Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Do not feed the phish!

Criminals would love to get their hands on your student loan, your university password, bank account details or our resources. We block most of these phishing emails, but sometimes they slip through the net. Make sure you know how to avoid them.

How to avoid phishing scams

  • Many phishing emails will try to get you to reply with a username and password, or ask you to click on a link and submit personal information such as log in details or bank account details. Don't reply and don't click on any links to avoid falling victim. If in doubt, forward the email to, then mark the email as spam and delete it.

  • Look out for Gmail warnings! If you get an email that looks like it's from a email address but actually isn't, Google will flag it as being unauthenticated. If you see this, be wary and look out for signs of phishing. The message on the right below is how it will look, compared to a message from an authenticated sender on the left:

  • Be suspicious of any emails that claim to come from Student Finance England. These can be convincing, but real Student Finance emails will never ask you to confirm your log in or bank account details via email.

  • Look out for the Gmail warning that will be displayed if you receive a message which includes a link to a website known for phishing, malware or unwanted software. Don't click on any links when you see this warning, it's not worth the risk!

  • Hover over links before you click on them to check where they go. The real URL should reveal itself in the bottom left corner of the browser.

Monday, 19 September 2016

Software updates in teaching spaces

Over the summer there have have been some updates to the software that we offer in our teaching spaces. Here’s a brief rundown of the changes and how you can get the most out of the  services.

TurningPoint Software
For this academic year we are trialing a new version of TurningPoint, called TurningPoint Cloud (TPC). If you’re unfamiliar with the software you can learn more about TurningPoint and how to get it here.  

TPC is faster and more reliable than previous versions of TurningPoint, as well as now allowing students to vote via their mobile device. Meaning that you can use TPC just with clickers, just mobile devices or a combination both mobile devices and clickers.

Every teaching space computer will have TPC installed as standard, but if you don’t wish to trial this new version TurningPoint v5 will still be available via the software centre.  Whether you plan to use a teaching space computer or your own laptop you will need to request a TCP account to try the new version. You can request an account here

There are additional details on how to sign in and get started using TCP here.

Smartboard Software
Our smartboard software has been updated to the latest version (2016). The new version bring with it a few changes:
  • You can now use Smart Ink straight away, as well as Notebook software. So you no longer need to wait to start annotating your display.
  • The newest version of the software no longer features the floating toolbar

Microsoft Office 2016
Microsoft Office 2016 is now available on all computers in teaching spaces.

In the latest version of  Office 2016 PowerPoint, the presenter view  is much easier to enable, but there are several points to consider when choosing whether to use it in teaching:
  • It will not work on any teaching pool space in which it has a Smart Podium (an interactive screen, which is installed in most spaces).
  • If enabled, Smart Ink does not function properly
  • If enabled, TurningPoint toolbar does not function properly.

Once enabled, presenter view will stay enabled for every other managed desktop computer you use, until you disable it. So, we recommend that if you do decide to use this feature, you enable and disable it as and when required.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

The New MyEcho

MyEcho has gone through some changes over the summer. Here are some of the best new features of MyEcho.

MyEcho Everywhere
All lecture theatres across campus now have MyEcho hardware installed which can be used with your own laptop or using the lectern PC. If you would like to book MyEcho for your module, speak to your departmental timetabler who can book it through CMIS.

Get the most out of lectures with interactive slides
MyEcho now supports live lecture presentation. This allows you to use interactive slides to quiz your class, who can then submit their answers in real time.  It also gathers stats on how many notes your students are taking and how they did on quizzes. You can also enable your students to ask questions or flag when they are confused with certain content.
Dynamic new look for MyEcho web service  
The MyEcho web service, accessed through MUSE, has undergone a makeover. The Echoes page has been replaced with a Dashboard to give you a quick update from your classes and your Personal Capture area has now been replaced with a Library to store all of your videos and presentations. There have also been improvements to the playback system for students. Videos now play in HTML5 rather than Flash, meaning that content can be played on most browsers and devices and at a higher quality than before.

The new look is being rolled out now, so if you can't see it yet, don't worry - you'll be able to access it soon.
Never miss a second with our new monitor lights
MyEcho devices in lecture theatres now have monitor lights to let you know whether the lecture is being recorded:
  • Static red light indicates that the lecture is being recorded.
  • Flashing red light means the microphone is not being used.
  • Flashing yellow light means the recording is paused. You can pause and unpause the recording by tapping the top of the light.