Panther Bytes Blog | Information Technology | University of Pittsburgh

Panther Bytes Blog

December 03, 2019

It’s been almost 20 years since Pitt first began using CourseWeb (Blackboard Learn). Back then, Learning Management Systems (LMS) like Blackboard were a real game changer for education—providing an online environment to support classroom learning.

November 26, 2019

When it comes to diversity and inclusion, the use of technology may not be the first thing that comes to mind. However, with the help of their Director of Information Technology and Networking Kim Getz, Pitt's School of Law recently found an innovative way to leverage Pitt Information Technology's Lecture Capture (Panopto) service to meet the needs of their students and faculty.

November 20, 2019

Being a senior is great. Come enrollment time, I can get into any class, no problem. But if you’re a freshman with a later registration date, it’s usually not that easy.  I remember trying to get into cool upper-level classes as a freshman, and feeling the sharp ache in my heart when I glimpsed that orange triangle. Who wants to take a full semester of 101’s?

November 05, 2019

Any time, from anywhere, on any device, with anyone—that’s the name of the game nowadays. Whether you’re flying high on three cans of Red Bull trying to finish a group project in Hillman, uploading hours of B-roll for a film project, or working with a colleague who sits across campus, cloud computing is essential to the everyday work environment.

October 29, 2019

August 6:
Dear diary … If a ghost haunts an empty residence hall, is it really haunted? All the students are gone; only the guys putting in the new Wi-Fi stuff are here, but they’d don’t even sleep over. At night, I roam the bowels of the Schenley Quad alone. I float above the Towers and gaze out at the campus, thinking of decades gone by.

October 24, 2019

Movies romanticize disguise. Your favorite heroes slip into crowds undetected, use fake IDs and fingerprints to sneak into secret lairs, and get custom passports under unique aliases. I grew up with iconic 2000s children’s spy cinema like Spy Kids and Agent Cody Banks.

October 17, 2019

Three years ago, my grandma asked me to check her inbox and tell me if her emails were legit. A quick glance revealed an inbox chock-full of crazy phishing schemes. From ransom threats to sketchy requests to wire millions of dollars, the scams seemed pretty obvious.

October 09, 2019

The world is changing rapidly. As professional environments become increasingly flexible, more and more employees are able to work remotely from home and other locations. You may find yourself doing some work in the evening, performing your job off-site one or more days a week, or even having an entirely remote position.

October 02, 2019

I would love to be the person that has military-grade, uncrackable, missile-proof defenses on all of my online accounts. The reality is that pretty much every username I’ve ever had is some variation of my fifth-grade email account and my 2007 Poptropica username.

September 25, 2019

The Fall semester schedule of Faculty and Staff Development Program (FSDP) workshops has just been announced. There is an array of professional development workshops, including Technology Training seminars, that seem really interesting.

September 18, 2019

If you’ve used the search bar on, then you’ve used AskCathy, which is also a standalone site at AskCathy is a “service discovery tool,” which just means that it’s a tool to find other tools.

September 11, 2019

The Student Computing Labs have a lot of cool features. But let’s be honest—sometimes you head to a lab just because your phone or tablet battery is dying, to print something out, or to do something quick between classes. There are more convenient options when you don’t need the whole “workstation” experience.

September 05, 2019

When I came to Pitt, I assumed I wouldn’t use the Student Computing Labs much. I had a computer and thought I’d rather just work in my room. I ended up using them all the time. Turns out, it’s really convenient to just pop into a lab between classes.

August 26, 2019

Welcome back to campus, folks! In last week’s blog, I pointed out the free software and mobile apps you can get for no cost. So, before the semester gets too busy, here are the 10 apps you should definitely get this week! After each one, I note where to get it:

August 21, 2019

You may have noticed a Network Fee on your tuition invoice. Implemented in 1989 to provide students with equal access to a wide variety of technology services, it has remained at $175/semester since the 2010-11 academic year. But what exactly does that include these days? A lot of good stuff, it turns out.