OK, well, I’ve managed to get most of the egg off my face, found my draft version and updated it. This is the last of the week and of 5 Days of Digital Literacy. No idea why the content of this post disappeared, but.. hey, sometimes technology goes wrong, sorry about that… funnily enough…
One of the most notable and encouraging changes I’ve witnessed over the last 20 years of working with people and technology is that when things go wrong, as they sometimes do, the audience and presenter, or the person sat at their desk, tend to take it more in their stride these days. There is an assumption that things sometimes go wrong, and that there is usually a solution at hand.
Indeed, if there’s a problem or need for information, we tend to be more self-directed these days. If you didn’t know how to sort the rows and columns of data to your liking in Excel, or how to type a # on a Mac keyboard, if you wanted to know how to make a white sauce, or change a spark plug in a VW Golf, I’d wager you’d Google it, or search for the answer on YouTube without hesitation, before asking someone else. (Those are all things I have recently Google, by the way.)
Later in the post we’ll look at how to log a job with IT Services, if you just can’t find the answer, but I thought I’d share a couple of tips of my own, on a couple of common problems. (I’m not sure they’ll be able to help you with white sauce.)
My Desktop is running really slow today
Are you asking too much of your machine? You may have too many programmes open (so close some), not enough space on your hard drive (contact IT Services and get more space, or delete things and then empty your trash), or something which I’ve been guilty of is having too many applications and shortcuts on the desktop. Does your desktop look like this:
This can significantly slow down start up, and can hamper its speed once it is up and running. I solved it by making a new folder on my desktop, then dragging and dropping everything into that folder. Ideally you need to be saving things into your documents folders. You may be surprised how much quicker your machine works afterwards.
If the Internet is slow ask your colleagues if theirs is also slow, if it is then you should log it. If it’s just your machine, then check that you aren’t running lots of programmes, or have loads of tabs open. If it continues, then log it.
How can I adjust the volume in the classroom?
Are the lectern AND the computer on? The lectern should come on if you wave your hand over the control panel and wiggle the mouse. The computer is usually sitting in a box near your knee, and sometimes people switch it off.
No sound? There’s usually three different volume controls to deal with: the software, the machine, the lectern. Be methodical in your approach:
- Check the volume on the software you are using e.g. YouTube, or the media player you’re using to play your video/audio.
- Then check the computer volume which, on a PC, is down on the right hand side of your screen, click it and see if it’s been muted or is very low.
- And then check the one on the lectern, which is the big knob in the middle of the control panel.
The first place to look for support in a classroom is in the Teaching Room Technologies guide which will be on a wall in a clear plastic tray by the lectern. This will run through Getting Started and common questions for the technologies specific to that room.
If you come across a problem with the technology in a room, please log it straight away. This will not only help your colleagues and students, but will benefit you on your return.
Places to find answer and training materials
We’ve mentioned a number of excellent resources during 5 Days of Digital Literacy. Here’s a quick reminder:
- Lynda.com – I have to say I use this more and more to dip into and find ‘good’ concise answers to software queries.
- Google and Advanced Google Search – have a look at our post from the first week of 5 Days
- YouTube – the number one search engine for under 20’s.
and then you have our University resources (please let me know of any in the comments so I can add them)
- For assistance with technologies in classrooms, look for the Teaching Room Technology Guide printed for that room.
- MyPlayer – I’m often asked how to do things in/on MyPlayer – there’s lots of tutorials on there, use the search. There’s lots of tutorials on all kinds of University-related things in there.
- Also, have a look at the Library, IT Services, Anglia Learning & Teaching and HR Staff Development.
If you have a problem that you cannot solve, then contact IT Services – they can’t fix it if they don’t know about it. There are 3 main ways to log a job:
- IT Self Service portal – You simply log in with your current username and password. Take a look now for quick access to requesting support, raising incidents or acquiring new IT hardware.
- HELP – dialling 4357, (which spells HELP on your phone keypad) is the best extension to find them. The CST desk takes around 30,000 phone calls per year (2016), with the busiest times being between 09.00 – 09.15, and it gets very quiet from 4.45pm onwards, so if it’s non-urgent, remember we are open until 6pm.
- You can also log problems via email. Between April – December 2016 saw over 9,500 emails to firstname.lastname@example.org and if you’re used to this method, you might be ready to try using our online self-service portal, which helps you to effectively log and view any jobs that you have with us and check on their status.
You can find all our contact details and opening hours on the Contact Us webpage as well as a huge wealth of information on IT Services and Software and how to get started or learn more.
To complete this week’s activities and qualify for the digital badge, please complete this short survey. As the survey is anonymous you’ll ned to let me know you’ve completed it by leaving a comment in the blog post here.
Thank you for engaging with ‘5 Days’. We hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as we have. Please be patient with the badges – I will get around to you.
Very best wishes from the Anglia Learning & Teaching team.