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December 16, 2020

“Second verse, same as the first.” That was in a lot of my old summer camp songs, and the phrase has been coming to my mind a lot lately. This spring will look a lot like the fall, with the University offering hybrid and virtual instruction.

December 09, 2020

The nature of being a higher education and research institution means that universities have a lot of information to manage—everything from grades and tuition payments, to employment records and research data. Protecting the confidentiality and integrity of the information we collect is essential and, in many cases, required by law.

December 02, 2020

Techies are a unique bunch. They love their acronyms—and they couldn’t care less if their alphabet soup means something totally different to everyone else. When they talk about WAPs, they’re talking about something that’s the gateway to much of the knowledge you gain and entertainment you consume.

November 25, 2020

As with nearly everything else this year, Pitt’s academic calendar is different for 2020-21. Students are facing an extended staycation, with lots of free time on their hands. Many faculty and staff will also have a slower pace of work between semesters. So what’s a Panther to do with so much downtime until the new term begins? Pitt IT has some great ideas:

October 28, 2020

It’s the Year of Engagement here at Pitt. With the pandemic, most is taking place online these days. That’s a double-edged sword. On one hand, the internet makes it easier to connect to all kinds of people, all across the world.

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October 21, 2020

Microsoft Teams is the official unified communication platform for faculty and staff at the University. Here are some of my favorite features that Teams phone users will like.

October 07, 2020

Microsoft is retiring Skype for Business, with Teams becoming the default chat, calling, and meeting app for Office 365. But the power of Microsoft Teams is that it is far more than a communications app—it is a shared workspace that facilitates organization and collaboration.

September 30, 2020

The basics of chatting in Microsoft Teams is pretty simple. (Check out the Teams Learning Resources page for help.) But Teams takes messaging to a whole new level, with features that make it a vital collaboration tool. Here are some advanced features of Teams chatting that can make you the chat expert.

September 23, 2020

In July, I wrote a blog comparing Skype and Teams for chatting, calling, and meetings. That was just a taste. Now that Microsoft is getting ready to retire Skype for Business, it’s time for a whole serving of Teams hacks. Here are my top tips for going from basic to pro with Teams meetings.

September 16, 2020

COVID-19 sure has made me appreciate technology that I admit previously taking for granted—particularly Microsoft Teams and Zoom. But let’s face it, as great as it is to have options, connecting with our colleagues or classmates over video calls each day just isn’t the same as IRL.

September 01, 2020

Wi-Fi is a necessity for modern working, learning, communication, and entertainment. During a pandemic, it’s even more critical! Here’s how to figure out what you need and where to get it, no matter where you are living or connecting.

August 18, 2020

I’m not going to pretend to be a hip Gen-Z (as evidenced by the fact that I just said “hip Gen-Z”). But I have some insider information about why your parents may struggle to treat you as an adult and how technology can make it easier.

August 05, 2020

Students will start moving onto campus next week! Where did the summer go? You’ve been preparing to take classes and participate in college life in the midst of a pandemic. It will be a challenge, but your resilience makes Panther Nation proud—#H2P!

August 05, 2020

Students will start moving onto campus next week—one of whom will be my own son, an incoming Pitt freshman. So believe me when I say that I could not be more appreciative of all of your hard work in preparing to teach in the midst of a pandemic! I figured the least I could do is provide a few helpful tips for getting started with Canvas.

July 22, 2020

In 1975, a Business Week article quoted a tech expert who predicted that offices would be paperless in 20 years. Forty-five years later, we still haven’t gotten there. We probably never will—but we can get a whole lot closer!