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TechFest 2018

Share & Learn About Tech Tools with the UMBC Community

Thursday, March 29, 2018
11:30 AM – 2:30 PM
University Center : Ballroom
Download the TechFest mobile app from HelloCrowd now! Search "UMBC TechFest"

Join us on Thursday, March 29 from 11:30 AM - 2:30 PM in the University Center and the Engineering Building to learn about technology tools that both support and improve the efficiency of day-to-day activities at UMBC. Last year, TechFest gave out over $400 in gift cards and prizes.

All students, faculty, and staff are welcomed to participate at TechFest.

Registration for lunch is now closed. All are welcome to attend any sessions!

If you have any questions, please email us at 

11:30am-12:20pm     Lunch, Registration, & Opening Remarks
12:30pm-1:05pm       Session 1
1:15pm-1:50pm         Session 2
2:00pm-2:35pm         Session 3

Some of the workshops sessions and their descriptions are listed below:

Integrating Student Learning Results: Are you seeking tools to streamline evidence-based decision making at the course and program levels? Are you wondering how to integrate student learning results across courses and semesters? Learn how EAC Visual Data enhances Blackboard’s Goals and Assessments, so you can view, extract, and aggregate your learning data. EAC helps you align your learning outcomes (at each level) to the rubric row (or test question) that measures learning—allowing you to see where students need additional work to achieve the outcomes.

Toxic Data - How to Protect Yourself and UMBC: Just like chemicals can be toxic to a community, data can also pose a toxic risk to UMBC.  This presentation will discuss the different types of data that pose a risk to the community and the ways that people can handle the data safely.  We will also talk about ways to protect your data from the threat of ransomware.

Collaborating on Accessibility: In this session you will learn of the classroom technology we implement here at UMBC through the work and collaboration of SDS and DoIT. We will examine some of the barriers technology pose on campus and the collaboration of the UMBC community to address these concerns.

Multi-Factor Authentication and Duo: Keeping the bad guys out of your account: "This session will give a general overview on authentication, multi-factor authentication and phishing.  It will then demonstrate the use of Duo, UMBC's multi-factor solution.  Attendees will leave the session understanding how Duo helps to protect access to campus resources. The attendee will know how to sign up and use Duo for campus authentication as well as how Duo can help protect other sites such as Amazon and Facebook. 

Phishing - What Is It and What Should I Do?: Phishing messages are becoming a way of life.  Hackers and thieves use them to attempt to steal people’s data and identities.  This session will give people ways to recognize phishing messages and information about what to do when a phishing message is received.  

The Road to Ultra: Planning ahead for Blackboard’s Redesign at UMBC: UMBC's current flavor of Blackboard has not changed significantly in many years, but that's about to change! The Ultra Experience is the first completely cloud-based system from Blackboard, representing a new focus on improved workflows and deep integrations to support teaching and learning. Session attendees will learn about UMBC's current pilot, anticipated timeline, plans for training, support, and outreach, and how to sign up for early beta access.

Using Excel to Analyze Data from PeopleSoft: Analyzing financial data from Rex or PeopleSoft can be daunting.  There's so much information available and it never seems to answer the exact question being asked.  But when the data is downloaded to excel, it can be re-formatted to find the answers you need.   This session will review techniques you can use in excel to see Rex and PeopleSoft data in a different way.  You'll see how the use of pivot tables, vlookups, sumifs and if statements can be powerful tools to make financial and payroll data more useful for decision makers.  

NEW! - Picking up the #slack: Team Communication Beyond Email: Are you like most people and feel like your inbox controls you life? Or does the formality of email slow you down with your teams, classes or groups? Most groups aren’t always in the same place, but you still need everyone to be connected and included. Slack can help change the communication dynamics within your teams and provide a easier, quicker more effective way to collaborate. In our session you will learn and experience the wonder and joy of slack and how different groups, including faculty, staff and students throughout UMBC have used slack to change how they communicate.  

NEW! - Why and How to Build FAQs for User Support: Answering questions is key to basic user support, but if you want to fly higher, build and use FAQs that help users help themselves. This presentation builds on DoIT's effective practices ( in curating the UMBC Frequently Asked Questions knowledge base ( After a brief discussion on the pros and cons of using a central knowledge base, participants will learn how DoIT builds an FAQ from scratch. 

NEW! - What You Should Know About Password Managers: Modeled after the Educause "7 things you should know about" series on IT innovations, this session will explore why and how password managers have become a popular way to manage one’s personal IT security. Seven key questions we will explore about password managers include the following:
What is it?
How does it work?
Who’s doing it?
Why is it significant?
What are the downsides?
Where is it going?
What are the implications for higher education?
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