News from IT that isn't just for geeks

The Fall 2013 IT Survival Guide

Posted on: August 8th, 2013 by

Welcome! The Office of Information Technology (IT) has been busy preparing  for new and returning faculty and students. Below are some of the important changes we made during the summer along with links to common websites and informative TECHNews articles.

UM Google

All students are given UM Gmail accounts which include access to Gmail, Google Drive, Google Sites and Google Calendar.   Over the summer, Google changed their storage model so our Gmail users will receive 30 GB of combined storage space! Be sure to read our Gmail FAQ for information on all the features your Gmail account provides.  While employees continue to use UM Mail (Exchange) for official correspondence, they can also request a separate UM Gmail account for student collaboration, teaching a class and managing a Google group to name a few.

Enterprise Vault (faculty and staff)

Are you tired of running out of email storage space in UM Mail? We have a solution! Beginning in September 2012, employees could request 5 GB of disk space dedicated to email storage in UM Mail. We call this service the enterprise vaultJust let us know when you are ready to enable the vault.

UM Box

UM Box is one of the latest additions to IT services. By default, UM Box offers 10 GB of cloud storage for students, faculty and staff. Using your Box account with Box Sync, documents and files on your computer can be automatically backed up to Box as you make changes.  Read more about UM Box and login to start using cloud storage today!

Attendance Tracking

For the spring semester, IT deployed approximately fifteen (15) classrooms with attendance tracking scanners in large classrooms across the Oxford campus.  Over the summer, we’ve added scanners to another twenty three (23) classrooms with additional scanners in the Mathematics Lab at the Jackson Avenue Center.

Instructors may sign up for Automated Attendance Tracking seminars in August.  Available training dates are 8/21, 8/22 and 8/29.  Students, be sure to check with your instructor to see if the scanners will be used in your class.

Distance Learning

Outreach IT working with IT Classroom Technology completed the necessary distance learning enhancements to two classrooms (A05 and B01) at the Jackson Avenue Center.   Instructor training on the new technology has begun and we are excited about the new classrooms.

Blackboard Learn

Blackboard Learn’s web interface was redesigned and now provides instructors with the ability to use custom themes. Read more about the new look but don’t forget about Blackboard Mobile.

WebID Log On (Weir Hall Computer Lab)

The Windows machines in the Weir Hall Student Computer Lab now require WebID sign on.  Once logged in, students will still see the full range of applications previously available.  The WebID sign on enhancement gives IT the ability to automatically identify and email students that accidentally leave their USB Flash drives in a PC when visiting the lab.

Academic Catalog

IT Development released a new design of the Fall 2013-2014 Academic Catalog.  This new design is mobile friendly and provides significant improvements to the navigation functionality.  Check it out!

Campus Network Enhancements

All of the enhancements mentioned above put additional demands on our campus network.   Our IT Network and Systems staff have been diligently working on a major network upgrade this summer and work behind the scenes continues.  While these enhancements won’t be obvious to the average user, we recognize the importance of having a central network infrastructure to support the growing demands of staying connected.

Wireless Service Expansion

Besides the ongoing infrastructure enhancments, below are some of the key wireless service enhancements. When connecting to UM Wireless, users will see three wireless choices: OleMiss, OleMiss_v2, and Eduroam.

  • OleMiss was upgraded and still requires web authentication using a valid UM WebID.
  • OleMiss_v2 provides advanced services including an automatic logon to UM Wireless without having to authenticate daily and enhanced security by encrypting the local wireless traffic. WebID authentication will only be required every 90 days.  Although the initial setup may require some technical assistance, we expect most individuals with current wireless technology will be able to take advantage of this new offering.
  • Eduroam is a service that allows wireless authentication with your existing wireless credentials at other participating universities worldwide. For example, if a faculty member at the University of Kansas visits the University of Mississippi Tupelo campus, the faculty member may connect to UM wireless services with his/her existing University of Kansas credentials because both universities are members of eduroam. Before visiting another institution, check out the eduroam map to see if this service is available. Once confirmed, contact the IT Helpdesk for instructions on how to take advantage of the eduroam service.

Links and TECHNews Articles

The links and articles below point to information and sites used every day on campus.

  • Get Started – IT has links to commonly used websites for employees, parents and students.
  • myOleMiss – Grades, registration and other services.
  • UM Mail – Do you need to check your employee email from a web browser?  UM Mail is the answer.
  • UM Mobile – Check your grades and registration information, all from your smartphone.
  • Blackboard – Our learning management system used by our instructors to interact with students.  Don’t forget about Blackboard Mobile for your smartphone.
  • Course Notes Online – Instructors and students should be aware of the risks of using third party course notes services.

Final Comments

If you have additional questions, please contact the IT Helpdesk at 662-915-5222 or   You can visit our website for more information or contact us Monday through Friday, 8 AM CDT – 5 PM CDT.   Go Rebels!