KJB136's blog | Information Technology | University of Pittsburgh

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KJB136's blog

Next Slide, Please

If you’ve attended or lead a training, staff meeting, information session, board meeting, etc., chances are, a PowerPoint presentation was involved. It looks professional and is easy to use, but it’s a passive experience. A presenter just clicks through the slides and people follow along. Now, Microsoft has released PowerPoint Live and integrated it with Teams. It transforms the PowerPoint experience into an interactive, engaging event with real interaction.

To DocuSign or Not to DocuSign

A few good things have come out of spending the last 15 months in our homes. I’ve rediscovered my love of the Bard. And the pandemic spurred everyone into putting their paper-based processes online. Now, I can complete a form, sign it, and submit it … all using my phone from my couch! There are important differences between the many digital signature apps now available, but I’ve found some of Shakespeare’s best quotes to explain why you should use eSignature (DocuSign) at Pitt.

Swaying to a Better Presentation

I recently discovered Microsoft Sway, and I have become a believer. I don’t mean to knock PowerPoint, but PP presentations can be static, stale, and boring. Sways, on the other hand, are dynamic, artistic, and engaging online stories that make me look like I have serious design skills, when I most decidedly do not. Here are a few tips I picked up as I was learning the ropes that can help you get started Swaying.

Halting Data Overload: Scalable Storage for Research Data Management

Vincent Concel has one foot in the technical world and the other in the world of clinical research. As the director of research technology services for the School of Medicine’s Department of Pediatrics, he supports the cutting-edge technology that is the backbone of modern medical research. As his department generated ever larger data files, he found himself managing it on a hodge-podge of storage devices. Finding the right storage solution was critical for supporting their groundbreaking research.

Countdown to Summer - IT Safety While Traveling

Feels like 6 years since your last summer trip. With the vaccine now available and business and travel restrictions being relaxed, many of us are finally prepping for a real vacation. A little thinking ahead of time can save you a lot of headaches later! While you’re waiting for your plans to launch, take a little time to consider these tech precautions for IT-safe travels.

Teaching and Training with OneNote Class Notebooks

Last week, I extolled the virtues of Microsoft OneNote, an online note-taking app that can make you the Marie Kondo of online organization. This week, I’m digging deeper with OneNote Class Notebooks for use in teaching and learning. While instructors use the Canvas Learning Management System for credit-bearing academic classes, those engaged in training or extra-curricular learning opportunities may find that OneNote Class Notebooks are the perfect way to help your students learn, retain, and apply the information you cover!

A Few Notes About OneNote

Thanks to Microsoft OneNote, gone are the days of having random notepapers strewn across your desk, a collection of binders on your shelf, or lugging a notebook to meetings. A OneNote digital notebook saves and syncs all your notes as you work—and is available from any device using the web, desktop, or mobile app. All your notes are always with you, so you can stay on top of your to-do list, organize all the things you need to remember, and flesh out new ideas. By learning just a few tips and tricks, OneNote may just become your next favorite app.

Giving Students a Virtual Sandbox

You’re an instructor whose course involves extensive hands-on work in a computing lab with specially configured machines. Suddenly, a pandemic hits and your class needs to be delivered remotely. How do you teach in a way that enables students to gain meaningful experience and truly learn to apply the concepts?