Classroom technology drop in sessions

Audio-Visual Teaching Technology Drop-In Sessions

A classroom at university with AV equipment

No need to book!

The DTS (Digital Technology Services) Audio-Visual team are offering staff drop-in sessions to demonstrate how to use various classroom technologies.

These drop-in sessions are aimed at new teaching staff plus existing staff who want to have refresh or closer look at how the AV classroom technology (i.e., microphones, cameras, screens) works. 

When and where:  

Monday 18th September 

12:00 to 13:00 

Room 124, Edith Morley 

Tuesday 19th September 

12:00 to 13:00 

Room 124, Edith Morley 

Wednesday 20th September  

12:00 to 13:00 

Room 124, Edith Morley 

Thursday 21st September 

12:00 to 13:00 

Room 127, Edith Morley 

Friday 22nd September 

12:00 to 13:00 

Room 124, Edith Morley 

What will I learn? 

The rooms chosen are typical teaching classrooms with standard equipment. Technicians will be on hand to demonstrate and show you how to: 

  • Switch on equipment 
  • Perform basic operations, e.g., checking OneDrive, where to find your files, using multiples screens, how to end a session 
  • Use the document camera 
  • Use Microsoft Whiteboard 
  • Check microphone and sounds levels for Yuja Learning Capture (there are separate Yuja software sessions held by TEL, book through UoR Learn) 
  • Use Teams as part of a session, e.g., calling or conferencing 
  • How to get help if something goes wrong with the equipment in a session 

You will also be given the opportunity to try things out for yourself so you can feel comfortable (at least with the technology!) before the start of term. Come along to a session and find out something new! 

Can’t make these sessions? 

If you would like a demo and can’t make any of these sessions, there is limited availability for 1-2-1 sessions by booking through this form. 

Academic Computing Drop-in Sessions for Students and Staff 

The DTS Academic Computing team also offer fortnightly drop-in sessions, where they will be around to offer informal help for all things academic computing related.  If you’re confused by Linux commands, not sure how to access our systems, uncertain how to use them or have any other academic computing related questions, come along to a session!  

Wednesday 13th September  

13:00 to 15:00 

Brian Hoskins GL68 PC Lab 

Wednesday 27th September

Linux basics session 

14:30 to 15:30 

Brian Hoskins GL68 PC Lab 

Thursday 5th October 

11:30 to 12:30 

Brian Hoskins GL68 PC Lab 

Full schedule:

Using Yuja lecture capture software  

Yuja logoThe CQSD Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) team run various sessions on learning capture and how to use Yuja software throughout the year. The Essentials webinar covers an overview of how to access the recording software (YuJa) in the classroom or personal devices, how to use it to create video resources to be accessed through Blackboard, and practical advice about how to use YuJa effectively when teaching.  

Please see UoR Learn for TEL Learning Capture sessions and how to book (search for “Learning Capture”).

Contact and further information 

For general IT related questions, the IT Service Desk is your first point of contact.  

Cyber Security: Phishing remains top threat at UoR

Phishing (pronounced “fishing”) is a cybercrime that involves tricking individuals into divulging sensitive information such as passwords, credit card details, or personal identification.

How big is the threat?

Phishing attacks continue to be a major concern worldwide, with a significant impact on individuals and organizations alike. In 2021, phishing attempts accounted for 83% of the total number of cyberattacks reported globally, underscoring the prominence of this threat. In 2022 this number increased to 90%. In 2023 initial reports suggest this is likely to remain as high or even be higher.

Remember: It only takes one person to click on the wrong link for our whole network to be exposed to criminal activity – don’t let that person be you!

What should I look out for?

Here are the top ten email subjects from recent spam attempts (in no particular order). As you can see, often the phisher has got information about you, your manager and your organisation to make the email seem more realistic.

Unusual sign in activity

Click to enlarge

  1. Urgent!
  2. HR: Staff Rewards Program
  3. IT: Important Email Upgrades
  4. Activate your DropBox account
  5. Your payment is overdue
  6. Microsoft 365: [display_name], Password has expired
  7. Amazon: Action Needed: Purchase Attempt
  8. Available? [manager_name] is trying to contact you
  9. Teams: [manager_name] invited you to join a Team
  10. Microsoft 365: [display_name], MFA Security Review is Required

Here are some commonly impersonated organisations:

PayPal scam

Click to enlarge

  • Your own *
  • Microsoft (including Teams, OneDrive, SharePoint)
  • LinkedIn
  • Google (including Google Chat and Google Docs)
  • PayPal
  • WeTransfer
  • WhatsApp
  • HSBC
  • Instagram
  • HMRC and other government departments

*Hackers pretending to be someone from your own organisation has the most success and has increased during 2023. 

What can I do?

It’s crucial to arm yourself against phishing attacks to ensure your personal and academic information remains secure. Here are some essential steps to take:

Keep Yourself Updated: Awareness is your first line of defence. Understand the tactics used in phishing attacks and train yourself to identify suspicious emails, messages, or websites. 

Verify the Source: Before clicking on any links or sharing personal information, verify the sender’s identity. Be cautious even if an email or message appears to be from a familiar source.

Stay Cautious: Be wary of unsolicited emails, especially those requesting personal or financial information. Legitimate organizations rarely ask for sensitive data via email.

Think Before You Click: Avoid clicking on suspicious links or downloading attachments from unknown sources. Hover over links to see the actual URL before clicking.

Use Strong, Unique Passwords: Create strong passwords using a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols. Avoid using the same password for multiple accounts.

Enable Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): Set up MFA for an extra layer of security by requiring a second form of verification, such as a code in an Authenticator app, in addition to your password. This makes it significantly harder for attackers to access your accounts.

Keep Software Updated: Regularly update your operating system and applications. Cybercriminals often exploit known vulnerabilities in outdated software.

Use Apps Anywhere to make sure you are using the most up to date version of software with the latest security patches.

Report Suspicious Activity: If you receive an email or message that seems suspicious, report it to us. Your vigilance could help protect others from falling victim to the same attack.

Further information and contact

We have a Cyber Security section on the DTS website, which also includes information about spotting phishing attempts. 

For more general information about keeping yourself safe online, have a look at the National Cyber Security Centre website.

If you have any questions or need any advice, please contact the IT Service Desk.

Device Lifecycle – Summer update

Invitation to All Staff

During August and September, the Device Lifecycle team is inviting any staff member whose only computer is a desktop PC, or who is using a laptop more than 3 years old to find out if they are eligible to receive a new Surface Laptop 5 (or for current Mac users, a MacBook Air).

What do you get?

A brand new Windows or Mac

A docking station and cables (if needed)

A laptop carrying case

Plus! A personalised 121 deskside set-up service


The Device Lifecycle team

LapSafe: a new laptop loan service for students

Digital Technology Services (DTS) are pleased to announce the introduction of a laptop loan service for students, known as LapSafe.

Addressing the issue: Digital Poverty

A student survey from Reading’s Student Union in 2021 highlighted that 70% of students thought that their laptop/computer had negatively impacted on their learning with 13% of those students stating they had no regular access to computers at all.Students studying in the library

A suitable computer is necessary to access learning material in Blackboard, to access core teaching software, to participate in blended learning, and to enable students to study flexibly on campus, in halls of residence, in the library, study spaces, lecture theatres, seminar rooms and even from home.

“Digital poverty has created inequalities in the learning experience and ultimately the learning outcomes of some of our students which must be addressed to ensure they have equal opportunities to succeed.”

Our aim is to provide an easy to access, centrally located laptop loan service to give all students access to a consistent and reliable device to positively contribute to their learning.

What is LapSafe?

Using a grant from the Office for Students, we have purchased 100 laptops for short term loans to students. We have also purchased 96 lockers, which are specifically designed for this type of laptop loan service. Laptops can be loaned and returned 24×7 (or at least while the Library is open) using these lockers.

We are calling this loan service “Lapsafe”, after the lockers.

Lapsafe lockers in the Library

Click to enlarge photo

The LapSafe lockers are self service lockers (similar to Amazon or Evri lockers).  Each locker contains a laptop which is fully charged and ready to be used.

Students use their student Campus Card to log in to the console screen and then follow instructions to request or return a loan.

How to borrow a laptop from the LapSafe lockers

There is a bank of “hot desks” set up in the Library that the loan laptops can be plugged into. There is no restriction where you can use it. The LapSafe laptop can be taken out of the Library to a lecture or Halls, or off campus if needed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can use them?

Any student with a valid UoR Campus Card. You will need a student Campus Card to be able to take out a loan laptop. This is in addition to the hardship or disability laptop loans.

Staff who need to borrow a laptop should contact DTS.

How long are they loaned for?

Laptops are loaned on a first come, first served basis, and can be loaned for up to 8 hours at a time (or until the battery runs out). If you need it for longer, return and borrow a new one.

One laptop is allowed per student card.

What is the spec of the devices?

We’ve chosen a higher spec Windows 10 device which all current curriculum software will run on. All devices are Microsoft Surface Pro 7 (i7/16GB/256GB) laptop, with a Type Cover keyboard.

Where are they?

Lockers can be found in Whiteknights Library – on the first, second and third floors. By having them in the Library, students can take advantage of the IT Service Desk counter located on the first floor if they have any issues.

When are they available?

The lockers are available now!

There will be a marketing campaign aimed at students and full launch in October. In the meantime, we hope that students will make use of the laptop loan service during the summer so we can iron out any issues before the beginning of the new academic year.

What is in the future?

We’ll monitor how the lockers in the Library are used, which will give us an indication of how we can best utilise them. We are considering:

  • A longer loan period (which will need us to supply chargers)
  • Incorporating the laptop loan app into the student app, so you can reserve a laptop for collection without having to go to the Library
  • Situating lockers in other parts of the University (e.g. London Road, Earley Gate)

Plus anything else that comes up once the lockers are in use.

Further information

You can find full instructions (as well as the terms and conditions) on our dedicated webpage.

Information specifically aimed at students is on this Essentials webpage.

If you have any questions or need any further information, please contact DTS.

VPN upgrade Tuesday 27th June 1300-1700

Pulse secure logo

This has been completed

When: Tuesday 27 June, 1pm to 5pm
Where: VPN connections
Who is affected: Anyone using VPN to remote into UoR services between 1pm and 5pm during the change window.

On the afternoon of Tuesday 27th June, DTS (with support from the supplier) will be carrying out essential maintenance to our VPN service. VPN will be considered “at risk” between 1pm and 5pm on 27th June.

This means that there may be short interruptions to the service during this time. You may lose your connection or be unable to connect during the change window.

What do I need to do?

Without VPN, you will not be able to access collab file shares, certain business systems, remote desktop, and some research systems.

You do not need VPN to access your email, Office 365 (Word, Excel etc.), Teams, and OneDrive.

You do not need VPN if you are on campus and connected to the wired network.

Will I notice any difference due to this work?

After the upgrade, you may notice a change in branding from Pulse to Ivanti if you connect via a browser. The connection address will remain unchanged, The desktop client will still be “Pulse Secure”.

Further information and help

This change is being carried out under change reference: C-2306-491

For updates, please check the IT Status Hub.

If you need to speak to us about this change or would like advice please raise a ticket with the IT Service Desk or email

Emails: About Quarantine

Phish message

An email that doesn’t need to be quarantined

Now we have tightened our email security, you may find you are getting more notifications from Microsoft that an email is in Quarantine, and you need to review it. 

An email is sent to Quarantine when the email or its content is flagged to be potentially harmful to the intended recipient, whether it’s a phishing attempt or a spam or spoof email. The offending email is held in Quarantine for review by the recipient or an administrator and then either blocked or released to the user’s inbox.

Why are my emails there?

Microsoft notice of an email in quarantine

An email that is definitely spam

Some of the reasons an email might end up in Quarantine rather than sent to Junk Email folder include:

  • If the message is identified as phishing
  • If the message is identified as from a known spamming domain
  • If a message is detected as user impersonation
  • If a message is detected as domain impersonation

Sometimes genuine emails end up in Quarantine, so you are able to review and release them if appropriate. 

How to I get an email out of Quarantine?

In the majority of cases, you are able to review and release your own emails from Quarantine. You have 15 days to block or release the email. 

You can either click the link in the email, or go direct to your Quarantine. For step by step instructions and more details please read KI 0487 Email: Using the Office 365 Quarantine.

If you need help, please contact the IT Service Desk.

Important: Stay aware of phishing!

Before you open an email message, you should always check for hints that it might not be genuine:

  • Is the email unexpected? 
  • You didn’t initiate the action you are being asked to do
  • Is it the offer too good to be true?
  • The email address looks suspicious or wrong
  • There are spelling mistakes and poor grammar
  • You’re being asked to do something urgently
  • The email contains a link, especially a handy link to login to your account
  • You need to confirm or supply personal information

More information please see our Phishing webpage.

Further information and contact

We have several Knowledge Base articles about this topic:

If you have any questions or need any advice, please contact the IT Service Desk.

Device Lifecycle News – June update

Image showing a computer with the words device lifecycle printed across the middle. An arrow encircles the computer to represent a circular process.The first six months

The Device Lifecycle team has been working with departments across the University since December 2022. In this time we have delivered and set up new Surface 5 laptops for over 350 staff members.

“My teams are thrilled as Toshibas and Pros/Gos were driving them mad. We didn’t have the budget for replacements – so thank you!”

We anticipate that as more and more areas across campus are set up to accommodate Surface devices, demand will continue to be high among staff members who decide to switch their desktops and older laptops to the standard laptop.

“I was very reluctant to lose my desktop but the whole experience was excellent and the device works seamlessly as a desktop would.”

Feedback after the first six months

Feedback from colleagues has been overwhelmingly positive, with most calling out the personalised deskside set-up support and the provision of a high specification device to all users as particular highlights.  

“Excellent communication throughout the roll out. Penny explained the process well and desk set ups were carried out smoothly by IT staff.”

Not everyone completed one, but where we received a feedback form from an area following a rollout, we can see what you think of our service:

Bar charts showing initial consultation: 7 marked as excellent and 1 as good, deskside rollout 8 marked as excellent, overall experience 7 marked as excellent and 1 as goodIn every case we have been marked as “Good” or “Excellent”.  

Bar chart of what you found most useful, 7/8 for deskside support, 7/8 for free laptop, 6/8 for being able to contact the team directly, and 5/8 for having all cables and a dock included with the new device.

We also asked what you found most helpful:

  • Deskside 1-2-1 setup support
  • Free high specification laptop
  • Direct contact with the team, without having to go through the Service Desk
  • Docks and monitor cables included

We are enormously pleased with the feedback, which we hope will help secure funding for the next financial year. 

What are we up to now?

In the lead up to the summer break, the team are working to arrange allocation of new devices to staff in several Schools, including PCLS (Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences), School of Literature and Languages, SPEIR (School of Politics, Economics and International Relations), as well as UMASCS (University Museums and Special Collections Services).

The Lifecycle team is fully booked up over the summer vacation, and are now booking appointments in September 2023. 

Over the summer we will be organising purchasing new stock of Surface Laptop 5s, as all our existing devices are allocated.

Further information

If you have any questions or need any advice, please contact the Device Lifecycle team who will be happy to help.

Removal of Windows 10 “Mail” app

What is happening?

We will be removing (i.e. uninstalling) the native Windows 10 and 11 “Mail” application from all University of Reading managed Windows computers in the next few weeks.

Windows Mail does not have the functionality or security that Microsoft Outlook provides, and for this reason we are going to remove it from all University of Reading managed Windows computers. Microsoft Outlook is the approved application for email and calendaring, and is already installed on all UoR computers as part of Office.

How do I know which I am using?

Most people will be using Microsoft Outlook. If you have a newer computer (particularly a Microsoft Surface) you may be using Windows Mail without realising. The easiest way to tell is to check your email programme icon on the taskbar, so open your email and see what the icon looks like.Taskbar with Outlook icon and Windows Mail icon. The Outlook icon is different. Outlook has an envelope icon with an “O”, whereas Windows Mail has a simple envelope icon.

Do I need to do anything?

The removal of Windows Mail will happen automatically. If you are using Windows Mail now, it would be wise to open up Outlook to familiarise yourself with the interface.

The first time you open Outlook,  you will be prompted for your email address. This will pull all the information needed for first time set up. You can find Outlook by putting “Outlook” in the search bar.

Further information and contact

DTS Outlook webpage

Microsoft Outlook training

Linked In Learning Outlook training topic

If you have any questions or need any advice, please contact the IT Service Desk.

Request your Curriculum Software now for Autumn 2023

Many software logosIn Digital Technology Services (DTS) we review all software packages each academic year. Our Application and Deployment team are now preparing to package software required for classes for the next academic year (23/24).

If you use any software in your teaching, we need your requests for curriculum software for the next academic year by 16th June.

What is happening?

For your software to be available for the start of Autumn term, you need to complete a software request form now for each software package required for your classes. You do not need to request Microsoft Office.

DTS coordinates curriculum software requests from within and across all Schools to ensure app configuration and any additional requirements requested are included in the deployed app, so please make sure you complete a form even if you think someone else might.

What do I need to do?

Complete the Software Request form on the DTS Self Service Portal 

(If the above link does not work, from go to: Place a DTS request – Request software – PC and classroom support – Request software for labs/Apps Anywhere)

Apps Anywhere home page

This form can also be accessed directly from Apps Anywhere by selecting the “Request Software” tile.

Important information about completing the form

A complete form will enable DTS to action and work on your request without coming back to you if we have all the required information, including any licensing and test steps. If any fields are incomplete there is a delay while we try to contact you for this information and we may not be able to action your request in the specified time.

Please don’t put “same as last year” as we will need to look back through requests to see what you requested last year, and it also makes it difficult to coordinate this with new requests from across the schools.

Points to note:

  • An individual form is required for each software package.
  • You do not need to request Microsoft Office. 
  • You must complete the form whether the software has been used in previous years or not.
  • Please complete all fields in the form with as much information as possible so we can process requests promptly.
  • If you are planning on using new software, please discuss this with your DTS Business Relationship Manager (BRM) before completing the form.
  • Where possible, all software is made available via Apps Anywhere.
  • All software requested should be at a supported version, ideally the latest version (for the latest fixes and patches)

DTS do not make any assumptions about what software is needed for next year and anything not requested may be retired from Apps Anywhere.


This information is required by Friday 16 June. Requests after this deadline cannot be guaranteed for the start of Autumn term. 

How can I find out the progress of my request?

Submitting the request form creates a ticket. You can view the progress of your ticket either by clicking the “Track my ticket” link in your confirmation email, or through “My logged calls” on the DTS Self Service Portal.

Further information and contact

If you have any questions, please contact the team through the IT Service Desk or your BRM through Ask a Question.

Emails: Advice for senders

How to stop your email being sent to the Junk Email folder or reported to us as phishing

If you receive an email that you are worried about, DTS are always happy to take a look and advise. Often these turn out to be legitimate emails which have raised red flags with the recipient as a potential phishing attempt. We also see people reporting missing emails, as the emails are being diverted to email Junk folders or sent to Microsoft Quarantine because they have been flagged as spam. 

Junk Email folder in Outlook

Junk Email folder in Outlook

Here we look at a few ways you can make sure emails you send avoid being deleted, quarantined or marked as spam or junk. 

Following these tips will help friends and colleagues determine whether your email is genuine. 

What can I do?

Help emails reach their intended recipient by following these tips: 

  • Proofread your emails and check grammar
  • Have a coherent and relevant subject line:
    • Don’t use CAPITALS, emojis 😀 or exclamation marks !!!!! in the subject line
    • Single word subject lines such as Urgent! or Information? are more likely to get sent to junk.
    • Avoid spam filter trigger words in the subject line e.g. Urgent!, Limited Time!, Available?
  • Don’t send the email content as a picture which may get blocked
  • Limit the number of colours and fonts you use, which also helps with Digital Accessibility. 
  • Address the email to the person you are emailing, e.g. Hi John
    • If you are bulk emailing, consider using mail merge to address people separately
  • If you have a link in an email, particularly to personal details, provide an alternative route to that information. For example, a link might say “Access your staff account“. If you add “or go to the Staff Portal and click the link to the Staff Self Service”, you are giving people an option of finding their own way without relying on the link. 

Emails from or on behalf of the University occasionally get trapped by the Microsoft spam filter. If you are sending emails, here is some additional guidance.

  • Sign off from a named person, rather than a department or team. This gives people a point of contact and someone they can look up on the staff directory.
  • Add your University email signature to the end of the email
  • Use the correct language and spelling for University terms; see the UoR House style guide
  • Send from an email address where possible.

If an email will come from an external email address (for example a third party who are providing a service), make sure you check what they are sending also follows this guidance. 

Someone typing on a computer keyboard


You should pay particular attention to your email content if you are sending an email out to many people at once (which may look like spam), or if you want people to click a link (which may look like phishing).

Why does it matter?

Apart from the obvious that you want people to read your emails…

If people report University of Reading emails as spam to Microsoft, then all emails from will start to be scrutinised and potentially held in quarantine. The same is true from a personal email address.

Further reading

We have a Cyber Security section on the DTS website, which also includes information about spotting phishing attempts.

Also check our Digital Accessibility Resources  which can help further with content and displaying images.


If you have any queries or require any advice, please contact the IT Service Desk.