When’s the Last Time You Cleaned Your Keyboard and Mouse? 🤔

“Yay, it’s flu season!”

—No one, ever

Sanitize your keyboard and evict that nasty grime and bacteria – stat!

https://www.totaljobs.com/insidejob/workplace-hygiene-6-office-germ-hotspots/
Ewwwww, right???

Using disinfectant wipes to clean your keyboard and mouse — along with other measures like keeping your distance from sick people and thoroughly washing your hands before eating and after using the toilet — can help to prevent the spread of colds and flu.

Protect yourself and do your part to help prevent the spread of any viruses!

Keep an eye out for packs of disinfectant wipes in classrooms. Over Feb Break, we took the liberty of wiping down keyboards and mice and are making wipes available so you can continue to sanitize these devices before you use them.

6 engagement strategies for creating temperament-inclusive classrooms

How to Care for Extroverts, from The Introvert’s Dilemma blogIn every classroom, students offer a mix of temperaments: extroverts, introverts, and ambiverts. Some crave sensory stimulation and are quick to speak up, while others are highly sensitive to noise or visual distractions and prefer conversing one-on-one in a quiet, calm environment. 

In “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking”, New York Times bestseller author Susan Cain outlines a value system of the “extrovert ideal,” in which individuals that work well in teams, socialize in groups, and prefer action to contemplation are the ideal student.

Embracing the extrovert ideal is a grave mistake, says Cain. Many of the world’s best ideas are fostered by introverts, who fuel their learning with observation and engaging in deliberate practice alone. 

Poll Everywhere recently suggested 6 classroom strategies to reach introverted students:

  • Institute “Think Time”
  • Write Down Responses First
  • Pairs, Small Groups, Singles
  • Offer Different Paths to Complete an Assignment
  • Be Available
  • Perform Anonymous Polling

How to Care for Introverts, from The Introvert’s Dilemma blogIt’s definitely worth a read!

Need a Poll Everywhere account?

No problem! Contact the ITS Information Desk at help@wlu.edu, call 540-458-4357 (HELP), or stop by the Main Level of Leyburn Library!

Why You Should Always Keep Your Browser Up To Date!

firefox, chrome, opera, safari, IE logos -- for the best experience, keep your browser up to date!

*** We recommend having both Firefox AND Chrome! ***

I know, I know, ensuring that you have the latest version of a web browser is about as exciting as watching paint dry and as important of a task as ironing underwear, BUT updates will make a considerable impact upon your browser experience. How?

Most importantly, outdated versions of web browsers make you vulnerable to serious security flaws that can allow malicious websites to potentially read your files, steal passwords, and infect your computer with viruses, trojans, spyware, adware, or other sorts of malware.  Many browser updates are issued to specifically to combat these critical problems.

Not updating your browser regularly can also lead to technical difficulties or odd behavior with web-based tools like Canvas, Digication, and more.

Every newer generation of a browser improves the speed at which you can explore and use the Internet: web sites can load faster, making the tasks you carry out on those web sites quicker, too.

Another reason to keep your browser up-to-date is to have the best browsing experience otherwise. Web sites built using new technology for their display and features will look as they should and work better.

So, please, please, please, take the time to update your web browsers. If you need assistance, you can always call the ITS Information Desk at 540.458.4357 (HELP), email help@wlu.edu, or stop by Leyburn Library!

NOTE: While making your browser more secure helps reduce the risk that a hacker will use it to compromise your computer, it is still important to employ safe computing practices! 

HELP! What the heck does that red eye in Gradebook mean???

animated eye of Sauron from Lord of the Rings
If this is the red eye you see in Gradebook, please contact Public Safety at 540-458-8999 instead of the ITS Information Desk.

The eye icon will display in your Gradebook if you have applied a manual posting policy in a course — i.e. at some point, you clicked on the blue gear icon in the upper right hand side of Gradebook and chose to have grades hidden by default vs. automatically posting grades:

screenshot of Grade Posting Policy tab in Canvas Gradebook

— or applied a manual posting policy in an individual assignment.

red eye icon in Canvas GradebookThe red shaded eye icon indicates that there are grades within the assignment that are currently hidden and must be posted before they can be viewed by students.

transparent eye with slash icon in Canvas GradebookThe unshaded eye icon indicates that a manual posting policy is currently in place and future grades are hidden from student view or that a manual posting policy was previously used to hide grades in an assignment. If you have selected a manual posting policy for a course, all assignments that do not have hidden grades will display the unshaded eye icon.

When grades are hidden from student view, the Total column also displays the unshaded eye icon to indicate that the total grade in the Gradebook differs from the total grade viewed by the student.

Have questions about Canvas? Contact the ITS Information Desk at 540.458.4357 (HELP), email help@wlu.edu, or stop by Leyburn Library!

 

How to create equitable and welcoming educational spaces for the diverse learners in our classrooms

This comprehensive guide by Viji Sathy and Kelly A. Hogan⁠—yes, the same pair who spoke at the 2019 Fall Academy on Inclusivity Day!⁠—offers a road map to make sure your classroom interactions and course design reach all students, not just some of them.

Teaching inclusively means embracing student diversity in all forms — race, ethnicity, gender, disability, socioeconomic background, ideology, even personality traits like introversion — as an asset. It means designing and teaching courses in ways that foster talent in all students, but especially those who come from groups traditionally underrepresented in higher education.

Traditional teaching methods do not serve all students well. This guide is for any faculty member who believes, as we do, that education can be an equalizer. We share tips here that any instructor can use to minimize inequities and help more students succeed. We’re not suggesting a complete redesign of your courses, but more of an overlay to your current teaching practices. 

Read more at https://www.chronicle.com/interactives/20190719_inclusive_teaching.

How do I create a YuJa recording on a PC?

Here’s how! Watch this short video tutorial (created in Camtasia) by Director of Academic Technologies, Julie Knudson:

Still need help? Contact the ITS Information Desk at 540.458.4357 (HELP), email help@wlu.edu, or stop by the ITS Information Desk on the main level of Leyburn Library.

P.S. Those big ol’ eyes belong to sweet little Molly, Julie’s fur baby, the cutest little cocker spaniel!

The NY Times nailed it: “Why You Need a Password Manager. Yes, You.”

graphic of computer monitor with key in front of it
Everyone should use a password manager. It’s the most important thing you can do — alongside two-factor authentication — to keep your data safe.

You probably know that it’s not a good idea to use “password” as a password, or your pet’s name, or your birthday. But the worst thing you can do with your passwords — and something that more than 50 percent of people are doing, according to a recent Virginia Tech study — is to reuse the same ones across multiple sites. If even one of those accounts is compromised in a data breach, it doesn’t matter how strong your password is — hackers can easily use it to get into your other accounts.

But even though I should know better, up until a few months ago I was still reusing the same dozen or so passwords across all of my everything (though at least I had turned on two-factor authentication where I could). It’s just too difficult to come up with (and remember) unique, strong passwords for dozens of sites. That’s why, after much cajoling from co-workers, I started using a password manager — and it’s why you should be using one, too. Aside from using two-factor authentication and keeping your operating system and Web browser up-to-date, it’s the most important thing you can do to protect yourself online.

Hear, hear! Read more at https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/27/smarter-living/wirecutter/why-you-need-a-password-manager-yes-you.html or go download LastPass Free straight away!

10 active learning strategies that connect teachers with students

Poll Everywhere is a classroom response system that engages students on devices they already have: their phones. Educators create and embed live, interactive questions into their lectures, and students respond in real-time from the privacy of their phones. The results are immediate.

Poll Everywhere’s Maxwell McGee recently blogged about a few of the wonderful strategies teachers and professors alike have produced using interactive questioning. Each example actively engages students in the learning process, and includes a link for further exploration …

Use multiple-choice questions to kickstart classroom debates

Christopher Robertson helps his first-year law students at the University of Arizona understand the nuances of law with a technique called cascading persuasion. If too many students answer the question incorrectly, Robertson will not reveal the correct answer. Instead, he has each student turn to their neighbor and debate whose choice was correct. When the two reach a consensus, they find another pair of students and plead their case.

“Law students can easily go an entire semester passively attending class [only to] discover on the final exam that they have not grasped the concepts covered in class,” said Robertson. “I find that polling in class encourages active student participation and uncovers misunderstanding of how to apply the law.”

Eventually the entire class will agree on which answer is correct. Most of the time their consensus is correct, but on the rare occasion it’s not, Robertson says it’s an easy fix.

Law school example poll

Read more at https://blog.polleverywhere.com/active-learning-strategies/.

Want to try out Poll Everywhere? Great! Email Brandon Bucy or Helen MacDermott and we’ll get you set up!

The potential perils of screen sharing at work!

Check out this unintentionally hilarious and totally helpful piece in the NY Times , “How to Not Ruin Your Life (or Just Die of Embarrassment) With a Screen Share“:

Whether it’s happened to you or in front of you, many of us are familiar with the screen-share disaster: the accidental exposure of something private (like, say, a friend’s “I’m pooping at work” text) while projecting your screen before a group of colleagues.

The only surefire way to avoid this is to do as the lawyers recommend and keep your personal things on your personal devices and your work things on you work computer. Sonia Farber, a partner and founder of Kluk Farber Law, acknowledges that may not be feasible for everyone. “But, to the extent that you can keep some separation of church and state, you should make every effort to do that,” she said.

Here’s a checklist of things to do before your next meeting.

Read more at https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/21/style/screen-share-privacy-tips.html!

Making Passwords Simple!

Overview

computer screen with shield and key inside

You are often told your passwords are key to protecting your accounts (which is true!), but rarely are you given a simple way to securely create and manage all your passwords. Below we cover three simple steps to simplify your passwords, lock down your accounts, and protect your future.

Passphrases

The days of crazy, complex passwords are over. Those passwords are hard to remember, difficult to type, and with today’s super-fast computers can be easy for a cyber attacker to crack. The key to passwords is to make them long; the more characters you have the better. These are called passphrases: a type of strong password that uses a short sentence or random words. Here are two examples:

  • Time for strong coffee!
  • lost-snail-crawl-beach

Both of these are strong, with over twenty characters, easy to remember, and simple to type but difficult to crack. You will run into websites or situations requiring you to add symbols, numbers, or uppercase letters to your password, which is fine. Remember though, it’s length that is most important.

Password Managers

You need a unique password for every account. If you reuse the same password for multiple accounts, you are putting yourself in great danger. All a cyber attacker needs to do is hack a website you use, steal all the passwords including yours, then use your password to log in to all your other accounts as you. It happens far more often than you realize. Don’t believe it? Check out the website www.haveibeenpwned.com to see what sites you use that have been hacked and your passwords potentially compromised. So what should you do? Use a password manager.

These are special computer programs that securely store all your passwords in an encrypted vault. You only need to remember one password: the one for your password manager. The password manager then automatically retrieves your passwords whenever you need them and logs you in to websites for you. They also have other features such as storing your answers to secret questions, warning you when you reuse passwords, a password generator that ensures you use strong passwords, and many other features. Most password managers also securely sync across almost any computer or device, so regardless of what system you are using you have easy, secure access to all your passwords.

Finally, be sure to write down the password to your password manager and store that in a secure location at home. Some password managers even let you print out a password manager recovery kit. That way, if you forget the password to your password manager you have a backup. Or, if you get sick or find yourself in an emergency, your spouse or trusted family member can retrieve the information on your behalf.

Two-Step Verification

Two-step verification (often called two-factor authentication or multi-factor authentication) adds an additional layer of security. It requires you to have two things when you log in to your accounts: your password and a numerical code which is generated by your smartphone or sent to your phone. This process ensures that even if a cyber attacker gets your password, they still can’t get into your accounts. Two-step verification is simple to set up and you usually only need to use it once when you log in from a new computer or device. Enable this whenever possible, especially for your most important accounts such as your bank or retirement accounts, or access to your email. If you are using a password manager, we highly recommend you protect it with a strong passphrase AND two-step verification.

It may sound silly, but these three simple steps go a long way in protecting your job, your reputation, and your financial future.

Subscribe to OUCH! and receive the latest security tips in your email every month.


Resources

Have I Been Pwned:  https://haveibeenpwned.com/
Two-factor Authentication Site:  https://twofactorauth.org/
Long Live the Passphrase:  http://www.sans.org/u/OKJ
Time for Password Expiration to Die:  http://www.sans.org/u/OKO
NIST SP800-63B Digital Identity Guidelines:  https://pages.nist.gov/800-63-3/sp800-63b.html

OUCH! is published by SANS Security Awareness and is distributed under the Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 license. You are free to share or distribute this newsletter as long as you do not sell or modify it. Editorial Board: Walt Scrivens, Phil Hoffman, Alan Waggoner, Cheryl Conley