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In the Loop

Information Services Technology Newsletter
January 2018 Happy New Year! Issue

In this issue

Featuring the latest news on Office 365, Quercus (the new learning management engine), TechKnowFile 2018, Security Matters Meme Contest, CIO's Blog, the new ITS Education & Awareness Team, the new IT Student Advisory Committee, Four Tips for Adult Digital Learners, Thinking Architecturally, NGSIS Blog, VoIP at U of T, Security Matters Blog, Free online courses, Wifi-Citizens video, Security Advisories, and upcoming events.

in conversation about Office 365 video
Vice-President, Research and Innovation, Vivek Goel, shares his thoughts on Office 365 and what it means for researchers in this video.
Office 365 Tips

Office 365 Tips

Every week we post a new Office 365 Tip. Here's a round up of the last five:

For more tips, visit the Office 365 website.
More Office 365 News

Office 365 Course Screenshot

Free online courses on Microsoft Office 2016, Office 365 and more through

Access free Microsoft Office related courses through, including classes on Outlook 2016, Skype for Business, and more Office 2016 software.

Learn More

ODLC Calendar Screenshot

ODLC Courses: Word, Access, and Excel 2016

ODLC is now offering courses in Word 2016, Access 2016, and Excel 2016.

View ODLC Course Calendar

Academic Toolbox Renewal Initiative

Latest updates on the new Learning Management Engine

Quercus video
U of T’s New Learning Management Engine has a name: Quercus. Here’s quick video on how to pronounce Quercus, where the name came from and what to look forward to in Quercus.
 Quercus Logo

'Name the New Portal' Winner Selected

The Academic Toolbox Renewal Steering Committee held a naming contest for the new Learning Management Engine: 'Name the new Portal' and is pleased to announce the winner – Quercus!
Learn more about Quercus

TechKnowFile University 2018

Year 4 Graduation May 3 & 4, 2018

Techknowfile 2018
TKF: Connect. Collaborate. Create.

Call for Participation

Ready to Join TKF?

Our Call for Participation is now open, so if you’re interested in presenting, demonstrating your ideas through a “quick tips” tutorial, or sharing your insights on a panel discussion, you should sign up!

Submission Deadline: March 16, 2018

TKF2018 will take place on May 3 & 4, 2018 on the St. George campus.

We look forward to your proposal submissions!
Submit a Proposal

We Want Your Memes!

A Security Matters Meme Contest

Security Matters: We Want Your Memes
Share with Care Meme Contest

Share with Care, You Never Know What'll Go Viral...

If you're going to go viral, you want to go viral for the right reasons. You want your 15 minutes of fame to be because you are funny, clever or thoughtful NOT because you committed an embarrassing faux pas.

Help promote our message about wise social media practices by participating in our "Share with Care" Meme Contest.

Using the phrase Share with Care, You Never Know What’ll Go Viral, create your own meme.

You could win a Book Store gift card AND see your creation displayed on digital signage across the tri-campus.

Submit Your Meme!

CIO's Blog

Recent Entries by CIO, Bo Wandschneider

CIO's Blog
Bo Wandschneider, CIO

Why won't you change your password?

In higher education we sometimes struggle getting people to practice good password hygiene. Why is this the case, and what can we do to change this?
Read More...

Is There Really Such a Thing as a Free Lunch?

One of the challenges in Higher education is making sure we protect our digital information. We are the stewards of personal records, health records, information on intellectual property and a myriad of other types of sensitive information.
Read More...

Information Security is Everyone's Responsibility

... Whether it is responding to a phishing email, not patching a machine or losing an unecrypted device, human error, or lack of knowledge around best practices, underly most of the issues...
Read More...

Read More at the CIO's Blog

New ITS Education & Awareness Team

Serving all projects across ITS Portfolio

New ITS Education and Awareness Team
Information Technology Services

ITS Education & Awareness Team

Spearheaded by U of T's CIO, Bo Wandschneider, a new Education and Awareness team has been established to keep the university community better informed and engaged on information technology related initiatives. It will serve all projects across the Information Technology Services (ITS) portfolio.

Under the ITS Project Management Office, the new team will take a holistic approach to education and awareness, aligning ITS outreach and communications activities for maximum impact and engagement.
View ITS News Announcement

IT Student Advisory Committee

ITS is launching a new IT Student Advisory Committee

ITS is launching a new Student Advisory Committee
 Information Technology Services
ITS is launching a new IT Student Advisory Committee (ITSAC) to provide a forum for students to share their ideas and priorities, and discuss current and upcoming IT initiatives with ITS.

ITSAC Committee Goals

  • provide advice on information technology matters specifically related to the delivery of IT programs and services for students.
  • provide a forum for positive dialogue between students and IT service providers on the needs and expectations for IT services that will enhance the quality of the student experience.
  • upon request, provide feedback on new or potential services and technologies.
  • produce an annual report for the Office of the CIO and other senior IT management groups outlining the student perspective on existing campus information services and technologies.
Learn more about ITSAC

Online Learning Strategies

Featured in the Globe and Mail

Four Tips for Adult Digital Learners (The Globe and Mail)
Globe and Mail Logo

Four Tips for Adult Digital Learners

Dr. Laurie Harrison, Director of Online Learning Strategies at ITS, spoke with the Globe and Mail about what adult learners can do to make the best choice when it comes to online courses and education.
Read the Full Story

Thinking Architecturally

Recent Entries by Frank Boshoff

Thinking Architecturally Blog

Frictionless Interaction

In preparation for the NGSIS Platform Modernization cutover next year, I've been spending time investigating operational models for the new system. This is more of a human process model than a purely technical one, and is important because we're moving from a single machine to 119 smaller ones, which means there is more that can go wrong (but the overall benefit is still worthwhile).
Read More...

NGSIS Java Conversion Project

University of Toronto's Information Technology Services (ITS) is replacing the Repository of Student Information (ROSI) mainframe with a distributed Linux cluster to reduce operational costs and improve capacity (the system's capacity target is 15,000 students registering concurrently, instead of the several hundred that can currently be accommodated).
Read More...

Read more ITS News


Next Generation Student Information Services

NGSIS: Next Generation Student Information Systems

Top five FAQs: NGSIS Platform Modernization project

Enterprise Applications and Solutions Integration (EASI) and Next Generation Student Information Services (NGSIS) have been working to modernize U of T's student information system, ROSI.
Read More...

U of T launches GPA Calculator application

GPAs - they can determine whether a student secures that next scholarship or gets into graduate school. Now a new application, called the GPA Calculator will help all U of T students easily calculate their grades and plan ahead for academic success.
Read More...

U of T launches student financial planning calculator

Tuition is just the beginning. Housing, utilities, food, textbooks, transit and recreation costs all add up, and managing expenses can often become an overwhelming task for busy students.
Read More...

Read More at the NGSIS Blog

VoIP at U of T

Here's what the VoIP team has been up to

Video: Introduction to VoIP at U of T
Watch this video to learn more about the VoIP project at U of T

Dentistry VoIP Case Study

Dentistry VoIP Case Study

The Faculty of Dentistry recently made the move to U of T's VoIP service. With 14 in-house clinics, students that need to be in touch with their patients, and other telecom requirements common to schools running professional programs, Dentistry needed a versatile, reliable and secure system.

Read the Full Case Study

VoIP Information Sessions

VoIP Information Sessions

Interested in learning more about VoIP? These non-technical presentations are for Business Officers, CAOs, Deans, Assistant Deans and IT leaders.

Register for a VoIP Info Session

Security Matters Blog

Information Security Awareness & Education Initiative at U of T

Security Matters Blog
 Security Matters

Tips on Website Validation

Everyone knows about the "lock"; icon on a browser. You select a shortcut or type in a URL in your browser, the page content is displayed, and the lock symbol indicates that the connection between you and the service is encrypted.

Cyber Monday: The Do's and Don'ts of Online Shopping

To die-hard shopping fans Black Friday is a fun and challenging experience: the thrill of beating the crowds to find the best deals, and then the satisfaction of coming home with a haul of discounted gadgets, clothing, jewellery and much more.

Information Security Awareness: It's All About Outreach

Another successful Cyber Security Awareness Month has come and gone, and we had the pleasure of facilitating various outreach activities.

Visit the Security Matters Website

Free Online Training through

For U of T Faculty, Staff, and Students

Free Courses
 Free Courses

Access for Free

University of Toronto faculty, staff, and students can now access the full suite of course content for free. offers thousands of online self-paced courses that cover a wide range of topics, including business, IT, software, and design.

Learn More

UTM Libraries Video: Wi-Fi Citizens Unite!

Help make the Wi-Fi connection experience better for everyone

Wi-Fi Citizens Video
This video was produced by UTM libraries to help students, faculty, and staff understand how wifi works and some of the limitations.
Watch Video

Security Advisories

Shibboleth SP XML Forge Vulnerability

There is a serious vulnerability in the Shibboleth Service Provider package which permits an edited SAML assertion sent from the identity provider to be accepted by the service provider.

Meltdown and Spectre Exploits

The worldwide information security community has been discussing the recently announced vulnerabilities in common hardware CPU (central processing unit) on a wide range of devices that can be exploited via Meltdown and Spectre algorithms. 

Breach Compilation List Incident

You may have heard about the list of 1.4 billion accounts and passwords released in December, 2017 in the media. This is known publicly as the "Breach Compilation List".

Learn More at the ISEA Website

Upcoming Events


TechKnowFile 2018

May 3 & 4, 2018

Publication Schedule
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