Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Microsoft Store for Education Available

Now that you've rescued the HMS Windows XP, or hopefully arrived safely on the HMS Windows 7, we wanted to make you aware of discount offers that the vendors we work with make available.

The most recent one is the Microsoft Education Store. Everything from Xbox One to the new Surface 2. Be sure and select LETU as your university.

We also publish on our IT page discounts that are available from on vendors on a regular basis. Here you'll find everything from AT&T to Verizon.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The HMS Windows XP Is Being Retired

What's Happening: Windows XP support ending April 2014
Action Needed: Replacement/upgrade of all Windows XP computers to Windows 7
When: By March 31, 2014; preferably sooner

Do you remember what happened on August 24, 2001? If you were working on a personal computer, do you remember what your computer was running? Probably Windows 2000 or Windows Me.

Windows XP was that hope for a better tomorrow. Many of us wanted something better than the Windows crashes and bugs we had to live with every day, and we wondered what XP, or the new "eXPerience" would be like.

In April of 2014, Microsoft is discontinuing support of Windows XP.

What does this mean for LETU? 

Our Director of User Support and Experience, Michael Davis, puts it so well, let me just let you read his story.

Imagine you're on a warm, Caribbean cruise, lounging in your ocean view stateroom and relaxing to the gentle rocking of your magnificent cruise liner as it pierces through the waves, unabated by the tranquil yet powerful vastness of the ocean on all sides. You're blissfully unaware of all the people involved behind the scenes in making yours a successful voyage. Captains, navigators, engineers, mechanics, cooks, waiters; all of whom are serving unnoticed to ensure the smooth operation of the vessel. That's not completely unlike the world of technology in which we live. As for your ship - let's call her the HMS Windows XP - she's aged. In nautical years, she's past retirement age, but she's dutifully trudged on despite having been at sea too long and undergone many refittings at various dry docks.

At this point, the ship's crew and all her mates know it's time to let her peacefully slip away on her final excursion. The more modern, sleeker upgrade - HMS Windows 7 - has pulled up alongside Windows XP and is ushering all souls still aboard the aged vessel to disembark and board this new flagship model.

You're back in your stateroom, euphorically entranced when you feel the mechanistic breathing of the hull come to a stop. The ship's momentum carries her only so far against the friction of the vast ocean pushing back against her bow. You peer out the window in your stateroom, nothing but endless blue on the starboard side. You cautiously exit your stateroom and find the hall outside deserted, empty. To and fro through the decks of the ship you find no one. No food is served, no music played, no conversations take place anywhere. You eventually find yourself top-side where you can see that all around you is nothing but ocean. No land nor soul in sight. The ship, let alone the ocean, is an overwhelming landscape without the company of operators or fellow vacationers. Suddenly, a craft. A small vessel deftly approaches, skimming across the surface of the water. A rescue? As they get closer, you discern the outline of several figures, darkly clad, wielding something across their arms. This is no rescue. Left to her own defenses without support of her crew, pirates seize upon the opportunity to lay waste to the abandoned XP, searching for any poor soul who missed the opportunity to transition at sea with the rest of the sailors. It would have been too dangerous for the pirates before, too futile.  Now, though, what's to stop them? Who's to stop them? They will board, they will destroy the craft searching for any remnant they find valuable, and they will leave it in desolation. And if there is nothing of value? Years of savagery and making do on the high seas has changed them. It's no longer about survival. There's fun - fun in the mere destruction of something because it's possible. The ship is lost.

Microsoft outlines just such risk of running Windows XP after the company ends support for the product in April of 2014:

Inside sources from Microsoft suggest that Windows XP infection rate may increase up to 66% after support (and therefore security patches) ends in April:

Please help by budgeting for and reporting any computers in your area that you find are still on Windows XP. LETU IT will also be reaching out to leaders in your area to schedule the replacement of any such computers that appear on our reports. How do you tell Windows XP from 7? A quick glance at the main screen before you logon can help you identify your version of Windows:

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Upcoming Faculty Continuing Education Session

The LETU Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning presents:

·         How reliable is it?

·         What place does it have in academia?

·         How can those with academic expertise respond and engage?

·         Join us for an informed discussion and find out!

Led by:

Mr. Daniel Ostendorff

Assistant Professor of History & Political Science
Department of History & Political Science
LeTourneau University


·         Thursday, October 24th, 2013
·         12:00 p.m.
·         MSC-III 
·         Length: 60 Minutes


·         by email:

·         by phone: (903) 233-3510

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Monday, September 16, 2013

CITL Blog Starting

CENTER FOR                
LeTourneau University
September 2013

Look for our new CITL blog starting this month designed to increase collaboration and innovation throughout LETU by providing information to staff and faculty about CITL happenings.

Our blog will include information on:

-Higher Education Happenings 
-Technology (Computer and Educational)
-Pedagogy, Andragogy and Heutagogy
-Research and Best Practices
-A Showcase of Innovation at LETU
-Library Information 
-Upcoming Events including educational webinars and other educational offerings
-New Technologies Available at LETU


Please follow on our link from the weekly LETU News!

Colleen Halupa

You can reach me at ext. 4071 or by email at if you have questions about the CITL or comments about the blog.

Friday, September 13, 2013

What's CITL?

CITL? The Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning. Or, you can think of us as C, IT and L. Think of C as for Curriculum Design and Technology. IT, well, IT, aka Information Technology. And L can remind you of our Learning Resource Center (Library, as we used to call it). We have joined these three strategic areas within LETU into one center we call the CITL—the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning.

Our vision is to engage innovation in teaching and learning through information, instructional and educational technology and library and information science. That’s a mouthful.

As we know, technology is everywhere—whether you find it with our engineers, our aeronautical sciences, our educational faculty and staff, our business programs, all throughout the arts and science and into our proposed nursing program.

With our new center, we welcome two new directors. Dr. Colleen Halupa and Mrs. Leslie BowmanColleen is serving as our Director of our Curriculum Design and Technology area. She is our CITL newsletter editor along with leading the CITL with our faculty in instructional and education technology. She will be conducting pedagogy training workshops for faculty to better use technology in the classroom to improve student learning outcomes. She is an experienced educator, having led educational programs for the U.S. Air Force.

Leslie is leading our Learning Resource Center as our library director. She has experience training students, faculty and staff in information literacy and educational technology, having organized training in collaborative learning techniques, project-based instruction, SMART boards, student response systems , Microsoft Office products and iPads.  She is also making some marvelous advances in the library space, so if you haven’t stopped by yet, please do.

We covet your prayers for our Center.  Our goal is that we will serve each of you well with the talents and gifts God has in His mercy bestowed on us. We exist to serve each of you as professionals of Christ-like character who understanding our work as our holy calling with eternal impact.

We also covet your ideas. No idea is too small. No idea is too big. Send me or any of our directors, Colleen, Leslie, Ken Johnson, Michael Davis or Kristin Ater your ideas for innovation.

Here are our contact numbers for those ideas (continue to use 3500 for all technical support):

C—Curriculum Design and Technology Assistance  —4070
IT—Technology Support  —3500
L—Learning Resource Center —3260

Matthew Henry
Dean of Innovative Education

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

New Blackboard Mobile Learn 4.0

Dear Students and Faculty Members:
Blackboard Mobile Learn has undergone a massive redesign.
Guided by simplicity, readability and ease of use, this update makes interacting with your courses more enjoyable and personal than ever.
Students and faculty will see app updates on their iOS and Android devices at the end of the month, but you can update the Mobile Web Services Building Block now.  
With this redesign comes:
Students can favorite, hide, reorder, color code, and rename their courses.
Reading and contributing to threaded discussion forums is easier than ever.
Rich Content Handling:
The most often used rich content styles are supported so that course design and user experience are not compromised.
To find out more information and download this new app go to:

Saturday, April 27, 2013

10 Top Time-Savings Tech Tips

Short, five minute video of some time saving tips for using technology from browsers to cameras. It's an interesting conundrum, technology should make things easier for us. If it doesn't, there may be a simpler way.

Do you have any ideas for making technology simpler?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Goodbye Windows 3.1 and 3.5 Inch Diskettes

"Broadly speaking, technology is the way people do things" (1). From horse shoes, spectacles (glasses) to buttons to the windmill, technology has come and gone. So thankful for technology that has "stuck" like buttons and glasses.

You may not be able to see it in the picture, but this Windows for Workgroups is version 3.1. It was an exciting day when this version of Windows came out. It fixed so many problems with 3.0. Many had not upgraded to 3.0, as it was too buggy. And, many didn't like the new "GUI" that Windows 3.x offered as it was too slow on older computers. The DOS-like graphics of Windows 1.0 and 2.0 were much better. 

Well, we reach the end of another era, another way people do things, Windows XP. Microsoft will be discontinuing support for Windows XP as of April 8, 2014. From an LETU perspective, in order to get ready for this, as of this week we will begin in earnest making sure the remaining computers on campus are upgraded to Windows 7.

What does this mean to you? For LETU owned computers, if you have an XP issue, something that seems to be broken or not working with XP, we will walk you through the process of upgrading your computer to Windows 7. For those with their own computers that are using LETU services, we will continue to support LETU services like Blackboard, wireless, etc., as long as Microsoft provides support for XP.

You might think, so what, if Microsoft drops support of XP on April 8, 2014, my computer will still work, right? Yes, it will, but it will be at a great risk for viruses and malware. Currently, Microsoft continues to patch any defect in XP that would allow hacking attempts into your computer and the LETU network. When XP is no longer supported, Microsoft will no longer fix these defects and supporting an XP computer on our LETU network will put LETU at risk.

As always, we are here to serve you in the way you do things for your work in God's Kingdom here at LETU.

(1) White, Lynn. Medieval Religion and Technology: Collected Essays. Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 1978.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Let's go Phishing

Scams, like the example below, get more and more clever as technology advances. Everywhere from "sharing" viruses to stealing money, people are trying harder and harder to make sure their presentations and tricks are convincing. The shock factor is a great hook for scams like these. "WHAT! I spent HOW MUCH????!!!! How did?!... What!... wait a minute..."

This is just a cautionary reminder that these e-mails are intended to shock you into clicking that seemingly friendly link that will lead you into despair. I encourage you to avoid clicking that link, at all costs. Instead, check your bank account. The first indication that an e-mail like this is a scam: You have no idea where this e-mail came from (an unfamiliar website, or a purchase you never made, or a ridiculous amount of money spent). The closest second indication: your bank account is fine, absolutely fine. 

Something important to remember: keep track of where you shop, what sites you use, and who has your credit card information. If an e-mail is in the "none of the above" slot, and your bank account is untouched, then just delete the e-mail or mark it as spam, and move on. Take a deep breath, don't worry. It was just a hungry ole "phisherman," but you avoided the hook!

Hook and Lure #1:
From: Data Processing Service <>
Date: March 21, 2013, 10:21:54 AM CDT
Subject: ACH file ID "596.553"  has been aborted
SUCCESS Information

We have successfully complete ACH file 'ACH2013-03-20-5.txt' (id '596.553')
submitted by user                             on '2013-03-20 20:07:62.1'.
Item count: 41
Total debits: $27,312.13
Total credits: $27,312.13
For addidional details    browse this link

 Hook and Lure #2:

From: [] On Behalf Of                       
Sent: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 12:23 PM
Subject: BBC-Email: While we read of Cyprus, US Government prepares 10% Deposit tax! Exlusive!

                      saw this story on the BBC News website and thought you should see it.

** While we read of Cyprus, US Government prepares 10% Deposit tax! Exlusive! ** Cyprus can amend terms to a bailout deal that has sparked huge public anger....
< >

** BBC Daily E-mail **
Choose the news and sport headlines you want - when you want them, all in one daily e-mail
< >

** Disclaimer **
The BBC is not responsible for the content of this e-mail, and anything written in this e-mail does not necessarily reflect the BBC's views or opinions. Please note that neither the e-mail address nor name of the sender have been verified.

If you do not wish to receive such e-mails in the future or want to know more about the BBC's Email a Friend service, please read our frequently asked questions by clicking here

_End Hook and Lure #2_ 

Some scams are easy to see, but some of them come from what we may think are trusted websites and names. Make sure to never click on anything if you aren't sure about it. If it comes from a trusted site, close the e-mail, open a separate tab or browser, and go to your account, to the original site, and check on it that way. Be a smart, slippery fish, not easily caught by these slimy -but sometimes shiny- luring hooks. 

Have a Blessed Day!

The Fly

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Human Progress

As I fly around IT and watch the variety of people that walk in and out of the doors, I cannot help but think about how broad a spectrum technology covers. Information Technology serves every department on campus, from biology labs to civil engineering to education. I am continuously fascinated by the variety of people that walk in, or call in, asking for help from our department. 

Technology exists in every field. Technology can be a great resource for advancement and progress, such as improvements in the classroom experience and more effective online learning. However, it can also be used for harmful or even malicious intents, like spam or world domination. While some advances in technology may eventually make certain controversies obsolete, other advances will bring more controversy to our attention. The following videos are TED Talks about some recent ideas and technologies that are being developed and have the potential to revolutionize our world and our individual lives. The length of the video shouldn't deter you from watching, the topics are fascinating:

(Tissue engineering from human skin cells)

(A new look at energy efficiency)

As I watch videos like these, I get excited about research and advances in science and technology. Our world is ever-changing, and the improvements that have been and can be made are fascinating and enthralling. However, there is a part of every person that feels a small amount of fear when new ideas are spread. I think it is important to recognize that this fear of the unknown is common, natural, and human; and it is not entirely unfounded. Sometimes the unknown turns out more dangerous than expected. 

However, exploration of the unknown has also brought incredible advances in our world (i.e. space exploration, energy technology, online learning). Fear of the unknown has been a part of scientific and technological progress at every point in history. However, we cannot allow fear to halt the progress of research and invention. God has instilled in humans a desire for knowledge, and a curiosity and drive to pursue truth and transformation, and He has also provided wisdom and discernment to help guide that curiosity.

We must be aware of our focus and intentions as we seek to advance our world, and of the consequences of these new ideas. However, allowing fear to dissuade our curiosity and hinder our pursuit of knowledge would be a tragedy.  

These are some thoughts and ideas I have had as I watch the world as a fly on the wall in IT. 

Have a blessed and thoughtful day!

The Fly ;)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Too Good To Be True

A great reminder from the SANS Institute in their recent OUCH! newsletter. Email phishing attacks continue to plaque all of us. And they just seem to be getting better and better.

Summarized from the newsletter.

These phishing attempts work by:
  • Harvesting Information: these are attempts to fool you. They want your bank routing number, you password, anything. 
  • Malicious Links: these attempts ask you to click on a link to see something. When you do, your computer is infected.
  • Attachments: We've seen a number of these recently in the form of "zip" files. Opening these attachments will load malicious software on your computer.
  • Scams: most of the time, these are just pleas for help or money made available to you through an inheritance. 

Some good advice:
  • Use common sense. If it's too good to be true it is.
  • If the email has a sense of urgency or invokes a sense of urgency (see one of our previous posts on this), it should trigger a warning.
  • Grammar or spelling mistakes are good clues, although, these are going away.
  • Do not click on links. We've mentioned this before as well. This is frustrating but if you get a notice from your bank that your statement is ready, don't click on the link. Go to your bank's web site and access it from there.
  • Don't open attachments. This one is hard as well. It may take asking the person who sent you the attachment whether they sent it.
  • These phishers are getting good at making the email look like it's from one of your friends. We even had one this week that looked like it came from the U.S. Treasury.

(now, this was a trick, should you click on this link?)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Plants and Forks that Talk to Your Smartphone, really!

The Consumer Electronics Show for 2013 just wrapped up this week. Technology continues to become ubiquitous with just about anything you can imagine.

Monday, January 7, 2013

May I Help You May Not Be Help!

Your computer screen goes blue and eventually turns black, what would you do? If you are using an LETU computer, we hope you would call 903-233-3500 (toll free: 866-TEC-LETU). 

However, what would happen if as soon as this happened on your computer, all of the sudden you received a call from Tech Support offering to fix your computer? That Tech Support introduced themselves as Adam or Bill and convinces you to grant authority to run a program to scan your computer. 

While you are watching, you see that Tech Support person going through your files and showing you how the virus has infected your computer.

Once that Tech Support finishes, they tell you the virus could be removed for a fee and ask you for your credit card info.

Sound legitimate, right?

IC3, a partnership between the FBI and National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C) released a report today describing this scam. Nothing verified at this point, just reports coming. Another good warning to all of us to be careful about what we do and who we allow on our computers.

LETU IT will never ask you for a credit card number. We will ask for permission to control your computer, but it will either be after you have gone to or for campus computers we have let you know that we will be controlling the LETU computer with software we have already installed.

As always, if you have any concerns or questions about technology, please call us at 903-233-3500 or email at

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