Category Archives: Improvements

Thank You for Attending Our Third Annual Tech Day!

Thank you for attending our third annual Tech Day!

Raffle winners:

  • Claudette Thompson, Apple Watch
  • Mary Jane Curran, ChromeCast
  • Deborah Atobrah, Kindle
  • Colin Fleming, Apple TV
Tech Day 2015

Tech Day 2015


The Department of Information Technology hosted a Fall Tech Day on: Thursday, October 22, 12:00 – 2:00 pm Kresge Atrium.


  • Dell — Representatives from Dell showcased the latest laptop, tablets and other machines available through the Harvard contract.
  • AppleRepresentatives from Apple showcased the latest Apple products on display.
  • HarvardKey — The Identity & Access Management program at Harvard University Information Technology introduced Harvard Key.
  • Office 365 —Our Office 365 gurus offered overviews of new features and answer questions.
  • WordPress — The web team showcased the recently launched Admissions web site and answer questions about WordPress.
  • Canvas — Media and Educational Technology Services (METS) demoed new features and answer questions about Canvas.
  • BlueJeans – BlueJeans video conferencing accounts were created on the fly.
  • Virtual Desktops – The server team demonstrated our new virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI).  VDI allows students to access instructional computing lab software from their own computers.
  • Student Information Systems (SIS) — The SIS team provided a sneak peak of the new platform that is coming in the Fall 2016.

Thank you for attending!

Upcoming replacement of email filtering system

UPDATE, December 12: Proofpoint has been implemented and is fully operational.

To All SPH Faculty and Staff Email Users:

During the week of December 8th, Harvard University Information Technology (HUIT) will be implementing a new virus and spam filtering service called Proofpoint,  to replace the current service running on the Harvard email systems (ICEMail, O365, Outlook).  The goal of this upgrade is to provide you with spam filtering that balances protection from harm or annoyance, while allowing you to receive the messages that you want and need.  While the recent increase in spam is not just a Harvard problem, the existing message hygiene service has not been able to achieve these objectives, and the new service offers more features and robust filtering from phishing scams and other email security threats.

More information on the new service can be found at:

As we approach the SPH transition,  you will receive additional emails indicating your actual transition date and instructions on how to access new features.  Please be assured that you will still receive all email during this transition

If you have questions or need assistance, please contact our SPH Helpdesk by phone at 432-4357 or by email at:

Tech Day will be held on September 25

Tech Day 2014Do you have technology questions and don’t know who to ask? Have you ever wondered who all these “IT” folks are and how they can help you? Do you like free stuff? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you’re in luck!

The HSPH Information Technology department is hosting a Tech Day on:

September 25th from 12:30 to 2 in the Kresge Cafeteria Atrium

We’ll be showing off the latest tech from tablets to video conferencing, hosting mini-talks, and raffling away prizes.

Come join us, meet the team, and have a great time.


  • Dell — representatives from Dell will have the latest laptop, tablets and other machines available through the Harvard contract.
  • Harvard TPC — representatives from Harvard’s Technology Product Center will have the latest Apple products available through the Harvard contract.
  • Office 365 — User Services Team will demonstrate Office 365, a cloud-based email that HSPH will be migrating to in 2015.
  • WordPress — the HSPH web team will demonstrate and explain the School’s site-wide responsive design on a variety of devices.
  • Canvas — Media and Educational Technology Services (METS) will demonstrate Canvas, the learning management system that HSPH and Harvard are rolling out over the next year.
  • MediaSite — METS will demonstrate MediaSite, HSPH’s new course capture system that was launched in September 2014.
  • BlueJeans – BlueJeans video conferencing will host a remote session to demonstrate their video conferencing bridging service.
  • Virtual Desktops – The server team will be demonstrating our new virtual desktop, which will allow you to work on the same desktop from anywhere…


  • We will offer quick 10 minute tours of the two new distance learning studios in Kresge LL and the HSPH server room.
Tech Day 2012

Hundreds of people stopped by a previous tech day to view new products and services.

Mini-talks (15 minute Q&A talks in Kresge 110):

  • Apple support: What do we offer?
  • Personal security (HRCI, Encryption, Privacy, and Virus Protection)
  • Digital signage
  • Google analytics
  • General Q & A

Tools to help your HSPH website shine

Summer is an ideal time to look through your site and make sure that everything is shipshape for the upcoming school year. The WebTeam has developed tools to help you identify problems and has suggestions for addressing these problems to make your site shine for the fall. Below are solutions to three common website issues – broken links, typos, and images that lack alt text.

Broken Links

broken_linksBroken links happen. You may have linked long ago to a site that’s now deleted or has since been updated. Such broken links adversely affect your search rankings on Google and are also very frustrating to users who can’t find the content they’re seeking. To help you find and fix broken links, the Broken Link Checker tool on your site’s dashboard will do all the hard work for you. And if you’re one of the primary site administrators, you’ll also be receiving email notifications about broken links on your site.

Click here for a tutorial on how to use the Broken Link Checker tool.


proofreaderWe all occasionally make typos. Unfortunately, typos on websites are there for the world to see and detract from a site’s overall professionalism. To rid your site of typos, you can use the Proofreading tool that’s built into the editor on your dashboard. Just click on the button in the top toolbar and, similar to Microsoft Word, red and green underlines will appear in your text, allowing you to spot issues and correct them.

For a complete tutorial on how to use the Proofreading tool, please click here.

Image Alt Tags

Image Alt Tags ExampleWhen inserting images into your site, always fill in the boxes for title and alt text. Alt text, which stands for “Alternative Text,” is important for people with visual disabilities because screen readers use it to describe what is in a picture. Google also uses the alt text to determine what a picture contains, allowing people to search for images based on keywords. To create alt tags, try to write no more than one-sentence descriptions that are detailed but not wordy. For example, for a picture of soccer on the med school quad, you could write the following alt tag: “Students play soccer on the Harvard Medical School quad on a beautiful summer afternoon.” The sentence is concise yet fully describes what the photo shows.

Click here for more information on alt tags and click here for a guide to best practices.

ALICE/MyHSPH Maintenance This Wednesday, May 8th

UPDATE: All upgrades were successful.

The Department of Information Technology will be performing important infrastructure maintenance work that will take place Wednesday, May 8th, on the ALICE and MyHSPH Student Information Systems (SIS). This work is part of our migration project to newly purchased back-end storage systems.

The work is scheduled for Wednesday, May 8th, from 9:30pm – 11:30pm. The following systems will be affected:

• MyHSPH Portal
• ALICE Self Service for Students and Faculty
• Internet-native Banner (Administrative users)

Please Note:
In an effort to minimize impact to your user community, we will maintain a landing page at the school’s portal address of which will respond and will provide direct links to services such as Email, Netstorage for access to network files, and iSites for coursework, among others.

Thank you,
HSPH Department of Information Technology

New Printers in Computer Laboratories

We are pleased to announce that we have upgraded all printers in the student computing laboratories and classrooms ahead of the academic year.  Printing locations include:

  • Kresge 209
  • Kresge 210
  • Kresge 213
  • Kresge LL10
  • Kresge LL19
  • Kresge LL6

In addition to higher printing speeds, each printer has print release features activated by your Harvard ID.


  • If you run out of free printing, you may charge printing to Crimson cash via the release stations.
  • Print jobs may be released to any ICF printer.
  • Print balances and cost (if applicable) are clearly displayed for each print job.
  • Jobs left in the queue, but not released to a printer, will expire within 2 hours.


New Computers Coming Soon to Labs

Over the next two weeks, the Department of Information Technology will be refreshing all computers in our computer laboratories and computer classrooms.

Classrooms to be upgraded include:

  • Kresge LL19
  • Kresge LL10
  • Kresge LL6
  • Kresge 209
  • Kresge 210
  • Kresge 213
  • Landmark Center
  • Shattuck House

Later this summer, we will be upgrading most printers ahead of the academic year.

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) Pilot

The Department of Information Technology is pleased to announce a pilot of virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) technology to power the public kiosk units available in the Kresge and FXB buildings.  We are piloting a combination of Samsung and Wyse thin-clients replacing the kiosk computers.  These new units talk to a robust central server powered by VMWare View and VSphere utilizing Dell and EMC hardware.

We are also piloting VDI for use in the HSPH student computer laboratories and other purposes.

VDI technology could prove to have substantial advantages over current practices including cost savings, energy savings, decreased staff hours to maintain student laboratory computers, improved performance for students, improved security, and increased flexibility in supporting software needs of HSPH courses.

We encourage the community to test the kiosk stations and report any issues or comments to the Helpdesk at 432-HELP.

As our pilot develops, we will also seek students and faculty to test student computing demonstration units in the student computing laboratories.

More on VDI:


Smith Street Conference Rooms Completed

All Smith Street conference rooms have been completed.   The remaining rooms on the 1st and 4th floors were completed in early-September.  Training was held for the community on September 20, 2011.

“How-to” guides for each room may be found in the rooms or may be requested via email from the HSPH Helpdesk,, 432-HELP.

The 3rd floor location only has a Cisco Telepresence unit that allows for either telepresence calls or traditional video conferencing calls utilizing a Harvard bridge.  If you need further information on scheduling a video conference, please contact the Helpdesk.

If you need assistance on room operation in any of the six conference rooms of Smith Street, please contact the Helpdesk at 432-HELP.

Smith Street 3rd Floor Conference Room

Smith Street 3rd Floor Conference Room


HSPH Launches New Alumni Portal

HSPH launched a new alumni portal on September 15, 2011.  Congratulations to Jim Smith, Assistant Dean for Alumni Affairs, for his leadership in launching this impressive new alumni resource.

HSPH’s Department of Information Technology web team provided design and technical support for Jim and his staff working in collaboration with the vendor Imodules.

Visit the site:


Alumni Home Page

Alumni Directory Search