Are you ‘friends’ with your students on Facebook?

social media

Uh oh! You need to read the updated Griffith University Social Media Guidelines that were released in June. It has a whole section on the use of social media in learning and teaching.

The updated Social Media Guidelines recognises that Social Media are used as a communicative, collaborative and community platform in support of learning and teaching activities.

But it strongly suggests that you follow certain rules to avoid embarrassment, harassment, and other awful consequences.

For example, don’t accept requests from students to access your personal social media. This doesn’t just apply to Facebook; it applies to all your social media networks. Unless of course, the network is professional in nature (such as LinkedIn) and you are enhancing the student’s professional development and employability.

So why can’t you accept students as ‘friends’ on social media? Well, it can lead to some very difficult situations if the student subsequently takes offence to content on personal pages. And honestly, do you really want your students to see photos of the ancient swimsuit you wore on your last family vacay (um, over-stretched, worn-out spandex could be very NSFW).

The Guidelines recommend you use social media tools endorsed by Griffith University i.e Learning@Griffith.

They create a consistent student learning experience across all subjects and are typically accessible by a student’s number and password. Such tools have security protection for personal information and are copyright compliant.

Do you have questions about using Social Media in learning and teaching? Ask Griffith’s Information Policy Officer, Antony Ley.

Information Services has Social Media! Suggest content for our Library Blog, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter by contacting

‘We stopped eating to increase productivity…’

Empty white plate and human hands from above

Say whaaaat? Staff employed by a company in Silicon Valley do not eat from Monday evening until Wednesday morning. They can only consume water, tea or coffee during this period.

That’s right; they consume no food. Nada. All in the name of productivity.

According to an article in Fortune magazine, ‘the team fasts as a group… They’re attempting to improve productivity through sharper cognition and better overall health’ (2016, p.40).

Apparently, intermittent fasting isn’t just limited to this one company; it’s a growing fad amongst San Francisco’s start-ups where staff can go without food for 16 hours to several days (Fortune 2016, p.42).

If you want to increase your productivity and still eat breakfast, lunch and dinner (and many healthy snacks in between), then check out these helpful eBooks.

The secret to peak productivity: a simple guide to reaching your personal best
Tamara Myles.
New York : AMACOM, American Management Association, [2014]
Presenting an actionable framework for anyone to achieve better results, this practical guide will help you determine your strengths and weaknesses, and pinpoint where to focus for immediate results.

The productivity habits: a simple approach to become more productive
Ben Elijah.
London : LID, c2015.
Packed full of tips, hints, diagrams and anecdotes, this book offers a tool to help turn ideas into action, make the best use of time, make decisions more quickly, manage projects, achieve goals or just get tasks done.

Low-hanging fruit: 77 eye-opening ways to improve productivity and profits
Jeremy Eden, Terri Long.
Hoboken, New Jersey : John Wiley & Sons, [2014]
If you think you don’t have the resources to be faster, better, and more profitable, think again. Whether you are a member of a small team or an executive of a multinational company, this practical book will teach you how to identify and solve hidden problems.

How to improve your iPhone’s battery life


I swear I don’t use my iPhone every minute of the day – it’s chilling beside me on the desk right now.

Aside from sending the occasional text message, taking or making the odd phone call and staying abreast of current affairs (i.e. checking social media), I hardly use it. Okay, so this may be a slight understatement, but my iPhone is definitely not overworked.

So it’s always baffled me as to why it needs to be recharged every single night. Really iPhone? What are you doing that takes so much juice?

I needed answers. And I figured you did too. So after doing some research I found two easy-peasy ways to conserve your iPhones battery. Do they work? Time will tell…

Fetch your email

It would be super tiring if you had to keep asking the same question over and over again, right?

Well, your iPhone is constantly asking your email server if it has any mail. Do you have any mail? What about now? And now? Any mail now?

Make it stop already! You can stop your iPhone from harassing your email server by simply changing the settings.

  1. Click Settings
  2. Click Mail, Contacts, Calendars
  3. Click Fetch New Data
  4. Turn off Push at the top
  5. Scroll down to Fetch
  6. Select Every 15 Minutes

Turn off background app refresh for sucky apps

Apparently, Facebook carries out ‘Background Activity’ and used 53% of my battery in the last 7 days. I had to shut that sucker down fast!

To find out which apps are a drain on your battery, go to Settings and click Battery. You will find a descending list of apps by battery ‘suckiness’.

If you spot a sucker in the list, try cutting off the apps background activity (which is what I did for Facebook):

  1. Click Settings
  2. Click General
  3. Click Background App Refresh
  4. Find the App in the list
  5. Turn it off

Further resources

Do you want more tips and tricks? Here are some helpful resources:

What you need to know about Microsoft Office 365

A big red Gumby in front of blue sky

Psssst! We have a secret to tell you… Only it’s not so secret anymore; all your students know about it, and your colleagues do as well. Actually, you probably already know and can tell us all about it.

So what’s the not-so-secret secret?  Office 365 Education is available for free to Griffith University students and staff.

This means you can get Office Online (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote), 1TB of OneDrive storage, Yammer, and SharePoint sites without spending your hard-earned cash.

Simply go to the Microsoft website, type in your Griffith email address and follow the prompts. You can install Office on up to 5 PCs or Macs and on other mobile devices, including Android, iPad®, and Windows tablets.

Microsoft Office 365 Education isn’t the only freebie you get as a Griffith staff member. Software Services also kindly provides you with Symantec Endpoint Protection, Endnote, SAS and more!

To view the complete list, please visit Software Services. You will also find handy instructions for downloading the software from your Google Drive.

Should you be using your staff email for THAT?

Screenshot of Pokemon Go

Image from Google Play

Chasing Pokémon? Placing your online grocery delivery for the week? Updating your online dating profile? We recommend you use your personal email account for these activities (and for everything non-work related). Here’s why:

 Policy, privacy & security
The University IT Code of Practice provides guidance for the appropriate use of the University’s Information Technology resources including advice on limited personal use.

Your staff email is provided for University business, so usage and content of email messages may be monitored.

While the University has entered into stringent confidentiality arrangements to protect the privacy of your data in accordance with local, State, Commonwealth and International Law, other companies may not be so careful.

Did you know Pokémon Go requests full access permission for your Google account? It can see and modify information in your Google Account including emails, contacts, Google Drive documents and more.

This was an oversight by the Pokémon Go developer and will be fixed (eventually). But if you sign up with your staff email account, it leaves you and the University open to security risks.

When your employment with the University ends, so does access to your Griffith staff email account.

If you have signed up to something with your staff email account, you won’t be able to access it after you leave employment with the University.

This can cause issues with updating your account details, password resets and general access issues ­ particularly if it is an account that you do not frequently access.

You could end up missing important notifications or statements from banking institutions, superannuation or other services registered against your staff email account.

Let’s face it, spam is annoying to sift through! Gmail can automatically identify spam and suspicious emails by detecting viruses, finding patterns across messages, and learning from other Gmail accounts. But they can still get through.

Signing up to mailing lists with your staff email account can mean your details end up on spam lists. And once this happens, you’ll be inundated with spam.

Or you may not even see the emails you’ve signed up for. If you subscribe to sites such as Scoopon or DealsDirect, emails may be inadvertently identified as spam by the University and automatically trashed! Find out more about the University response to spam.

So, before you use your staff email account to access yet another trending app or website, maybe it’s a good idea to just keep it personal.

5 free apps for people who are obsessed with books

Photo of book collection in bedroom

If you constantly have your nose in a book, you may need to take a break and download these five awesome bookish apps.

1. Litsy

By Catch-84, Inc.
Available: iTunes
Litsy is a social networking app where you can discover and share your favorite books with your favorite people. The Litsy community is a groundswell of passionate readers, authors, celebrities, and more. Share bookish moments with Quotes, Reviews, and Blurbs. It’s fun.  It’s simple.  It’s all about the book.

2. Goodreads

By Goodreads
Available: iTunes and Google Play
Discover and share books you love on Goodreads, the world’s largest site for readers and book recommendations. Find new and interesting books by browsing personalized recommendations based on books you’ve read and your favorite genres. See what your friends are reading, write book reviews, and keep track of what you want to read.

3. Book Wall

By Invocore
Available: iTunes
Book Wall is a beautiful and efficient way to view and research top ranked books. Displaying 300 of the top ranked books in your chosen category, you can filter the selection by price and user rating. Book covers are presented in a beautiful icon mosaic allowing you to quickly find titles that meet your criteria.

4. Shelfie

By BitLit Media Inc.
Available: iTunes and Google Play
Get eBooks and audiobooks for books you own. You can digitise your library by simply taking a photo of your shelf (a shelfie!). The folks at Shelfie will let you know which ones are available as eBooks and audiobooks. They work with over 1400 publishers and offer over 250,000 titles.

5. Libib

By Libib, Inc.
Available: iTunes and Google Play
Libib is a home library cataloging app, that allows you to scan in your books, movies, music and video games. You can tag, review, rate, import, make notes and publish your library.

Are your kids safe on social media?


Most of us use Facebook, Twitter or Instagram in our daily lives. Heck, some of us are even on Snapchat already (don’t you just love the dog filter?).

As grown-ups, we are aware of the dangers of social media and try to make sensible choices when it comes to our online safety (most of the time).

But are your kids making the same discerning decisions? To help them stay safe online, you need to learn about the Internet.

Learning more about specific apps and online services and how your child might be using them can help you to recognise any suspicious or inappropriate behaviour, and help you to talk to your child about what they do online.

That’s why the Australian Federal Police, Microsoft Australia, Datacom and the Commonwealth Bank established ThinkUKnow.

ThinkUKnow is a free, evidence-based cyber safety program that provides accessible cyber safety education to parents, carers and teachers through schools and organisations across Australia.

Check out the Factsheets they have made available for parents. There are guides for major social media platforms such as Snapchat, Instagram, Minecraft, Twitter, Tinder, YouTube and Facebook.

For example, did you know the age classification of Snapchat is 13 years and over?  But there’s good news for those with younger kids. Children under the age of 13 can sign up for ‘SnapKidz’ account which is a limited version of the app where users are not able to send images to other users. We didn’t know about this until we read A Parents Guide to Snapchat.

Head to the ThinkUKnow website to find out more.


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