Tech Tip of the Week: FindTime

Tech Tip of the Week Findtime with picture of cellphone with a calendar on the screen.

Have you ever had to schedule a meeting with colleagues or classmates but struggle to find a time when you are all available? FindTime can help!

FindTime is a Microsoft add-in that you can use for polling meeting attendees or for easily seeing when all meeting attendees are available. It is similar to Doodle, but better for us since it’s already integrated with Outlook.

You can download FindTime here. To find out more information about FindTime and its polling feature, check out our documentation on the iSchool wiki here.


Tech Tip of the Week: Creating Polls Ahead of Time in Zoom

Did you know you can schedule polls for class ahead of time? You can, and the Help Desk has documentation to help walk you through the process!

This feature is especially helpful if you have a series of questions you want to ask, and it allows you to save time instead of scrambling to type up the questions before class. To read the Help Desk’s documentation on creating polls ahead of time go to this wiki page.

As always, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Help Desk!

Tech Tip of the Week: Padlet

Have you heard of Padlet but never really knew how to navigate it? Have no fear, the Help Desk has documentation to help walk you through the different features Padlet has to offer! 
Padlet is a digital tool that can help teachers and students connect in realtime by offering a single space for a notice board. Teachers and students are able to feature images, links, videos, and documents, all gathered on a document that can be made public or private. Bonus: this tool is easily accessible from nearly any web browsing device!
To view the Help Desk’s full documentation on Padlet, please see our Padlet wiki page here.

Tech Tip of the Week: Scheduling Advising Appointments with Acuity

Today’s Tech Tip is about the iSchool at Illinois’ Acuity webpage where you can schedule to meet with advisors and other great resources during your time at the iSchool. With Acuity, you can schedule to meet with Karla Lucht or Katelyn Talbott for an advising session as an MSLIS student or with Denzel Goodloe as an MSIM Student. There are also advising options for CAS and Continuing Education students.

Among other options, you can also schedule a time to meet with Rebecca Hodson to talk about job searching, internships, and practicum or with Kristin Traniello to go over your cover letter and résumé! Check this page out to learn more about the entire range of options provided for appointments with our wonderful staff at the iSchool! If you are interested in meeting with Ruth Shasteen, our School Librarian Program Coordinator, she can be reached here
Have a great week, iSchoolers!

Tech Tip of the Week: Digital Security Basics

It is important to keep your computer and information as safe as possible while using the internet. Secure passwords will reduce the chance of someone hacking your accounts, backup storage will make you less vulnerable to ransomware, and being aware of malware and phishing threats will help prevent personal information from being leaked. The iSchool wiki has an entire page dedicated to tips and suggestions to keep you safe online. The page includes:
      • Tips on how to ensure strong passwords
      • Suggestions for password managers like KeePass
      • How to backup your computer and information
      • How to protect against and avoid malware and phishing
As always, if you have any questions, please reach out to us at the Help Desk!

Tech Tip of the Week: Learning Resources from CITL   

Here at the University of Illinois we have an amazing resource with the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning (CITL), and they provide resources for both instructors and students.  In their own words: “The Center for Innovation in Teaching & Learning is a hub of innovation and hands-on support for those who want to discuss and work with higher education trends, models, projects, and resources. CITL uses leading pedagogical approaches, research-based methodologies, innovative instructional technologies, and comprehensive assessment practices to strengthen teaching efforts and improve student learning outcomes.”  Today’s Tech Tip will break down some of the resources CITL provides for both online and in-person instruction and learning.
    1. To learn more about CITL:
3. Instructor Resources
4. Visit the CITL Innovative Space!
      • The studio is a 25-seat interactive visualization, makerspace, and VR classroom all in one. We have a video wall for visualizations, 10 VR/video editing/gaming workstations, and an array of emerging technologies, including virtual reality, laser cutting, 3D printing, 3D modeling, mixed reality, and much more. Check it out here!

Tech Tip of the Week: Assigning Student Roles in Breakout Rooms

It can be difficult to engage students when teaching over Zoom, but utilizing breakout rooms is an effective way to make larger classes feel more like a community. They can also give students who are reluctant to talk on microphone in the main room a chance to communicate with classmates.
Assigning roles in breakout rooms can help break the ice and ensure that everyone participates, and the iSchool Wiki has a great page that walks you through different roles and the best ways to incorporate them into your online courses. Roles can include:
      • Manager or Facilitator: makes sure group stays on task and reminds everyone of the questions they need to discuss.
      • Recorder: takes notes during the group discussion and posts them to a class forum if need be.
      • Spokesperson or Presenter: shares what the group talked about with the entire class after breakout rooms close.
      • Reflector or Strategy Analyst: guides the group to a final consensus or decision if need be.
      • Challenger: asks questions during the discussion.
      • Timekeeper: keeps track of time and makes sure everyone gets the same amount of speaking time.

If using these roles, it is a good habit to share the definitions of each role with your class and put the way you want them to assign roles (alphabetical by first/last name, birthday, etc.) in the chat. Make sure to also share the discussion questions you want them to answer before sending them into breakout rooms as participants won’t be able to view the screensharing once they are in the breakout rooms. 

Tech Tip of the Week: Installing Printers and Using Papercut

Have you ever needed to print something and not known where to do it? Never fear! The iSchool has some printers that you can use!

We recommend the use of public printers Optimus, located conveniently right next to the Help Desk on the second floor, or Chip who resides next to room 12 on the first floor. In the new building, we recommend using Luna, located next to the Help Desk on the 4th floor. To learn more about the public printers and where they live, check out this Wiki page. We will do a second Tech Tip in the future regarding printers to use in the new building once everything is set up there!

Printing Cost and Quota:
iSchool Masters and CAS students have $21 a semester for printing costs. You must be currently enrolled in an iSchool course to use this budget. School Faculty, Staff, and PhD students are not charged for printing, although it is tracked. Both black and white and color printing costs $0.07/page. Color printing is available on Optimus, located on the 2nd floor near the Help Desk. Check your printing balance on the Illinois Papercut page.  Unused printing quotas do not carry over. Additional printing quota can be purchased on the IlliniCash website. 
Undergraduate iSchool students have access to printers across campus, including the ones in the iSchool. Undergraduate printing cost is $.10/page on monochrome printers and $.40/page on color printers. Color printers charge $.40/page even if monochrome documents are printed.

Printer Installation for your computer:
Though we do have self-service kiosks for both Chip and Optimus where you can log in and print from, there is also the option for you to download the printers on to your computer, so when you are in the building you will be able to print. Instructions for how to install the printers on Mac are here and PC here! Always feel free to drop by the Help Desk if you need assistance with installing printers or have any other questions!

Tech Tip of the Week: Tech Services and Walk-In Appointment Scheduling

Tech Services at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign offers a variety of services for students, faculty, staff, and researchers. On their website here, you will find information on getting connected to campus wifi, accessing Adobe Suite services, Canvas resources, and much more. 

For Fall 2021, Tech Services is allowing walk-in support by appointment only. To schedule an in-person appointment with Tech Services, you can fill out this form. Their hours for walk-in support are Monday – Friday: 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Saturday -Sunday: 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., and your building access status will be checked via the Safer Illinois app or Boarding Pass website.

You can also contact them via email at and via phone at (217) 244-7000 for remote support. 

Tech Tip of the Week: Changing Your Preferred Name in Self Service

With classes starting on Monday, it’s a good idea to make sure your preferred name is set in Self Service. Changing your name in Self Service ensures that your preferred name is used across all university systems (Zoom, Moodle, Canvas, etc.). To change your name in Self Service, follow the steps below or view them on the iSchool wiki here.

  1. Go to and click University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
  2. Log in with your NetID and password.
  3. A main menu will appear, and you will want to click on Personal Information.
  4. Next, click on Preferred First Name.
  5. If you do not already have a preferred name listed, this statement will appear: “If you would like to use a FIRST name that is not your legal first name within the campus community, please enter a preferred FIRST name below. Refer to the Preferred First Name information for further details on where your preferred first name will and will not be displayed.” Proceed to step 8.  
  6. If you already have a preferred name listed and are now changing it, the following statement will appear: “If you want to change your preferred first name, please click on the link below. Please refer to the University Preferred First Name Statement for further details on where a preferred first name will and won’t be used.” Your name should be linked below this statement. Click on your name.
  7. The following statement will appear: “If you would like to use a FIRST name that is not your legal first name within the campus community, please enter a preferred FIRST name below. Refer to the Preferred First Name information for further details on where your preferred first name will and will not be displayed.”
  8. There is a box below this statement where you can type in your preferred first name. After typing in your name, you can click Submit.
  9. The following statement will then appear: “Your Preferred First Name and Legal Last Name appear below as they will on class rosters and other Student systems. It may take 24-48 hours for all Student systems to be updated.” Your preferred name will appear below this statement.
  10. If your preferred name looks correct, you can then exit Self Service.
  11. To edit or remove your preferred name, follow the same steps as stated above, and when you get to step 8, you can either edit your name in the box or check the box next to your name that says Remove Preferred Name. Then click Submit.
  12. If you remove your preferred name, this statement will appear: “Your Preferred First Name has been removed. Your legal first name will be used throughout Student systems.”

If you would like to change your name so it is only reflected in Zoom, you can follow the instructions found on the iSchool wiki here.  

Have a great rest of the week, iSchoolers!