Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Apple WatchOS 7

The new iOS 14 was released for Apple products, swiftly following behind it was the WatchOS 7 updates for Apple Watches

 This update has some of the most intricate and detail-oriented features I have seen come for a watch update. This update will be applicable to series 3, 4, 5, SE, and 6. Let's dive into some of the elaborate features WatchOS 7 has to offer!

It seems like Apple came into the briefing room with family, safety, convenience, and customization in mind when they were bringing ideas to the table. Adding a new feature called "Family Setup", allowing you to pair your child, parent, or any family member's watch to your iPhone. Adding the Memoji feature to be used on their watch, used as stickers, or making a custom watch face to add some ease of access.


    Fitness was a big focus on this update for Apple Watches, now allowing you to customize all of your Activity goals. Adding in stand hours and exercise minutes rather than calories to get a better goal for you to accomplish your rings successfully. Apple has also reengineered its Active Health for kids, turning the active calories into Move Minutes, being able to calculate metrics for distance and pace more suitable for a child. The family feature also added in setting your child's usage time of their watch, setting when they're in school, need to be asleep, or limit the features usable on their watch. Sharing your location through the Find My Friends app has been slowly increasing by the popular demand of parents or family members. You are not able to get notifications on when someone gets to their destination, or notification if someone is not where they are supposed to be

Family First

    Apple Pay was another addition Apple decided to throw into the watch features, giving you the option to send money through your watch more easily. Features like fall detection and emergency SOS is a safety feature Apple brought in that I think will be very helpful with the idea of "family safety". Asking the user if they would like to call emergency services when they might have taken a fall, keeping them safe when you might not be able to be there. 

Watch Faces

    Customization on the watches interface is something that Apple has been improving every year since the watch has come out. Now giving you the option to create your own watch face from scratch, adding in any minor details you might want to see on your watch. Acknowledging that only having one app on the watches face could cause complications, but calling them "powerful new complications" as something new to learn but enjoy. Being able to have quick tasks like sending a text, changing a song during a workout, or just a quick glance to see your families smiling faces with the time. Sending custom watch faces to a friend or family member is a feature that I was a bit surprised by. If customization of your watch was not enough, you can now customize other people's watches for them!

Sleep App

    The Sleep app is a new feature that came along with the update filled with an insane amount of additional features to utilize. Adding in Sleep Mode as one of the features for users, scheduling when Do Not Disturb turns on or off, providing a sleep chart for the night or for the week. Setting reminders for yourself on when you need to start winding down, and a more welcoming good morning than your average jolting, alarming sound.

Hand Washing

    It is no surprise that washing your hands while we are in a pandemic has become more important than ever. Apple, being an advocate for healthy lifestyles and better practices, created an app to make washing hands more productive. Their new addition of Hand Washing automatically detects when you begin washing, helping you go for the amount of time that is recommended by Global Health Organizations. Using motion sensors and your microphone, a 20-second timer will start when it detects you washing your hands.

These are just some of the few features that come along with the update of WatchOS7! If you want to find out more information about the most recent update, check out Apple's summary

As always, thank you for reading and any questions or concerns can be answered by contacting the IT Help Desk.

Stay healthy Hornets!

Dakota Taylor
Social Media Student Assistant
Web & Digital Strategies

Friday, September 18, 2020

Shocking New iOS 14 Features

If you are an Apple Product user like a lot of us here in IT, you would know that the most recent software update of iOS 14 for iPhone and iPad was released yesterday. This update was a long-awaited arrival for some, packing in a lot of new features for users to enjoy. 

Today's writing will be an overview of some of the features that stuck out to us in this packed iOS 14 update! iOS 14 can be used on iPhone 11, 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max, XS, XS Max, XR, X, 8, 8 Plus, 7, 7 Plus, 6S, 6S Plus, SE (2020, 2016), and 7th gen. iPod Touch.

App Library

    The App Libray is a new feature never seen before on Apple products. Putting all of your applications in one easy to use library one swipe over from your usual app pages. Editing your pages of applications is a breeze, whether you like lots of pages or one page of 6 apps, there are finally options for customization. 


    Speaking of the home screen, Apple did not fall short of the bar. Being able to add in widgets for your calendar, weather, clock, stocks, and many more. Although they did not add customizations for third party applications, I imagine that there will be updates to come that added those options.
        (Batteries, calendar, clock, files, fitness, maps, music, news, notes, photos, podcasts, reminders, screentime, shortcuts, Siri suggestions, stocks, TV, tips, and weather.)


In the past, we have had to "pause" when we leave a Facetime call, and have the green icon at the top of the screen. Apple really pulled a wild card on the PiP capability on this update. Bringing the call to a smaller tile on your home screen that allows you to remain on the call, but also be on your phone. This isn't just with Facetime, but several other media playing apps as well.

Translate App

    Google translate was a needed app for some, and Apple not providing that feature was something a lot of people had brought up. Well, ask and you shall receive just like a lot of the new update features, iOS 14 provides an application called Translate. 
    Being designed for 11 different languages that can be used in conversation setting in conversation mode, or in offline mode. Conversation mode allows you to turn your iPhone to landscape orientation. Tapping on the mic icon to begin talking, and automatic language detection transcribes what you are saying in real-time. The translation provides the text on the screen, followed by translated audio. 

This is just a brief overview of the incredible amount of detail that went into the update. Apple listened to their users for this update which is very obvious, thankfully enough we can expect updates with bugfixes, and later improvements expanded within the software.

As always, questions and concerns can be answered by contacting the IT Help Desk.

Stay healthy Hornets!

Dakota Taylor
Social Media Student Assistant
Web & Digital Strategies

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Microsoft Teams for ESU

Microsoft Teams is now being rolled out to students of Emporia State to utilize! Teams is a speedy and productive communication tool for students, faculty, and staff to use! We have been going through all of the options that could be a valuable tool to incorporate within the class and office. We will be going through all of the basics of what you need to know, walkthroughs to follow along with, and screen recordings to make things a little easier. 

Downloading and Logging in

The first thing you would need to do is download Teams for your device, whether it be an application on your phone or your personal computer. To download Teams, you would paste “esutechsite.com/teams” in your URL bar at the top of your browser. Click “Get Teams”, you’ll then be taken to a Microsoft page that will detect the appropriate version for your device, then click “Download Now”. Run the installer or follow the prompts for your device.

Now that you have Teams, it’s time to log in. When prompted, enter yourusername@emporia.edu, even if you don’t have an @emporia.edu email account. Yes, use @emporia.edu, even if you don’t have an @emporia.edu email address. In Microsoft Land, it’s just part of your account. And remember you can’t use your @g.emporia.edu address--that's Google services only. And that’s it, you are not all set to begin using Microsoft Teams at ESU.

Creating a Group

Microsoft Teams is a tool for securely chatting, video calling, and collaborating with your group, team, or other students. You can chat with one, two, or as many ESU users as you’d like. But for ESU groups and student organizations, we can set up a special team that has your members preloaded for you. 

This is called a SharePoint Group for students. In addition to maintaining a list of group members, your SharePoint Group will also provide online file storage for hosting any files you share within Teams. To request a SharePoint Group, go to esutechsite.com/teams, and select "Teams for Students". Scroll down to Groups. Click “Request a SharePoint Group for Students”. Only advisors or organizational leadership should make requests.

Once your request is approved by the Center for Student Involvement, you’ll be able to access your new Group by clicking the “Teams” Icon from the left-hand menu bar within the Teams application. Once we’ve set up your Group, you can add or remove membership through the web portal or via the IT Help Desk!

Video Calling

You can do a video call with one, two, or as many ESU students as you’d like. Simply click the “New Chat” icon. Enter the name or username of the user or users you’d like to call.

You can video call an individual or add as many users to your group call as you’d like. With one click, you can start a video call with your entire group! And if you or your users don’t have a webcam, they can still join via audio. With Microsoft Teams, you have on click communication with individuals--however, you prefer to collaborate. 

Sharing Files

Sharing files is easy within Teams, start a new chat or go to an existing one. Or if you are an ESU group or organization, click "Teams" and then go to your group. Now, click the paper clip icon and select the file you’d like to share. Type a message if you’d like, then click the “send” icon. 

That’s it! Now that you have shared the file within anyone in that chat or Group.

To see your previously shared files, click "Files" at the top of the chat window. 

Chat + History

You can chat with any ESU user that you would like, simply click on the “New Chat” icon. Enter the name or username of the user or users you’d like to chat with.

You can chat individually, or add as many ESU users to your chat as you’d like. Now that you have added your users, it’s time to talk! Start typing, send them an emoji, send them a file--whatever you’d like.

And the best part, your chat history is retained from day one. You’ll never have to wonder if you shared that file or remembered to share a message--it’s all there to search or scroll through. We like to say it goes back to the beginning of time--at least the time you started using teams!

The Web Version

Teams is available for Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Android but it’s also available from your web browser, and here’s how you can get to it. Go to esutechsite.com/teams and click "Login". Enter your username in the form of username@emporia.edu

Yes, use @emporia.edu, even if you don’t have an @emporia.edu email address. In Microsoft Land, it’s just part of your account. And remember you can’t use your @g.emporia.edu address--that Google only. Once you’ve entered your username, enter your ESU password. 

And that’s it, the web-based version of Teams will load and you’re all set to begin chatting, calling, and collaborating!

As always if you have any questions regarding anything tech related

Friday, July 10, 2020

Recap of New Services

This has been an exciting week for technology related services at Emporia State University! We've unveiled multiple new services that many of you can take advantage of. Find more information about each of the services below and how you can request more information.

Microsoft Bookings

Microsoft Bookings allows your customers (students, employees, public/guests) to schedule a time with you using a simple, mobile-friendly website.  You define the services, times, and the staff members you will assign with a plethora of different options to choose from.  Bookings will also give users the opportunity to have a unified location for scheduling campus appointments–addressing important usability feedback we receive from students. 

If you would like to meet with us to discuss how Bookings might work for you, please visit our own Bookings site to schedule an appointment. 

Hornet TV+

Hornet TV+ is the latest update that will be coming to digital signage across campus this Fall. This update will host a variety of feature updates. Some of these feature updates include...

  1. Motion Posters
  2. Campus Channel
  3. GO Links
  4. Hornet Calendar
  5. Showcasing Events
Learn more about all the amazing features we're introducing to Hornet TV+ in our video web series IT Only Takes a Minute!

Ready to get started? Welcome to Hornet TV+

Power Search

One of the challenges we encounter across all of the sites that make up the ESU web presence is that they are not all connected. This is due to a number of reasons--most of which are out of our control. It can often leave you looking for content on one site, when, in fact, it's located on another site. We are taking a step forward by introducing a new feature called Power Search!

This new search engine, using Google technology, will only index sites that we control--giving users one place to search all of ESU's web presence. When you need to search for something, give Power Search a try by browsing to search.emporia.edu

Virtual Events

We currently run two different types of virtual events; personal events (less than 30 attendees) and public events (more than 30 attendees + pre-registration + live streaming). We are also exploring a third type of event, hybrid events. If you are unsure about what event may be right for you, we offer an opportunity to meet virtually and discuss the right format for your event.

To learn more about this exciting new format and how you can create your own event head over to the Web + Digital Guide, located in Hornet 365. You can also watch our IT Only Takes a Minute video all about Virtual Events!

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Become a Zoom Pro: 7 Features You May Not Know

1) Touch up my appearance

After the recent shift to working and studying from home, it’s fair to say that many of us haven’t been putting as much effort into dressing up as we used to. Luckily, for those who might be a little worried about their appearance, especially for those morning meetings, Zoom has a feature called Touch up my appearance. Touch up my appearance is an instant video filter that provides a natural look by smoothing fine lines and eye bags, allowing you to look your best even if you didn't get a great night's sleep.

To enable this feature, go to Settings and click on the Video tab. From here find the option labeled Touch up my appearance and check the box next to it.

2) Mute and unmute using the spacebar

One of the most overlooked features of Zoom is the ability to mute and unmute yourself by pressing the space bar. This is a very handy feature to know and can be a real time-saver, saving you from having to navigate to the mute button every time you want to mute or unmute yourself.

3) React with an emoji

Have you ever been muted but still want a way to express your opinion to the speaker? Zoom’s built-in emoji reactions can be a great solution allowing you to share your thoughts on the topic while muted.

To react during a meeting, click on the Reaction button at the bottom of the screen and select the emoji you want to use. The emoji will be visible for all participants for 5 seconds before disappearing.

4) Keyboard shortcuts

Want a faster way to navigate through Zoom? Learning some of Zoom’s handy keyboard shortcuts can be a big time-saver, especially for those who use Zoom on a regular basis. From taking a screenshot to switching between speaker and galley view, Zoom has a shortcut for almost any situation.

Here are some of the most useful shortcuts:
  • Start/Stop Video (Alt - V)
  • Mute/Unmute My Audio (Alt - A)
  • End Meeting (Alt - Q)

For a full list of shortcuts go to Settings and click on the Keyboard Shortcuts tab.

5) Record transcripts

The recording transcripts feature within Zoom will automatically transcribe the audio from your meeting. This can be great for those who forgot to take notes during a meeting and also allows you to search for keywords and access the video feed for that moment.

6) Hide non-video participants

While in some meetings, especially larger ones, it can be easy for your screen to become cluttered with participants. This can make it difficult to focus on the important participants in the meeting such as the presenters or speakers. A quick and easy way to declutter your screen is to turn off non-video participants. This will tell Zoom to only show you the participants who have their video turned on, although you will still be able to hear participants who do not have their video turned on.

To enable this feature, go to Settings and click on the Video tab. From here find the option labeled Hide non-video participants and check the box next to it.

7) Change your background

Tired of having the same old background during your Zoom calls? Would you rather be taking your meetings on the beach or on top of a mountain? Although we can not teleport you to your favorite destination a virtual background is the next best thing and allows you to upload an image of your choice to be displayed as your background during Zoom calls.

To enable this feature, go to Settings and click on the Virtual Background tab. From here you can either select one of Zoom's default backgrounds or upload your own.

Note: Your computer must meet Zoom's system requirements to be able to use this feature. You can view these requirements on Zoom's website here.

What's next?

Want to test your new skills and start an ESU virtual event? Get started here.

Taylor Nelson
Student Media Producer
Web and Digital Strategies

Monday, June 15, 2020

Microsoft Teams - Tips + Tricks

Microsoft Teams has been an increasingly popular instant messaging service provided by Microsoft in recent times. Everyone has probably had some experiencing using Microsoft Teams, and if you haven't, it's time to hop onto the train. We're going to cover some less commonly known features of Microsoft Teams today, and hopefully you'll be able to take advantage of some of these features!

'Do Not Disturb' Mode

Have you been in a meeting recently where someone's sound notifications for Teams are popping off? Have this happened to you? Teams has a common instant messaging feature where, when you receive a new message, it plays a small 'ding' sound to notify you of it. Although this is handy most of the time, there are times when you don't want to hear this notification sound. For example, when you are in a meeting or giving a presentation. That's where 'Do Not Disturb' mode comes into play. If you open the Teams application, and select your initials in the top right corner, there is an option to change your availability. If you have a meeting scheduled on your Outlook calendar during a specific time, Teams will automatically change your status to 'Busy', but that doesn't do anything about the notification sounds. You will need to navigate there manually and select 'Do not disturb'. This guarantees that any new messages will be silent until you turn your availability back to anything else. Below is a screenshot of how exactly to change your availability within the Teams application.
Screenshot of availability selection on Microsoft Teams
Availability Selection

Status Message

About to go on your lunch break? Need to step away from your computer for 15 minutes? Have a quick errand to run? Be sure to set your status message to reflect that! This allows your colleagues, and anyone on campus trying to message you on Teams, to know you are currently away from your keyboard. Teams also gives the option of setting timers for status messages, which is useful for everyone. For example, you can set your status to 'Taking lunch' for exactly one hour, and then it will automatically reset your status message. This can clear up any frustrations of delayed messages, and it's simply best practices to let everyone know the status of your availability. Below is a screenshot of what it looks like when messaging someone with a set status message.
Set Status Message

Sending Files + OneDrive

If you use Teams on the daily, it's quite common to send files back and forth through Teams. It's very handy and quick to send files. But, the issue of files being 'lost' can raise concerns. For example, if you sent a file months ago to someone and can't remember who you sent it to, what do you do? You'll probably search through all of your Teams' contacts and attempt to recover it. We can all agree that you should have stored it in OneDrive in the first place, right? Jokes aside, Teams does this for you! When you share files using the Microsoft Teams application, it automatically stores them into a OneDrive folder under your files. Below is a screenshot of what the folder looks like under 'My Files' in OneDrive.

And then, just like with any OneDrive folder, you can sort and filter through them to help you find your 'lost' files!

App Integrations

Teams allows you to integrate existing applications into your chats. This is not only much more fun than plain text, but it allows for more interactive conversations between you and your colleagues. You can check out which applications you can integrate into your Teams client by selecting 'Apps' in the bottom left of your client. A few examples that I'll give here would be Microsoft Forms, Planner, Weather, OneNote, and SharePoint. Be sure to check them out and see if any of the available application integrations can ease your daily workflow! Below is an example of a sample question I made with Microsoft Forms in one of my existing chats.
Microsoft Forms 'Poll'

I hope that some of you are able to utilize some of these Tips + Tricks into your daily workflow using Microsoft Teams. Be sure to poke around and Teams and explore the many possibilities of its uses.

Sam Derksen
Web Developer
Web and Digital Strategies

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

How to Track Down Missing Emails?

As communication technology has evolved over the years, email has rapidly grown in popularity and is now undoubtedly one of the most widely used methods of online communication. Although most people have a general understanding of how email services work and can perform the basics such as sending, forwarding, and replying with relative ease, there are still many features of email services that cause confusion. Today we will delve into some of these features, explaining how some of the different types of mailboxes work and where to look when you’re expecting an email but haven't received it.


This is the main mailbox where all of your emails that haven’t been flagged as spam or junk end up. This mailbox primarily contains all of your important emails and should be the first place to look when checking your email. Unfortunately, some legitimate emails are accidentally marked as spam or junk by accident so they may not always end up in your inbox.


The junk mail folder or spam folder is used to store unwanted emails, preventing them from making it to the user’s main inbox. This helps decrease the volume of emails that a user has to look through, since some users may receive hundreds of emails on a daily basis with only a handful being legitimate. As previously mentioned, the systems used to detect junk mail are not always perfect so some legitimate emails may be marked as spam and on the other hand, some unwanted emails can slip through the cracks and enter your main inbox. Because of this, it is important to check your junk or spam folders on a regular basis, especially when you are expecting an email but can not find it in your inbox.


Clutter is an email sorting system used by Microsoft Outlook. The main purpose of clutter is to distinguish between high and low priority emails so you can better identify important messages and reply to them sooner. Clutter uses an artificial intelligence system that analyzes your habits and behavior when using Outlook to get a better understanding of the types of emails you like to see and the ones you tend to ignore.

Unfortunately, the clutter feature has been discontinued by Outlook although some users may still have this feature. If you do have this feature, clutter is another place to check on a regular basis since important emails can also end up here by accident.

To enable the clutter folder within Outlook check "Separate items identified as clutter" and click “Save”.


Antispam is a service similar to junk/spam and can be seen as another layer of defense, filtering out unwanted emails. Also similar to junk/spam, antispam is not always perfect and can filter out important emails by accident stopping them from reaching your main inbox. Because of this, it is very important to check your antispam on a regular basis to make sure you’re not missing any legitimate emails.

To access antispam head to antispam.emporia.edu and login with your ESU username and password.

Taylor Nelson
Student Media Producer
Web and Digital Strategies

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Why Is Email Important?

Outlook iconAlthough many of us enjoyed the interaction between each other in the office, there has never been a better opportunity to utilize technologies like email. Email isn't new by any means, but utilizing it as a primary communication source might be for some people. It's also worth noting that email is the primary official means of communication for Emporia State University. In a world where no physical meetings are taking place, email usage has increased, and rightly so!

There are many benefits to emailing people for communication methods, especially if you're using Outlook for Office 365. Your emails between colleagues are documented and are readily available by a quick search for a word, person, or subject. This potentially eliminates any miscommunication issues that you could be having with colleagues. Because of this feature, it's important to remember to write well thought out emails. Be concise with what you are trying to convey and the digital workforce will be thankful! Another benefit is simply keeping everyone in the loop. Being able to CC your colleagues/boss into your emails gives them a way to keep track of what's going on with certain projects/tasks. One could also argue that email is more secure than the word of mouth communication method. Outlook for Office 365 allows you to 'Encrypt' an email with various options depending on the confidentiality of the email's content. Be sure to learn more about the 'Encrypt' feature by following this link.

Hopefully this blog provides some insight to why email has become so important in our everyday workflows. Although this blog post is generally targeted at faculty and staff, it also applies to students with their student Gmail accounts. Stay on top of your inbox and your colleagues will take notice!

Sam Derksen
Web Developer
Web and Digital Strategies