Q: How do I navigate around campus electronically?

Coming to campus for the first time, new students will have to learn to navigate their way around campus—both physically and electronically.

Many classes use course Web sites or other online course management systems while University e-mail accounts allow professors and teaching assistants to communicate important information to their students.

New students need to know how to use the campus technology, and where to get help if they are having trouble with it.

Campus Information Technologies and Educational Services, or CITES, provides, maintains and repairs campus computing and networking services for all academic activities of students, faculty and staff at the University.

Janet Jones, associate director of the service center at CITES, said students can learn about all of the provided services on their Web site.

CITES Express E-mail is available to students as long as they are affiliated with the University, and provides a quota of 100 MB for students to store their sent and received messages.

Illinois Compass is an online course management system that many professors choose to register their classes for.

On this site, students can complete homework, quizzes or other online evaluations, check for course grades, assignments and other general announcements, as well as participate in discussions about course topics with other class members.

Alex Lewis, junior in Engineering, said Compass helps him keep track of his grades, and the class roster on the site is useful for getting in touch with other members of the class if he has a question.

“Make sure you get in the habit of checking your e-mail often,” Lewis said.

He said he learned this the hard way when a professor had sent out an e-mail changing the time of an exam, and Lewis had not checked his account.

In addition, CITES provides NetFiles: 500 MB of storage space in which to store homework assignments, papers or other important documents that can be accessed from any computer with internet capabilities.

CITES also manages campus wireless services, phone services, and computer labs, and oversees campus identity systems, including students’ passwords set up for e-mail, Compass and other log-ins used for services such as course registration and electronic library access.

Security Outreach Coordinator Cynthia Yewdall Thackeray said Password Vault is another useful tool CITES offers for students to keep track of their passwords.

“You come to the University and all of a sudden you’ve got a lot more passwords to remember,” Thackeray said. “This will help you store those securely.”

Thackeray said in addition to learning to navigate campus technology, students need to learn to protect it.

“Really what we’re trying to do is help people be safe online,” Thackeray said.