Hofstra ITS


Spring 2022


Welcome Back!

A note from Steve Fabiani, Vice President for Digital Innovation and Technology

This morning as I walked around seeing the campus come to life, watching students and faculty brave the remnants of weekend snow and settle into their classrooms, there was an energy about this wonderful place that felt so very good. I was reminded of a Shel Silverstein poem, from Where the Sidewalk Ends, about how really anything can happen.

by Shel Silverstein

Listen to the MUSTN'TS, child,
Listen to the DON'TS
Listen to the SHOULDN'TS
Listen to the NEVER HAVES
Then listen close to me —
Anything can happen, child,
ANYTHING can be.

The last couple of years have underscored this message, perhaps in ways that were far from optimal. But what I'm feeling today is quite different and far, far better. As we head into Spring 2022, with the first month of the calendar year behind us, there's an energy about campus that reflects all manner of possibilities.

In this edition of ITS Innovations we update you on progress toward the next generation of learning management systems at Hofstra. As the current version of Blackboard is being retired, faculty and ITS crew have come together to look at alternatives. There's also an update on new technology that promises to enhance the Zoom experience for those teaching online in real time. The latest version of PrideDesktop is now out and improves the computer lab experience for students working from just about anywhere. We're updating to an even more secure experience when employees log in to Hofstra's portal and other web-based systems. And we have the latest on the work we're doing to improve Hofstra's data-informed decision-making and analysis tools.

There's also a great deal to look forward to for 2022 as we begin to think about partnering with colleagues across campus to streamline and digitize our many paper processes. More to come on those efforts as the year ticks on.

In the meantime, my hope is that 2022 gets off to a great start for you and brings us not just new technologies and efficiencies, but also more opportunities to connect with each other in person - and discover together that anything really can be. Here's to a great semester and a strong start to 2022!


DUO Two-Factor Authentication Rolling Out to Administrators and Staff by March; Faculty Later This Spring

Today, when you log in to the University's VPN or a virtual desktop, you're required to use your username and password, plus an additional "factor" called DUO. When you turn on your VPN, DUO prompts you (typically via your cell phone) to verify that it's you logging in.

Starting in March, all Hofstra administrators and staff members will be required to use DUO whenever they access any system that uses the familiar My.Hofstra.edu Portal login screen. Faculty will be required to use DUO on My.Hofstra.edu later this spring.

You can be among the first to start using DUO when you access the My.Hofstra.edu Portal. If you opt in now, you'll have early access to an additional layer of security for many of the services you rely on every day, including the Portal and all of the apps that use it for authentication. By doing this on your own, you'll also be helping the ITS crew... We'll be one person closer to our goal of 100% compliance.

Enabling two-factor authentication for your My.Hofstra.edu Portal account is easy! Step-by-step enrollment instructions are available here. Several notification methods are available. We recommend you set up a primary and secondary method. For primary, we recommend the DUO Push option which sends a prompt to the Duo Mobile app on your smartphone. For secondary, we recommend setting up a landline using your Hofstra office phone number.

Please keep in mind that this is a permanent change going forward. Once you enable DUO for your My.Hofstra.edu Portal account, it will be enabled for good. So be sure to have your mobile device handy when you flip the switch to "Enabled"!

Enhancements to PrideDesktop for Spring 2022

All Hofstra students have access to a virtual "computer lab" via the University's popular PrideDesktop service. With PrideDesktop, students have 24/7 access to the academic software and other technology services required to support their coursework -- from anywhere in the world.

New for spring 2022, we've revamped PrideDesktop and migrated to an all-new, cloud-based architecture based on Microsoft's Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) platform.

Each Hofstra student will be issued a Hofstra Microsoft 365 account, which automatically grants them access to the Office 365 suite of apps, OneDrive storage, and the University's PrideDesktop service.

New PrideDesktop

The PrideDesktop is accessible using a web browser. You can visit My Apps in the My.Hofstra.edu Portal. Just click the "PrideDesktop" icon and follow the instructions.

Visit Hofstra.edu/PrideDesktop to learn how to use the new version.

Learning Management System (LMS) Pilot

Blackboard - Canvas

During the spring semester, approximately thirty faculty from across the University are participating in our LMS pilot, comparing Blackboard Ultra to Canvas. Faculty -- along with the students who are enrolled in the pilot courses -- will be completing feedback surveys at the end of the pilot. The Senate Educational and Research Technology Services Committee and ITS have been collaborating on this project since spring 2021.

Class Technologies Pilot: You're Invited to Join!

Class is software that's integrated with Zoom and offers 50+ teaching and learning tools and features. Faculty from across the University are invited to pilot the platform with their courses this spring. You can learn more about Class Technologies from this YouTube video.

If you'd like to be contacted about the pilot, send an email to help@hofstra.edu.

Classroom Technology Upgrades

Classtoom Update

Over the winter break, ITS worked with our vendor partner to upgrade 16 classrooms with the latest technology:

  • Five classrooms were upgraded to advanced lecture capture, with cameras and microphones that capture faculty and students. These rooms are:
    • Heger Hall 100, 101
    • Roosevelt Hall 108, 213
    • Weed Hall 204
  • Four classrooms and seven specialized labs were upgraded to standard lecture capture, which includes a camera and microphone that captures the faculty member. These rooms are:
    • Berliner Hall 309
    • Calkins Hall 332
    • Davison Hall 012
    • Gittleson Hall 312, 319
    • Monroe Hall 202
    • Weed Hall 014, 016, 100A, 100B, 106
  • Each of the above spaces also received a laser projector, confidence monitor, and wireless video capabilities for presentations.

With these rooms, Hofstra now has 120 rooms equipped with lecture capture technology, including 25 with advanced lecture capture.

Over the break, we also upgraded 25 classroom podium PCs. We'll upgrade another 25 podium PCs through the spring semester.

View the ITS Classroom Technology Directory to check the technology equipment in specific locations.

Piloting a New Set of Technologies for Data Warehousing

ITS has acquired and is now implementing a brand new technology stack for data warehousing and business intelligence. These tools will further empower those whose work involves data and analysis to securely, quickly, and easily turn the University's data into actionable insights.

New tools include:

  • Snowflake: Quickly and efficiently capture and process high volumes of data
  • Informatica: Automatically retrieve data from almost any source -- load it into our data warehouse
  • Tableau: Create beautiful, visually engaging dashboards containing real-time data, facilitating fast, data-informed decisions

In partnership with Academic Records and Institutional Research, ITS is conducting a pilot project using the University's student retention data to gain experience with these new technologies and solidify best practices.

On Thursday, February 17, we'll be sharing more details on these technologies and accompanying strategy, including what it means for you and your area's data. Join us! More details follow below.

Register for our Webinar: Intro to Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence at Hofstra

Join Kaitlyn Poncet, Director of Enterprise Data Warehousing, for a webinar presentation discussing the University's transition to a modern technology stack and governance model for business intelligence.

Intro to Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence at Hofstra
with Kaitlyn Poncet, Director of Enterprise Data Warehousing Thursday, February 17th, 2 p.m.
Pre-register to receive Zoom link. Open to all University employees.

macOS Monterey Now Available for Hofstra-Owned Macs

Monterey is the latest feature update to Apple's macOS operating system, and it's now available for Hofstra Mac users to install on demand. Before you install, please make sure you have backed up your Mac using Time Machine or another method. If you need assistance with a backup, please contact the ITS Service Desk.

Once you're ready to upgrade, it's easy to start the process. Click the Apple menu > System Preferences > Software Updates to install.

We're Here to Help!

The ITS Service Desk serves as the front door to ITS. When you need technology support, guidance, or resources at Hofstra, the Service Desk team will help you find what you need.

Please note: To allow for physical distancing, we ask that you please schedule an appointment before visiting the ITS Service Desk in person.

Service Desk hours for spring 2022:

  • Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (5 p.m. when classes are not in session)
  • Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Closed on designated University holidays

To connect with the ITS Service Desk:

  • Visit the ITS Service Portal to:
    • Search our knowledge base for answers to frequently asked questions and common solutions
    • Request account access, technology items, or services
    • Submit a new Service Desk ticket, or check the status of an existing ticket
    • Schedule an appointment for in-person support (We're located in 125 Axinn Library, adjacent to Hammer Lab)
  • Call +1-516-463-7777
  • Email help@hofstra.edu