BACK TO SCHOOL: 16 easy ways to get connected
So, you’re equipped with an array of wireless-enabled gadgets but you’re still wondering how to get on the internet at school. Or you’re juggling the busy life of a student and you’re trying to figure out how to make your technology work best for you.
Luckily, Concordia’s Instructional and Information Technology Services (IITS) has your back: they’ve made it their mission to answer your most vital tech needs.
And once you’re online, the university has many services available to help you make that important deadline, choose a student group or stay informed during any emergency on campus.
It’s time to get started! Here’s how.
1. The Concordia app — now at your fingertips
Students have a new tool at their disposal to access timely and useful information. The Concordia app, designed to enhance your university experience, is now available for download.
Consult your class schedules, grades and connect to your advisor. Access your account balance and Moodle. Consult campus maps, track the shuttle bus and stay in the loop with important dates. Plus much more...
2. Concordia’s Wi-Fi windfall
The Sir George Williams and Loyola campuses play host to over 1,400 Wi-Fi access points, which are open to all currently registered students.
The access points provide 802.11n (approximately 60 per cent) and 802.11ac (approximately 40 per cent) compatible wireless networking, which means you can get access to the network anywhere, anytime while on campus. You need to use your netname to access the Wi-Fi network.
Be a good Wi-Fi citizen
You might not be aware but what you do in your classroom, studying in the library or walking around campus can have an effect on Concordia’s Wi-Fi performance. Setting up your own wireless hotspot or router will create conductivity issues for those around you, as do most wireless devices. Be a good Wi-Fi citizen and let everyone get the connection they need.
Here’s more information about Concordia’s Wi-Fi network.
3. Your Student hub is a one-stop shop
Whether you’re an undergraduate, graduate or continuing education student, a good place to start your academic journey at Concordia is the online Student hub.
Consult class schedules, find job opportunities, manage money, look up events, join clubs or explore recreational sports. Stay on top of the latest news and see all the services you can take advantage of as a Concordia student.
Click on “Get to know your Student Information System (SIS)” for dozens of how-to guides on performing key tasks in My Student Centre — your self-service dashboard for managing everything from registering for classes, checking your grades, paying fees and more.
The MyConcordia portal is where you sign in for secure access to My Student Centre and other resources using your netname and password. Learn more about what to do if you’ve forgotten your password or want to reset it.
Hot tip: at the bottom of the Student hub’s main page are four buttons that allow you to easily access the Moodle platform, your student webmail account, class schedules and Office 365.
4. Office 365: a “suite” deal
Office 365 is a collection of services that allows you to collaborate and share your school work. Through Concordia’s Microsoft campus agreement, it’s available for free to students who are actively attending the university.
The service includes Office Online (Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote), a terabyte (1TB) of OneDrive storage, Yammer and SharePoint sites. Concordia also allows students to install the full Office suite on up to five PCs or Macs for free. You'll see the Install Office button on your Office 365 homepage after you complete sign-up.
To begin, you’ll need to activate your student email account. Visit the MyConcordia portal and select the Office 365 Student Email option from within the Accounts and Settings section.
5. Free antivirus software
If you’ve got a new computer, you’ll need to protect your data. Worry not: as a registered student, you can download anti-virus software by Sophos free of charge.
In the MyConcordia portal, select Software and Applications, then Sophos Antivirus. After that, identify your computer’s operating system (Windows or Mac), and you’re ready to download.
6. IT Service Catalog: tech info at your fingertips
7. Your courses are now online: Moodle
Yes, your classes are happening in the classroom — but they’re also on the internet.
Depending on the program, your professors may use Moodle to post weekly course materials, including quizzes, readings and the like. They may also set up discussion forums, making it easy to keep the conversation going once class is done for the day.
You can find out which of your courses have accompanying websites in the MyConcordia portal, under My Moodle Courses. Moodle can now also be accessed on any mobile device through the responsive site: moodle.concordia.ca.
8. Register online for your Opus card
To be entitled to pay reduced-fare public transit (a 40-per cent savings), you need to obtain a registered OPUS photo ID card. You can order yours online and it will be sent to you by mail. It’s fast and easy, with no waiting in line.
9. Online shopping at Concordia
Buying your books and restocking your school and office supplies just got a little easier. Concordia Stores has an eCommerce site to simplify your purchases. It allows you to order books online, reload your DPrint card, subscribe to Le Gym and much more.
10. PC and Mac computer labs, available around the corner
Let’s say you don’t have your own computer right now. That’s no problem: Concordia offers both PC and Mac labs to registered students. Click under Documentation on the IITS Computer and media labs page for a list of locations, hours and available equipment.
11. Plug into enhanced classroom technology
More than 70 classrooms have had technology upgrades, resulting in improved sound systems, more whiteboards and bigger screens with better resolution and positioning. Upgraded rooms also include a variety of aesthetic improvements — including paint, blinds and furniture, depending on the needs for each classroom — courtesy of Facilities Management.
Twenty classrooms now have lecture capture capabilities, for when you miss an important class or you want to review a complicated concept. Professors and lecturers must register to participate. Once a lecture is captured, it’s uploaded to Moodle, where the software is designed to let registered students search the lecture by keyword, as well as add tabs and notes to the presentation. This is particularly helpful for students who speak English as a second language.
In certain classes you may be asked to acquire an i>Clicker device, part of the i>Clicker Student Response System for in-class quizzes. It allows lecturers to “read the room,” and instantly gauge the level of comprehension about a particular topic. The system consists of a receiver (known as an i>clicker base), a software package, handheld student input devices (known as student remotes), and an instructor remote. This service allows professors to borrow an i>clicker teacher’s kit (containing a base and an instructor remote) and to receive troubleshooting and how-to support for these kits or their own devices.
12. Get Alertus + and customize your notifications
Sometimes the university needs to tell you about something you’re not actively looking for, like a cancelled class or a timely announcement. Download the Alertus+ app from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store and never miss one of these important memos.
The university can text message you when one of your classes has been cancelled or your grades have been posted — before you even get out of bed in the morning. The same goes if you need to know your class schedule or account balance. Accessing these services is easy. Here's a step-by-step guide to setting up your notifications via the SIS.
13. Ask a Librarian
Need research support for an assignment? Yes, you can approach the reference desk or book an appointment with a subject librarian. But Concordia’s popular Ask a Librarian service also allows students to seek help and instruction from a librarian by email or telephone, or via an online chat service.
Hot tip: the library also has more than 260 laptops and tablets available for short-term loan at no charge.
14. Your NOW student newsletter
Once you have your Concordia email address set up, you’ll start receiving the university’s NOW newsletter for students. It's a must-read for every student, chock-full of info about upcoming campus events; student support (funding, services, networks, study spaces and other resources); exciting research initiatives; classroom innovations and suggestions for how to get involved in university life. Do you have something newsworthy to report? You can also submit your own story ideas to email@example.com.
15. Staying in touch via social media
Concordia’s social media channels are another way to find out what’s going on around campus. Be sure to follow the official Concordia accounts as well as the Student Success Centre’s Facebook page. Check out concordia.ca/social to see the full list of official accounts, along with guidelines and best practices about social media. Many individual departments, faculties, student associations and clubs have their own Facebook pages where you can find out about upcoming events. Members of the Concordia Student Union and journalists from the university’s two student newspapers, The Link and The Concordian, are also very active on social media.
Hot tip: Facebook recently changed its algorithm to prioritize posts in your news feed from friends and family over posts from other pages you like. To ensure you’re seeing all the Concordia-related news and updates from the accounts you follow, visit their respective Facebook pages, click the "Like" button at the top and change the setting from "Default" to "See First."
16. IT security incidents
Although we hope it never happens, IT security incidents are a fact of everyday life. In the event that your laptop is stolen or lost, or your personal information is compromised on campus, you can contact the security department by completing an incident report on the MyConcordia portal. In the unfortunate case of an incident, you will also have to file a report with your insurer and the SPVM (Montreal police).
Still having trouble getting connected? IITS can help
You can also stop by the Sir George Williams Campus service centres in rooms H-925 H-421 of the Henry F. Hall Building and room MB-S2.145 in the John Molson Building, or room CC-207 in the Central Building at Loyola Campus. Consult each location for operating hours.
Find out more about Instructional and Information Technology Services (IITS).
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