O365 and apps

If you have an Outlook email account, or if your school has an agreement with Microsoft to provide O365, you may have noticed “apps” appearing  for your use. I ignored them for some time, but I’m starting to explore them.

If you have a personal outlook account, you will find what looks like a little keypad in the top left of your window:

outlook

When you click it, a pop-out window expands with “apps” in it, which include your mail, calendar, storage space (OneDrive), and a few other items to explore.

If you have OneDrive through your school or place of employment, you will find more apps, including Teams (similar to Slack), Forms, SharePoint, and more. You may (as we do at the University of Kentucky) also have the ability to download Office software to as many as five personal devices (laptop, phone, etc.).

It is definitely worth checking out if you have not. I also have a Google account and a Google Apps for Education account. I like both Google and O365, but I do prefer the power of the Office suite software both online and on my computer and easily moving between the two. Once I forced myself to look, I appreciated what it had to offer.

Will this thing start up again?

Thinking of cranking up this blog again and seeing if it goes anywhere. When last I left off (except for a few random posts), I was located in the old TASC (Teaching & Academic Support Center) at the University of Kentucky. That center was closed and I moved to IT, where my focus became much more technology focused. I’m still in IT, although it’s called ITS now, and I miss my writing, so I’m thinking about kicking off again. We’ll see how it goes.

New TA Orientation, New Faculty Orientation

I’m headed to New TA Orientation today, and New Faculty Orientation tomorrow. For those who find their way to this forlorn blog, here are the links for the presentation: http://go.uky.edu/orientation.

medieval help desk

Because it’s Friday, and because it never gets old:  Le Book.

Have a great weekend!

thinking about space

classroom chairsI attended a workshop today presented by Lennie Scott-Webber, PhD, of Steelcase Education Solutions.  “Dr. Lennie” has moved from faculty to a research position with the furniture and design company, and she focuses on environments for sharing knowledge in higher education and corporate learning centers. She had some interesting information to share.

I keep going back to her question of whether University tours include classrooms. Think about why or why not. Yeah.  She also asked how we (as in all universities) would deal with our real estate efficiencies, and she pointed to libraries as places where intentional design and efficient use of space lead to form following function.
And, she said, “You want retention? Build community.”

If you are interested in seeing information about her research and affiliated work, you can visit Steelcase’s 360Research webpages.

desktop audio/video capture

keyboard and mouseSometimes a little “desktop capture” is all you need to make a point or distribute information or assistance. There is software available that allows you to capture audio and the content of your computer screen from your desktop for presentations, demonstrations, lectures, and other means.

Microsoft PowerPoint and some other presentation software products have nice features for recording lectures, but if you want to go a bit further, you might try some of the following:

  • University of Kentucky instructors (and staff and students) have Echo360 Personal Capture available to them on UK download. UK instructors who would like to publish to their courses can request publishing permission for Echo360 Personal Capture (be sure to specify “personal capture”) by calling the UKIT Service Desk at 218-HELP.
  • UK instructors and staff also have access to Adobe Captivate at UK download. This product is a bit more complicated, but it provides numerous additional features.
  • I sometimes use Jing, which provides brief (up to 5 minutes) desktop capture capacity.  There’s a free version, but I’ve been using the paid version ($15/yr) at home, which removes the product name from the end of the captures, but that will be replaced in February by Snagit. Apparently Snagit will do the same thing (and grab longer captures), but you only buy it once ($49.95; $29.95 with educational discount) instead of paying a yearly fee.
  • Jing’s big brother is Camtasia Studio, which is very nice high-end desktop capture software. It can be pricey, but there is an educational discount.

sing it!

I hope you had a restful/enjoyable/quiet/boisterous Labor Day weekend, per your preferences. Mine was nice and quiet … but with one cloud. Have you ever had a tune in your head that you cannot name, and it just bugs you to death? Gah!

It’s a happy little ditty, actually. Bouncy, no lyrics. Maybe a Percy Faith number … maaaaaaybe Mitch Miller. But the kind you cannot put your finger on it. If there were words, I would just type them into Google and the universe would serve an answer up to me. Yeah, I’ve done that many times, too. But what do you do when you can’t type it?

The answer is: sing it!

Yes, that’s right, you can search by singing or humming. Am I the only one who did not know this? My son clued me in. I was clueless. So I tried:

Aaaaaaand it did me absolutely no good. Just to be sure I was doing it right, I hummed The Girl from Ipanema, and I did get all kinds of appropriate returns. And so, my search continues.microphone in fish