Training and Tips

TechFest '09

Come join the festivities at UAF's third annual technology event! TechFest '09 will feature training workshops, presentations and exhibits for all UAF and UA students, faculty and staff. Sessions will explore many aspects of technology including cool academic tools, digital photography, data security and identity theft prevention, social networking and more! The conference will take place September 23-25 with most events at Wood Center.  Registration will open soon, so visit the website for a listing of all the exciting events - www.alaska.edu/techfest. And, if you're really adventurous, test your geocaching scavenger hunt skills with our pre-conference game of high-tech hide and seek.

See you at TechFest '09 – where technology is for everyone!

Mark your Calendars

For a long time, UA Statewide and UAF have used MeetingMaker as the calendar/meeting software of choice. A problem arose in that not all departments used this software. Some were unable or unwilling to pay the license fee cost for each user in their department. This makes it difficult to schedule meetings and rooms across Statewide and UAF. So, during the Spring semester, the Office of Information Technology conducted a survey regarding features that users wanted to see in a calendaring/scheduling/meeting software program. Over 500 users from staff, faculty and administration of both SW and UAF completed the survey.
Over 80 percent of the respondents indicated that they would change calendaring services if it saved the university money and met their basic needs. They also indicated that if UA were to make a transition, that it could happen anytime if both calendaring services remained available for a period of time.
Users were asked to identify features that were important to them to have in a calendar software program. Those are outlined and ranked in these charts.
OIT then compared that list of features to the three major calendaring options available: MeetingMaker, Outlook/Exchange and Google Calendar.
While many of the features are available in all the programs, Google Calendar, by far, meets the majority of the requirements users expressed.
We do not have exact cost comparisons of the three major programs. However, Google Calendar comes at no cost to UA for the software and is currently part of the Google Apps for Education, which Statewide and UAF are now using primarily for email service.
Given that Google meets the majority of features requested by users, comes at no additional cost and is currently the application chosen for email, OIT is recommending UAF Chancellor Brian Rogers and UA President Mark Hamilton transition their respective user communities to Google Calendar.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact Karl Kowalski, executive director, User Services at karl.kowalski@alaska.edu.

OIT Tip of the Month

Find your own computer program answers and training

Would you like to know more about a computer program?
Or do you just have a quick question?

Would you like to find the answer yourself instead of waiting for a class?

UA has two options for you...

The employee Skillsoft portal:

Has tutorials you can take on your schedule, and on-line books for your reference.

Atomic Learning has quick tutorials and videos you can watch on several computer applications. You can get to Atomic Learning by signing in to MyUA, go to the Staff tab, and look for the Atomic Learning Gateway Channel.

OIT Training Schedule

Click here to download the September training schedule.

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