Tech Tip of the Week: Solstice

When using some of the rooms in the iSchool buildings, you may have the opportunity to use the Mersive Solstice app to wirelessly stream your laptop footage to the room displays. This is very similar to using an HDMI cord to stream from one screen to another, just without the wires! See this iSchool Wiki page below for more details.

Solstice is enabled in 501 E Daniel in rooms 46, 109, 131, and 242, and at 614 E Daniel in rooms 4018, 4035, 4043a and 4043b (aka, the Multi-Purpose Room) 4165, and 5116.

You’ll need to download and install the Mersive Solstice App, which you can do here,

The Mersive Solstice Logo

Meet Muse!

This week’s Pet of the Week is Muse!

Muse is a one-year-old domestic shorthair kitty with a white tummy and armpits! Her favorite hobbies are meowing for attention, unraveling balls of yarn, climbing coats, digging for toys in the couch, and getting into a meerkat pose to look out the window at birds and squirrels. When she’s not causing mischief for her owners Laurel & Mark, she can be found on their laps or in her cat tower warped in seemingly uncomfortable napping positions. Everyone at the Help Desk adores Muse and her groovy sense of style!

If you’d like to submit your pet to be the iSchool Pet of the Week, shoot us an email at with their name, photo, and any cute stories you’d like to share.

Tech Tip of the Week: Using the WebStore

There’s lots of free content for students, staff, and faculty on the UIUC WebStore, from the Microsoft Office Suite, to Adobe, to security software. Check it out the WebStore’s “Personal Purchases” page to see a break down of software categories for easy browsing.

Below is a series of screenshots of webpages you’ll likely encounter when purchasing software in the WebStore. Be sure to log in to the WebStore first. There have been some issues w/ logins to the WebStore, so if you encounter login trouble, please contact the iSchool Help Desk. You can reach us at (217) 244-4903 or (800) 377-1892,, or via chat at

The WebStore Front Page. Note the Personal Purchases and Free Software buttons.
Once you log into the WebStore, you can view Account information in the My Account tab. For this example, we’ll look at downloading from the MicroSoft Products category.
Here we can see the MicroSoft 365 (Office) Suite, specifically for people at the Urbana Campus. Much of the WebStore software will be free, but watch out for prices on right column.
Selecting the MS 365 Office Suite brings us to this product description page. It comes with links, specifications, and instructions on downloading/installing the software.

From this point, depending on which software you’re looking into, directions may vary. Likely though, you’ll download and install the software and be good to go. There may also be limits on how many devices you can install a single instance of software on, so be sure to prioritize installing software on your primary devices.

Canvas Tech Tip: Canvas App for Students

Before the semester begins, it might useful to know more about your options for using Canvas. While the desktop version of Canvas is ideal for getting work done, the App “Canvas Student” allows you to log-in on the move and check in on announcements and notifications more conveniently.

If you need to, you may also enter your Zoom room from your Canvas Student app, presuming you also already have your Zoom app set up on your phone. (The Zoom app is simple enough to set up; download the app, login w/ SSO using “illinois”and DUO 2FA, and get going with your meetings. The settings for Zoom mobile are definitely worth setting up before trying to attend a meeting.)

You can also mess around with the settings in the Canvas Student app, though they are not as in-depth the desktop settings for Canvas. The app’s settings are more directed towards notifications and display, missing much of the organizational and workflow oriented settings.

For further information regarding Canvas’ Student App, check out these links to the official FAQ,

Logging into the Canvas Student App:

Viewing My Courses in the Canvas Student App:

Viewing my personal to-do items in the Canvas Student App:

Canvas Tech Tip: Account Notification Settings, Course Notification Settings

In Canvas, there are opportunities to customize features to your own taste. Today’s Tech Tip will focus on notifications in Canvas. There are two options; the first being your general account Canvas Settings which you can find beneath your profile photo, and the second being Course-specific Notification Settings which you can access on individual course pages.

In the general settings, as shown in the first two images, you can disable/enable notification timeouts, such that when notifications do appear in Canvas, they will remain until they are dismissed. Enabling Notification Timeouts will allow notifications to dismiss themselves a short moment.

Fig. 1 On the side of the Canvas Home Page, you can find your account settings beneath your profile photo
Fig. 2 The Profile Notification Setting, “Disable Alert Notification Timeouts”

In these next two images, on an individual course page, you can customize notifications frequency and device destination (phone, email, canvas homepage, etc.)

Fig. 3 Within this sample course, selecting the bell icon with “View Course Notifications” will allow you to select course-specific settings.
Fig. 4 Some of the Course Notifications Settings. There are more to explore on the Course Notification Settings page. Note the options available for email.

And that’s all for Canvas notification Settings. There are of course other Canvas settings which we hope to explore further in future Tech Tips.

As always, if you have technical questions about Canvas, contact us at the Help Desk at (217) 244-4903 or (800) 377-1892,, or via chat at You can also find us on the 4th Floor of 614 E Daniel just to your left as you exit the elevators. Our desk hours are typically 9-5 on Weekdays.

Tech Tip: Tech Tips in QR codes!

We are happy to announce that QR codes will be available near the Help Desks in both 501 and 614 East Daniel. These codes will, when scanned by your smartphones’ QR code reader app, link directly to previous Tech Tips you may  find useful. These QR codes will be labeled. Please feel free to drop by and learn a new Tech Tip!
In the future we hope to add more of these QR codes, revisiting Tech Tips that have otherwise been forgotten.

QR code to scan with smartphone
This QR code links to a recent Tech Tip post, “Services Available After Graduation”. Scan it with your phone and QR reader app to link directly to the tip on our blog.

Tech Tip of the Week: Slido

Slido is a tool that makes it easy to create interactive polls for Zoom meetings or other events. From multiple choice to word clouds (like the one the Help Desk created below), participants can see results change instantly. Polls can be embedded in PowerPoint slides via a personalized QR code or a link can be shared with participants. To learn more about creating interactive polls and to start your free account, visit or watch this video for more details on using Slido.


I Love Belly Rubs!

Look at that warm inviting belly! This is Grace, and she promises that she won’t push you away after you give her belly two seconds of attention. She’ll wait the appropriate five seconds and then kindly ask you to remove your hand.

Pet with your eyes, please

If you catch your pet doing something cute this fall break, be sure to snap a picture of it and send it to us at so that we can feature it for pet of the week!