News and Announcements

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.

Tentative Agenda

Tables:

  • 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…

Tours:

  • 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

New Staff Member: Kevin Brunswick

The HSPH Department of Information Technology welcomes new hire Kevin Brunswick. Kevin joins the Media and Educational Technology Services (METS) team as an educational video production specialist.

Kevin Brunswick, Educational Video Production Specialist

Kevin Brunswick, educational video production specialist

Kevin joins us after working the past six years as an independent audio and video producer. He has worked for a variety of clients for documentary, industrial, corporate and live events.  Kevin worked with production companies Jamtron and Beryllium and traveled to Scotland, Ireland, China, and Spain with creative staff from inside the travel and education company EF Tours. Kevin has also produced outreach videos for the Harvard Graduate School of Education and flipped classroom video for Suffolk University Law School.

Kevin brings many years of experience with audio-visual technology to HSPH.  Prior to embarking on his freelance production career, Kevin managed operations for the sales division of Rule Boston Camera, where he acquired AV equipment installation experience.

Kevin is a graduate of Boston University, where he earned a bachelor of science degree in communications with a focus on film production.

Please join us in welcoming Kevin to our technical staff and to the HSPH community!

Interesting fact:
Kevin is the technical director for a WBUR radio program, podcast, and live event called You’re the Expert where a panel of comedians guess what an academic studies.   It’s educational and it’s fun!

Monthly Maintenance Window: Thursday, September 11

UPDATE: All updates were successful and systems are fully operational.

On Thursday, September 11th, we will be performing our normal monthly system maintenance to all servers.

The maintenance window will last from 7PM to 1AM.

There will be a school-wide Wireless Network outage between 7:30PM to 8:30PM:

  • Wireless access from inside SPH buildings will be interrupted
  • Wired access will not be effected

The following services will have one or two small outages:
(You can continue to work, but may have brief pauses while services restart)

The following services will be unavailable from 7pm – 10:30pm:

The following services will be unaffected during the maintenance window:  

Please contact our I/T Helpdesk at (617)432-4357 or email helpdesk@hsph.harvard.edu for any questions or concerns you may have regarding this information.

Upcoming Maintenance dates:

  • 10/16/2014
  • 11/13/2014
  • 12/11/2014

HSPH Helpdesk Temporarily Moved to Kresge 209

Update 11:30 am: The Helpdesk has reopened in Kresge LL15.

The IT Office and HSPH Helpdesk in Kresge LL15 are currently closed due to a water leak and associated clean-up.

The HSPH Helpdesk is operating for walk-ins until further notice in Kresgse 209.  Phone support is not impacted and the User Services team is available for phone support.

Classes in Kresge LL6 are not impacted and will be held as scheduled.  The student computer lab in Kresge LL19 likewise is not impacted and remains open for students.

Maintenance Window: Saturday, August 23

UPDATE: As of 12:10 pm, all systems have been verified and are fully functioning. 

UPDATE: As of 7:30 am, firewall maintenance has been completed.  IT staff are working on testing and verifying systems.

On Saturday morning, August 23rd, we will be performing maintenance to the SPH network firewalls.  The maintenance window will last from 6:00AM to 12:00PM.

There will be a Network outage between 6:00AM and 9:00AM that will affect all of the SPH campus.

ALL ACCESS to servers and the Internet will be interrupted.  

We anticipate that the actual outage will be brief and the majority of the maintenance window will be used to test and troubleshoot any unexpected issues.

The following services will be unaffected during the maintenance window if you are connecting from outside HSPH:

Upcoming Maintenance dates:

  • 9/11/2014
  • 10/16/2014
  • 11/13/2014
  • 12/11/2014

Maintenance Window: Sunday, August 17

Update on Monday, August 18, 9:00 AM:  All systems are fully functioning and downtime maintenance has been successfully completed.

Update on Monday, August 18, 8:30 AM: The computer laboratory network drive issue has been resolved.

Update on Monday, August 18, 8:00 AM: An issue has been identified in the computer labs.  Computers are currently unable to connect to network drives.

On Sunday, August 17th, we will be performing our normal system maintenance to all servers.

The maintenance window will last from 7PM to 1AM.

Note – Our normal Thursday window is being moved to Sunday to accommodate the academic calendar.

There will be a school-wide Wireless Network outage between 7:00PM to 10:00PM:

  • Wireless access from inside SPH buildings will be interrupted

Note – Wired access will not be effected

The following services will have one or two small outages:

(You can continue to work, but may have brief pauses while services restart)

The following services will be unavailable from 7pm – 10:30pm:

  • ALICE
  • MyHSPH Portal

The following services will be unaffected during the maintenance window:  

Upcoming Maintenance dates:

  • 9/11/2014
  • 10/16/2014
  • 11/13/2014
  • 12/11/2014

 

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.

Typos

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.