Information about new educational technologies, updates to IT resources both online and on-campus, and IT support for the 2023-2024 Academic year.
Classrooms & Labs
In our ongoing efforts to strengthen Mason’s learning environments, ITS refreshed the technology in 54 of our University Classrooms across all campuses this year. You will notice upgraded technologies including microphones and cameras enabling hybrid teaching and learning in each refreshed classroom. Please refer to the Classroom Guide for specific technology updates and don't hesitate to call Your Campus Helpdesk at the numbers below for assistance when needed. For full details about the refreshed classrooms, see Fall 2023 Classroom Upgrades.
ITS and Stearns Center for Teaching and Learning have created Classroom Guides for each classroom. This guide is designed to provide faculty members with information about the features of their classrooms and the kind of teaching and learning opportunities those features may support. The instructions provided in this guide should be seen as starting points: additional technological and pedagogical support is available through a range of offices on campus.
Classroom Computer OS Details
This fall, computers in university classrooms and labs will be upgraded to Windows 11. It is important to note that with this change, there will be some differences in the interface than you may be familiar with. The most notable change is the "Start" button, which has historically appeared in the bottom left corner, has moved to the center of the taskbar. The Start Menu also has a slightly different look and feel. Computers will have access to the same software as previously available (See the list at Software Installation in Classroom or Lab).
Please also note that the Innovation Hall Room 233 Mac computer classroom will remain on macOS 12 (Monterey) because the computers in this classroom do not currently support macOS 13 (Ventura). They are scheduled for replacement next summer and will run the latest macOS available at that time. However, all software on these computers will be updated for the 2023-2024 academic year.
Instructional Tech Training
ITS offers several instructional technology training webinars including a one-week asynchronous Blackboard Basics course, which begins August 14. Other topics include synchronous meeting options, AR/VR in education, tests and proctoring tools, attendance/participation tracking, and much more. To see the schedule or to register for upcoming webinars, see Instructor Blackboard and Ed Tech Training.
A list of recent Blackboard and instructional technology updates is available. Read about enhancements to the Qwickly Attendance tool, Honorlock test proctoring, Linkedin Learning Blackboard integration, and more at What's new in Blackboard?
Vonage Telecom System Implementation
ITS is actively implementing Mason’s new telecommunications system, Vonage. As ITS moves through buildings, impacted users will be notified of how to prepare and what to expect during the change. Details and the implementation schedule are available on the Telecom System Replacement Roadmap. For questions, contact the ITS Support Center.
ITS Projects: Windows 11
Microsoft has announced the end of life for Windows 10 and released their latest major operating system upgrade, Windows 11. As a result, ITS is working to upgrade all Mason systems by October 2025. If your system already has Windows 11, ITS can provide standard support for Mason services and software. To learn more about this effort, visit the Windows 11 Roadmap.
Learning Management System Review
The current learning management system (LMS), Blackboard (Bb), has served Mason for more than a decade, and while the current version is fully supported, Bb is not expected to have new innovation/developments in this version. Therefore, it is time to make sure we have the best platform to support Mason’s future. As the LMS Review process continues, all fall courses will continue to use Bb. For more information about the LMS Review, see lms.gmu.edu.
MESA Migration to Microsoft 365 Services
ITS is migrating the current on-premise file storage and sharing system (MESA/M:Drive) to leverage Microsoft 365 (M365) services available through the Microsoft (MS) A5 license agreement. Benefits of moving to the M365 environment include real-time collaboration on documents, online sharing, the ability to work anywhere with an internet connection, and enhanced communication. For more information on the project, see the MESA to Microsoft 365 Migration Roadmap.
2023 IT Security Awareness Training Due October 31
The mandatory 2023 IT Security Awareness Training has been assigned to MasonLEAPS accounts of all Mason employees, including contractors, affiliates, and student wage workers. Employees must complete all training by Tuesday, October 31 to avoid having their NetIDs disabled, which interrupts their access to Mason’s IT services, including Patriot Web, Office 365, and Wi-Fi networks. Additional information about the training is available at IT Security Awareness Training Info. If you have issues accessing the training, contact the ITS Support Center.
Phishing continues to be one of the biggest cyber threats to the Mason community. Cybercriminals continue to target faculty, staff, and students with fake job offers, threats of account closures, and other bogus claims to steal money. Please be alert as you read and respond to emails. Do not click on links or open attachments in emails from unknown sources. Please examine the email address of the sender before replying to an email asking about availability or to purchase gift cards. Do not provide your username and password by email, in response to a web link, or over the phone. No one from Mason will request that information from you, nor will any legitimate business. If you receive an email you suspect is phishing and/or need help determining whether an email is a phishing attempt, contact the ITS Support Center.
Technology Services Guide
Preview the Getting Started for Employees page to get you started with Mason IT resources and overview ITS services that support the academic and administrative needs of Mason faculty.
If you need IT support, the ITS Support Center is available to assist you.
Hours of Operation
- Monday-Thursday: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. (*closed Thursday 3 to 4 p.m. for a team meeting)
- Friday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Saturday: Closed
- Sunday: 1 to 9 p.m.
ITS Support in Classrooms
ITS Classroom Support is available to assist with technology-related issues in classrooms.
- Mason Square Classroom Support
- Monday thru Friday: 8:30 a.m. – 10 p.m.
- Saturday: 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
- Sunday: Closed
- Fairfax Classroom Support
- Monday - Friday: 7:00 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.
- Saturday & Sunday: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
- SciTech Classroom Support
- Monday thru Thursday: 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.
- Friday: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
- Saturday & Sunday: Closed