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Snow and Ice Challenge

Are you tired of winter? Is the snow and ice wearing you out? Are you cursing the groundhog and Mother Nature? Unfortunately winter is not over yet. The forecast for the next 7 days includes low temperatures and more snow.

If you want to beat the winter blues, get involved in IT Training’s Snow and Ice Challenge. Grab your camera, Smartphone, or camcorder and take a photo or video that will raise our spirits and make our readers smile.

Your entry must be original and it must be submitted by the person who captured the photo or video. But unlike many other photo or video contests, for this challenge you MUST use your favorite application to enhance, distort, or manipulate the media in some way. For example, you can use Photoshop to put clothes on your snowman or use After Effects to convert snowflakes into ice cream cones. Be creative! Have fun! Get out of your winter funk! If you manage to make us smile, we will post your photo or video on this blog.

If you’re interested but you don’t know how to edit photos and videos, consider taking a Photoshop, After Effects, or Premiere Pro workshop. Our classrooms are always warm and full of bright ideas, but if you can’t bear the thought of getting out to attend an instructor-led workshop, consider downloading workshop materials or attending online training sessions.

For more information about how to submit your photo or video, click here.

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The submissions are drifting in. Here are a few of the most recent entries:

Woman, Snowman, and boy

 

Snow Scene

 

Boy in snow

 

CIB Bldg in Snow
Keep ‘em coming! The weather report says more snow will fall tomorrow.

How to use Google like a pro

How to be a Google Search Pro

I would assume almost everyone reading this knows how to “Google,” but can you use Google to search like a Google pro? Today I’m going to share a few googling tips that will change the way you search, optimize what you find, and maximize the usability you get from the content you searched for. You can thank me later, because I’m totally going to save your day.

Read the rest of “How to use Google like a pro” »

Word’s Paste Options

In a recent IT Training workshop that I was teaching, a participant ask me what each of the options in the Paste button on the ribbon in Word meant. I knew the ones that I used, but didn’t know the others. So, I promised to research and get back with the information.

Here it is:

paste

The paste button has an upper part and a lower part. Clicking on the upper part of the button does a simple past from the clipboard to wherever your cursor is in the document. Read the rest of “Word’s Paste Options” »

Do you know someone who needs to learn to use a computer?

For those new to computing or unsure of the depth of their knowledge, Windows: Basic Computing Skills introduces basic computing terminology and concepts while showing participants how to perform basic tasks in Windows such as word processing, graphic manipulation, and surfing the Web.

This sessions will be offered at no cost to faculty, staff and students AND the general public. Anyone may attend!Computer

This workshop will be offered:
IUB Wells Library W144
1320 E 10th Street
Saturday, January 24
9am-noon

For more information and to register, go to: http://ittraining.iu.edu or call 317-274-2537

Take a break with Big Stretch Reminder for PC or Dejal Time Out for Mac

image of aerobic-dancer

Do you sit at a computer screen all day? Does this cause repetitive stress syndrome, eye strain, or mobility problems? You can combat these problems by using several free or inexpensive software applications that urge you to take breaks. You can configure them to do many things, including darkening your screen and halting your work until you tell it to postpone or skip the break.

I work on both PC and Mac, and my favorites for each platform are both free: Big Stretch Reminder for PC, and Dejal Time Out for Mac. Both of them can gently remind you to take a break on a regular basis, and are quite customizable.

 

 

Big Stretch Reminder (PC):

With Big Stretch Reminder, you can configure the time between breaks, the length of the breaks, or the time of the break. You can create your own custom reminder and choose how to be reminded, from a gentle reminder to an intrusive work stoppage. It will allow you to postpone or skip the break. There are reminders in the form of dialog boxes and audio alerts, all customizable. See http://www.monkeymatt.com/bigstretch/.

Dejal Time Out (Mac)

Time Out lets you configure two kinds of breaks: a longer break to move, stretch and relax, plus a “Micro” break which is a very brief pause of a few seconds every few minutes. You can set how long each kind of break lasts and how long between. Time outs are announced by slowly dimming the screen. You can even run an Automator workflow, AppleScript, Python script, or application at the start and/or end of each break. This would allow you to listen to music or play a video, for example, during the break. When the break is finished, the screen resumes. You can pause or skip each break. See http://www.dejal.com/timeout/.

 

Episode 80 – A Look at the New Schedule with Beth

On this episode, we talk about the new Spring 2015 schedule with Beth!

it2go – The IT Training Podcast

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Who does baby look like?

As the mother of a nine-month-old, I’ve had no end of fun playing with the Look-alike Meter on MyHeritage.com. After loading photos, the site uses facial recognition software to determine whether baby looks more like mommy or daddy.

prince_george_lookalikemeterIt’s super easy to upload photos to the site. Start by opening the “apps” tab on the MyHeritage.com page, where you’ll find a link to the Look-alike Meter. You can upload one photo that has all three family members, or if needed, you can add up to three separate photos to make sure you have good shots of the whole family. Here’s an example of young Prince George with his parents Kate and William. These come from two different pictures – one with the whole family, and another with just the baby. Click the thumbnail to see a full-sized version.

Some tips: you will have to create a profile to get started. Also, using smaller files made the process much less sluggish. Faces should be at least 3/4 profile or straight on – profile pictures were not recognized by the software. For my Prince George example, the baby was turned to the side in the family portrait, and the facial recognition software did not capture him. I had to load an additional picture of just him.

Results can absolutely vary based on the shot of each family member, but that’s a lot of the fun. I loaded one set of pictures, and it said my baby looked more like me (by 5%), but with another set he looks more like my husband (by 34%!). Just to check, though, I reran the analysis multiple times with the same set of pictures, and each time got the same results – so whatever it is the software does, it does it reliably…

Episode 79 – New Teaching Space at Wells Library

On this week’s episode, we talk about the new learning space in the library

it2go – The IT Training Podcast

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The next phase of Next.IU – Video Solutions

Do you use video with your class? Have you been waiting for a tool that makes it easier to pull it all together? This fall 2014, we will pilot various video management tools as part of Next.IU (the ongoing investigation into next-generation learning technologies at Indiana University).

Use audio-visual materials like video to capture the attention of your learners, increase motivation, and enhance the learning experience. Plus, today’s learners are not just sitting on the sidelines – they are creating their own videos too.

Ensemble Video and Kaltura SaaS are flexible software programs that offer easy-to-use tools to publish and share video content via an online, on-demand video library. Both tools have a site activity feature that lets you see how students are using your content. There are even ways to get captions encoded into your videos!

Meanwhile, our new learning management system, Canvas, also has the ability to upload video anywhere you see the rich text editor – you can even record video while grading to provide feedback for your students.

If you want to sign up to participate in the video management pilot for Ensemble or Kaltura, visit the Next.IU site and complete the form. For the field, “Reason for contact,” select “I would like to participate in the Video Management pilot.”

If you want to learn more, you can ask us here, or use the Contact Us form at Next.IU.

Pluralsight-It’s here through December!

The spring semester pilot program for Pluralsight has been extended through the end of December 2014! Pluralsight recently acquired Digital Tutors, a leading provider of video-based courses on design topics such as video editing, multimedia, 3D rendering, Adobe applications and much more. All pilot participants can access Digital Tutors training at no charge for the duration of the pilot!

 

To learn more about this pilot, visit our Pluralsight page. If you have questions about this service, please contact us at itpilot@iu.edu.

Screenshot from Pluralsight video.

Screenshot from Pluralsight video.

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