Monday, March 31, 2014

Graduating Seniors: Migrate Your Data

Seniors, in just a few weeks you'll accept your Macalester diploma and become a proud alumnus, class of 2014!  Really, it's just around the corner.  Begin planning now to migrate your data out of your Macalester accounts. 

Your Macalester electronic accounts will be disabled on Friday, September 12, 2014. These include not just your Google email, but also Google Drive files, Calendar, Sites and other Google services; files you have saved on the G:, H: and M: drives, and any personal Web pages on Macalester's server. You will need to migrate any files you want out of these accounts before September 12, 2014.  This deadline is the same for both December 2013 and May 2014 graduates.

For shared files, especially in Google Drive, you should transfer ownership to someone else. By making another person (who is not graduating) the owner, a Google shared file can continue to be used and edited after your account is deleted.

Before your accounts expire, update your email address in MacDirect! MacDirect is our online alumni database that makes it crazy easy to update your contact information with the college. If we have your current contact info, we can tell you about Mac events happening in your area and send you the Macalester Today alumni magazine.

You will continue to receive all-campus and all-student email postings until your account is closed. Full details and instructions on all services and what you need to do are posted on ITS' Graduates Techlist.  If you would like assistance, please contact the ITS Help Desk at (651) 696-6525 or

Depending on how much mail you have, it can take several days — even a week — for the Google Mail Fetcher to migrate your messages. Don’t wait until the last minute to begin migrating your data. Move it or lose it!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Back up your laptop, phone, or tablet on World Back Up Day!

World Backup Day is an independent initiative designed to raise awareness of data preservation and regular backups. The day before April Fool's is a good time to stop and think about backing up your data.

Check out ITS Back Up solutions for detailed information on how to back up your data to one of the following:
Students! Join ITS and Health Promotions for Wellness Wednesday: Back Up Your Data
12:00 PM  - 1:00 PM
Wednesday April 1, 2015
Wellness Lounge, Leonard Center

Contact the ITS Help Desk at 651-696-6525 or for assistance.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Google Updates Biweekly Post

Google Apps
Updates to core Google Apps and the major services like Google+. Also major updates that may affect the Macalester community.

Coming soon: Add on Track Changes, Avery Labels, Uber Conference, and Mail Chimp!

Google announced a Gmail for iOS update on Wednesday that should virtually eliminate manually refreshing your Inbox on an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

Many of us speak (and think) faster than we type, so good news: Google Docs appears to be on the verge of introducing voice dictation.

Simply open a new tab or visit in Chrome, say "Ok Google," and then start speaking your search. (Scotty would be pleased.)

Google Technology

News about other Google products and technology.

Female programmers discuss why they avoid hackathons and what could be done to make them feel more welcome, including Amy Quispe, who works at Google and ran hackathons while a student at Carnegie Mellon University.

Workplaces that memorialize their products and values.

Google Business

Google Business news, including policies, user privacy, politics and legal issues.

Google will soon let developers of Chrome packaged apps issue free trials and offer in-app purchases, and allow creators of browser extensions to charge for their wares for the first time.

Google announced a robust partner program this week, including three tiers of third-party vendors who provide technical and consulting services for the company's cloud product.

Google identifies about 10,000 bad sites daily and if you try and visit a site that is unsafe, a warning will appear.

March 11, 2014: On the 25th anniversary of the World Wide Web, Google shares a guest post from Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the web.

Google Extra

Other Google side projects, including art, science and fun stuff.

Google Doodle: March 8, 2014

"We all love stories. We're born for them," says filmmaker Andrew Stanton ("Finding Nemo," "Toy Story," "WALL-E") in this video that celebrates everyone who's ever had an idea, picked up a camera, or searched for a way to bring their story to life.
Watch Andrew's full TED talk about storytelling

For example, through Maps Gallery, if policymakers overlaid statistics about sanitation, health services and poverty on top of a map of malnutrition rates, they could better understand the specific causes of malnutrition in a particular area and guide planning on how to address them.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Use Moodlegroups to share documents for a candidate search

Step 1: Request a Moodlegroup

Send an email to indicating that you would like a Moodlegroup set up to manage documents for a candidate search.

Step 2: Add Each Candidate as a Topic

  1. Go to and log in with your username and password.
  2. From My courses, locate the newly added Moodlegroup course and click to open.
  3. Click Turn editing on.mgroups-1.png

  4. Locate Topic 1 and click Edit summary.mgroups-2.png

  5. Uncheck Use default section name. In the Section name field, enter the name of a candidate. Click Save changes.mgroups-3.png

  6. Drag-and-drop resume, CV, profile, or other documents into the area directly under the candidates name. Files can be PDF or MS Word.mgroups-4.png

Step 3: Enroll users

  1. From Settings, click Users, then Enrolled users.mgroups-5.png

  2. Click Enroll users.mgroups-6.png
  3. Assign roles: Student (view), Teacher (add documents, edit moodlgegroup, enroll users), Non-editing teacher. Moodlegroup requesters will be assigned the Teacher role.
  4. Enter user name in the Search field. Hit Enter.
  5. From the list of users, click Enrol to assign a role and grant access to the Moodlegroup.mgroups-7.png

  6. Click Finish enrolling users when all students and teachers have been enrolled.

Step 4: Add a resource

Consider using a Google form so that each member of the search committee can rate each candidate’s resume, CV, letter, etc.
  1. Copy the Google form link. Check out this Sample Resume & Cover Letter Screening Form.
  2. Click Turn editing on.
  3. Click Add an activity or resource. From Resources click URL. Click Add.mgroups-8.png

  4. Enter the Name and Description.
  5. In the External URL field, paste the form’s website address.
  6. To force the form to open in a pop-up window, from Options, change Display to In pop-up. Only do this if you warn the users that the form will open in a pop-up window by including (opens in a pop-up window) in the Name.mgroups-9.png

  7. Click Save and return to course.

Step 5: Teacher role use News forum for announcements

By default, the News Forum, located at the top of the Moodlegroup, can be used by any member of the group with the Teacher or Non-Edit Teacher role, to send out announcements.
  1. Click News forum.

  2. Click Add a new topic.
  3. Enter the Subject and Message. Click Post to forum.

  1. Each member of the Moodlegroup will receive an email.

Step 6: Create a discussion forum

Any user can create a discussion forum, either at the top of the page, or at any Topic.
  1. Click Turn editing on.
  2. Click +Add an activity or resourcemgroups-11.png
  3. Select Forum. Click Add.
  4. Change the following settings: Forum name and Description. From the Forum type menu, select Standard forum for general use. Subscription mode: Forced subscription.
  5. Click Save and return to course.
  6. Click the discussion forum link to add a new discussion topic. All members can post to the discussion.

Step 7: Reply using discussion forum

Members of the Moodlegroup should reply to any disucssion posts by using the Reply link located at the bottom of the email message and NOT the email’s reply button (those replies will only go to the message sender and not to the entire Moodlegroup.)mgroups-10.png

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Gmail App in IOS

If you have an iPhone, check out the Gmail app to check your Macalester mail. A recent app update brings even more cool features for users. Contact the ITS Help Desk at for assistance installing or setting up this app on your phone.

5 things you can do to make web content accessible using dotCMS

1. Add image descriptions

Image descriptions or alt tags or alt attributes provide a text alternative for non-visual browsers and screen readers. The screen reader will announce the image description to the user.

Tip: Image descriptions should be brief, clear and relevant to the context. If the image contains text, include it.
Bonus: Image search engines know how to locate your images when you include a description.

Add image descriptions with dotCMS (presentation)

2. Use heading and subheadings

Headings organize content for the user and provide structure for screen readers. Headings are just like outlines that give visitors clues as to what the page is all about.

Tip: Describe what is in the paragraph following using action words and descriptive text.

Use headings and subheadings (presentation)

3. Don’t break the back button.

Only the most recently released screen readers will warn a visitor that a link will open in a new window and only after the link has been clicked.

4. Link names should make sense out of context

Don’t use click here or more or download. Link to nouns and specifics. Named links should make sense out of context.

Link names should make sense out of context (presentation)

5. Use Plain Language

It is more difficult to read onscreen than it is to read on paper. Make it easy for your visitors to get the information they need as quickly as possible.

Tip: Keep paragraphs and sentences short. Present the most important information first. When listing items, format with bullets or numbers.

Use plain language (presentation)

Monday, March 3, 2014

Network Maintenance Day March 15, 2014

ITS staff will conduct a regular system maintenance period on Saturday, March 15, 2014 from 6:00 AM until 12:00 noon. We will be performing upgrades, testing connections, patching and doing other tasks to keep our critical campus information systems running efficiently.

Please expect that most networked services—including Banner, DegreeWorks and PaperCut-based printing—will be down, completely or intermittently, during the maintenance period. Google Email, Internet access and 1600grand should NOT be affected.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact the ITS Help Desk at or by phone at 651-696-6525.