The Michigan Engineering information technology environment is continually evolving. In order to keep the College community informed about what’s happening around the network, CAEN regularly posts news articles on this site. Important notices about current and upcoming service outages can also be found on the CAEN Service Status page.
This term, CAEN is piloting new electronic displays outside select computer labs and College of Engineering classrooms. The displays show room availability at a glance, and allow searching for rooms based on course or event name. For CAEN computer labs, the displays show the current workstation availability. All displays will indicate when a recording is in progress using the lecture capture service.
In addition to information about the rooms, the displays show DPSS alerts for campus. Also, to aid accessibility, a two-finger swipe down the screen will speak the room’s current status. An update later this month will add building and campus maps, directions to building lost-and-found locations, and emergency information.
Displays have already been installed outside of the following classrooms:
- 1670 Beyster
- 1690 Beyster
- 1008 EECS
- 1012 EECS
and the CAEN computer labs in:
- B505 Pierpont Commons
- B507 Pierpont Commons
We value your feedback on these new displays. Feel free to send your comments and suggestions to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may notice a new attachment to the cameras used for lecture recording in College of Engineering classrooms.
Each camera now has a light that will illuminate when a recording is in progress. The intent is to provide instructors a quick visual confirmation that the recorder is running.
Additionally, the light acts as a presentation timer by changing colors to indicate the time remaining in the recording. It will change from green to yellow (10 minutes remaining), and finally red (2 minutes remaining). Manually-started recordings will be indicated with a cyan (greenish-blue) color.
Any questions or feedback on the new status lights can be directed to email@example.com.
Beginning Tuesday, October 3, access to CAEN’s off-campus Windows Remote Desktop and Linux Login/VNC services will require Duo Two-Factor Authentication at U-M. In order to use Duo two-factor authentication, you will need to enroll a device as described in the CAEN Knowledge Base. In addition, you may also need to update your remote access client software. Links to download and use the latest versions are provided below:
- Windows Remote Desktop using the VMware Horizon View Client
- Linux Login/VNC using the CAEN VNC Client
- Linux Login/VNC using Secure Shell (SSH)
Two-factor Authentication (2FA) is a security tool being used to mitigate the threat of online attacks. It provides an added layer of protection by requiring an additional security check, in addition to your password, when logging into your computing account. For example, it is especially useful in preventing malicious intruders from accessing University resources using stolen or hacked passwords, such as those obtained via phishing attacks or malware.
CAEN is requiring the use of Duo on its off-campus remote access services in order to help protect the account data of Michigan Engineering students, faculty, and staff, as well as better secure the College’s IT infrastructure.
The University of Michigan recently adopted Duo as its two-factor authentication solution. Any U-M student, faculty, or staff member can enroll a device in Duo at no cost. In addition to using it for securing off-campus login to CAEN remote access services, it may also be used to protect access to other University systems that use the U-M Weblogin page. Doing this helps protect web-based access to your online University data, including:
- Personal information in Wolverine Access, such as enrollment and payroll
- U-M Google services, such as Email and Drive storage
- U-M Box storage
- Canvas course data
Since Canvas was adopted as the learning management system (LMS) for course sites at the University of Michigan, there have been many feature updates and additions to make teaching with Canvas easier for faculty, and enhance the learning experience for students.
Canvas Skill for Amazon Alexa
The capability to integrate voice recognition with Canvas has been added to assist both students and instructors. By using the Canvas Skill with Amazon’s Alexa service, students and instructors can verbally ask questions, perform quick tasks, and get information about their courses from any Alexa-enabled device. The Alexa voice service will respond with the relevant information according to their Canvas account. For example, students can ask about “what assignments are due,” or “what are my grades?” Instructors can ask about tasks like “what submissions still need to be graded?”
Further information about setting up Alexa with the Canvas skill, including examples of useful voice commands, can be found on the Canvas Community page.
Blueprint Courses allow sub-account admins (i.e. individuals within departments who manage Canvas course sites) to create, deploy, and maintain a course design “template” across any number of courses or instructors within the department. For example, if you have a newly-created Canvas course that has not yet been configured, you can use a Blueprint Course to automatically:
- Push out content (pages, files, assignments…)
- Update settings (sections, apps…)
- Organize the course navigation (menu, links, redirects…)
This process can save time for instructors who have a standard way to organize their Canvas courses. It is especially useful if a course is taught each term, and the curriculum/site navigation does not vary greatly. A sub-account admin can create a Blueprint Course in Canvas and push (or sync) out a standard set of settings and features to the new course each term, so there’s no need for the instructor to set it up manually. In addition, if a department would like to have a standard navigation menu for all of the courses they offer, a Blueprint Course can be used to sync those settings to each Canvas course site within the department.
When syncing occurs, any content that has already been added or updated by the instructor will not be overwritten, and new content created in any associated course is also not affected (i.e. this is an manually additive function, and it will not overwrite what has already been added by the instructor).
More information on using Blueprint Courses as templates for Canvas course sites can be found on the Canvas Community page.
The Canvas Teacher App allows instructors to interact with their Canvas courses and data, both inside and outside the classroom, from their mobile device. This app provides quick access to the most frequently used Canvas tasks – Announcements, Assignments, Discussions, and Quizzes. For example, instructors can browse submissions and provide feedback to their students, post announcements, send messages, and participate in course discussions. They can also update course content such as due dates, and even publish assignments or adjust quiz options.
Guides for using each version of the Canvas Teacher app can be found on the Canvas Community page.
Updated Canvas App for Students
Canvas continues to offer a separate “Canvas by Instructure” app that students can use to access their course sites and data. The app is updated frequently to apply bug fixes and performance improvements, so students are encouraged to download the latest version. It is available at no cost to students from the Apple iTunes Store and Google Play.
Guides for using each version of the Canvas by Instructure app can be found on the Canvas Community page.
Future Feature Updates & Support
ITS provides a Canvas at Michigan course site, where faculty and course instructors can sign up for announcements and updates about the service. College of Engineering faculty and instructors are also welcome to contact CAEN with any questions or problems they may have using Canvas in their courses.
A new CAEN software listing website is available for the Fall 2017 term. This website offers an improved search for finding and viewing CAEN licensed software. It is now possible to search for software applications that match titles as you type them in real time, as well as obtain application version numbers, supported operating systems, and details about the licensing restrictions on usage.