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Archive for the 'Going Paperless' Category

Understanding the Cloud Storage Options at IU

Do you understand the cloud storage options at IU?

Do you understand the cloud storage options available to you at IU? If not, or if you’re not sure, the recording of our recent webinar on this topic will help to clarify.

View webinar recording. View the webinar recording for “Understanding the Cloud Storage Options at IU.”

Much of the discussion was based on information from Tom’s recent blog article, Pros & Cons of Using Different Types of Cloud Storage at IU.

In this webinar, we covered:

  • strengths and weaknesses of cloud storage options
  • which cloud storage options are supported by IU
  • what kinds of data can be stored on each cloud service
  • how cloudstorage.iu.edu works

These links were shared during the webinar for additional information:

If you liked this webinar, find and register for similar events or resources from IT Training.

Going Paperless at IU: an Overview

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.

Reducing paper consumption

Everyone at IU needs to know about how to reduce paper consumption.Paperless systems take up minimal space, they save energy and landfill space. Using digital documents allows easy collaboration with others and on-the-go access wherever you have Internet. In comparison to file cabinet systems, good paperless document organization can help you find the information you need at lighting speed. And there’s no need to worry about fires or floods; using digital documents, it is very easy to create back-ups of all your important data. Moreover, with the security available in backup and storage programs, your digitally stored information has stronger protection from theft. Finally, no need to shred when you are done; virtual documents can be easily  purged.

In keeping with that spirit, IT Training has developed a series of articles under the heading, “Go Paperless.” Read on for the  many reasons to leap into the modern method of document storage. Here are the articles in our “Go Paperless” Series:

About paperless, digital storage:

Using Box at IU for Storage and Sharing:

Collaborating with Others:

Going Paperless in the Classroom:

Real-time Collaborative Editing in Word, Excel and PowerPoint

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.

When multiple individuals provide their separate contributions to a single document, this is termed as collaborative editing. Having the ability to allow more than one person to update the same document is often as essential as it is advantageous. Until recently, collaborative editing of Word, Excel or PowerPoint files had a major restriction in that only one person could work on a single file at a time; otherwise, it was necessary to keep multiple versions of the file and reconcile them all into a single file. This restriction can be a bottleneck since only one person may edit the file at a time, additional effort is needed for version control and coordination between contributors, and reconciling between multiple files requires additional effort and increases the risk for missed updates.

Collaborative editing technology, however, has matured significantly over the past few years through the use of cloud storage services. By leveraging cloud technologies, collaborators now have access to a number of tools that help streamline collaborative editing. Of specific interest to Office users, synchronous or real-time collaborative editing is now possible, which allows several people to work on a Word, Excel, or PowerPoint file at the same time. Let’s take a brief look at this real-time collaborative editing provided by Google and Microsoft. Before we start, please note that Google Drive and Microsoft’s OneDrive cloud storage services are not supported by IU and are not suitable for storing or sharing institutional data. However, this information may be of use for personal projects.

Read the rest of “Real-time Collaborative Editing in Word, Excel and PowerPoint” »

Co-Editing Documents Online in SharePoint 2010

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.

Scenario Setup

Let’s suppose I’m sharing a description of one of our IT Training workshops with my colleagues and I need some quick feedback to help finalize it.

I’m sharing with colleagues in my IU staff department who know how to use SharePoint 2010, because our intranet runs on SharePoint. The information I’m sharing is work-related. The file I am sharing is a Word document less than 1GB.

SharePoint would work well, in this case. So would Box. But let’s also suppose we keep all of our workshop descriptions in SharePoint. Point SharePoint—for the win!

But. Let’s also suppose that everyone I want to share with is at a conference, and I know they just have their tablets with them—all different kinds of tablets.

What now? To the Internet!

Read the rest of “Co-Editing Documents Online in SharePoint 2010” »

Creating a Basic Syllabus in Canvas

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.

A course syllabus is like a road map. It shows your students what to expect in the course and what is expected of them. In the courses I’ve taken at IU, I’ve found that instructors deliver syllabi in different ways. In the days of Oncourse, some would type syllabus content into the Syllabus tool. Others would link to a separate Web page or Word document.  I found it annoying when I had to leave Oncourse to view the syllabus. When Canvas came along, I had an instructor who used the Oncourse Syllabus tool and then Canvas for everything else. Some instructors like to print copies of the syllabus to hand out on the first day of class. That’s okay, but if they don’t plan to go over what’s on the syllabus that day, they may have wasted a lot of paper. As an instructor, you can do what works best for you. I’m writing this post to show you how to create your syllabus in Canvas.

For this demonstration, I’ll pretend I’m teaching a Dance History 101 course. (I have a M.F.A. in dance, so I know a few things.) Read the rest of “Creating a Basic Syllabus in Canvas” »

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.

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!

Read the rest of “Creating a Survey with Google Drive” »

Plan Meetings and Events with Doodle

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.

Before you send those paper invitations, consider an electronic method.

Doodle logo

We all know that planning meetings and get-togethers with more than two people can be a nightmare. With Doodle, you can make it a snap.

What is Doodle?

Doodle is a free and very simple online tool that allows you to suggest dates and times for events or meetings in a simple table. When you have filled in all possible dates and times, you then share the web address of your suggestions with your invitees. No need for them to register. They simply visit the page, type in a name of their choice, and click check-boxes to select the times they can attend. Doodle saves all responses right there for everyone to see, and keeps track of the best date.

With Doodle Premium, you can connect calendars and send automatic reminders. Doodle is a free app for mobile devices, too!

To get started, visit Doodle.com.

Use Box Notes to Collaborate and Stay on Task

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.

You may have already read Tom Mason’s article, Sharing & Group-Editing Documents in Box. If you are interested in using Box, I highly recommend that you read it! An additional feature of Box that deserves to be named in this conversation is Box Notes.

Box Notes is a simple document-creation tool available in all Box accounts. Using Box Notes, you can make notes for yourself or share ideas and allow people of your choosing to easily edit your document in real-time. Box Notes are entirely web-based and don’t require any apps to use.

In Box Notes you can work with simple text tools including inserting images and tables, using the simple editing panel:

Box Notes text editor

Plus, when you highlight text, you can add links and annotate. See the how-to tricks on Box.com.

To create a Box note, click the little pencil icon next to the New button:

New Box Notes icon

There are so many ways to use Box Notes. Examples might be: create too-do lists that you can access with any device; use the tables feature to create sign-up sheets or define group feedback spaces for groups; share a set of links; plus many more. And don’t worry; if group input goes astray, you can restore to a previous version.

Read more about Box Notes.

Uploading Assignments in Canvas at IU

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.

I’m a grad student, and I love it when my instructors ask for assignments to be turned in electronically. It saves paper, and it alleviates the hassle of printing.  IU is transitioning from Oncourse to Canvas, but don’t worry, you’ll still be able to turn in your assignments online. If you’ve uploaded assignments in Oncourse you’ll find that uploading in Canvas  works basically the same way. I’ve outlined the steps for uploading an assignment below, and I’ve created a short video so you can see the steps in action.

Read the rest of “Uploading Assignments in Canvas at IU” »

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