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IT Training Workshops/Webinars August and September

Life at IU is easier when you’re tech savvy. That’s where IT Training comes in. We’re offering workshops and webinars in August and September, so you can start taking advantage of the tech resources available to you before the semester gets too hectic. Here’s what we’ve got in store:

Essential Resources

Tech for Collaboration and Learning

Software at IU


You can view the schedule for these workshops and webinars here. Most of them are held online, and a few are in our classrooms at IUB or IUPUI. If you’re ready for more, browse our training schedule by date and plan a semester’s worth of tech learning! And to really fine-tune your skills, enroll in one or more of our certificate series.


If you have questions, comment on this post or contact us. Don’t forget to Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Have a great semester!

QR Codes: A guide for beginners

A beginners guide to qr codes graphic with two sample qr codes

Slowly but surely QR codes are starting to appear everywhere. I’ve found them on promotional flyers, advertising stickers, business cards, and even in the classroom. But I realize that a lot of my peers still don’t understand quite exactly what they are or how to use them. These funky, pixelated graphics can seem a little intimidating, but I am hoping this guide can be an easy transition into the wonderful world of QR codes.

Read the rest of “QR Codes: A guide for beginners” »

next.iu decision: IU chooses Canvas

To keep Oncourse, or not to keep Oncourse, that was the question…

…and now we have an answer. Over the next two years, Indiana University will be transitioning away from Oncourse as our learning management system (or LMS, for those who like acronyms and abbreviations), in favor of a new LMS called Canvas. Canvas is offered by a company named Instructure, and as we at IU start moving over, we’ll have a series on this blog detailing some of the neat new features that Canvas has to offer.

Ready to learn more about Canvas? Try these links to start with:

Perhaps some of these features will lead you to switch your course management to Canvas long before Oncourse is retired.  I know once I saw the Calendar tool, I was a huge fan. More to come!

Learn With Andy #1 – Teambox

In technology training, one of the most important and time-consuming parts of the process is staying current on technology. In this video series, I will be showing you what I go through when learning a new technology.

Sometimes we’ll be looking at a software program I’ve worked with very little and need to learn, other times I’ll look at a new feature in a program I know very well, and sometimes I’ll be looking at a web technology I’m trying to become familiar with.

This week, we’ll look at Teambox, an online collaboration and task tracking tool. We’ll take a look at how to set up some projects, add people to the projects, and see how to use the system to keep track of your tasks.

Enjoy this series each week!


Get Connected 2012

For some of us, a computer is everything. It’s your repository for every major achievement of your life, your gateway to much larger world for news and interacting with friends and family, some next door and some on the other side of the world.  It’s your amazing tool for being productive when deadlines approach or your escape when you just need to laugh or unwind.

Without the Internet, your computer is a typewriter at best and a paperweight at worst.  You need to protect this amazing asset, but how?  You need to be on the network to figure out how to protect yourself from the network.  What do you do?  You need to Get Connected.

Read the rest of “Get Connected 2012” »

Oncourse is your new best friend

Oncourse, the open source learning management system that is used by IU, was created right here – and is constantly being revised, tweaked, and improved.  (Technically Oncourse is our version of Sakai).  Oncourse provides a place for collaboration and learning for faculty and students.

Every course taught at IU automatically gets an Oncourse site. The following tools are immediately available:

  • Home, where instructors post an introduction to their course. The Home tool also displays the most recent announcements, and whether or not there are new messages.
  • Announcements, useful for keeping site members up-to-date on assignments and other events
  • Assignments, for posting homework and other tasks. You can associate them with the Gradebook automatically, and choose to post an announcement when they come available.
  • CourseNetworking (beta), an external tool that encourages social interaction among classmates and others who study similar subjects.
  • Gradebook, where to record and calculate grades.
  • Library Resources, an interactive page connected to the university library.
  • Messages, an internal email system for each site than can be connected to its members’ IU email address, or automatically forwarded to any outside email address, as desired.
  • Performance Roster, a way for instructors to submit information about students’ performance in their classes.
  • Resources, a place to post documents and links related to course content.
  • Roster, which shows a list of site members (students, instructors, course assistants, and others). There’s even a roster version with everyone’s official ID photo for those of us with memory issues.
  • SIS Grade Roster, a quick way to officially post grades.
  • Site Setup, the only tool that can’t be deleted, which allows site owners (usually instructors) to change what tools are visible, who can access the site, and how basic info is displayed.
  • Syllabus, where you can post a copy of your course syllabus, as text or as an attachment.

These are by no means the only tools at your disposal, however – there are many more.  Some additional tools that might be useful:

  • Web Content, which allows you to list links to other web sites that will be listed among the tools on the left of the screen.  You can add multiple links this way.
  • Forums, a discussion board
  • Chat Room, for live chat between students – with or without the instructor
  • Presentations, a tool that helps students create learning and showcase portfolios
  • Tests & Surveys, for creating assessments

There are many more tools available that might serve your needs.  For more details on how to use Oncourse, watch our short feature demo movies and read the PDF Least You Need to Know documents, or click the blue question  marks sprinkled liberally throughout the workspace.  Watch this blog for tips and tricks to make the most of your Oncourse experience!

Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 User Interface

The Adobe Premiere Pro user interface can be intimidating for those just getting started with this application. While UITS IT Training & Education at Indiana University offers a fantastic STEPS workshop that will teach you how to create professional looking movies with this video editing package, participants who have never used an Adobe application before will feel more confident coming in to the workshop if they view the following tutorial first:

Becoming Familiar with the Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 User Interface

Since most of the other Adobe apps have a similar look and feel, this short video can also be useful for those getting started with Photoshop, After Effects, Flash, Illustrator, etc.

Premiere Pro Welcome Screen


Computing in the Cloud: Risks and Rewards

Head in the Clouds

What Is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing has burst onto the computer technology scene like a fast-moving cold weather front. Essentially, “cloud computing” refers to a new concept and delivery model rather than a specific program or platform. Traditionally, when you wanted to achieve a task on your computer such as filling out a spreadsheet or typing a letter, you’d purchase a piece of software at the store, install it, and then use it as long as you owned the computer. Cloud computing turns that notion on its head – the functionality is available via the Internet, not a program sitting on your computer. And, rather than buying a permanent license, cloud-computing services are usually offered according to a cafeteria model where you pay for only what you use when you use it. (And, unlike a real cafeteria, many cloud-based services are free). Cloud computing is now used for a lot more than just replicating the functionality of traditional desktop applications, too, including virtual server hosting, database processing, and lots of technical business operations.

What does Cloud Computing have to do with me?

Perhaps more than you realize! If you’ve ever used a service like Google Docs or Zoho, you’ve been working in the cloud. And even if you’re just using 3rd party applications, like Gmail and Facebook, many of the issues discussed here will apply to you, too. Read the rest of “Computing in the Cloud: Risks and Rewards” »

No-Thinking File Synching for Free! *

* Well, up to 2 gigs of space for free

Photo of Warehouse Storage Space For a moment, think of your worst nightmare. The imagery that rouses you out of a slumber with teeth clenched, clutching the bedcovers. No, not the bad dream where you find yourself at your high school reunion standing on the stage wearing only a cereal bowl for a hat and barking like an apoplectic prairie dog. (Um, that’s actually kind of a funny dream, isn’t it?)

The other dream, the one that perhaps you’ve had while awake, where that paper/dissertation/project that was on your hard drive/flash drive/friend’s computer is suddenly corrupted/not there/gone/wait/what?!?!?!

“Oh, noooo!” you’ll cry. “I knew I should’ve backed that up!”

Read the rest of “No-Thinking File Synching for Free! *” »

What is UniCom?

UniCom is a new way to communicate at IU. UniCom provides telephony, email, instant messaging, audio and video conferencing that you can access from almost anywhere. Microsoft Office Communicator and Live Meeting are the main applications you use. Any member of the IU community can join up! To learn more, see the video.

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