Undergraduate Tech News

Computing updates for undergraduates

Office of Information Technology - OIT Help Desk, helpdesk@rice.edu, 713-348-HELP (4357), kb.rice.edu
Distributed via email to undergraduate students on 12/01/2021

As the fall semester winds down, we are reaching out to inform you about changes occurring in the spring. Best wishes wrapping up your semester and we hope your winter break is relaxing!


New assignments interface in spring semester.
Over the winter break we will be turning on a feature called Assignment Enhancements in Canvas. This will change the interface used to submit assignments, although the workflow will remain the same. You can view what the new interface will look like at the Assignment Enhancement for Students blog post.


Improving the student experience.
This past year we have been evaluating how to improve the self-service pages in Esther and are working with the SA and GSA presidents to gather initial student feedback. In the spring, we plan to release these updated versions of self-service pages with the old and new versions running side-by-side as we gather feedback from the student community. Read more.


Cloud file storage quotas are changing.
Rice students have several options for cloud-based storage, including Rice Box, OneDrive and Google Workspace. In response to contractual and policy changes by Rice’s cloud storage providers, OIT is updating the storage quotas for the campus. Quota limits are being increased for Rice Box (to 1 TB) and OneDrive (to 2 TB). However, Google Workspace storage will be decreasing (to 10 GB). Some students may also be using personal home drives (U: drives) for file storage, which will be decommissioned over the next year. We suggest reviewing the service links below to familiarize yourself with the new quotas and to understand your alternative options.

Google Storage Quotas
Box Storage Quotas
OneDrive Storage Quotas
Personal Home Drive Decommission Announcement

Security Advice

Beware of email scams! Especially fake job offers.
Recently many phony employment messages have been emailed to students and they appear to be from a Rice email address or Rice faculty member. If you receive a message claiming to be from Rice personnel, verify the person offering the job by directly entering their Rice email address (don’t just reply, scammers often falsify the from headers to make it appear the message is from a Rice address) or by calling the Rice personnel from their number in the Rice directory. Also, be wary of messages that appear to be from the university and require you to verify your account or increase your quota. These phishing messages are scams to gain access to your account and Rice resources. If you are unsure a message is legitimate, before you respond, contact the OIT Help Desk for advice. Read more tips in the Security Awareness: Campus Guide.

Hardware & Software

Hoping for holiday tech gifts?
If you are buying a new computer or need software, be sure to check out these resources for discounts:

Computer Recommendations
Dell Premier Discounts for Rice
Apple Higher Education Pricing
Software Available for Students


Monday - Thursday: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Friday: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
(except holidays and winter break)

Request help:
713-348-HELP (4357)

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