ITS: maintenance reminder and upcoming communication changes

We wanted to remind you of our ITS: maintenance day this Thursday, April 17 from 3:00 a.m. – 7:00 a.m.  We are also changing the style for all-campus emails from ITS: and going live with a revamped website on Thursday morning, April 17.

Instead of receiving emails from helpdesk@coloradocollege.edu, you’ll see future emails from its@coloradocollege.edu. Feel free to write to us at either address. Email announcements will be sent in HTML format with a CC banner at the top and ITS: social media icons at the bottom as we strive to improve our communications.

The new website combines all our current sites (Help Desk, Media Services, Academic Technology Services, and ITS:) into one site in order to make it easier to find what you’re looking for.  Starting Thursday morning, the new site will be http://www.coloradocollege.edu/its, replacing the one currently at that address.

Finally, the email login screen for Office 365 mailboxes (all students and employees who have switched to Office 365) will now have the CC logo and a picture of Barnes Hall, instead of just a blank page.

We wanted to give you a heads up so that you don’t think the new style is a scam, and welcome your feedback on these new communications.

The Heartbleed bug - what does it mean to me?

You’ve no doubt heard about the “Heartbleed” bug, and we want to make sure you are informed.

What is Heartbleed?

A flaw in OpenSSL, a tool commonly used to secure website traffic (“https” websites).  The flaw allows an attacker to capture usernames, passwords, and other sensitive information.

Why does it matter?

Heartbleed is a big deal because OpenSSL is so commonly used – a large number of secure sites on the internet (such as some online banking sites, turbotax, dropbox, etc.) are affected.

What is CC doing?

ITS: was on top of this early and we have already patched our servers.  We’re also checking with our vendor partners to ensure they are patched.  

What should I do?

Heartbleed is a serious vulnerability, but much work has been going on during the last couple of days around the world to fix the problem.  To be safe, however, we recommend the following:

  • Avoid online banking and shopping for a few days if possible.
  • Check this page on Mashable for a list of popular sites and whether or not a password change is recommended.  If it is, we advise you to change your password for that particular service.
  • Be especially careful to avoid phishing attempts, messages that ask for your username, password, or other sensitive information.  The most common form is a note saying your email is over the size limit or locked and you need to enter your username and password to unlock or upgrade it.  These are always scams.

Canvas update

At the end of fall semester 2013, the campus community decided on Canvas from Instructure as the system which will replace PROWL.  We negotiated with Instructure, signed the contract in late February, and are now proceeding with implementation. 

Important details

  • Canvas will officially launch at CC at the beginning of fall semester 2014.
    • If you are already using Canvas, please continue to do so
  • PROWL will be available throughout the 2014-15 academic year.
  • PROWL courses, including archived courses, will be migrated into Canvas (more information about this coming soon).
  • Our contract includes 24x7x365 support.  You will be able to call, chat, or email your question directly to Canvas support anytime, anywhere.
  • We have created a new position to administer and support Canvas, and we are in the process of hiring.

Important contacts

  • Melissa Haffeman is leading the Canvas implementation project.
  • If you’d like to be an early adopter and switch to Canvas, we definitely encourage it.  Please contact Weston Taylor to get started.

Implementation teams

  • Operations team – students, faculty, and staff who will steer much of the implementation such as how the grade book should be configured, the look and feel of Canvas, decisions around auto-creation of classes and auto-enrollment of students, etc.
    • Mario Montano, Clara Lomas, Darrell Killian, Jim Parco, Phil Apodaca, Jan Schalk, Una Ng, Nicholas Lammers
  • Implementation group – ITS: staff with a particular focus on Banner, Instructional Design, Training, and Frontline support; they will act in an advisory role to the operations team and work on integrating Canvas with our system.
    • Sue Huntington, Weston Taylor, Janet Martino, LMS Administrator (new position we are currently filling)

We are very excited about Canvas, and we can’t wait to see all the creative and exciting things you do with it next academic year!  We will send information about training, course migration, and other details as the implementation date approaches.  Please feel free to contact any of the people mentioned above, and we will send pertinent updates as they become available.

Follow us on Twitter @ITSatCC (check out #CCITSCanvas), like us on Facebook, and/or just check our twitter feed on our home page.  We are using Twitter and Facebook to report known outages / issues and give updates about them, as well as give updates on our major projects.

Technical issues last week of block 6

As part of our new ITS: organization, we aim to be more transparent and communicative.  We want you to know what we’re working on, and we’ll tell you about problems that come up and how we solved them or plan on solving them.  To that end, we’d like to address the technical issues that came up last week (click the links to see more details):

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we improve our systems and build new ones – we have fixes in place and are actively working on long term solutions!

Follow us on Twitter @ITSatCC, like us on Facebook, and/or just check our twitter feed on our home page.  We are using Twitter and Facebook to report known outages / issues and give updates about them, as well as give updates on our major projects.

A New ITS: Organization for Our Future

We are excited to announce that the Information Technology Services Division has recently repositioned itself to be more nimble and responsive to you and your needs. 

As we work together to advance our strategic plan, it’s clear that we’ll need to be more than just Information Technology Services. We have optimized the division into the following core teams:

Enterprise Technology – Led by Vish Paradkar, this team creates, maintains, and upgrades reliable technical platforms and cares for our network infrastructure;

Innovative Technology – Led by Melissa Haffeman, this team pushes the boundaries of what faculty, staff, and students can accomplish with innovation and technology;

Frontline Services – Led by Joseph Sharman, this team helps the campus use and fix technology from audiovisual equipment to computers to software to mobile devices and beyond.

Business, Analytics, and Personnel – Let by Linda Petro and Dave Armstrong, this team will manage contracts, inventory, budget, and the human capital that makes ITS the best it can be.

Take a look at our new org chart for specifics.

Every individual on the ITS team is supported to maximize his or her potential and take on opportunities to lead various projects. All current ITS staff members have an important role in this new organization, and we will grow our team in the coming months to strategically meet our technology needs and set us up as innovative problem solvers.

We are energized by this change and hope you will check out our website at http://www.coloradocollege.edu/its and follow us on Twitter. You can expect to hear more great news and exciting developments about technology at CC soon, including details about our new name!

802.11ac wireless access points just went up in Worner Center.  These should be a big step up in power and reliability for wireless, particularly for newer devices which are capable of running on the new 802.11ac protocol.
Let us know if you notice any difference with wireless in Worner in particular!

802.11ac wireless access points just went up in Worner Center.  These should be a big step up in power and reliability for wireless, particularly for newer devices which are capable of running on the new 802.11ac protocol.

Let us know if you notice any difference with wireless in Worner in particular!

A new identity

Starting 1/30/2014, the Information Technology Services division at Colorado College forges ahead with a new identity.  We are no longer Information Technology Services, a name that only represents part of our mission.

We are now ITS:

As we head into the future and consider how best to support Colorado College’s strategic plan, it’s clear that we’ll need to be more than just Information Technology Services.  Our new identity is flexible and forward thinking.  

ITS:Technology, ITS:Innovation, ITS:Service, ITS:People, ITS:How can we help?