SYSTEM ALERT: Monthly Server Maintenance Outage – Friday April 18th 2AM – 7AM EST


To: Smith Community
From: Office of Smith IT

This is a notice to advise you of the upcoming Server Maintenance Outage that will occur at 2am EST Friday, April 18th and last until 7am Friday, April 18th. During this outage many of the Smith servers will be getting patched with the latest Security and Critical Updates that Microsoft and various vendors have released. All Smith School services will be affected due to reboots that are required when the patches are installed. The Active Directory File Server, all Lotus servers and Smith Apps/Citrix servers will also be restarted. Email delivery inbound and outbound will be queued and messages delivered once the servers are placed back into production.

The following services will be effected during the outage:
Smith Website
Class Servers BMGT402 BUDT704
MBA Networth
VMware Infrastructure
Application Databases that run from Lotus Notes
Active Directory File Server (K and O Drive)
Print Server

Please direct any questions to the Office of Smith IT Help Desk at or 301-405-2269.

We apologize for any inconvenience that the outage may cause.

Office of Smith IT

Phishing attacks increase – DON’T CLICK!


Today, there has been an increase in the number of phishing email attacks sent to campus e-mail accounts. Those are the messages that try to convince you to click on a link and enter your ID and password into a fake university website.

Here is a review of our standard warning about phishing attempts:

The Division of Information Technology has become aware of mailings some portion of the University of Maryland population has received, ostensibly from system support staff, with subjects such as “UMD Mail Alert Notice”. These emails ask for you to click on a link and provide your Directory ID and password. DO NOT do this!

These spam emails are an attempt (called “phishing”) by someone to gain access to personal information which they should not have. The “From:” address is forged (or “spoofed”), and may or may not be an actual email address, but is not where the email actually originated. Targeted versions of phishing have been termed “spear phishing”.
Users who have recently replied to such emails should change their university password immediately.

For more information about phishing attempts, see this article:

Research – Hand writing notes better than typing them


This is interesting research on how more is retained when scribbling notes by hand rather than typing them:

I remember writing being listed as one of the ways people learn from an old education class way back in the dark ages, but we didn’t have laptops to take notes on when I took that education class.   Now I won’t feel so out of date when I take a pad and pencil to a meeting for notes!

Thinking of blending or flipping your class?


Be a student in an online course.  MOOC on designing a blended course begins April 21:  

A Faculty Focus Article on “Looking for Flippable Moments”

Food for thought – good quick read:

What’s Old is New: Blending F2F with Canvas

Office for mobile devices is released!

 Microsoft has officially released Microsoft Office for iOS and Android.
 There are two versions, depending on your device. If it’s not an iPad, you can get Office Mobile. If it is an iPad, you can get Office for iPad.  Both are versions free* and available from the App Store/Google Play.  Either version has Microsoft WordExceland PowerPoint available up for grabs. The Office Mobile has all apps together in one app download, while with Office for iPad, all three will need to be downloaded separately.
Either version needs at least iOS 7 (if you’re stuck on iOS6, get upgrading!) and at least Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) to work.
*Caveat: it’s absolutely free if you are using an iPhone or Android (read: no Office 365 subscription needed), however for the iPad version, the app is still free but you need an Office 365 subscription in order to edit documents. Basically the app is read-only – but we can already do that out of iOS/Android anyways – until you get a subscription. (And, no, Office 2013 from Terpware doesn’t include an Office 365 subscription.)
If you’re a visual person like myself, this may make it easier:
Thanks Chris Hsia for this report!

IMPORTANT! – XP Support ending

To: Smith Community
From: Office of Smith IT
This is a notice to advise you that the Operating System Windows XP will no longer be supported in any way. Below is the statement sent out by Microsoft advising End of Support. If you have a system currently that is running XP the Service Desk will be upgrading it to Windows 7 Enterprise. To verify what operating system you have on your system you can “Right” click “Computer“, when the menu appears click “Properties” the version of the OS will be listed in the properties window.

If you find that you do have Windows XP, send an email to and a ticket will be created so that we may schedule your upgrade to Windows 7 Enterprise.

From Microsoft:
Windows XP End of Support

After April 8, 2014, technical assistance for Windows XP will no longer be available, including automatic updates that help protect your PC. Microsoft will also stop providing Microsoft Security Essentials  (Virus Protection) for download on Windows XP on this date. (If you already have Microsoft Security Essentials installed, you will continue to receive antimalware signature updates for a limited time, but this does not mean that your PC will be secure because Microsoft will no longer be providing security updates to help protect your PC.)


If you continue to use Windows XP after support ends, your computer will still work but it might become more vulnerable to security risks and viruses. Also, as more software and hardware manufacturers continue to optimize for more recent versions of Windows, you can expect to encounter greater numbers of apps and devices that do not work with Windows XP.

Please direct any questions to the Office of Smith IT Help Desk at or 301-405-2269.

Canvas update – Learning Mastery Gradebook


The Learning Mastery Gradebook helps instructors and admins assess the outcomes that are being used in Canvas courses. Located as part of the regular Gradebook, the Learning Mastery Gradebook provides an overview of student learning based on standards rather than grades via a color-coded graph chart and score levels.

The Learning Mastery Gradebook is a course-level option and can be enabled by instructors on a course-to-course basis. If an instructor doesn’t use Learning Outcomes in the course, this feature will not have any impact on the Gradebook interface.

More details about the Learning Mastery Gradebook –

Using Canvas Learning Outcomes:

New PCs in classrooms


The computer upgrades in VMH classrooms are now complete.  They should improve performance and speed of many applications that were not functioning well enough.  You will log in the same way.   We’ve built the software image based on current requests, but if we missed anything, please let us know right away by emailing

Baltimore classrooms will be upgraded with the same equipment in the very near future as well.

Faculty panel discussion on flipping and blending


Flip or blend classroom experiences shared - February 27, noon-1:30 McKeldin Library, 6137

Co-sponsored by the Academy for Excellence in Teaching and Learning and the Center for Teaching Excellence

Campus faculty discuss what “flipping and blending” is all about, how some are using it in their classrooms, and who can help you “flip or blend” your classes.

New teaching and learning tools are constantly being developed and tested. The latest trend is flipped or blended classrooms. To flip or blend – the acrobatics of teaching with technology is a beginning of a conversation with campus faculty who have flipped and/or blended their courses, and who will share their experience and insights into the dos and don’ts of flipping and blending.

  • Presenters: Dr. Marcio Oliveira, School of Public Health
  • Dr. Mel Scullen, School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
  • Dr. Sarah Balcom, Department of Animal and Avian Sciences
  • Cinthya Ippoliti, Libraries

Where: 6137 McKeldin Library

When: Thursday, February 27th

Time: 12-1:30

Please R.S.V.P. at

Co-sponsored by the Academy for Excellence in Teaching and Learning and the Center for Teaching Excellence

Tips for success in online meetings or classes


Great tips for presenting at digital meetings, videoconferences and online classes:

Tech Manager Primer: Room Etiquette.