Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate: A Learning Path

Learning paths road sign.I am interested in becoming a network or computer systems administrator, a computer network specialist, or a Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA). Does IT Training provide coursework that would help me reach this goal?

Earning an MCSA: Windows Server 2012 certification qualifies you for a position as a systems administrator or computer network specialist, and it is the first step on your path to becoming a Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA). The MCSA: Windows Server 2012 certification is intended for information technology Professionals who have knowledge and experience working with Windows operating systems and who want to acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to install and perform the initial configuration of a Windows Server 2012 or Windows Server 2012 R2 server in an existing Windows server environment.

There are currently 2 different paths that you can take to earn this certification.

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Creating a Research Poster: A Learning Path

Learning paths road sign.I need to assemble a research poster – how do I get started, and what programs can I use to make a poster?  And how do I make graphs to display my data?

With programs like InDesign, Illustrator, and Microsoft Publisher, with a little help from Microsoft Excel, you can create an eye-catching poster to showcase your research project.  Illustrator and Excel can be used to create attractive graphs to display any data you wish to share, and you can pull everything together in InDesign or Publisher and lay out the contents of your poster.  Before you start building your poster, there are a few steps you can take to help get things rolling.

Photograph of a pad of paper, with a rough design for a poster sketched out on it.Having a general idea of how your poster will look will help you get started – think about how things will be laid out on the page, what colors you’ll be using, and what fonts you’ll be using for your poster.  A rough sketch of what you want your poster to look like when it’s finished may be helpful, and you can use that as a road map of where things should end up on your poster.  Make notes about the colors you might want to use, and fonts you might want to use for headings and body text – when you start building your poster, you’ll have everything you need planned out already and can focus on laying things out.  You’ll also want to make sure to collect any images you want to include, the data you want to present, and the text of your poster in one location before you start working.  Once you have those items together, the following learning paths will help you create your poster.

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Learning Paths: An Introduction

Learning paths road sign.In the coming weeks and months, you will begin to see several posts titled “Learning Paths“. Our goal is to use these posts to illustrate the sequence of workshops, webinars, and other training resources we recommend to accomplish a particular goal.

A learning path poses a question. For example:

I need to create a presentation for one of my classes.  I used PowerPoint in high school, but I haven’t used the newest version. I’ve also heard that there are other good applications available for creating presentations. What courses or workshops would you recommend?

It will then go through several ways to get the training you need. There may be IT Training workshops or webinars, or training from one of our outside providers available to help meet the needs identified in the question. For example:

Path ##

If you don’t have access to PowerPoint, or if you prefer to use a cloud-based application that will allow you to create a unique presentation with a different look and feel, you can take the following IT Training webinar to learn everything you need to know about the newest, hippest presentation software currently available:

This workshop is 2 hours long and gives an overview of all features available in the application.

We will start with some of our most requested learning paths and expand from there. We will start with the example used in this post! To see how to create presentations, check back on Wednesday!

As always, we value your input. If there’s something specific that you would like to see, leave us a comment and let us know!

Adobe CS6 Interface Overview

If you’re new to the Adobe Creative Suite, trying to figure out what the different parts of the programs do can be a daunting task.  This video helps take some of the mystery out of Adobe CS6, however, and introduces you to the interfaces for Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and Dreamweaver.

Please note: For the best viewing experience, please use Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.

Why Go Paperless?

Go Paperless! IT Training can help!

This is part of a series of articles that will appear over the next few months as part of the Go Paperless initiative at Indiana University.

Are paperless systems really worth the time and effort that it takes to set them up?

Suzanna Kaye, professional organizer and productivity expert and host of the lynda.com course called Going Paperless: Start to Finish, says yes. In the opening segment of the course, she lists the following advantages of going paperless:

  • Paperless systems provide on-the-go access. Your data is available to you whenever you have internet access.
  • Paperless systems speed up the process of finding the information you need.
  • Paperless systems take up minimal space.
  • With paperless systems, it is very easy to create back-ups of all your important data.
  • With the security available through backup and storage programs, your information has stronger and more advanced protection from prying eyes and theft, unlike a home or office filing system.
  • Unlike paper that needs to be shredded or recycled, virtual documents can be purged easily.

Suzanna goes on to give advice and best practices for going paperless. She covers topics such as backing up and maintaining information, managing passwords, creating storage policies, stopping junk mail, using Dropbox for online storage, scanning paperwork, and more.

Members of the IU community can access this useful video course for free by clicking here. If you are not a member of the IU community, you can purchase a lynda.com license and then use the search feature in lynda to find the course.

Using the “23” video bridge at IU via Pexip

23 video bridge conferences at IU accessible by Lync, web, Jabber, room systems, and telephone
We recently sat down with videoconferencing engineer Steve Egyhazi from IU Collaboration Technologies, along with some eager webinar participants, to learn more about the “23” video bridge conference system. IU’s 23 conferencing setup uses Pexip virtual meeting rooms (VMRs) to allow easy access from Microsoft Lync, browsers Chrome and Firefox, Cisco Jabber Video, room systems, and telephone. It’s called 23 conferencing, because these virtual rooms have a 6-code alias with the first two numbers being 2 and 3. So an example might be 231234.  Curious? Watch the recording, which is linked below.

View webinar recording. View the webinar recording for “Using Pexip and Lync for 23 Conferencing.”

In this webinar, we covered:

  • how to create a video bridge in Pexip
  • what things you can do in a conference
  • what a conference looks like from both the host and the participant perspective
  • best practices for conferencing

These links were shared during the webinar for additional information:

If you liked this webinar, find and register for similar events. Click the “View by Date” tab on that page to see upcoming events.

AdRx Quick Notes

We talked briefly about Advising Records (AdRx) a few months ago. If you haven’t seen that post, you can find it here. A new feature has recently been added to the Advising Notes in AdRx. It’s called a “Quick Note.” Quick Notes can be created and then inserted into any Advising Note on a student’s record. Quick Notes are general comments that are helpful when documenting your conversations with students in AdRx. To see more information, you can find the job aid here.

New Quick Note

Simplify your tech life – Tip 5: Personalize

5 tips to simplify your tech life

 

“Know thyself.”

It’s the age-old adage that reminds us the importance of understanding our own hearts and minds. This principle can also help you simplify your tech life. Surprised?

Tip 5 is PersonalizeTip #5 is Personalize.

This final tip can apply to the previous four. It mostly serves as a reminder. But a list with five items seems more complete than a list with four. Plus I thought of a word that starts with a “p.”  No, wait! Keep reading! It’s good stuff, really.

For this tip, I’m not talking about customizing your desktop or home screen wallpaper. By “personalize,” I mean, find how you most naturally interact with your tech and customize your hardware or software to match you–your work and/or personal life, your personality, and your preferences.

Let’s look at how to personalize your approach. Only you spend every waking and sleeping moment with yourself, so your technology usage needs to make sense to you first and foremost.

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Term Codes in SIS

Many of us use Term Codes in SIS every day, but if you are new to using SIS, you may not know that each of the 4 digits in the Term code actually refer to something.

An example of a Term Code is 4152. Let’s break it down by digit.

  • The first digit refers to the century and 4 is equal to the years 2000 to 2099.
  • The second and third digits refer to the year. In this example the year is 2015.
  • The fourth digit refers to the Term where 2 is equal to spring, 5 is equal to summer and 8 is equal to fall.

Based on this information, the Term code 4152 is equal to Spring of 2015.

For a job aid with more examples, click here.

Creating a Survey with Google Drive

Go Paperless! IT Training can help!

This is part of a series of articles that will appear over the next few months as part of the Go Paperless initiative at Indiana University.

Google Drive is a service that allows you to create documents (spreadsheets, word processing, slide shows, etc.) in the cloud. I talked about how Google Drive plays into the cloud storage landscape at IU in the article Pros & Cons of Using Different Types of Cloud Storage at IU. Today, we will be looking into one of the most powerful features of Google Drive, Google Forms. With a form, you can create surveys that include logic branching, unlimited questions, and unlimited surveys. The surveys you can create using Google Drive are completely mobile-friendly and store their data in a spreadsheet that can be easily downloaded and analyzed with a spreadsheet application like Microsoft Excel.

Before we dive into the content of the post, I would like to remind you that Google Drive is not approved for institutional data storage. It does have some really handy features, but it cannot be used for storing data that is a part of the day-to-day operations of Indiana University. To learn more, see the following articles:

That said, let’s explore how to use Google Drive to create an online survey!

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