Friday, 28 October 2011

Don't Forget Our Other Computer Rooms

When things are busy in the Information Commons don't forget that there are many alternative computer rooms across campus. CiCS has a rolling room refurbishment programme to ensure all our rooms provide excellent learning spaces for students. In addition these rooms are generally quieter than the IC and PC availability is virtually guaranteed.

You can find the location of these computer Rooms, the opening times and their current computer availability via the web address below.

Student Computer Rooms

Locations of computer rooms and free PCs can also be found using the Locations feature of CampusM. From the Choose Locations button, select University Campus and then Student Computing Rooms.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Could your Online Information Affect your Future Career Prospects?

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) reports that "Four out of ten students online (42%) are concerned that personal information available about them online might affect their future employment prospects"

To address this the ICO is launching its 2011 Student Brand Ambassador Campaign. Students have been recruited to promote the ICO’s work on campus. Tasks involve spreading the word using social media, generating local media coverage and doing promotional work.

For more information see:

Friday, 21 October 2011

New iPad Version of University Mobile App

The University has provided a free mobile app to students for a couple of years now. Called CampusM, it delivered personalised information to students including timetables and reading lists, features campus maps and a friend locator.

The app was initially develop for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Versions were then developed for BlackBerry and Android devices and a generic web 'lite' version was developed for all other devices.

Now a version of the full app has been developed for specifically for the iPad and iPad 2.

To download campusM onto any compatible device use your smartphone or iPad to visit the link below and then tap the appropriate link for your device.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Student Mobile Device Survey

With little information and supporting evidence on student ownership and usage of mobile devices at the University of Sheffield, making decisions on our services and support for mobile devices has been based, to a large extent, on assumptions. A survey was commissioned in order to determine factual information on mobile devices to enable future decisions to be more evidence based.

The results act not only as a benchmark for us to track future trends within mobile ownership and usage but they also highlight a number of areas where we can implement changes to improve the services and support we currently offer.

The results of the survey can now be downloaded from the CiCS website using the link below:

Student Mobile Device Survey 2011

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Windows 7 Pilot for Student Computers in IC

The student computing service makes software available via a secure installation of Windows XP. However, CiCS is planning to move the student computing service over to a Windows 7 based service in time for the next academic year. To prepare for this we are piloting a cut-down student computing service based on Windows 7.

Currently there are six computers running the Windows 7 on Level 1, these are clearly signposted. The software is more modern and the start up times are greatly reduced, but you may need to synchronise your password before you can log into this service.

Synchronise your passwords

Students should feel free to use these six computers and should report any problems or issues to staff on the Information Desk nearby.

In a few weeks all forty laptops available to loan to students will also be running the Windows 7 Service.

Web pages are currently being developed to support the new service. The pages will list the software available and will be updated each time the service is changed or expanded.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Assistive Software Open Day Weds 12th October

The University Library, the Disability & Dyslexia Support Service and CiCS will be hosting an assistive software launch on Wednesday 12th October 2011 , between 1.00 pm and 3.00 pm in the IC, Collaboratory 1.
All staff and students are invited. Three of the software packages will be demonstrated during the afternoon:
  • textHELP Read & Write - available on the managed desktop. This software has many useful literacy functions including customisable dictionary, thesaurus and text to speech.
  • Inspiration - available on the managed desktop. Inspiration is mind mapping software and is particularly helpful in visually presenting information to aid the structuring of documents.
  • Dolphin EasyConverter - software available on specific PCs in the IC that is used to produce alternative formats.
Whilst the software is predominantly used by disabled students, it can also assist students who have English as an additional language and can be used by staff and students generally. There is no need to book beforehand. All those attending can enter a free prize draw for an MP3 player. For more information see:
Accessing CiCS Services

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Switching Off the WAP Service

Many years ago CiCS introduced a cutting edge technology which made some Internet services availabe on compatible mobile phones.

The WAP service (wireless application protocol) would allow to find staff contact details and to locate free PCs on their mobile phones. It was the stuff of the future!

Fittingly, the first phone widely available phone equipped with this capability was the Nokia 7110 inspierd by the then-iconic phone from the original Matrix movie.

However, the world moves on, technologies evolve and the WAP service never really took off as it might have done. Therefore on Wednesday 5th October the University's WAP service will be formally decommissioned and switch off.

It will be joined by the Oracle Calendar service and University staff email service due to be switched off at the end of the month, and further down the line the myChat service will be decommissioned too.