Creative Cloud. The other suggestions were spread out pretty evenly over a variety of subjects – some new and others we currently offer:


After reflecting on the data and discussing with our IT Staff, we are excited to announce our newest Summer 2014 Workshop Offerings designed specifically for Faculty and Staff, here:

We have included two Excel sessions, Adobe Photoshop and InDesign, a new curated course, and brand new offerings including Google Drive, SQL and Cognos Reports! You can click the link under each listing to RSVP, but we also welcome drop-ins. Don’t forget to add the event to your calendar!

For Canvas questions, the Instructional Technology Group (ITG) offers one-to-one and group-based training. Contact ITG with your availability at or 617-824-8090.

For Skype questions, the Media Services team offers one-to-one training. Contact MSC for more information at or 617-824-8676.

We hope to see you this Summer!

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