How are you using Office365?

A while back, I posted an article about how Prof Eliot Bush is making use of Google Apps for Education.   We recently completed the migration of accounts from mailbox-01 to Microsoft Office365 for Education.  I asked Patricia Wang how she liked it, and to tell me two things that she does with the Office365/Outlook combination.   Here’s what Patricia wrote:

Since I was really comfortable using Zimbra, I was a little apprehensive about migrating to Outlook 2010. I’ve only been using Outlook for a short time, but I’ve discovered a couple of features that I really like already.

One of the features that I find helpful in Outlook 2010 is the built-in task list. I use it to organize my tasks by assigning due dates, setting reminders, and marking tasks as complete when I finish them. It can also be used to delegate tasks to other people and manage task assignments. Tasks can be created from scratch by selecting the New Items > Tasks button on the Home tab. However, my favorite way to create a task is by by dragging an email to the task button on the bottom of the navigation pane. This transfers an existing email message to my task list without me having to create an individual task from scratch. I can also use this drag and drop method if I want to flag a contact record for follow-up.

Another feature that helps me keep organized is the Rules Wizard. Outlook lets me set up instructions, called rules, that determine how it should process messages upon receipt. I can set up rules to automatically move, copy, delete, forward, redirect, or reply to an incoming message. For the messages that are already in my inbox, I love the run-this-rule-now feature. It’s like waving a magic wand to reduce the clutter in my inbox!

I hope to discover other neat features as I explore Outlook 2010!

Thanks to Patricia for sending these comments. If you have other interesting ways that you make use of Google Apps or Office 365, don’t hestitate to share in the comments section below, or send me an email.

Summer 2012 Teaching With Technology Innovation Projects

This summer CIS will be supporting three projects through the Teaching With Technology Innovation program. Four faculty, Rachel Levy, Karl Haushalter, Darryl Yong, and Nancy Lape, will be creating short lecture videos using software called Camtasia in order to explore the advantages of the “flipped” classroom. In the flipped classroom model, students watch the lectures outside of the classroom so that classroom time can be used for other purposes. CIS is providing loaner tablet PCs, the Camtasia software, and a USB webcam. We have also hired a student, Joyce Lin, who will be assisting the faculty with the Camtasia software and with creating and editing the videos.

The second project is with the Math department. The Math department has hired several students who will be working with a faculty supervisor to create short computing modules in each of the mathematics courses in the Common Core. CIS is supporting the project by providing one of the student stipends. Jeho Park, our Scientific Computing Specialist, will also be working with the team as a mentor to provide his expertise and training in mathematical software.

The final project is a continuation of a project for Paul Steinberg. Last summer Prof. Steinberg was focused on creating a social media website for the Social Rules Project. The Social Rules Project is a “multi-media educational outreach initiative at Harvey Mudd designed to raise awareness about the importance of public policies and other social rules in the transition to a more sustainable world.” CIS supported the project last summer by providing a student stipend for the web design work. Prof. Steinberg did a great Bite of Learning presentation in the spring on his project and the initial web site design. For phase II of the project this summer CIS will be providing access to Adobe Aftereffects and Flash, as well as some loaner laptops, to students from the California Institute of the Arts. The students will be creating a 10-minute animated video that will be a highlight of the website’s landing page.

We’re looking forward to seeing some of the results of these projects at upcoming presentations at A Bite of Learning next year!