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Ed Tech Update

infotech.NEWS April 2016

What's happening in Ed Tech? Tech jams, a new location for student drop-in sessions, better courses through instructional design, expanded tech tune-ups for faculty, and a new powerful search engine.

Logo: Ed TechApril 6 Tech Jam - Google "Office" Suite (Docs, Sheets, Slides and Forms)

You've used Microsoft Office for years, but the Google equivalents have piqued your curiosity. This session will cover the basics of Google Docs, Slides, and Sheets, which have a lot in common with Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. We will also demonstrate Forms where you can create a simple survey, application, or feedback form.

The session runs from 12:30-1:30 in Kirby Plaza 175. It is free and registration is not required. An open work session follows from 1:30-2:30 p.m. also in Kirby Plaza 175. Get details on this session and the rest of the Spring 2016 Tech Jam sessions and other offerings on the ITSS Workshop web page.

Location Change for In-Person Support Sessions for Students in Online or Hybrid Courses

Face-2-Face Drop-in Sessions

Drop-in sessions held weekly on the following days and times have moved from Kirby Plaza 175 to the Tech Center (first floor of Kirby Plaza).

  • Tuesdays 3 to 4 p.m. Central Time
  • Wednesdays 9 to 10 a.m. Central Time


  • Access online chat via Z link:, or text 218-216-6ASK (6275)
  • Tuesdays 2 to 3 p.m. Central Time
  • Wednesdays 10 to 11 a.m. Central Time

Students are also always welcome to contact the ITSS TechCenter and Helpdesk for technology assistance.

Better Courses and Better Learning Through Instructional Design

UMD ITSS educational technologists work closely with Academic Technology Support Services (ATSS) to help instructors build active and impactful learning experiences. Learn more about ATSS system-wide service to faculty.

To explore how ITSS and ATSS can help you build out your course ideas, contact ITSS educational technology at

Expanded Tech Tune-up Drop-in Sessions Planned for April/May

Look for an email in early April announcing expanded drop-in session dates and times to assist with Spring semester wrap-up and Fall semester planning.

Wolfram|Alpha Pro Available to University Students, Faculty and Staff

The Office of Information Technology has entered into a contract for Wolfram|Alpha Pro and has made it available system-wide to all staff, faculty and students free of charge.

Wolfram|Alpha uses a knowledge database curated by experts to automatically answer questions and generate dynamic computations. Its ability to understand free-form inputs makes it more powerful and useful than general search engines. A few features useful to faculty and staff include a problem generator, step-by-step solutions and analytical capabilities.

Learn more about Wolfram|Alpha Pro and how to get an account.

Related Info

View past infotech.NEWS issues