New to IU? Crash Course in IT Training Resources

Keep calm and get IT Training sign

Welcome, students! We know you’re finding classes, where to eat, and favorite spots to study (or nap).

As you get situated here at IU, we thought we’d round up a few of our best training resources for you about software and IT tools you might use this year.

These are a few recorded webinars from our staff you might want to take a look through:

We also provide more in-depth, free live (online or in-person) workshops on a broad range of IT topics, like Adobe and Microsoft programs and web authoring and publishing tools. View all instructor-led training events available this semester.

Want to learn at your own pace? Work through our workshop materials (login required for access) on your own. Or visit lynda.iu.edu to get started using your free Lynda account through IU.

You can look through all of our options and decide what works best for you at ittraining.iu.edu.

Looking forward to this year — we’re glad you’re here (or back, for our returning students)!

 

Even More Fun With Icons

even more fun with icons

This is the follow up to a post from several weeks ago on using a site called iconfinder.com to incorporate snazzy icons in your design work. After all, we do seem to almost be moving back to a time of hieroglyphs (icons and emojis). Be prepared to speak this visual language using appropriate, meaningful icons. This usually means creating custom iconography to suit your communication.

In today’s post, I’ll show you how to use the built-in symbols in Illustrator to create custom icons. (Note: I’m using CS6 but this should translate to the latest CC pretty smoothly, also.)

In Illustrator, when you activate the default Web workspace in the upper right of the control panel,

web workspace

this workspace will give you the Symbols panel on the right side of the interface. Read the rest of “Even More Fun With Icons” »

Happy Birthday Windows 95!

While the Microsoft spotlight is squarely on Windows 10 and its release, let’s pause for a moment and wish Windows 95 a happy 20th birthday! While many of us cannot live without the today, Windows 95 was the first Microsoft operating system to use the task bar and start menu. If you’ve got an hour, check out this Windows 95 introduction, starring Jennifer Aniston and Matthew Perry.

Things have come a long way in the last 20 years!

Is Smartphone Test Driving Smart?

Samsung ultimate test drive

A while ago, I ran a short series of tips on how to simplify your tech life. One of those tips was to pilot products–hardware or software–when you can, to see if it’s a fit before you commit.

Samsung agrees with that approach. The company recently introduced an “Ultimate Test Drive” promotion to allow iPhone owners to take a Galaxy smartphone for a spin for 30 days. The price? A whopping… one dollar.

I find this very interesting from a teaching and learning perspective. With this test drive program, Samsung is acknowledging that switching to a new phone is not easy for many people. In fact, for a lot of us, the thought can be overwhelming. Learning new hardware, a new user interface, and gaining new muscle memory introduces quite a large learning curve for people who are used to a certain way of working with their phones.

But for the first time in a long time, I’m tempted to see if 30 days will really convince me.

More on mobile:

IT Training and IT Community Partnerships recently held a couple of webinars on using key mobile apps here at IU. You can find those webinar recordings here:

If you’re interested in additional mobile app information/training to help you be successful in your IU work and/or studies, please leave a comment on this post or contact ittraining@iu.edu about topics you’d like to see us address.

Detox Your Online Life

Title image of a girl on a hammock using a computer under a magnolia tree

I live online! And I wouldn’t want it any other way. But sometimes it’s good to just step back and figure out what you really need in your life and what is just filling up your inbox and cluttering your bookmarks bar. About once a every three months I try to plan a media clean up. Think of it like a quarterly cleaning list just like you have for your house. I dust up the cluttered folders in my inbox, I run the sweeper over my overly crowded bookmarks bar, and I reorganize all of my social sites and dashboard tasks. Read the rest of “Detox Your Online Life” »

Presenting Data like a Pro: Excel

Title image that is tinted in purple and has three people in a meetings

So, you’ve put together some super interesting and wickedly compelling data in Excel that you want to share with your colleagues. While the data might be 100% clear to you, sometimes lots of numbers  can seem a little obscure to an outside party. What do you do in order to present the data and get the maximum impact you are hoping for?

Read the rest of “Presenting Data like a Pro: Excel” »

Qualtrics at IU

Qualtrics is a cloud-based survey tool that helps faculty, students, and staff build and distribute surveys, view reports, and tabulate and analyze responses. It’s functionality goes way beyond free survey building applications and yet it is still easy to use.

Qualtrics home page with heading "Need a better survey tool? Try Qualtrics now!"

If  you are affiliated with Indiana University, you can visit IUware to purchase and download a license for individual or organizational use.

If you need help using Qualtrics, check out the resources at Qualtrics University. The video tutorials are well done and easy to follow. I would suggest that beginners start with “Learn Qualtrics in 5 Steps.”

Click on the video below to get started now:

Creating Accessible Documents at IU

Creating Accessible Documents at IU

We all know that creating accessible documents is an important part of providing universal access to courses and other university materials. In a recent IT Training webinar, presenters Joe Humbert and Mary Stores from IU’s Assistive Technology & Accessibility Centers provide general guidelines, along with detailed demonstrations, to help you ensure your documents are accessible.

View webinar recording. View the webinar recording for “Creating Accessible Documents at IU.”

In this presentation, several resources were shared to enable participants to follow along and use as reference later. View and/or download the shared resources for this presentation.

In this webinar, we covered:

  • How to create or improve the accessibility of PDF, MS Word, MS PowerPoint documents
  • Techniques for writing alternate text descriptions and descriptive link text
  • Best practices for syllabi

Follow-up questions are welcome. You can add a comment to this post or reach out to IU’s Assistive Technology and Accessibility Center directly.

6 Facts about Charging

A title image that says "6 facts about charging" and has a picture of an iphone 4 on an off-brand charger.

Every day we hear another myth about charging your device. Should you let it die completely? Does turning off Bluetooth really save your battery? Or, my personal favorite, can I put my phone in the freezer to extend it’s life? When it comes to charging any device at all there are many different facts and rules in which you should follow. Today we will finally debunk the truth from the myth.

Read the rest of “6 Facts about Charging” »

Meeting online with Adobe Connect

Title image that says, "Meeting Online with Adobe Connect" and has a picture of a computer with the Adobe Connect Software open

Adobe Connect Meeting gives Indiana University students, faculty, and staff a means to meet, collaborative, and teach online! Have you ever tried to meet with a group at the library and it’s just too packed? Instead, try meeting on the web from your homes! Adobe Connect is a web conferencing software that allows for collaboration and provides a virtual environment for sharing presentations, images, and desktop applications with remote participants. It also offers audio and video conferencing, text chat, a digital whiteboard, and polling. All you need is a web browser with Flash plug-in and an Internet connection!

 

Read the rest of “Meeting online with Adobe Connect” »