ICT saving you time on frequent tasks

We all want to make good use of the technology we have in the University and our ICT staff development workshops are built on improving efficiency with everyday tasks.

This blog will introduce you to some ‘time saving’ features and provides links to ‘quick reference cards’.

GroupWise Mail

Many of us often send out the same email message at different times, so why not use a GroupWise template file for these frequent messages? GroupWise will allow you to create a template file with the message content you frequently use and then you call up the file each time you wish to use it.

Microsoft Word Table of Contents and document Navigation

When you are working with a large document or report, Word provides a feature that will build an automatic table of contents.  This is based on using Styles which are a collection of text and paragraph formats and which you can modify for your own use.

Using Styles on your headings will also allow you to use the navigation pane to move swiftly through a large document to update and add content.

Microsoft Excel Multiple Worksheets

If you need to view more than one worksheet in an Excel workbook, you can use the New Window feature to view different worksheets at the same time. This is useful when comparing data across worksheets.

Photo Album with Microsoft PowerPoint

Have you photographed your students on a project, task or other event and wish to use the photographs in a presentation? Try the Photo Album command to insert multiple pictures.

Screenshot (2010): this feature is available to Excel, Word and PowerPoint

When you wish to use an image of something on your computer, the Screenshot feature allows you to capture the full screen or part of it with the Screen Clipping feature.

These and other features are reviewed more fully at our individual ICT workshops where you will get ‘hands on’ experience of using them.

Please see details of the following workshops and book an event at the staff development wiki

  • GroupWise Email
  • Word 3 Advanced Features of Word Processing
  • Excel 2 Functions and Worksheet Management
  • PowerPoint 2 Enhancing your On Screen Presentations

Elaine Czotter, ICT Staff Development  Extension 4214                                    

Enhancing your On-Screen PowerPoint Presentations – February 6th 2012

We are always striving to deliver interesting presentations to engage with our students and colleagues, so this workshop will give you ideas to improve your PowerPoint slide shows.

Using audio and visual objects in a presentation makes for a more interesting ‘watch’ but more importantly ensures your audience will remember the message. You can also use objects you have already developed.

Mixing both text and graphics we will be looking at customising slide shows for different audiences and building in links to other objects. We will also consider best practice in the production of PowerPoint slides.

‘Death by PowerPoint’ – No not here!

To book a place on this workshop, please register at the Staff Development WIKI

PowerPoint Logo

A Digital Choice – Reading eBooks on or offline

EBooks are becoming more common place in every day life.  Every day we read documents, information and more on our PCs but what about when you want to study or relax with a digital book from the library, away from your monitor?

We have the answer! eBooks are now able to be downloaded from the library on a ‘digital loan’!  You can loan the book for up to 2 weeks and after that time, you don’t have to return it – that’s all taken care of for you!

Come along on 22nd February to find out more about how to download eBooks to your portable device such as an iPad, tablet or smart device or even simply your laptop whilst also discussing how to advertise this useful tool to your students – especially when they are fast approaching one of the most reading intensive times of the academic year!

The session runs from 1pm to 2pm in the LiNC Development Room (top floor) on 22nd February

Book through the Staff Development wiki:
https://go.edgehill.ac.uk/wiki/display/hr/Emerging+Technologies+-+Downloading+eBooks+for+loan

Emerging Technologies Staff Development Monday 21 November 2011 – The Right Image For Blackboard

Want to learn how to make your images more accessible?

By optimising them you are creating a resource which is both less demanding on Blackboard and eShare storage and also more usable by your intended audience.

Image optimisation is using the most compressed (smallest file size) which remains visually acceptable for the specific role of the image.

This session aims to demonstrate some simple techniques to optimise images using Microsoft programmes.

Book on to this session by emailing Staff Development.

staffdevelopment@edgehill.ac.uk

Log off to allow a log on!

Just a reminder that you need to log off a University PC correctly so that it is instantly available for other students…

1. Close down all desk top applications and log out fully from the ‘GO’ portal.

2. Click on the start icon (bottom left of screen)  – the shutdown menu box will appear.

3. Click on the arrow and choose log off.

If you just leave the PC,  it will automatically become ‘locked’ and will prevent other students from logging on. 

We understand that occasionally you may need to leave a PC to take a comfort break or retrieve books from the shelves, but if a PC is ‘locked’ for 15 minutes or more we will unlock it to free it up for other students.  This will force you to be logged off and any work will not be saved.

If you need any advice or guidance, or want to get access to a PC that is ‘locked’, ask our roving IT staff (based in the Library) or ask staff at any of our help desks.

Helen Jamieson

Customer Services Manager

 

Upgrade to Windows 7 and Microsoft Office 2010 – How does it affect you?

Staff Development Overview Sessions have been running since July to give staff a first look at the Windows 7 operating system with Microsoft Office 2010. Further sessions are scheduled and I would encourage you to come along as there is important information conveyed regarding file structures and where to find your files.

Sessions are just 40 minutes in duration and you get the opportunity to try out the new features for yourself. You can register for a session via the staff development wiki.

Venue: LiNC Open Access IT Lab 2
Monday 12th September 11:00 am
Wednesday 14th September 9:30 am
Thursday 15th September 2:00 pm

Venue: LiNC Development Room S 7
Tuesday 20th 9:30 am
Thursday 22nd 3:00 pm

As a result of the upgrades currently being deployed by colleagues in ITS and Learning Services, we will all soon have a new login screen which will take us to the Edge Hill University Desktop.

  

(Click image for expanded view)

Student facing PCs are being upgraded first so all teaching and lecture rooms will be running the Windows 7 operating system with Microsoft Office 2010.

As those of you who are Sunray (Sunny) users will already know, the move to Office 2010 is a painless one as it uses the same Ribbon interface which we know and now love in Office 2007. The Ribbon replaced the traditional menus and toolbars of previous versions of Microsoft Office and groups together commands and tools and provides additional ribbons when working with specific objects.

(Click image for expanded view)

The 2010 Ribbon has the addition of an old friend the File menu!! The File tab is the first on the left in each application, shown here in Microsoft Word. It is known as ‘backstage view’ and allows you to work with a number of features for managing your files within the application.

The layout of the Ribbon is very similar to that in Office 2007 with some new additional features. Some of those features are improved graphics handling for pictures and photographs, paste previews when copying information and screenshot options for capturing views of your computer screen. New professional themes and transitions are also available in PowerPoint and they are now on separate tabs.

So come along and be prepared for the change. Jenny Jordan and I look forward to seeing you at a session.

Elaine Czotter
ICT Staff Development Co-ordinator

Campus Pack: more than just an ePortfolio

Over the past few months we have been evaluating Campus Pack: a powerful ‘building block’ to further extend the potential of Learning Edge. It offers all students a personal area where they can create blogs, wikis, journals and podcasts, and allows us to build templates for things like CVs, ePortfolios, and PDP.

As students own the content within their environments, they have full control over who can view and edit – they can choose to share elements with colleagues across the University, as well as externals such as mentors in work placements and even potential employers. Viewers/collaborators then have the ability Rating tool in Campus Pack to leave comments, discuss and ‘rate’ items; offering exciting opportunities for ongoing feedback and dialogue.

Other interesting features include the capability for tutors to embed Campus Pack content directly within their courses, and where necessary, link these to the Grade Centre for assessment. There is also the potential for mobile access to Campus Pack, which will add further flexibility to learners.

We are holding a number of awareness-raising sessions over the coming weeks – it is envisaged that the range of options through Campus Pack will be of interest to colleagues across the University, with direct benefits to teaching and learning, as well other areas such as Careers and Learning Services.

These sessions provide opportunity for staff across the University to give us direct feedback, and influence any decision regarding the purchase of a license. Please get involved, it would be great to see and hear from as many staff as possible.

Tuesday 24th May – 12:00 – 1:00 (SOLSTICE Green Room)

Thursday 26th May – 12:00 – 1:00 (H203)

Wednesday  1st June – 1:00 – 2:00 (SOLSTICE Red Room)

Sign up for one of the sessions here – http://campuspack.eventbrite.com/

 

If you are interested in Campus Pack and want to learn more about mobile access, contact Peter Reed (reedp@edgehill.ac.uk, #7756) for details about an upcoming webinar on Tuesday 24th May

Did you know…about the essential tools and good practice guidelines for computer users?

Whether you are developing teaching and learning content or professional documentation for your department or service, there is good practice guidance and software available which all users may add to their resource toolkit.

Inspiration® mind-mapping software creates visual representations of plans / ideas or concepts in the form of a diagram or mind map. Inspiration can transform your visual map into a linear format at the touch of a button to suit all preferred learning styles. You can create your own map or use one of the many templates on offer.

Inspiration is an excellent tool for any form of planning such as modules, presentations, lectures or seminars. Inspiration is used for scoping research activities and analysing key findings from both quantitative and qualitative data. The colour-coding, visual and diagrammatical aspects are helpful in linking key themes and formulating research analysis.

TextHelp Read and Write® allows you to access text in an auditory format and text is read aloud directly from your PC. TextHelp can assist when reading assignments for marking, proofreading and highlighting errors within written work. TextHelp highlights the text when reading and identifies grammatical, spelling and homophone errors with its advanced functions and has an in-built dictionary where definitions are read aloud.

Inspiration® and TextHelp® incorporate their own training videos and mini training guides are available from the Learning Services Wiki via Locate a User Guide and Using ICT.

To access Inspiration or TextHelp on the network: select Start →Network Programs → Accessibility → Inspiration or TextHelp.

Good Practice

Accessibility Essentials Series by JISC Techdis. This series provides guidance on creating accessible documents using a range of everyday applications that we access on the Edge Hill University network, such as Word, PowerPoint or via PDF files. JISC Techdis guidelines are available via the Staff Development wiki.

Guide to Accessible Documents for the VLE . This guide is available from the Learning Services wiki via Locate a User Guide and Using ICT.

For further advice or guidance please contact Julie Keen extension 4372 or via email to keenj@edgehill.ac.uk.

Did you know… We’re keeping up with Emerging Technology

We’ve been using technology in teaching for years, some of it for so long that we don’t even think of it as technology any more. Keeping up to date with delivery techniques helps ensure a good experience for our students.

Here in the Learning Technology Development team we look for up and coming ideas that are attracting the interests of academic staff and students. Although new technology is sometimes seen as the answer to a question that was never asked, after a while someone will attempt to use it to help learning. By following the experiences of these early adopters we are able to assist the uptake of new technology, and the development of techniques to use it for a wider audience.

So where does technology emerge from and how can you keep up to date?

There are many web-sites, and social / professional networks that can provide insight into what’s happening now and what’s coming up…

The Learning Technology Development team have recently been delivering sessions to showcase Emerging Technologies. The first covered applications for QR-Codes, the second shared experiences with Professional Blogs, and we have a third planned for 20th May on using the iPad (Edge Hill University staff can book here). We also have ideas for future sessions including Cloud Computing, Creative Digital Technologies, Assessing On-line and Staying Technology Aware, but what we’d really like to know is…

Are there Emerging Technologies that you’d like a closer look at? Let us know in a comment.

Alternatively contact us directly at ltdsupport@edgehill.ac.uk

Mark Ayton

Learning Technology Development Manager (ext. 7758)

Did you know?…..Learning Services can help with your ICT skills.

The ICT staff development co-ordinator Elaine Czotter is based in the Learning Services Academic Support Division. You can usually find her in the staff office or the development room in the LINC building. She delivers a range of workshops throughout the academic year and is the British Computer Society (BCS) Approved Centre Manager for ECDL qualifications.

Elaine says……….If you have identified an ICT skills need to support your role but are unsure what is available to you, then you can find our workshops and resources on the staff development wiki. Workshop outlines are available and I would also recommend checking the pre requisite skills for each workshop and then you can register directly on-line. If you cannot make a scheduled workshop then register your interest and I will arrange an appropriate time with you. You can also access a range of course manuals and quick guides which support our corporate systems.

If you want to accredit your ICT skills, then maybe ECDL is for you? This qualification assesses your skills across 7 modules and improves your understanding of computers and promotes best practice in the use of software.

I also work closely with the ITS team to keep abreast of emerging systems and corporate upgrades then we can provide an appropriate support plan for staff. This in turn contributes to supporting the needs of our students.

If you would like to discuss any aspect of the events available or would like to discuss your own, team or departmental needs then please contact me on extension 4214 or via email czottere@edgehill.ac.uk.