Fall 2023 Newsletter

Key Reminders and Best Practices

Here are some IS&T tips for returning to campus including additional resources for instructional technologies, classroom technologies, computer labs, software, and hardware to help your semester get off to a great start.

  1. Review the Fall 2023 Back to Campus Checklist
  2. Visit the newly redesigned IS&T website
  3. Activate your course site(s) in D2L
  4. Update your RamCast (Mersive Solstice) client
  5. Update your Zoom Client
  6. Learn how to manage your technology inside and out of the classroom
  7. Visit the Classroom Technology Directory to verify equipment in your classroom
  8. Learn how to connect your laptop to a classroom display with HDMI
  9. Catch up on all the new and improved tools and features of D2L, Zoom and Panopto
  10. Consider Bookings for scheduling office hours
  11. Login to ServiceNow and use the Virtual Agent to search for support articles

Operationalizing Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI-driven solutions, such as IS&T's ServiceNow Virtual Agent, offer a streamlined troubleshooting process that delivers users precise, real-time solutions for their technical concerns. This not only elevates customer satisfaction but also diminishes wait times, affording support personnel the bandwidth to cater to incidents and support requests effectively.

IS&T 2023 Creating Meaningful Interactions - 1,827 resolved by chatbot, 227 monthly average, 8.1% of IS&T support, 46% employees, 54% student

8.1% of interactions from January until August of 2023 were addressed by self-service through the ServiceNow Virtual Agent.

AI technology is constantly evolving, and its capabilities can reach possibilities that can be beneficial in cybersecurity. Currently, AI can be helpful in scoping through massive datasets and detecting threat patterns and new threats, providing guidance for future protection plans. Although AI is beneficial for defenders, it also has been benefiting attackers just as much. Hackers are exploiting the benefits of AI for their malicious activities and utilizing AI technology to analyze computer systems and identify vulnerabilities that can be exploited. Of particular concern is the use of AI-generated phishing email campaigns and leveraging AI tools to create malware that can evade detection by constantly changing its characteristics. IS&T also leverages AI against cybersecurity threats utilizing 24/7/365 alert monitoring tools to ensure our systems and servers stay protected, and security teams stay proactively informed of suspicious activity.

The increasing sophistication of AI-generated content presents new challenges and opportunities for teaching and learning. Generative AI tools can be incorporated into learning and assessment activities to enhance student learning experiences. A major concern is around the difficulty of distinguishing between human and AI authorship and its implications for academic integrity.

The Teaching and Learning Center has developed a Teaching with Generative AI Toolkit that provides faculty guidance on developing an approach to engaging with AI tools that is best suited to their teaching style and context. Faculty are encouraged to reach out to their instructional designer or email tlc@wcupa.edu to explore strategies for their specific teaching context.

Moonshot for Equity Initiative: Technology Access

Student Laptop Lending:

The equipment lending program enters its second year offering a variety of lending options for students as part of the Moonshot for Equity initiative at the university with the goal of providing equitable access to technology resources for students demonstrating need for the equipment. Visit the Student Computing Resources website to learn more about each of these programs, available computer labs, and educational discounts for students who may be looking to purchase equipment.

Adjunct Faculty Laptops:

The Provost's Office, Deans and IS&T have allocated resources to maintain a supply of Windows and MacOS laptops that will now be available for adjunct faculty. Submit a request using the Adjunct Faculty Loaner Laptop Form.

Software Access Via RamCloud NextGen:

The new RamCloud platform employs cutting-edge methods to ensure an excellent streaming experience for users of Windows, Mac, or Linux operating systems. It enables seamless streaming of applications directly to a student's web browser on any device. The platform seamlessly integrates with the university Learning Management System D2L, simplifies management duties, provides rapid and effective access to university storage services like OneDrive and GoogleDrive, minimizes delays, reduces overall ownership expenses, and boosts security measures. Watch the RamCloud NextGen Promotional Video or login at https://ramcloud.wcupa.edu.

Expanded Access to Adobe for Students:

PASSHE has expanded our Adobe Creative Cloud educational site license to include a limited number of student use licenses for personal devices. Through the new agreement, all WCU students will gain access to Adobe's web-based creative platform Adobe Express. Additionally, students enrolled in academic programs requiring Adobe products to complete coursework will have no-cost access to the full Adobe Creative Cloud Pro suite. IS&T will provide more details on the availability of Adobe Express, and Adobe Creative Cloud later in the fall term.

Tools for Digital Accessibility

ReadSpeaker is a text-to-speech tool in D2L that speaks the content written on a page. Comprised of WebReader and DocReader, ReadSpeaker helps users to process information in different ways.

Panopto Captioning: All videos added to Panopto have automatic, machine-generated closed captions. The machine-generated captions are intended to be a base for creating accurate captions with the built-in Panopto editor. They also enable users to search and interact with transcript while watching a video.

Zoom Live Captioning & Transcripts: You can turn on the Live Captioning feature to have your Zoom audio machine captioned. Zoom also enables you to assign a participant to be a Live Captioner. Attendees can turn on or off the option to view the subtitled captions. If the Zoom meeting is recorded, a transcript will automatically be created for the recording with the ability to download and distribute.

Visit the articles below to learn more about tools for digital accessibility.

Cybersecurity Awareness

Cybersecurity concerns in higher education have been evolving due to the increasing reliance on technology and digital platforms. As new threats emerge daily and shift the cybersecurity landscape, it's important for our community to stay vigilant and follow best practices to effectively identify and report suspicious emails or activity.

Phishing attacks, where cybercriminals use deceptive emails to trick individuals into revealing sensitive information or clicking on malicious links, are a significant concern. Educational institutions are often targeted due to the diverse and trusting user base.

Ransomware attacks have become increasingly sophisticated and can cripple an institution's operations by encrypting critical data and demanding ransom for its release. Paying the ransom doesn't guarantee data recovery and can encourage further attacks.

Cybersecurity Awareness Training campaigns will continue to be a cornerstone of the Cybersecurity Defense Plan for West Chester University. This year's mandatory training campaign for employees will launch in October as part of Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Students will be able to access Cybersecurity Training through Ram Plan using D2L. Additionally, users can expect a series of simulated phishing campaigns throughout the academic year to continue to raise awareness around emerging threats.

Mobile Apps to Stay Connected

Brightspace Pulse App (Students)
Brightspace Pulse is a free mobile app available for iOS and Android devices that can help you stay connected and on track with your courses in D2L Brightspace. It provides one easy view of D2L course calendars, readings, assignments, evaluations, grades, and announcements. Download on iOS or Android

LinkedIn Learning (Students, Faculty & Staff)
LinkedIn Learning is an industry leader in online training, with a digital video library of content covering a wide range of technical, creative, and soft-skill topics. Download on iOS or Android

Mersive Solstice aka RamCast (Students, Faculty & Staff)
Allows users to wirelessly connect to WCU presentation systems in classrooms, conference rooms, and other meeting spaces. RamCast Website Download on iOS

ServiceNow Now Mobile (Students, Faculty & Staff)
Search for support articles, submit a ticket or interact with the Virtual Agent questions. Download on iOS or Android

Contact Technical Support

West Chester University | Information Services & Technology
To learn more about Information Services & Technology, visit the IS&T website
or to speak with a LIVE Agent dial 610-436-3350
Reset your password | Manage your Spam Filter | IS&T Help Desk
Get Started with DUO | IS&T Org Chart

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