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Rebranding of the UF Homepage

SCREEN CAPTURE: Updated UFL.EDU homepage, University of Florida

UFIT enabled the Office of Strategic Communications & Marketing (SCM) to lift the University of Florida’s web presence. The full rebranding of the top-level domain (i.e., the UF homepage), referred to as Tier 1 of the project, went live on April 11. SCM initiated the www.ufl.edu redesign project with the agency Stamats and UFIT in June 2021.

“UFIT’s leadership and staff were instrumental in providing technical insights and support for a successful site migration for UF,” said Ana Perez-Olave, associate director of digital marketing. “The collaboration between our two offices was very fruitful, and SCM looks forward to the continued partnership with UFIT throughout the Tier 2 (templates for colleges) and Tier 3 (templates for departments, centers, and business units) phases of the project.”

Approximately 22 members of UFIT are involved in the project, including web developers and designers, along with infrastructure staff involved in load testing and managing the web servers.  While continuing to support clients in TERMINALFOUR, Web Services staff adjusted their techniques and learned new skills to prepare the required infrastructure.  To date, staff have logged more than 4,000 hours to the project. As soon as Tier 1 went live, UFIT focused development energies on the Tier 2 and Tier 3 project deliverables. Anyone needing support with their T4 environment, T4 training, or who has a question about web standards, may use the https://webservices.it.ufl.edu/contact/ form.

Tech Equipment Rentals in Smathers Libraries

GRAPHIC: Equipment Rental Available with UF block monogram image

A variety of tech equipment is available for checkout in Smathers Libraries. Before buying something new, see if what you need is available through Marston, Education, Library West, Architecture, or the Health Science Center libraries. Items are first come, first serve and can be rented for two hours to a month, depending on the device. After checking availability online, simply present your Gator1 ID at a library front desk and pick up your item.

Forgot your laptop charger? The libraries have you covered. Essential items like device chargers and headphones are regularly loaned to students for a few hours at a time. Several iPads are available to rent for up to a month and can be borrowed from several libraries on campus. Other rentable items include podcasting kits and sewing machines. Virtual and augmented reality headsets, portable 3D scanners and 3D printers, and even a handheld voice translator that supports 70 languages are all available in our campus library system.

For a complete list of rental items, rental procedures, and availability, visit the George A. Smathers Take-Home Equipment page.

Course Accessibility Consultations Available

PHOTO: UF Information Technology instructional designers, University of Florida

Instructors interested in improving their Canvas course’s accessibility score can request one-on-one consultations to learn how. UFIT’s Center for Instructional Technology and Training (CITT) recently launched a new service to assist instructors remediate course files to make them more accessible.

Remediating course content provides access to students with disabilities while enhancing the usability of course materials for all learners. During the consultation,  instructional support assistants will explain how to use the Ally tool in Canvas. They will also provide an overview of accessibility concerns within the course, evaluate what content to remediate, and work with instructional faculty to improve the overall course accessibility score. During the consultation, the instructional support assistant will model remediation techniques for content in Canvas, including Word or Google docs, PowerPoint presentations, Google Slides, spreadsheets, videos, and PDFs.

Commit to creating classroom content for all students. UFIT has additional training and resources to help instructors build and update courses with accessibility needs in mind.  Submit an Accessibility Consultation request to get started. A member of the CITT staff will follow up with you to schedule a consultation.


Beware of Scam Texts and Phone Calls

SCREEN CAPTURE: Smishing example received on phone by a University of Florida student.

Have you received a strange text like this one (pictured)? Smish alert! Smishing and vishing are like phishing, except scammers use different devices to try and trick you into giving up personal information.

Smishing is done through text messages, while vishing happens through phone calls. Smishing attackers are also using instant messaging apps, like WhatsApp!, as well as LinkedIn and Facebook to reach new victims. What do they want? The same things that phishing scammers are after: personal information, account passwords, and your money. Often, scammers employ social engineering tactics by pretending to be someone you know or represent a familiar organization.

The best way to handle smishing and vishing attempts is simple: Delete the message or hang up! As an added measure, depending on your device and cellular provider, you may be able to block and report the sender. It only takes one click, call, or responding to one message to have your personal information stolen or credit card maxed out. And, if that stolen personal information leads to figuring out how to use your GatorLink credentials, then you, your friends, professors, and anyone else on the UF Network could be impacted.

If you are unsure about a communication purporting to be from a UF department–email, text, or phone call–you can always check with the UFIT Help Desk.

Maximize Wi-Fi Experience On Campus

GRAPHIC: "Choose eduroam!" University of Florida Information Technology

Eduroam is the campus Wi-Fi network option for students, faculty, and staff with active GatorLink credentials.

Instead of connecting to ufguest — an unencrypted, basic option for visitors — members of the UF community should connect to eduroam for the fastest and most secure experience. Ufguest users have a slower internet speed, can’t use Gatorlink VPN, and are unable to connect to UF’s private IP network. Follow these steps to make eduroam your default Wi-Fi when in range:

1) Open your Wi-Fi settings and connect to the “ufgetonline” network
2) Open a new browser window and visit getonline.ufl.edu to register your device
3) Select your device type from the dropdown
4) Follow instructions until you’re able to connect
     a. Note that you must use your “gatorlink@ufl.edu” as the username
5) Once connected, open your network settings again and forget the “ufgetonline” network

When you change your GatorLink password, you will need to follow steps 1-5 again on each device you have previously connected to eduroam. Call the UFIT Help Desk (352-392-HELP/4357) or visit the Help Desk (132 Hub) during business hours for assistance connecting to eduroam.