Improving Students’ Eduroam Experience: Marston Spring Tabling Dates

To support the year-long educational communications initiative You’re a Gator – Not a [UF] Guest, UF Information Technology (UFIT) staff will connect with students directly through a series of campus tabling sessions. The first two tabling events are Friday, Apr. 5, and Monday, Apr. 8, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. inside Marston Science Library’s entryway. The goal of the You’re a Gator – Not a [UF] Guest initiative is to make students aware that enrolling their devices in eduroam provides the optimal campus Wi-Fi experience.

Network usage data determined that Marston Science Library is one of UF’s busiest campus spots, with thousands of students studying across the five floors daily. The data also revealed clusters of ‘ufguest’ network and personal hotspot usage among Marston’s heavy foot traffic. Personal mobile hotspots redirect the Wi-Fi signal in crowded campus areas. The ‘ufguest’ network should be used exclusively by campus visitors, because it doesn’t offer full internet access, is slower than eduroam, and is an unencrypted network.

Eduroam offers up to 10x’s faster connectivity than the ‘ufguest’ network and is the campus standard for secure network access . Also, by enrolling their devices in eduroam, campus members won’t have to re-configure every 24 hours as required on ‘ufguest’. Come see our team, get configured to eduroam, and grab a free sticker! If you miss us, don’t worry. You can always stop by the UFIT Help Desk at 132 Hub (across from Starbucks) or call 352-392-HELP for Wi-Fi configuration support.

On-The-Go Campus Printing with GatorPrint

UF Information Technology (UFIT) offers black and white, color, and large format poster printing in more than 20 buildings across campus via the GatorPrint program. GatorPrint enables community members to send print jobs directly from their computer, mobile device, or a UF workstation to more than 50 campus printing locations, from on- or off-campus. Students can even send jobs while waiting for, or while riding on, an RTS bus!

Printing costs vary depending on the type of print job but are standard across UFIT’s campus print locations. Once your print job is completed, the charges are posted on your ONE.UF account. Faculty and staff can also arrange bulk printing credits for their department or college.

Check out the printing options, locations, costs, and policies at print.at.ufl.edu. Technology consultants are available to assist you with your print job at the Architecture Lab, Marston Science Library, CSE, Norman Hall, and at Weil Hall. Anyone with questions about campus printing options may call the UFIT Help Desk (352-392-HELP), or stop by the Help Desk at 132 Hub, located across from Starbucks.

Fresh, Accessible, and Flexible: UF’s New Web Templates

UF Information Technology (UFIT) collaborated with the Office of Strategic Communications and Marketing (SCM) to launch the new UF web theme in September 2023. The theme, known as Mercury, features modular and component-based templates, creating a modernized look aligned with UF’s branding strategy and accessibility policy. The components of each template are flexible, allowing users to easily adopt the theme.

This project began in June 2021 with UF partnering with the vendor Stamats. UFIT’s Web Services team serves as SCM’s technical support and worked with them on the web refresh efforts. The new template reflects three years of planning, cooperation, and building out the new look.

“Since the release of the Mercury theme, we’ve already seen several units successfully implement it,” SCM’s Director of Marketing and Web Strategy Ana Mertz said. “It is exciting to see so many units embrace the new templates. Our teams worked hard to ensure our campus community had as many resources as possible to facilitate adoption.”

While implementation of the templates is not required for campus units, it’s highly encouraged as the Mercury theme provides brand continuity and meets current accessibility standards.

“Based on the requests for meetings to discuss migrating into the new theme, I am optimistic that campus wide adoption is forthcoming,” UFIT Associate Director and Manager of Web Services Kimbley Standifer said.

Visit the UF Brand Center’s ‘Website Templates’ page to find information about the template, available platforms, and the required documentation to use them. If you have any questions, please fill out the contact form at the bottom of the page. UFIT also has additional resources about using the new template available on https://webservices.it.ufl.edu/mercury-theme/.

Free Training on Administrative and AI Applications

UF Information Technology (UFIT) offers a robust training calendar that includes instructor-led opportunities and self-paced courses. All UFIT training is free and open to faculty, staff, and students. There are dozens of offerings this semester including the options listed below.

Enhance Your collaboration skills with these instructor-led webinars:

Earn UFIT’s AI Foundations certificate with this anytime, on-demand option:

AI Foundations Certificate Program: Learn different aspects of AI through a series of five courses: Artificial Intelligence in The Workplace, Harnessing AI Tools, AI Image Generators (Self-Paced), and Prompt Engineering: Working with ChatGPT and AI Image Generators.

Become proficient with survey tools for research and administrative use:

Register today and let’s learn together! UFIT can also deliver on-site, custom learning opportunities for a college, department, or unit that has a specific group training need. Email ufit-training@ufl.edu with your inquiry. The training staff are eager to help you more efficiently use campus IT tools and applications.

Connecting Students with Tech Resources

UF Information Technology (UFIT) hosted its annual Tech Fair on Wednesday, Feb. 28. Tech Fair allows students to explore various free campus tech resources and services available, regardless of major. Among the resources for students to discover this year were AI tools for building e-portfolios, AI prompts for effective studying, and the Career Connections Center’s AI resume-reviewing tool, Quinncia.

Camila Diaz-Borges, a classical studies freshman, said she left Tech Fair with a deeper understanding of the AI certificate offered to UF students after speaking with Career Connections Center staff.

“I think I might apply for the AI certificate now that I know more about it,” Diaz-Borges said.

Students explored equipment available to check out from the George A. Smathers Libraries and how to make the most of their free, UFIT-provided LinkedIn Learning subscription. Students also had a chance to learn what IT training is offered by UFIT and Help Desk staff were also providing on-site IT assistance.

Rachael Yacuzzo, a junior history and women’s studies double major, stopped by the ONE.UF booth, where students were encouraged to share what improvements should be made to the mobile app.

“Something that I found really troublesome with the app was that I could never [open] my degree audit on it, so I’m glad they asked for feedback,” Yacuzzo said.

Computer science graduate student Nicholas Sily and general business freshman Jenna Vell said the range of equipment available to rent from Smathers Libraries caught their interest.

“I’m really impressed with the video-filming equipment that students can check out from the libraries,” Sily said.

“We’re learning about 3-D printing in class, so it’s great to know we have 3-D printing services right here in Marston,” Vell said.

This year’s event tracked 523 student interactions. For any questions about the 2024 Tech Fair, email UFIT Communications at it-comm@ufl.edu.

Encouraging Students to Enroll Devices in Eduroam

This month, UF Information Technology (UFIT) is launching a proactive educational and communication initiative aimed at enhancing student awareness and utilization of eduroam.

This initiative was conceived in response to student feedback regarding the quality and accessibility of Wi-Fi in the university’s public areas, particularly in the UF libraries.  After thorough testing conducted by UFIT staff, it was determined that the Wi-Fi infrastructure in the libraries is operating as intended. Further analysis indicated that students can significantly enhance their Wi-Fi experience by making two simple adjustments: enrolling their devices in the eduroam service and deactivating their smartphone’s hot spot. Thus the three messaging “drumbeats” are the focus of the campaign:

  1. You’re a Gator—not a [UF] Guest! Enroll in eduroam.
  2. Get on eduroam for up to 10X’s faster internet!
  3. DYK? Your phone’s Wi-Fi hotspot interferes with the Wi-Fi campus signal.

Another benefit students will see upon enrolling in eduroam is they won’t have to re-register every 24 hours to use the UF Guest Wi-Fi. Device registration eliminates the need to do that, while also providing the most secure connection available.

Outreach support for the You’re a Gator–not a [UF] Guest! campaign includes monitor images, multiple videos, a social media campaign, signage in strategic, student gathering locations, and tabling events. Campaign materials (e.g., monitor images, videos, and stickers) will be made available to UF’s colleges and divisions, to help spread the word. Anyone with questions about the campaign is welcome to contact UFIT Communications.

Upgrades to UFIT’s Video Production Studios

New equipment has been installed and is ready for instructor use in UFIT’s video production studios.

Instructors can now more easily share files and discuss visual concepts when filming their course videos. A larger green screen has been installed in one of UFIT’s studios, allowing for much wider shots than before, so the person being filmed has more mobility during their video shoot. Additionally, a 28″ Surface Studio was part of this recent equipment upgrade, providing a touchscreen-based personal computer, interactive whiteboard, and digital pen for use during your video shoot.

UFIT’s video production studios has multimedia specialists available for consult and who will support you and your project throughout the process. The studios are located on the second floor of the Hub. Filming can be done in-studio or in the field, so if you require location shooting for projects like welcome videos or the recording of in-class lectures, this isn’t an issue. Visit https://citt.ufl.edu/services/video-production/ to learn more, schedule a consult, or to book time in the studio.

Anyone with questions about the services offered is welcome to email UFIT Production Manager Greg D’angio

What Your Primary Affiliation Means for Digital Access at UF

The University of Florida’s large and diverse population is comprised of students, faculty, and staff. But there are many other primary roles (known as ‘affiliations’) in our Gator community, and everyone’s affiliation determines what digital services they are entitled to access. Some of these additional primary UF affiliations include emeritus faculty member, consultant, community members who use UF libraries, authorized vendors, and newly admitted students not yet enrolled.

UFIT has an updated webpage showing which affiliations can use the following provisioned services.

UF Email Eligible365 LicenseDropboxGooglePower BI ProZoomVPNEduroam

UFIT maintains the list of primary affiliations for the university. Anyone with questions about their affiliation or the assigned affiliation of a new hire or former employee is encouraged to chat with their department security administrator (DSA).

Participate in National Higher Education Survey

EDUCAUSE, the leading nonprofit association that advocates for strategic use of technology and data in higher education, sponsors an annual national survey at colleges and universities. The survey focuses on the use of classroom technologies and technology adoption by faculty and students.

An ‘invitation to participate’ email was sent to instructors and undergraduates on Monday, Oct. 23. The survey will remain open through Friday, Nov. 17. This is an opportunity for instructors and undergraduates to let UF Information Technology (UFIT) know how the division can better support teaching and learning. All feedback is anonymous.

UFIT activities are driven by the University of Florida’s Strategic Plan for IT: 2020-2025. Several of the goals in the strategic plan will be supported by faculty and student responses to the EDUCAUSE survey. And, since the survey is administered at hundreds of universities, information collected at our university becomes part of a large research project, enabling UF to benchmark its data against other public land-grant institutions. Members of the university community with questions about EDUCAUSE’s survey data collection process are welcome to contact them through their online “Contact Us” form.