We hope your semester is off to a great start! UIC IT is here to support you with your technology needs and keep you updated on the latest tech news and service announcements. This month's Tech Talk features Blackboard tips, technology tool updates, and an important security alert.
As a reminder to students, Blackboard performs optimally on Safari, Chrome and Firefox. Internet Explorer and Edge should be avoided.
With the increased global adoption of online teaching, and classes resuming around the world, Blackboard and Blackboard Collaborate have been experiencing service disruptions and outages. We kindly ask students to be patient when these issues occur. Be assured that Blackboard and UIC IT work diligently to resolve these issues as quickly as possible when they occur.
To stay updated on service outages, visit go.uic.edu/service-notices.
Respondus Functionality on Chromebooks
Chromebook operating systems currently do not support Respondus LockDown Browser or Respondus Monitor. As a result, students with Chromebooks are not able to take assessments that require the use of Respondus Lockdown Browser or Monitor in Blackboard.
Respondus is actively working to add compatibility and has stated a resolution should be available in the coming weeks. To learn more about Respondus tools, please visit go.uic.edu/respondus-for-students.
If you are new to online learning, you may want to familiarize yourself with “netiquette” - how to behave in online environments. Below are some quick netiquette tips:
- Join the session early to ensure you can access the meeting and resolve any technical issues.
- Actively participate and introduce yourself when speaking in class.
- Turn your camera on when speaking so instructors and classmates can see your face.
- Mute yourself when not speaking to avoid disrupting class with background noise in your environment.
- Try to select a quiet space where you can concentrate and diminish disruptions.
- Be professional and respect others.
Learn more about Netiquette and best practices for learning online at accc.uic.edu/news-stories/netiquette.
Google Meet Updates
Beginning this October 1, Google Meet for UIC G Suite will revert back to the standard G Suite for Education Meet capabilities. Earlier this year, Google granted access to Google Meet’s premium features that allowed up to 250 participants in meetings until September 30, 2020. As of October 1, the number of participants that can join a Google Meet will be reduced to 100.
If you have large meetings (over 100 participants) scheduled on Google Meet after October 1, we suggest moving those meetings to an alternate platform.
As a reminder, computer labs are closed until further notice. If you need access to specialized software, please visit go.uic.edu/technology-tools-students to learn how to access software through the Virtual Computer Lab.
Laptop & Hotspot Loaner Program
UIC-IT will close the program that supports students' technology needs on Friday, September 18, 2020. Over 1,000 students have benefited from the program since March 2020. If any students are still struggling with access to reliable internet or a computer, please submit a request before the program closes at go.uic.edu/technology-tools-students. The program will reopen in the Spring 2021 semester.
Wepa, UIC’s print solution, is available to students for printing needs this fall with over 40 functional print stations located at the Daley Library and Library of Health Sciences.
Students will need to make a reservation to use Wepa print stations located at university libraries. To make an appointment for printing, visit library.uic.edu/help/article/10121/visiting, click on Register for a Seat, select the desired library, and “Printers” will be an option in the Category drop-down menu.
Learn more about Wepa, accessible stations, and touch-free printing at accc.uic.edu/wepa-touch-free.
The university has made additional on-campus spaces available for students to use for studying and participating in synchronous remote classes. See provost.uic.edu/study-spaces for a listing of these spaces.
Visiting the UIC Library
The UIC Library is open for the fall semester on a limited basis and has implemented a system that incorporates social distancing and safety practices in response to COVID-19. This system allows students to reserve a seat in the Chicago campus libraries while adhering to university safety measures. To learn how it works and to reserve a seat, please visit library.uic.edu/help/article/10121/visiting.
UIC IT is committed to providing students with the technology and tools needed to ensure a safe and secure learning environment. Whether on-campus or online, we are here for your technology solution and service needs. Visit the Fall 2020 Semester page for student tech resources and IT service and operations status at accc.uic.edu/contingency/.
The UIC Information Security and Privacy Office has received numerous reports of email and telephone scams targeting UIC students, faculty and staff. Students should be aware of the scams, take precautionary measures to protect themselves and understand how to prevent being a victim to cyber predators.
Cybercriminals are sending emails posing as university personnel. These emails attempt to appear legitimate or related to the university. Criminals try to trick you by using a person's name and UIC in the email address (i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org). The ultimate intent of the criminal is to get you to purchase a gift card with the promise of being reimbursed, or providing them with sensitive information. If you receive such a message, do not respond.
- If you are in doubt, contact the sender by another mechanism, including sending a separate email directly to their university email.
- University emails will always be the individual’s NetID and end in @uic.edu (i.e. UIC email = NetID@uic.edu).
Emails for job opportunities with promises of easy money or a large amount of money for little work. Students either receive a check in the mail or are sent an “electronic check” to print out and are told to make a deposit. They are then asked to either purchase gift cards or Bitcoin and instructed to send the funds to the fraudulent “employer” or elsewhere. Students later find that the deposited check is fraudulent resulting in a loss of the money sent to the attacker and most likely a bank fee for the bounced check.
- Scammers will often ask for a favor, to purchase gift cards, give them money or provide financial information, such as a bank account number, on “applications.” This should be a red flag.
- Look closely at the email. Scam emails are often written poorly, contain typos, grammatical errors, or use casual language.
- Always be cautious about “job opportunities” with promises of big payouts and employers that ask for payments via gift cards.
- As a reminder, if it’s too good to be true, it probably is!
This scam is targeting international students. The student receives a telephone call from an attacker impersonating a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agent and/or UIC Police saying the student is in violation of registering as an alien and must pay fees or be arrested by UIC Police. Criminals use “spoofing” to mimic authentic telephone numbers to get students to answer.
- Government officials and UIC Police do not collect fines or fees via Zelle, Venmo, gift cards, etc.
- If you receive one of these calls, hang up, block the number and call UIC Police to report it at 312-996-2830.
If you received emails or calls of this type and purchased gift cards or Bitcoin, please contact UIC Police for assistance. For information on how to contact the UIC Police, please visit police.uic.edu.
Learn more about these scams: accc.uic.edu/news-stories/cyber-attacks/
UIC has invested in LinkedIn Learning, a great online learning tool that is available to students with a valid UIC NetID and Password. Previously known as Lynda.com, LinkedIn Learning has over 16,000 classes on technology and applications, creative programs and software, as well as business topics, including soft skills and professional development.
Microsoft Word Tips & Tricks
This 56-minute course shines a spotlight on some of Word’s lesser-known features, sharing useful tips that can help you improve your productivity and efficiency in Microsoft Word.
Writing with Impact
Learn how to write anything with maximum impact. Get tips for making your writing concise, clear and right for its specific purpose in this 1-hour course.
In this 53-minute course, learn how to identify the kind of self-motivator you are, so that you can align goal achievement with your area of motivation. Discover how to apply science-backed research on incentives and rewards to sustain your motivation. go.uic.edu/mastering-self-motivation
LinkedIn Learning is hosting free online webinars specifically for students. These webinars will cover the following:
- How to build your online brand through LinkedIn
- What is LinkedIn Learning and how can you use it to develop or learn new skills and showcase them on your profile
- How you can take advantage of our alumni tool to create a strong network and help you with your job search
Option 1: Tuesday, September 15th @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am CT
Option 2: Thursday, October 8th @ 2:30 pm - 3:30pm CT