Featured Article

Message from the VPIT-CIO

By | June 4, 2020

Our community is experiencing extreme challenges, and our Black sisters and brothers are dealing with centuries of racism and hurt that are playing out before our very eyes. I know all of us feel angry, hurt, scared, and tired of reading and watching these types of horrific events repeat every day. These acts underscore the importance of our efforts to promote diversity, equity and inclusion in all aspects of life. It challenges me and all of us to do what is right, and not to wait to make changes.

Google Chat for Gmail is now available

By | July 15, 2020

Starting today, July 15, 2020, Google Chat has replaced classic Google Hangouts in Gmail and is now the default option for direct (one-to-one) messages, group messages, and team-based room discussions within Gmail.  For several years, classic Google Hangouts had been a part of Google at U-M and integrated with Google Mail. Google Chat is an updated, team-based experience… Read More »

Save the date! 2020 Michigan IT Virtual Symposium

Mark your calendars for the Michigan IT Virtual Symposium, November 10-12, 2020. That’s right. “Virtual.” The pandemic has changed our approach in planning for the 2020 Michigan IT Symposium. Due to constraints regarding a face-to-face event, the planning committee has worked with the Michigan IT Steering committee to develop the framework for a rich and rewarding virtual experience. … Read More »

What to do if you’re in a meeting that gets Zoombombed

Most people by now are familiar with the steps necessary to make their own videoconferences secure. But what should you do if you happen to be participating in a videoconference that experiences some type of interruption, such as a Zoombomb.  Disruptions can include anything from the mundane – barking dog or crying children, unintentional screen sharing, or dissonant noises… Read More »

Amid restricted visitor policies, Zoom and FaceTime are a lifeline

It goes without saying that COVID-19 changed many things at Michigan Medicine. One major change has been the restricted hospital visitor policy, significantly limiting the number of people and time visitors can spend with a patient. For clinicians, this has upended patient-family communications, typically conducted face-to-face.  “Not being able to share information with families in-person has been a… Read More »

Michigan IT CoP activity for July and August

Michigan IT communities of practice (CoPs) are groups where like-minded IT professionals can share information, experiences, and ideas around a particular topic in support of the university’s missions. Here is a summary of May 2020 CoP meetings, as well as upcoming meeting information for June and July. To learn more or to add an upcoming meeting to your… Read More »

Creating communications plans for online classes

By | July 13, 2020

LSA Learning and Teaching Technology consultants have put together strategies to help educators create communication plans when teaching online. These strategies highlight the importance of regular, multifaceted, and meaningful communication with students, and suggest sharing communication plans with them. Read more at “Communication Plans for Online Classes.”

Brian Ellis awarded Sloan Foundation “net zero” grant

By | July 13, 2020

A research team led by Assistant Professor Brian Ellis has received a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s Net-Zero and Negative Emissions Technologies Request for Proposals (RFP). Ellis’s team will research ways in which carbon dioxide can be utilized for geothermal energy production and renewable energy storage. The RFP received nearly eighty submissions, and Ellis’s team is… Read More »

Jerome Lynch elected to the ASCE Department Heads Coordinating Council

By | July 13, 2020

Civil and Environmental Engineering’s Donald Malloure Department Chair, Jerome Lynch, has been elected to the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Department Heads Coordinating Council (DHCC) starting October 1, 2020. This council, tasked to advise and support ASCE’s Committee on Education, helps advance and facilitate research matters among all Civil Engineering Departments.  Many initiatives and activities from ASCE are… Read More »

Nexus at CoE prepares to launch new Cybersecurity professional certificate program

By | July 13, 2020

Nexus at Michigan Engineering is partnering with HackerU, the world’s premier cybersecurity and digital skills center of excellence, to launch a new online Cybersecurity Professional Bootcamp. The bootcamp will help transform lives by enabling working professionals to break into a cybersecurity career in less than one year. Students at Michigan Engineering, and members of the Ann Arbor community,… Read More »

MiXR Studios Podcast: Anti-Black racism and the promise of virtual reality

By | July 13, 2020

This week’s MiXR Studios podcast continues a conversation with Dr. Courtney Cogburn from Columbia University and discusses her groundbreaking work in virtual reality with 1000 Cut Journey and how it is as important as ever in the midst of the current Black Lives Matters movement. In the “1000 Cut Journey” virtual reality experience, the user becomes Mike Sterling,… Read More »

Making plastic more transparent while adding electrical conductivity

By | July 13, 2020

In an effort to improve large touchscreens, LED light panels and window-mounted infrared solar cells, a team of researchers at U-M has made plastic conductive while also making it more transparent. They provide a recipe to help other researchers find the best balance between conductivity and transparency by creating a three-layer anti-reflection surface. The conductive metal layer is… Read More »

Zoom Automatic Live Transcription now available

A Zoom beta feature is now available, providing automatic live transcription for meetings and webinars.  “Now more than ever, creating opportunities for the entire academic community to participate in discussions, presentations and lectures about today’s issues is vitally important,” said Ravi Pendse, vice president for information technology and chief information officer.  “We want to improve the ability for… Read More »

STAC expands membership to include new voices from IT units across campus

The Strategic Technology Advisory Committee (STAC) is expanding from 16 to roughly 50 members to represent voices from all units across campus to create a place for IT community members to come together, share information, and collaborate. STAC, previously known as the Unit IT Steering Committee, was formed nine years ago. Since then, its objectives have remained the… Read More »

Profiles in IT: Jackie Wolf—User experience advocate

Jackie Wolf is a web project manager and an user experience specialist for Michigan Medicine Department of Communication. Primarily she and her team build and support websites for Michigan Medicine. She also ensures that the web technology is robust, flexible, accessible, and secure. Collectively, the team gathers data to look for lessons about how frequently the content is… Read More »

Creating a Canvas course homepage

By | July 10, 2020

Your course homepage will be the first thing students see when they open your course on Canvas. Take advantage of this by making a course home page that introduces the course and directs students where to go and what to do, to begin the course. This is especially important when teaching remotely, as students who are normally in-person… Read More »

Duo for U-M VPN now available

You can now use Duo two-factor protection with the U-M Virtual Private Network (VPN). With faculty, staff, and students already benefiting from Duo two-factor authentication at Weblogin, ITS is working to further extend this protection to other university services. Try it now on your personal computer Visit ITS: Getting Started With VPN and choose your operating system to… Read More »

Police brutality in America: Teach-Out encourages learners to get informed, involved

By | July 9, 2020

As Black Lives Matter protests continue throughout the nation and deadly run-ins with police repeatedly make headlines, the University of Michigan explores the topic with a “Police Brutality in America Teach-Out.” Online now, the self-guided learning event on Coursera explores the history of policing in the United States and the legacy of mistrust between police and minority communities.… Read More »

Google Chat for Gmail is arriving July 15

By | July 8, 2020

Google Chat will be replacing classic Google Hangouts in Gmail. Google Chat is an evolution of classic Hangouts, adding additional features that let you chat with individuals, send group messages, and engage in team-based collaboration with rooms across the entire university community and externally. Starting July 15, 2020, Google Chat will become the default option for direct (one-to-one)… Read More »

Preparing your teaching team for teaching remotely

By | July 7, 2020

LSA Learning and Teaching Technology consultants have written a short article with tips on preparing teaching teams for remote teaching. The article offers advice for both senior instructors and graduate student instructors, covering tools like Canvas, Zoom, and Bluejeans. It includes linked resources and concrete steps and tips, as well as further reading.