Poll Your Audience – No Clickers Needed

Last October, at the Statewide IT Conference in Bloomington, Brad Wheeler, one of the best presenters that I have ever had the privilege of watching, took questions from the crowd via Smartphone. I didn’t think much about it at the time, but yesterday, when I saw an advertisement for a new cloud-based application called sli.do, I wondered if that was what Brad had used during his presentation.

I decided to check out this application to see if it might be useful for the trainers in our department.

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Happy Birthday, World Wide Web!

Looking for something to celebrate today? If so, you’re in luck, because today is the 25th birthday of the world wide web.

Birthday Cake

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Help! I Can’t See the Unread Mail Envelope Icon on the Taskbar!

NCT submitted this comment on the blog article titled Change Fonts in Outlook 2013:

“Help! I cannot see the unread mail envelope on the taskbar, and I have come
to rely on that. Is there a way to change the appearance of the icon so
that it stands out more?”

NCT is referring to the first icon shown on the taskbar below:


This envelope icon appears when you receive a new message in Outlook 2013, but as you can see in the image above, it is not easy to see. The light orange color of the image doesn’t show up well on the transparent taskbar.

While there is no easy way to change the look of the icon itself, you can customize your taskbar so that the icon will stand out better. To customize the look of the taskbar when running Windows 7, follow these directions:

  1. Click on the Start Orb.
  2. Point to Control panel.
  3. Click on Personalization.
  4. At the bottom of the new window, you see:
    icons at bottom of Personalization windowClick on the Window Color icon.
  5. A new menu appears:
    Window Color and Appearance window
  6. Click on the color swatch that you prefer. One of the darker colors will provide the most contrast.
  7. Press and drag the Color intensity slider all the way to the right.
  8. Click on the Save changes button.
  9. Preview the results in the bottom right corner of your screen:


If you aren’t happy with the way the taskbar now looks, repeat these steps and choose a different color. You can also expand the “Show color mixer” section, and experiment with the hue, saturation, and brightness of the window elements.

Weather Information in Outlook 2013

Did you know that you can get weather information directly from Outlook? If you are using Outlook 2013, simply open the Calendar view and look just to the left of the search box. You will see the name of a city, and the forecasted temperatures in that city for the next 3 days.

outlook weather info

If you are not in the city listed, click on the drop-down arrow next to the city name and change it.

drop-down menu for selecting city

If you want additional information about the weather, hover your mouse over any of the days shown and a pop-up will appear, displaying wind speed, humidity, and precipitation.

weather pop-up

VoiceThread: The Least You Need to Know

VoiceThread is a new courseware tool available to IU faculty and students. It is a Web-based digital storytelling system that enables instructors and students to upload pictures or documents, record accompanying audio or video commentary, and invite others to record commentary as well.  Users can create virtual tours, post reports or presentations, comment on historically significant photographs, debate topics, and much more. VoiceThread is available through Oncourse, IU’s Leaning Management system.

An excellent overview with instructions on how to get started is available through Penn State’s Getting Started document, at  http://ittraining.psu.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/7689/2013/12/VoiceThread_GS_010220141.pdf. (Note, IU users would log into Oncourse instead of the Penn State interface.)

In addition, here are a few Least You Need to Know documents that explain discreet VoiceThread tasks.

Sharing a VoiceThread:
Adding a comment in VoiceThread:
Creating a Presentation in VoiceThread:
Managing Identities in VoiceThread:
Playback and Publishing Options in VoiceThread

Quick way to create background color in Photoshop

Ever want to put a color in the background layer of you Photoshop file? It is so simple.
1. Click on the foreground color in the toolbox.

Graphic of Photoshop's foreground and background tool on the toolbox





2. Choose the color of the background desired by clicking in the large area on the menu. That color will appear under the word new:

Color Picker menu in Photoshop


3. Click OK in the menu.
4. Hold down the Alt key (Option on a Mac) and hit the Backspace key.
5. The background is filled with that color.
6. If the background color on the toolbox is what you prefer, hold down the Control key (Command on the Mac) and hit the Backspace key.

Just saved you lots of time, right?

Accessing Your Student’s Information if You are a Third Party User

We have recently posted information on how to create a third party user account for your parent or guardian. Once that account has been created and you have shared the username and password with that person, they can log in and view your student information. If they are not sure how the process works, consider sharing this video tutorial that explains how a third-party user can access your information in OneStart.

Also, if your third-party user forgets the third-party access password you created, you can reset it by updating that person’s third-party access account. In the same manner, you also can edit the list of items that person is allowed to access.

Organize Favorites in SIS

Favorites in SIS are stored in alphabetical order. You can change the order to suit your needs. Click on Favorites and select Edit Favorites. By default, all favorites have a sequence number of 0. The favorite you want at the top of the list should have a sequence number of 0. The favorite you want next should be 1. To change the numbering: click on the sequence number to change, click x to cancel the number, type the new number you want. Continue numbering to place all your favorites in the desired order, then Save.

To place your favorites into logical groups, give all the favorites you want at the top of the list, a sequence number of 0. Give the next group a sequence number of 1 and so forth. Each group will be in alphabetical order within that sequence number.

Assigning a Third Party User to View Student Information

Did you know that as an IU student, you can assign a third party (such as a parent, guardian or spouse) access to view your student information? You can create third-party access accounts through OneStart. Once you have set up a third-party user account for someone, you will need to share the username and password with that person. When the third-party user logs into OneStart, he can view all or any combination of the following student information: grades, holds on your record, unofficial transcript, class schedules, addresses, phone numbers, financial aid, to-do lists, and bursar balance. Click here if you’d like to learn more.

Adding Favorites in SIS

If there are pages that you use frequently in SIS, you may want to add them as Favorites. Favorites are attached to your SIS login and are similar to standard browser bookmarks; however, the Favorites are not location specific and will be available from any workstation when you log in to SIS. In addition to the Favorites you add, the last five pages you accessed will also be stored in your Favorites.

When you are on a page you want to save as a favorite, click Add to Favorites at the top right of the page. You can then either accept the description provided or change it. Once you click OK, a message will display letting you know that the Favorite has been saved.

Now when you want to navigate to a page in your favorites list, click My Favorites at the top of the main menu and select a page. You will then be taken to that page in SIS.