Internet System Outage Updates

Service Restored: Update
(2:35pm)

LMU’s cloud-based storage solution, Box, is once again functional. In addition, both Qualtrics and http://jobs.lmu.edu were also affected, and both of these systems are accessible now.  

Other LMU systems may have been affected as well, and this is a fluid situation. Please be aware that additional outages may occur. We are closely monitoring the situation and remain in close contact with our vendors. 

An article from Wired: What We Know About Friday’s Massive East Coast Internet Outage

An article from TechCrunch: Large DDoS attacks cause outages at Twitter, Spotify, and other sites


An Update from Box
(1:28pm)

This morning, a widespread internet Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack resulted in the degradation of a number of internet providers, including Twitter, Netflix, Zendesk, PayPal, Amazon Web Services, Box and many others. The attack originated on our DNS provider, DYN, and has since spread to other services as well, resulting in an unprecedented scale of performance degradation across the web. Box’s engineering, networking, and operations teams have been working nonstop to resume accessibility to Box by changing DNS and other network providers. This process is still ongoing, but we expect to resume service shortly. Please note that there’s has been no impact to the integrity of our service or impact on customer data. We are deeply sorry for this issue and the experiences this has caused for our customers. To stay current on the latest in bringing Box back up, please visit http://box.statuspage.io for frequent updates. We appreciate your patience while we resolve this issue as quickly as possible.


Initial Post: 

Information Technology Services (ITS) is aware of widespread internet issues that are affecting LMU’s web-based storage service, Box. This service outage is related to a broader attack on cloud-based systems, and it may have an impact on other LMU services. This article from Reuters has additional information.

LMU’s own infrastructure remains stable and unaffected by this attack. This blog post is will be updated as we learn more. 

LMU Instructional Technology Showcase #1: CBA

Here’s a guest post from the Instructional Technologist for the College of Business Administration, Jeff Schwartz. He’s recapping the first LMU Instructional Technology Showcase, which  he recently hosted for CBA faculty and staff in Hilton. Take it away, Jeff!

On Tuesday, February 16th, several faculty and staff gathered together in Hilton 300 for the first College of Business Administration Technology Showcase. The evening was well-attended and participants experienced a thought-provoking technological “Show and Tell” while enjoying assorted appetizers and libations.

The College of Business Administration Technology Showcase was a unique event here at Loyola Marymount University. Traditionally, technology based workshops hosted by Information Technology Services are often more general in nature, designed to support faculty and staff campus wide. This event, however, was orchestrated specifically to address the needs and interests of a singular college, which required some more nuanced planning and design.

When I visit with faculty about the dynamics of instruction in higher education, I am frequently reminded of how valuable their time truly is. Between teaching classes, grading papers, holding office hours, and developing lessons, tests, and student activities, there is often little time left in the work week for professional development and the acquisition of new technological skills. While presenting some new software tools and platforms during our showcase was undoubtedly important, I also wanted to be sure that each of the tools that I shared didn’t come with a learning curve that would prohibit someone from diving right in and exploring. After a great deal of consideration and a thoughtful needs assessment, I selected the following topics and tools as they are all free (to LMU faculty and staff), easy to learn, and immediately available to everyone at our University:

  • Presentation Tools (Sway, PowToon)
  • 3D Printing at LMU
  • Polling Tools (Poll Everywhere)
  • Video Conferencing (WebEx)
  • Classroom Capture (Echo360)
  • Online Assessments in MYLMU Connect

In addition to reflecting upon the tools and teaching techniques demonstrated by many of the CBA faculty that I support, I also had the opportunity to meet individually with each of the respective Associate Deans and Program Directors here in our college (Renee Florsheim, Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies; Bob Pettit, Associate Dean and Director of the MBA Program; Richard Stafford, Director of the EMBA Program). These conversations helped to further align the technology showcase with tools and topics that would immediately benefit the faculty, staff, and ultimately the students that make up our greater business school learning community. Many faculty and staff members in the College of Business Administration left the event inspired and excited, and I look forward to working with my colleagues as they integrate these new platforms into their courses and workflow.

Missed the technology showcase? Watch the presentation

To view the slideshow from the CBA Technology Showcase (built using Microsoft Sway, a free and cloud-based presentation tool that was shared at the event) and to access several video and web links featuring these assorted tools, see below.

This event was the first of its kind this year, but the Instructional Technology team intends to host additional college-specific technology events in the months to come. If you are interested in learning more about any of the tools or teaching techniques that appear in the CBA Technology Showcase slideshow, please feel free to contact your Instructional Technologist or visit the Faculty Innovation Center (level three of the library) between 10am-5pm Monday through Friday.

Creative Services Video Collection: Biology, Film & Science Communication

The latest video from ITS’ Creative Services department is a Faculty Spotlight featuring a collaborative effort between Seaver College of Science and Engineering and the School of Film and Television. Take a look at the cross-discipline class taught by Biology professor Heather Watts, Ph.D and Film and Television production lecturer Patrick Scott in the brand new  eClassroom in the Life Sciences Building.

Share your story!

If you’d like to learn more about cross-discipline classes, or to discuss ideas for how use technology to bring your course content to life, contact your instructional technologist. If you’re using technology in your courses, we’d love to hear about it—and maybe feature you in our next Faculty Spotlight!

LMU Life Sciences Building: Learning Spaces

Just weeks away from the first day of the 2015-16 academic year, here’s the last video in the LMU Life Sciences Building series. This video is all about how the new LMU Life Sciences Building puts science on display, and encourages students to learn by doing. The main way they’ll do that? By attending classes in state-of-the-art labs and classrooms designed for hands-on, active learning. These classrooms and labs are almost ready to welcome Seaver College of Science and Engineering students, but the video is a great way to sneak in before the school year starts—and hear how Seaver professors Jeremy McCallum, Hawley Almstedt, and Victor Carmona will use some of the spaces for their teaching. Plus, you’ll get to meet Information Technology Services’ very own Matt Frank, the manager of Classroom & Creative Services, who worked tirelessly to help equip the new classrooms and labs.

LMU Life Sciences Building: Learning Spaces from LMU ITS on Vimeo.

Work with Creative Services

ITS’ Creative Services department is dedicated to the creation of multimedia-based resources to improve student learning and faculty outreach. We offer filming, editing, podcasting, web, and innovative pedagogical consultation services to LMU faculty and staff. If you’re interested in having Creative Services create a video for you, visit the ITS website.

LMU Life Sciences Building – A Video Sneak Peek

The new fall semester is rapidly approaching, and with it comes a brand new building on campus, the LMU Life Sciences Building. Take a sneak peek at this video about the building—the sixth LEED-certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) building on campus.

ITS’ Creative Services department worked with Seaver College of Science and Engineering to create this series, so the community can watch the LMU Life Sciences Building take shape. This video talks about the importance of sustainability in the Life Sciences Building’s design and construction. Learn more about what makes this building a model of environmental stewardship. Seaver College Professor and Associate Dean Nazmul Ula also discusses the new learning opportunities the building will provide for engineers.

Life Sciences Building: Sustainability from LMU ITS on Vimeo.

Work with Creative Services

ITS’ Creative Services department is dedicated to the creation of multimedia-based resources to improve student learning and faculty outreach. We offer filming, editing, podcasting, web, and innovative pedagogical consultation services to LMU faculty and staff. If you’re interested in having Creative Services create a video for you, visit the ITS website.

5 Things to Know About Box Sync at LMU

As Box is rolled out to departments across the LMU campus, it’s time to get even more clear about Box Sync. LMU ITS recommends that users access their personal and departmental Box files via the web interface, NOT Box Sync, for the following reasons:

1. Box Sync is designed to give you offline access to the frequently accessed and critical files stored in your Box account

2. Box Sync is NOT required to access your LMU Box account or shared department folders
The web interface (http://box.lmu.edu) allows all users to access the full spectrum of features available on Box, including the collaboration and sharing tools. Box’s search function also makes it easy to locate your files. Installing Box Edit (Mac and Windows) and Box for Office (Windows only) make it easy for you to open and begin editing your files in their native application, directly from the browser.

3. Box Sync is NOT a replication of your F:\ and G:\ drive
On the surface, Box Sync may seem like a simple way to replicate your network drives, but it’s not. Unlike your network drives, files in your Box Sync folder also take up space on your hard drive. So if you have synced your large shared department folder to Box Sync, you could find yourself running out of hard drive space very quickly.

Storing a lot of files in your Box Sync folder also slows down your computer’s processing speed, because Box Sync constantly checks for changes between the local copy of your file and the cloud copy. Plus, the more data you have stored on your computer, the more likely it may be compromised by viruses or malware.

4. Box Sync is NOT the same as Dropbox
The Dropbox folder on your computer acts as a gateway to all the files in your Dropbox account. The Box Sync folder on your computer is empty when you first install Box Sync, and when you move your files into that folder, the items are mirrored in your LMU Box. When you delete files from the local folder, they are also deleted in the cloud. If you want to keep the file in your LMU Box, you have to unsync the file before deleting. If multiple people are using Box Sync for shared folders, any of them could delete the contents—causing problems for EVERYONE.

5. Box Sync should NOT be installed on classroom computers or shared workstations
You could accidentally leave yourself logged into Box Sync at the end of your class or time on the shared computer, leaving your files open for access by anyone.

If you have any questions about Box Sync, please contact the ITS Help Desk at helpdesk@lmu.edu or 310-338-7777.

An update on Box and Network Drives

box

By now you have heard of Box, the new secure cloud storage for all LMU staff and faculty. Over 1,000 faculty and staff have begun using the service, with nearly 2 TB of data moved to the cloud and almost one million files uploaded.

Box is used to store both your own files and your department shares. Many colleges, schools and divisions have already migrated to Box or established deadlines to complete the migration. However, given the amount of effort and time it may take for some departments to move their files to Box, the University deadline for completing this work has been moved from August 2015 to January 2016. Also, please be assured that for those departments with a need for an LMU network drive, ITS will continue to provide this service.

Read more about Box and the F:\ and G:\ Drives in the Box FAQ.

Blogging in Academia

An Instructional Technologist will be dropping in on the blog every now and then to provide faculty with tips and tricks for using technology for teaching!

David Scozzaro is the manager of Instructional Technology here at LMU, and this week he wrote about the advantages academics can take advantage of by blogging.

There’s an Instructional Technologist embedded in every college and school here at LMU, and they also work together to staff the Faculty Innovation Center on Level 3 of the William H. Hannon Library—they’re always happy to help you integrate technology into your teaching. And now, on with the blog!

blogging-academia

I would like to build upon last week’s blog post from Jeff Schwartz, our new Instructional Technologist in the College of Business Administration. Jeff provided some poignant arguments as to why Academics should blog. Establishing authority, building rapport, creating opportunities and attracting an audience all sound like solid professional goals for any Academic.
At this point, however, it looks like as if academia is not taking advantage of the opportunities that blogging provides of bringing our intellectual and creative endeavors to the the mainstream. Although self-admittedly limited, a study by Pat Thompson, the Director of the Centre for Advanced Studies at the University of Nottingham has shown that we are not blogging for lofty professional goals, but rather, blogging about academia to the rest of us in the Ivory Tower. According to her study, 41% of academic blogs she researched were cultural critiques of life in an academic setting, with another 40% dedicated to the trials and tribulations of conducting research today. Combined with the other topics that emerged in her studied, well over 80% of blogs focused on the daily life of academia. Granted, if she searched more deeply along the lines of discipline, she would have likely found more blogs written by Academics about particular subjects; but asking her to do that would be like asking her to research the whole internet… and without any funds to do it.
So what can we take away from her study? My argument would be better marketing. Showing yourself off as an expert who comes from academia that can connect with practically anybody who has an internet-connected device is key. Balancing status, authority, and humility is always tough, but a worthwhile goal to gain traction. Keeping an open dialogue with commenters is probably the best way to achieve this. With so much information available at our fingertips (thanks Google), it is easy to mesh facts and opinions, even for the best of us. Keep your responses to wild opinions or improper facts civil and ask that your commenters do the same. Ultimately, most of us are looking to make this world a better place, and sometimes we disagree on how that needs to take place. I think we can all agree that being constructive and working together is a much better route to getting there than simply slinging mud.
Another thing to do is start small. Twitter is a great micro-blogging platform. It is a wonderful place to spurn thought, generate conversation, and drive people to deeper discussions on a more formal blogging platform like WordPress or Blogger. One of the toughest things to do when starting up a blog is gain followers. Twitter is a low-cost method for people to start broadening their horizons in 140 characters. With over 600 million users, there is certainly no shortage of potential audience members.
Blogging is about sharing ideas, thoughts, and opinions. If you are looking to publish, this may not be the platform. If you are looking to start generating ideas and writing early drafts for your next great published work, blogging can be a powerful win-win for you and your readers.

Security Notice: Limit Internet Explorer Usage

Due to the severity of the latest Internet Explorer and Adobe Flash vulnerabilities that are actively being exploited on the Internet, ITS recommends that Windows users use Internet Explorer for LMU websites only. To protect yourself from these vulnerabilities, users should use the latest versions of Firefox or Chrome for any non-LMU websites until the Internet Explorer vulnerability can be fixed. Further updates will be published here.

Users who need to use Internet Explorer for non-LMU websites are advised to turn off Adobe Flash in Internet Explorer. This can be accomplished by opening Internet Explorer, going to the “Tools” menu and choosing “Manage Add-Ons.” Ensure the Show drop-down menu is set to “All add-ons.” Click on “Shockwave Flash Object,” and choose the “Disable” button in the lower right corner of the window. Once disabled, click on the “Close” button.

If you need assistance with downloading a new browser, such as Firefox or Chrome, or with turning off Adobe Flash, please contact the Technology Help Desk at 310-338-7777 or helpdesk@lmu.edu.

Get your training on with lynda.com

Ever wanted to know how to become a Photoshop whiz? Need assistance with Excel for your business class? Want to better understand social media marketing or photography? Upgrade your skills and more using lynda.com! It’s free for all LMU students, staff, and faculty. This video tells you everything you need to know: