November 2011

ITS Student Newsletter November 2011

Photo by Marianita Peaslee

November 2011 Information Literacy On SSS iOS5 in Education
Issue #2

We have some tips to help ensure that you have the skills necessary to properly use information.

We discuss just what SSS is, and how students can use it to save themselves a lot of grief.

We consider how much iOS 5 and the iPhone 4S can help you academically, and how to use them.



In This Month's Issue:

We’ll be discussing information literacy and the future of technology. We’ll focus on the ideas behind information literacy and the best means to use the library. We’ll also discuss the possible uses of iOS 5 and the iPhone 4S in education.

ITS Help Desk & Computer Lab Holiday Hours:

ITS Help Desk

  • Fri., Nov. 18: 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
  • Sat. & Sun., Nov 19-20: Closed
  • Mon. - Wed., Nov 21-23: 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
  • Thurs. - Sun., Nov 24-27: Closed
  • Mon., Nov 28: Resume regular hours 8:30 a.m. - 10 p.m.

Multimedia Presentation Center (MPC)

  • Fri., Nov. 18: 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Sat. & Sun., Nov 19-20: Closed
  • Mon. - Wed., Nov 21-23: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Thurs. - Sat., Nov 24-26: Closed
  • Sun., Nov 27: 1 p.m. - 12 a.m.

Camera Loans
Any cameras on loan the week prior to Thanksgiving break must be returned by 4:30 p.m. on Friday, November 18. No cameras will be loaned for off campus use over the break.

  • Fri., Nov. 18: 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
  • Sat., Nov. 19- Sun., Nov. 27: Closed
  • Mon., Nov 28: Resume regular hours 8:30 a.m. - 10 p.m.

Digital Arts Lab (DAL)

  • Fri., Nov. 18: Closes at Noon
  • Sat., Nov. 19 - Sun., Nov. 27: Closed
  • Mon., Nov 28: Resume regular hours

Information Literacy & Using the Library

Knowing how to access & use information is a necessary part of not only academia, but of our 21st century world. We hope to provide you with some tips on how to live & work with information in this brave new world.


What is Information Literacy?

If there is one thing we can advise about information literacy, it is to become interested in the world around you. There are a variety of ways to learn new information that range from simply asking questions to gathering information from different sources. Our library provides numerous sources that will allow you to gather the information needed. You can access the library online here. The following are a few tips for exploring new topics:

  • Research a specific area of interest and analyze it, figure out if it is biased, look at it from a different perspective, or ask more questions about it.
  • Take the information you learn and share it with friends or collaborate with someone in another school/country/state.
  • Organize what you have learned; perhaps explore a new Web tool that you may not have known how to use initially ( allows you to do this; contact if you would like access to
  • Take what you have learned to make informed decisions and then ask more questions!
  • Use what you learn to make the world a better place.

As we approach the holidays and the various breaks from school, make sure to keep exploring the world around you. If you have trouble embarking on these studies, feel free to stop by the library or ITS offices and ask for help. You can also email us, your ITS Ambassadors!


Using the Library

Here at Hamilton College, we are lucky to have an amazing library that provides students with many resources that facilitate their academic experiences. We encourage that every student utilize the Burke Library to receive quality literacy information from its vast collection of resources. All those who enjoy reading for both academic and leisurely purposes are welcome to choose from hundreds of books that will quench your thirst for knowledge. Aside from its massive collection of books, the Burke Library provides students with access to electronic materials, large research databases, electronic class materials, citation materials, and much more. Students who have large research assignments to complete are highly encouraged to take advantage of the library’s research tools that include subject guides, citation rules, and even an interlibrary loan system to receive books from off campus! The Burke Library is a great place to gain insightful knowledge as well as gain excess to reliable websites that provide legitimate information and sources (journal articles, newspaper excerpts, etc.)

All of these resources can be accessed via the Hamilton College Library website here. Please take advantage of all the assistance that the Burke Library can provide you with. If you have any questions about the Burke Library system, feel free to contact the fantastic staff under the “department and staff” section on the Library website.


One of the most beneficial tools at Hamilton College is the Student Storage Server; better known as the SSS drive. As Hamilton students, we each receive 200 megabytes of storage space on the Hamilton College server. This system gives students the ability to eliminate the frantic search for lost files, having to retype after a computer crash, keeping track of USB drives, and having to constantly resave to various computers. Once you save a file onto your SSS drive, you are able to access that data from any campus wide computer connected to the Hamilton network or, when off campus, via the Internet. Although USB drives are an effective way to save your data, these devices can be easily stolen, broken, and destroyed. With the Hamilton SSS drive, students’ files can be safely transferred, are scanned for viruses, and most importantly are backed up daily. We encourage every student to use the Student Storage Server to its full potential in order to have assured file safety. Connecting is easy.

On Campus:

Mac OS X:

  1. Make sure your computer says Finder next to the Apple menu in the upper left corner of the screen. If it doesn't, click anywhere on your desktop or on the Mac smiley face in the doc.
  2. Click on the Go menu and select Connect to Server.
  3. In the line next to Address or Server Address type sss and click Connect.
  4. Enter your Hamilton network user name and password.
  5. Select the students volume.
  6. Your personal folder is in the folder for your class year.

Windows XP/Windows 7:

  1. From the Start menu, click on Run. Enter \\sss\username$. For example, if your name was Abraham Lincoln you would enter \\sss\alincoln$.
  2. If you are not already logged into the network, a window will pop up asking for your username and password. After doing so, your SSS folder should open.

Off Campus

  1. Open your Internet browser (Firefox, Explorer, Safari, etc.) and login into your My Hamilton account.
  2. Once you are logged in, select the Files tab located at the top of the screen and a list of saved files should appear.
  3. You are now able to upload files from your current system and they will be saved onto your personal storage space.
  4. Please note:if you open a file directly from SSS, the first thing you must do is save the file to a location on your local computer, e.g. your laptop. When you have finished editing and save the file, you'll need to upload it back to SSS. Failure to save the file locally and then reupload will result in you losing your edits.
The Future of Technology in Education

Educational Uses of iOS 5 and the iPhone 4S*

iOS 5, released on October 12, 2011, represents a new frontier in smartphone software. Days later, the iPhone 4S, with its new software assistant, “Siri,” was also released. While reviews have been glowing and many people have commented on the use of iOS 5 and Siri (Asking it to open the pod bay doors, for example), few have commented on their use in education, and how students can use Apple’s new software to revolutionize their academic life. We’ll discuss iOS 5 as a whole first, and then discuss Siri in detail.

In addition to multiple software enhancements, iOS 5 brought new programs to Apple devices. One of the most useful of these is the new Reminders app, which, as the name suggests, allows you to create reminders for yourself. This can be used to set homework reminders, tell you when an essay is due, and remind you about that study meeting for the next Calculus exam. Additionally, you can set your reminders to alert you at specific times, as a kind of nudge to get you to do the things you need to succeed at Hamilton College.      

Reminders also have other useful features: they can be set to a location, so that you can be reminded to get something from the bookstore as you walk along Martin’s Way. Additionally, if you have a Mac and an iCloud account, your reminders will automatically sync with your iCal, making it even easier to program and use reminders.       

The Safari browser app in iOS 5 has also seen an update useful for education: the reading list. This function allows you to take articles and websites of interest and put them in a reading list to view later. Additionally, when you pull up the articles, many of them will have their clutter removed, allowing you to focus on just the articles.

The final iOS 5-specific update is the iCloud mechanism. iCloud is Apple’s “cloud” program, which, similar to our SSS. It is a location where you can upload up to 5 GB of music, documents, and other things at no cost. Additionally, if you own iWork for the iPhone or iPad, your documents will automatically be synced to iCloud, making them much more secure.  

Siri is the new voice assistant that is incorporated in to the iPhone 4S. It is incredibly intelligent, and capable of learning from your habits and phrases you speak to it. You can use it to dictate emails, set reminders & alarms, search Google, or even do Calculus! Additionally, it is possible to dictate whole essays onto Siri, and then edit them later, revolutionizing the harrowing process of writing essays at 3 a.m. on a Thursday morning.

This, of course, is only what has arrived in the last month. With the next iPad & iPhone likely on the way, and the growing proliferation of e-readers, the future of technology in education looks bright.

*ITS is providing you with information about a variety of technologies you may find useful. While we may not able to answer all of your questions for all of these technologies, we want to do our best to keep you informed.

Accessibility Help in the Classroom

(Image credited to AP Images under Creative Commons (CC))

The Library, ITS and the Dean of Students Office have been working closely to help provide students with disabilities the materials needed for their coursework in a format that works for them.  Currently, we can facilitate to provide extended time for testing, along with a host of other accommodations.  We frequently contact publishers to see if books and textbooks are available in an electronic format.  If so, we can then scan the materials and create an audio file for the student.  We also have magnifier software on all lab machines, and a magnifying machine available in the library for student use.  We are investigating the use of the Intel Reader for immediate conversion of print to voice, as well.  Please bring your accessibility needs and concerns to the attention of Dean Allen Harrison at or 859-4021.

*Reproduced with permission of Kristin Strohmeyer 

The future of technology on campus is an interesting new frontier for Hamilton College, if not all colleges. We would be interested in hearing your questions and feedback on this topic. Email to give us your thoughts. We’ll discuss them further in the coming issues.




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