by Ellen Puffe
The University of Minnesota's Office of Information Technology (OIT) welcomes returning students, faculty, and staff--and the incoming class of 2014!
OIT oversees information technology (IT) at the University by providing guidance to central and collegiate units and managing the system-wide IT enterprise. OIT manages the centrally provided computer, network, phone, and other information technology systems of the University of Minnesota, and also provides a comprehensive range of services to students, faculty, staff, and departments through our service units.
Throughout spring and summer, OIT staff has continued to add, enhance, update, and improve University technology tools. This insert will explain just a few of our services and help you get in step and connected with the technology available to you on the Twin Cities campus.
Why do you need all of this technology? Technology allows the University to do what it does in many ways. From making courses and class schedules available online; to facilitating departmental collaboration; to helping with computer hardware and software purchases; to managing records and providing online file storage; to staying connected via telephone; to providing wired and wireless networks--technology has become part of the University's landscape, and OIT is committed to bringing cutting-edge technology services to the campus community.
To help you get acquainted with how OIT services can help you, become familiar with the Getting Started Guide and learn about required campus technology resources such as Internet and email, as well as anti-virus software and safe computing practices.
Some of the many OIT features and services include:
- Email is the official means of communication at the University of Minnesota. Every student is provided with an email account. Sign in at http://mail.umn.edu. Activate your accounts, set account preferences, and set, change and reset your passwords at www.umn.edu/accounts.
- Technology help--your first point of contact for computer, Internet, and campus telephone support. Check here for help with email, passwords, hardware, software, ResNet, campus telephones, and web-based learning course site issues. Walk-in help is available at Tech Stop in 101 Coffman Union. Find out more at OIT's Technology Help website or visit Tech Stop. Contact technology help at (612) 301-4357 (1-HELP on campus).
- Google Apps for the University of Minnesota. Through a partnership with Google, University of Minnesota students, faculty, and staff can access a suite of Google-powered communication and collaboration tools designed to enhance our ability to work together. The suite includes email, calendar, document sharing, instant messaging, and website publishing tools. For more information on Google Apps for the University of Minnesota, visit the University's Google website.
- UMart, a University e-commerce site, offers new computers, accessories, cell phones and service, and high-speed Internet access at educational discounts to members of the University community. In addition, registered students are eligible to purchase network- and wireless-ready certified laptop computer bundles complete with the latest operating system, updates and patches, as well as pre-installed software, such as Microsoft Office. For more information, visit the UMart website.
- Carry-in computer consultation and support services, available through OIT's Computer Service and Repair, are designed to help you quickly diagnose and solve short-term computer service and repair issues.
- Online file storage is available through NetFiles, a secure online file storage application with collaboration and sharing features. NetFiles provides up to 5 gigabytes of storage space for each user. Visit the NetFiles website to learn more.
- Keep your computer safe and free of viruses, worms, and spyware. Antivirus software is required on all computers connected to the University network. One copy of Symantec AntiVirus is provided at no charge to University students, staff, and faculty. Get more information at the Safe Computing website.
- Members of the University community may purchase some software at a discounted price. Eligibility is based on University affiliation. Find out more at the UTools website.
- Computer labs for University students are conveniently located across the Twin Cities campus. Labs feature state of the art computer hardware and fast network connections. Scanning, printing, and other services are available. Find computer lab locations at www.oit.umn.edu/computer-labs.
- The ResNet website provides information regarding technology series in the residence halls including telephones, Internet, and cable. Find out more at www.resnet.umn.edu.
- Technology training in the form of free orientations, short courses, and online self-paced learning on various topics are available from the University Technology Training Center (UTTC). A complete list of available courses is available on the UTTC website.
- Virtual Private Network (VPN) lets you create secure connections from wireless and remote networks. You can install client versions of VPN software on your personal computer. See www.oit.umn.edu/vpn for all of the details.
- The University's wireless network provides campus affiliates and guests with wireless Internet access on the Twin Cities campus. There are more than 3,000 wireless access points on the system. Get started by visiting the U of M wireless website at www.oit.umn.edu/wireless.
- The Computer Accommodations Program (CAP) assists University students who have disabilities in accessing computers and information through the use of adaptive technology. Details are available at http://cap.umn.edu.
- UMChat is a University-wide instant messenger service. Use your Internet ID to log in and chat from the UMChat website.
Discover more technology services, including up-to-date information about all of the technology tools and resources available to you as a member of the University community, and available student technology resources on the OIT website. Also, join us on Facebook at "University of Minnesota Information Technology."