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Archive for the 'Learning Paths' Category

Presentations: A Learning Path

Learning paths road sign.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?

Nearly ubiquitous in universities and on corporate computers, PowerPoint is one of the most widely used presentation creation tools in the world. It has been around since 1987, and it has come a long way. Today you can add video, audio, animations, transitions, WordArt, Charts, Tables, and more. You can also co-author presentations through Windows Live and share your slide shows via the web in real time. If you’re looking for a robust, tried and true application with lots of flexibility and functionality, PowerPoint is the best bet.

If you are a Mac user, you need to know that PowerPoint is not cross-platform. While there is a Mac version, it is not exactly the same as the PC version. PowerPoint for Mac contains most of the same functionality as the PC version, but the user interface is slightly different. When selecting your training options, keep this in mind. Mac users may also want to consider using Keynote, which is a popular and easy to use alternative to PowerPoint from Apple’s iWork suite.

If you want to create a presentation that looks entirely different than the ones your classmates put together, you might want to use Prezi. This new cross-platform, cloud-based application uses a canvas instead of slides, and makes use of zooming and panning to provide interest. While prezi does not include nearly as many features as PowerPoint, it can be used to create a unique presentation. Prezi is also a good choice if you do not own (or have access to) a copy of PowerPoint. The free version of prezi provides all the features you need to create an impressive slide show.

There are currently 4 different paths that you can take to learn to create a presentation.

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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!

Developing Departmental Websites at Indiana University

Learning paths road sign.Congratulations! You made it! If you’re here, that can mean any number of things, but most likely you have inherited a departmental web site and are going to redesign it or you have been newly hired and are responsible for redesigning the department’s site. Where do you begin?

If this sounds overwhelming, then you are in the right place. My goal, by the end of this post, is to help you understand the landscape for departmental and group web pages at the university and describe some resources to help you along your way.

Before we jump into the specifics, let’s get a quick overview of what this post contains.

  1. The IU Brand – find out how to make your site conform to the visual identity that has been established for IU.
  2. Plan Ahead and Prepare – Not just a part of Leave No Trace, but also a crucial phase in web design and development. Understand the problem fully before you begin building a solution.
  3. Build, build, build – Put your planning to good use while putting together all the pieces of your site.
  4. Publish, Document, and Maintain – Once you have a design, it’s time to publish it, create help documentation, and then maintain and grow the site through the future.

The process is not linear, nor does it have a finite ending point. Instead, the process looks something more like this:

Plan, build, maintain, repeat.

After your planning phase, you build. Once built, you maintain. While maintaining, you build new features, etc. There will come a point when you need to break out of the Maintain-Build loop back to the planning phase. As you can see from the diagram above, there really is no end to the web design process, only changes of phase.

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