Blogpost by Joel Williams (Student Digital Champion)
To accompany a blogpost that I published last week on how you can use time management tools to help you master your schedule, I’ve created an infographic (text version below) which summarises some of the key strategies and tools that have worked for me.
Blogpost by Joel Williams (Student Digital Champion)
As module handbooks are released, work and deadlines can quickly feel overwhelming. In this post, I will show you some of the programs I’ve used to help take back control of my studies, which should aid you when managing your workload.
The first two programs, Microsoft–To-Do & Google Tasks, are relatively comparable and easy to use. However, this does sacrifice some of the features found in more complicated programs like notion.
Microsoft To Do
One of the most accessible programs to integrate into your studies is Microsoft-To-Do; at its most basic, it allows you to create tasks and then group these as needed. However, the reason this is usually my go-to is that you can also use it in conjunction with the Office 365 suite of programs, making it especially useful as the University already provides these (You can download these here).
I’ve found this especially useful during my studies as it shows any emails I’ve flagged, preventing me from forgetting about them. Therefore, I recommend creating an account with your university email, which helps keep it all interconnected. It is available on the Google Play Store, Apple App Store, and as a website.
Another popular alternative is Google Tasks, which, as I stated earlier, is comparable to Microsoft’s offering. However, I’ve found it helpful because of its integration with Google Assistant, making it especially easy to set reminders and tasks quickly while working on something else.
Additionally, if you prefer using the Google suite of software over Microsoft or work on an Apple device, this program will likely be the best option. It is available on the Google Play Store, Apple App Store; you can access it within Google software on the Internet or as a Chrome plugin.
Other Helpful Programs
There are many alternative programs which can help with scheduling; one of the better-known ones is Notion, whilst it is worth mentioning there is a slight learning curve. However, the elements which make Notion hard to use result from the sheer breadth of options and customisation within the program, allowing you to tailor your own experience.
If you’re looking to plan out group work (but don’t want to use Notion), Microsoft Teams is likely one of your best options. Alongside being able to communicate as a group, you can also create a task tab, which allows you to set tasks to complete together as well as divide up tasks by person if needed.
Creating your own system
The critical aspect of using all of these programs is to find the one which can best integrate into your workflow, making sure that whatever option you choose is assisting, not hindering. For those who would like to view more detailed information about some of these programs, you can find a LinkedIn Learning collection here.
Do you find it easier to proofread a document or an email when you can hear what you’ve written? Luckily, there’s a useful function called Read Aloud that will play back written text as spoken words, and this is available in several Microsoft 365 apps, including Word and Outlook. It can read both Welsh and English text, in addition to several other languages. Watch the video below or follow these instructions:
The first step is to ensure that your text is in the correct proofing language. Highlight the text and select Review
Select Language, and then Set Proofing Language
Select your chosen language and then click OK
Navigate your cursor to the start of the passage you want to read aloud
Select Review and then Read Aloud
You can change the language and the voice of the playback
Do you need to brainstorm new ideas with your peers for a group assignment? Or perhaps you have a work project that you want to discuss new ideas for with colleagues? The whiteboard in Microsoft Teams is a fantastic tool for this and provides you with a range of templates to choose from.
Watch the video below to learn how to get started, or please click on this link if you wish to view the below video with closed captions.
We’ll also be showing how to use the whiteboard during our Mastering group work with online tools and strategies session this afternoon (7 November, 15:00-16:00)as part of the Digital Skills Festival! You can join this session directly from the festival programme.
If you need to include a screen-recording in your PowerPoint presentation, you can do this directly in PowerPoint without having to use any other software! Open PowerPoint and then watch the video below or follow these instructions:
Select Screen Recording
Open the page that you want to record
Click on Select Area and choose the exact part of the screen that you want to record
Select Audio if you want to record audio with your video
Select Record (you should see a countdown before your recording starts) and complete your recording
Once you’ve finished your recording, hover your mouse over the top of the screen and select Stop
Your screen-recording will be automatically pasted into your PowerPoint presentation
You can edit your recording by clicking on your recording and selecting Playback
There may be many different reasons why you want to learn to code. It may be a skill that you want to practice for your degree; it could be a hobby of yours; or your may be interested in developing this skill to enhance your employability.
Knowing how to code is an incredibly valuable skill, but it if you’re new to coding, it may be difficult to know how to make a start. Luckily, LinkedIn Learning, an online learning platform which all students and staff at AU have free access to (learn how to get started), have launched a new partnership with CoderPad.
Take a look at the video below to learn more about these challenges:
Blogpost by Laurie Stevenson (Student Digital Champion)
As part of a project organised by the Student Digital Champions, we will be publishing a weekly series of interviews with graduates of Aberystwyth University about their use of digital skills in their lives since graduating, whether that is in their current job, Postgraduate studies, or career pathway. We’ll also hear about the skills they wish they had developed further before they left Aberystwyth University.
We will be releasing four profiles this semester, one a week on Thursdays, and the other half will be released in Semester 2. The first profile will be published this Thursday and will be available from this page on the Digital Skills Blog, but in the meantime take a look at the JISC Digital Capabilities Framework, the framework we follow here at AU, to learn what digital skills are and why they matter to you.
Keeps your eyes peeled on Thursday for our first profile!
Sometimes, you may need to set some time aside to concentrate on a particular piece of work, but how can you show other people who are also online that you’re busy? Microsoft Teams allows you to set your status to Do not disturb, meaning that you won’t be interrupted by Teams notifications or calls (unless you choose to receive these from specific people), but it can be too easy to forget to turn this status off once you’re finished.
Luckily, Teams allows you to set your status for a set duration. Take a look at the video below or follow these instructions:
Open MS Teams and click on your profile picture
Click on your current status
Choose Do not Disturb (or whichever status you want to appear)
Choose for how long you want this status to appear
Cysill is part of a language software package called Cysgliad that you can download on your PC, and Cysill will be able to identify and correct Welsh-language errors in your text. You can use the online version of Cysill, but you can check your text much easier if you download the app (how do I do that?).
Once you’ve downloaded the Cysill app, take a look at the video below or follow these instructions:
Open the Cysill app and your Word document (or wherever your Welsh-language text is located)
Highlight the text you want Cysill to check
Type Ctrl+Alt+W on your keyboard (this will copy and paste your text directly into Cysill)
Check all the errors that the app suggests need changing
Click Cywiro (Correct) if you’re happy with a correction that the app suggests
Once you’ve worked through all the suggestions, the app will automatically copy and paste the corrected text back into your Word document
Blogpost by Jeffrey Clark (Student Digital Champion)
Like Microsoft Word, PowerPoint is another Microsoft application you’ve probably used before. Planning for delivering a presentation can be daunting and even a frightening task for some, as not only do you have to speak in front of your fellow students, but your PowerPoint presentation will also be on full display. But, have no fear as this blogpost will give you some valuable tips and tricks to help turn a good presentation into a GREAT presentation!
Tip 1: Inserting Excel data into PowerPoint
If your presentation requires you to show data from an existing Microsoft Excel document, there is an easy way to display it within PowerPoint.
On the slide you want your data to appear on, go to Insert > Object
From the Insert Object window, select Create from file > Browse > then select the Microsoft Excel file where the chart you want to include is located > OK
This will automatically insert both the data and chart from your Microsoft Excel document
You can edit this data directly within your PowerPoint document by double-clicking on the chart on your slide
Click outside of the chart when you are finished, and PowerPoint will produce a chart with your Excel data!