January 2023

New Year, New Tech

With January almost over, your New Year’s goals might need an infusion of energy or inspiration. No matter what you’re hoping to accomplish in 2023, technology can help you stay on track, spark new ideas, and improve your daily routines.

If you want to prioritize your well-being…

If your resolution is to learn something new…

If your resolution is to declutter and be more organized…

  • Learn more about how Microsoft OneDrive can help with digital clutter.
  • Learn how to organize and declutter your phone from NYT Tech Tips
  • Get rid of physical clutter by joining a local Buy Nothing group. This is a great way to rehome clothes, toys, books, or furniture within your community.

If your resolution is to save money…

As always, ITS is eager to assist you and make sure you have a successful semester and productive 2023. Please contact the Help Desk or the technology training specialist if you have questions, concerns, or requests.

Canvas at Clark

With the first two weeks of the semester completed, ITS is excited at the adoption and enthusiasm of Clarkies for Canvas.

After 24 months of planning, collaboration with departments across campus, and technical and support work, Clark’s Canvas is currently hosting 642 published courses, 3,975 users and an average of over 115,000 page views daily. Faculty and students have been engaging with the Help Desk and ATS asking great questions about how best to use Canvas for teaching and learning, and we’re excited to see what the future with Canvas holds.

Speaking of the future, while the first two weeks are over, ITS wants to remind you that we’ll continue to be here to support you throughout this first semester, and into the coming years with Canvas. Look for more workshops, office hours and self-paced resources in the near future on our Canvas support page.

In the meantime, our most recent support posts are below:


Check out our top tips to getting comfortable with Canvas,  and don’t hesitate to contact the Help Desk (helpdesk@clarku.edu, 508-793-7745) with any questions you may have.

Faculty and Staff

Check out the most asked questions by faculty from the first week and as always ATS is available for support at canvas@clarku.edu.

Anatomy of a Data Breach

Arguably no phrase has dominated the tech world over the last 24 months more than the term “data breach.” From breaches impacting critical infrastructure like the Colonial Pipeline, which provides most of the country’s fuel, to hackers compromising healthcare records of half a million people at UC San Diego Health, the headlines of last two years have been full of cybersecurity mishaps. Yet, despite this breach-centric news cycle, many individuals may not know what exactly a data breach is, how they typically start, and why they occur.

What is a data breach?

While it may seem like a complex concept, once the jargon is removed, a data breach is very straightforward. According to Trend Micro, a data breach is “an incident where information is stolen or taken from a system without the knowledge or authorization of the system’s owner.” And while data breaches can be the result of a system or human error, a vast majority of data breaches are the result of cyberattacks, where a cybercriminal gains unlawful access to sensitive system data. In fact, 92% of the data breaches in Q1 2022 were the result of cyberattacks.

What kind of data can be breached?

Unfortunately, cyber criminals look to get their hands on any available information, ranging from more obvious sensitive information such as social security numbers and credit card information to more obscure data like past purchase history.

How do data breaches happen?

Cybercrime is getting more sophisticated each day. However, cyberattack tactics do not have to be cutting-edge or advanced in order to be effective. Here are a few examples of popular tactics used by cybercriminals:

  • Phishing: Phishing is when a cybercriminal pretends to be a legitimate party in hopes of tricking an individual into giving them access to personal information. Phishing is one of the oldest tricks in the book for cybercriminals but it is just as effective as ever. For example, 80% of security incidents and 90% of data breaches stem from phishing attempts.
  • Malware: Another tried-and-true method for cybercriminals is malware. Malware is malicious software that secretly installs itself on devices – often by way of a user engaging with fake links and content – and quietly gains access to the data on an individual’s device or business network.
  • Password Attack: Through password attacks, cybercriminals look to gain access to sensitive data and networks by way of “cracking” user passwords and using these credentials to get into networks and extract data.

How do I spot a possible breach?

The best way to stop a data breach is to stop it before it even starts. This includes taking steps like making sure passwords are long and complex and reporting suspicious emails. If you do suspect that you have been the victim of a breach, immediately contact Clark’s ITS Help Desk (helpdesk@clarku.edu, 508-793-7745) and follow advice to help scan, detect, and remediate any issues.

If you are interested in learning more, or ever have questions about how to keep yourself or those you care about safe and secure through the digital landscape, feel free to contact or stop by the ITS Help Desk. We would love to chat!

How to Annotate PDFs

Chances are that you’ve come across or even created a PDF file before. They’re common in online research databases, on websites, and even as homework assignments.

A PDF (portable document format) is designed to preserve the format of the file, which makes it ideal for documents like resumes or presentations with images (other files, like Word documents, may change format depending on factors like the viewer’s screen size). This format also makes PDFs difficult to edit or annotate. Fortunately, it is possible to mark-up PDFs using university resources such as OneDrive and computers across campus.

What is annotation and why should I do it?

Annotation is a method of interacting with information (text or otherwise) by marking it up with questions, summaries, symbols, drawings, etc., to enhance comprehension. This interactive way of reading or reviewing while studying has been shown to reduce cognitive overload and help students identify structure and contextualize ideas (source). Click here for a quick guide on how to start annotating from the University of North Carolina.

For faculty and staff, annotating PDFs can allow you to give quick feedback and content changes to collaborators across campus.

How do I annotate on my phone or tablet?

First, download the OneDrive app to your phone from the App Store or Google Play and sign in using your Clark account. Next, select the PDF you’d like to annotate (see more info on using OneDrive to organize documents here).

Tap the “Annotate” pencil icon on the bottom of the screen and then use the pen and highlighter tools to mark up the document with your finger or stylus. You can also type notes using the note icon in the upper right of the screen.

How do I annotate on a computer?

Most campus devices in public computing spaces, including those in the library, are pre-installed with an app called Foxit PDF Reader. This app allows you to open multiple PDFs simultaneously, as well as add typed notes, images, and highlights to the file. ITS recommends uploading your files to OneDrive for seamless file access so you don’t have to shuffle files back and forth between personal and university computers.

There are also third-party sites, such as Kami, which integrate with OneDrive and provide different editing and annotation tools for academic use . Please note that these third-party tools are not supported or affiliated with Clark University, and you should always check privacy policies and terms of service before creating an account.

Get to Know Us: Mark Pemburn

This month, we’re meeting Mark Pemburn, Web Application Administrator.

Mark joined the ITS team this past October to support the health and wellbeing of Clark’s website and special applications. He has extensive experience as a software developer for businesses of all sizes, including a one-man shop Mark ran himself, and he loves to solve problems that help people do their work easily and efficiently.

A Connecticut native, Mark spent time living in Baltimore before relocating to rural Maryland with his wife, Leanne. He’d love to wake up with the ability to sight-read music, but for now, he enjoys taking care of his dogs, cat, and chickens, and exploring new places and restaurants with his sweetheart.

If you’d like to talk about software, life in the middle of the woods, or The Ways of Being by James Brindle, let Mark know! Click here for contact information.

Technology Training for Staff and Faculty 

The Help Desk and Tess Walsh, our Technology Training Specialist, is excited to invite staff and faculty to attend our upcoming online workshops.

Check out our schedule below and look for more workshops in the future on our Tech Training webpage.

Introduction to OneDrive

Wondering about OneDrive? Join Tess online on Tuesday, Jan. 31 at 11 AM to learn more about how this cloud system helps you save time, protect your files, and create flexibility in your workflow. During this one-hour workshop, you’ll learn how to…

  • Access OneDrive
  • Create and upload files with OneDrive
  • Share, collaborate, and organize documents and projects

Seats are limited, so click here to register now.

Get Started with LinkedIn Learning

Want to gain valuable career skills or help students access professional resources? Learn more about LinkedIn Learning online on Thursday, Feb. 16 at 1 PM, which provides guides and courses on topics ranging from stress management to data analytics and everything in between! LinkedIn Learning (LIL) is free to all members of the Clark community.

This one-hour workshop will cover:

  • Finding, saving, and navigating online courses for personal and professional development
  • Sharing LIL resources with colleagues or students
  • Creating and adding learning content for members of the Clark community

Seats are limited, so click here to register now.

Get Started with Microsoft Forms

Join Tess on Tuesday, Feb. 21 at 3 PM online to learn about Microsoft Forms, an accessible and intuitive alternative to other survey software such as Qualtrics. Get real-time results, easily export data, and share surveys with the click of a button.

This one-hour workshop will cover:

  • Creating, saving, and sharing forms with multiple types of questions
  • Viewing and exporting results
  • Using Microsoft Forms in other Microsoft apps, such as Teams, OneDrive, and Outlook.

Seats are limited, so click here to register now.

Microsoft Excel 101

Swimming in spreadsheets? Join Tess on Tuesday, March 7 at 10 AM online to learn the basics of Excel, one of Microsoft’s trickiest and most powerful tools. This one-hour workshop will cover:

  • Basic Excel navigation
  • Creating and navigating tables of data
  • Basic Excel functions

This workshop is appropriate for those who have limited Excel experience or those who would like a refresher on its foundations. More advanced workshops will be offered at a later date.

Seats are limited, so click here to register now.

Microsoft Tips and Tricks

This workshop online on Friday, March 24 at 11 AM will go over the hidden and handy tricks within different Microsoft tools, such as OneDrive, Teams, Word, and more. If you’re comfortable with the basics and ready to learn some time-saving secrets, please join us!

In this one-hour workshop, you’ll learn how to:

  • Easily access shared files and libraries
  • Make your documents easier to navigate
  • much more!

Seats are limited, so click here to register now.

Can’t make it?

If you can’t make these workshops, visit our Technology Training page regularly to see more workshops – both live and virtual, or request custom training.

Tess is particularly eager to meet with departments to design custom, focused training to address your groups’ needs. Contact techtraining@clarku.edu for more information and to schedule your group training.