Posts about: IT and Digital Skills

Is formatting your dissertation/thesis harder than you expected?

17 July 2017

If you’re struggling with word processing your dissertation/thesis, then you’re not alone. It can be a demanding task, with many students find this aspect of the process more time consuming and stressful than they anticipated. But MS Word provides tools and features that make this task so much easier to manage. You can save time, learn the skills to work more effectively and reduce your anxiety levels too.

Do you know how to…?

  • Create an automatic table of contents for your document headings?
  • Apply Word’s ‘Captions’ for figures and tables, and create automatic listings for them?
  • Apply different page numbering formats to the different parts of your document?
  • Change page orientation mid-document, e.g. to accommodate a large chart?

No? What??? Then you need to check out our handbook and video resources…

Handbook and Videos

These resources focus on the key MS Word tools and features that you should know about and use when Formatting your dissertation/thesis.

Image of video screens

 

Disability Awareness Day, Sunday 16th July

5 July 2017

Did you know that Sunday 16th July is Disability Awareness Day? The world’s largest voluntary-led disability exhibition is held in the grounds of Walton Hall Gardens, Warrington. For more details please see http://www.disabilityawarenessday.org.uk

The University of Salford, and The Library in particular, have many features in place to ensure their services are as accessible as possible. These include mind-mapping software (Inspiration), screen reading (Jaws), and the numerous applications available on My Study Bar – the latter should be available on all networked student pcs. To find out more, including accessible access to the different Library sites, go to http://www.salford.ac.uk/library/help/accessibility

Finding pictures the legal way 3/3

26 June 2017

Welcome to the third in this series on searching for images the legal way. If you missed them, check out part one (using Google image search and Microsoft to find legal images), and part two (safe picture search engines).

Today we’re meeting (possibly) the best colour search engine in the world, also known as the Multicolr Search Engine from TinEye Labs. Use it to search for pictures by colour. This is a fantastic tool, especially if you’re trying to build a colour scheme for a visual piece of work. All the images have a creative commons licence, which means they are going to be fine to reuse in your academic and professional work.

  • Step 1: Select up to five colours
  • Step 2: Adjust the proportion of the colours, if you wish
  • Step 3: Add tags to refine your search. Here I’ve used ‘garden’
  • Enjoy the results. These pictures are OK for you to download and use.

But the TinEye Labs goodness doesn’t stop there. Its second tool to try is the colour extraction tool.

This allows you to take the colours from an image and use them in any way you choose – it would work well if you want to create a colour scheme for an academic poster from an existing picture.

Searching for pictures the legal way 2/3

23 June 2017

Welcome to part two of this series on searching for pictures the legal way. If you missed part one, it’s here. If you know how to do a Google search for an image that’s ‘licenced for reuse’ you’ve made a good start. But sometimes the results from Google alone can be disappointing.

Fortunately, there are many other search engines that are dedicated to finding free-to-use images that are licenced for reuse. My favourite is Pixabay – because it’s powerful and intuitive to use. But there are many others which are worth a try:

Openphoto

Morguefile

Unsplash

Pexels

Creative Commons Search

Flickr Creative Commons

Photopin

Next time: Meet (possibly) the best colour search engine of them all

Finding pictures the legal way (1/3)

21 June 2017

When you’re looking for pictures to illustrate or enhance your academic work, how do you search? Do you ‘copy and paste’ from the internet, as a student recently told me? Or simply type your search term in that old reliable, Google?

Unless you’re careful, searching like this can contravene copyright law and potentially get you into legal trouble. Whenever you find an image through a regular Google search, there’s a good chance that it either:

  • has a license which forbids you to use it, or
  • has no license at all

Assuming that you didn’t ask for prior permission to use the content, it’s illegal to use it if either of these two cases applies.

Fortunately, there are various ways to search for images that are OK to use in your academic work, for presentations and in your professional life. Here are the two simplest ones.

  1. If you want to use Google, here’s how to search for pictures on Google the legal way:
  • Go to Google and type in your search term.
  • Do an image search.
  • Click Tools
  • Click Usage Rights
  • Select ‘licenced for reuse’
  • All the pictures that display are fine for you to use.

2) Another option is to use the inbuilt creative commons image search within Microsoft Word and PowerPoint (in versions 2013 and 2016). From within your document, go to the ‘Insert’ menu on the ribbon and select ‘Online Pictures’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This will take you to a Bing search engine which will return Creative Commons (ie safe to use) images for you.

Sometimes, the results from Google and Microsoft alone may be disappointing. Next time: some alternative safe search engines for pictures that will give you brilliant results.

Introducing the University of Salford App Store

19 April 2017
Nicola Sales

Nicola links you to information about the new University App Store

We’re excited to announce the launch of a brand new University of Salford app store.  There are many apps which can help you with your studies from accessing and organising the information your need, managing your time, preparing for exams, participating in online activities during classes, creating content for your assignments or improving your health and well being to help you with your studies.

There are so many available that the University has brought the most popular apps used at the University of Salford by staff and students into one place so you can quickly and easily search for, and download, the apps that you want.

Check out the app store today to find useful apps to support you with your learning .

You can visit the app store here.

 

Presentations – techniques and tools for success

13 March 2017
Amy Pearson

Amy shares a few techniques and tools for presentations.

Have you been asked to deliver a presentation?

Help is available from Skills for Learning. We have:

  • eLearning
  • Study Guides
  • Workshops
  • Presentation tools

Read on to learn more.

 

eLearning

This short course will help you to learn how to deliver a presentation well and show you some of the things you should try to avoid doing.

Format: eLearning | Duration: 15 minutes | Contains audio

Click to open

 

 

 

 

Study Guides

Poster Presentations [MS Word]

This guide will help you to develop the skills needed to produce a poster presentation that documents the research that you have undertaken including poster design, the selection of appropriate font and colour, and the ability to give a clear and concise oral presentation within a limited time.

Presentation Skills [MS Word]

You will probably have to give at least one presentation during your time at University. It’s also a skill you might need in your chosen career, or you could be asked to give a presentation at a future job interview. Many people find this a daunting prospect, but there are some things you can do to make the experience a little less painful. This guide will run through some tips to help you do your best in presentations.

 

Workshops

Confidence Building for Public Speaking

Starts: 16 Mar 2017 2:00 PM
Finishes: 16 Mar 2017 4:00 PM
Venue: Peel 330
Remaining places: 24
A practical session to help take some of the nerves out of public speaking and improve your delivery.

Book now…

 

Tools

Fancy doing something a bit different? Try out one of these presentation tools. (Note: we do not provide support in the use of the these tools.)

Microsoft Sway

Sway logo

Microsoft Sway can be used to create interactive presentations and websites to share your reports, personal stories, projects and much more. There are also some good video tutorials. Go to the Sway website to get started.

 

ThingLink

With ThingLink you can make your images come alive with video, text, images, links and music. You can download the app or access it online. Simply go to the ThingLink website to get started.

 

Padlet

You use Padlet to post text, video, images or links onto a virtual wall. It is such a versitle tool that it could be used to present and create, communicate and share or collect and organise! Simply go to the Padlet website to get started.

 

Prezi

Make visually engaging presentations that zoom in and out; and show how ideas are related to each other. Go to the Prezi website to have a go.

 

 

 

 

Create. Imagine the possibilities.

20 January 2017

create

Welcome to the final day of national Bring Your Own Device for Learning Week. Here at Salford we are offering a short online course to help you make the most of your mobile device, as well as on campus activities all week.

Day five

Today’s theme is creating – in particular how to use quizzes and surveys in your teaching and learning. Feel free to pop along to Mary Seacole, room 136, between 12:00 and 13:00 to join in.

A great way to explore learning is through ‘making’ – meaning how you can use devices and applications to develop original and meaningful outputs as an individual or within groups. There are so many ways you can do this; here are some we’ve come across:

Creating presentations
HaikuDeck
Prezi

Word clouds
Wordle
Tagul
worditout

Creating stories
Story Jumper
Storify

Films
Vimeo
Vine

 

For more apps, check out this creating shelf.

 

Thanks for participating this week. Don’t forget the twitter chat this evening, between 20:00 and 21:00 (UK time) to share what you’ve learned. Check out: #byod4lchat

 

 

Want to get your device set up for learning? Try our online guide

Need some human help? Turn up with your device at Clifford Whitworth library, first floor, between 12 and 2, Monday to Friday. No need to book, pop along with your device and we’ll help you get started.

 

Collaborate. Share the load.

19 January 2017

collaborate

Welcome to day 4 of national Bring Your Own Device for Learning Week. Here at Salford we are offering a short online course to help you make the most of your mobile device, as well as on campus activities all week. There’s no need to book, just follow the link below and participate as much or as little as you like.

Day four

Today’s theme is collaborating – how to work more effectively and crowdsourcing content using online collaborative tools. Come along to Maxwell, room 819, between 13:00 and 14:00 to find out more.

These apps can help you to work with others in a number of ways:

Video conferencing
Skype
Google+
Blackboard collaborate

File sharing
Evernote
Onedrive
Dropbox

Group work
Trello

Idea generating
Padlet
lino

 

For more apps, check out this collaborating shelf.

Don’t forget the twitter chat this evening, between 20:00 and 21:00 (UK time) to share your experiences so far. Check out: #byod4lchat

Can’t join in but want to get your device set up for learning? Try our online guide

Need some human help? Turn up with your device at Clifford Whitworth library, first floor, between 12 and 2, Monday to Friday. No need to book, pop along with your device and we’ll help you get started.

 

 

Curate. Don’t drown in a sea of information. Organize.

18 January 2017

curate

Welcome to day 3 of national Bring Your Own Device for Learning Week. Here at Salford we are offering a short online course to help you make the most of your mobile device, as well as on campus activities all week. There’s no need to book, just follow the link below and participate as much or as little as you like.

Day three

Today’s theme is curating – how to stay on top of the latest developments in your area, and how you can organise your documents, ideas and notes. Drop in to Mary Seacole, room 187, between 12:00 and 13:00 today to find out more.

There’s so much information, it can become overwhelming. Why not explore ways of using your devices and applications to filter, store, organise and manage information effectively?

Note taking
Evernote
One Note

Document reader
Feedly (helps you keep on top of news and literature in your field)

Bookmarking
Pocket (save webpages to view later, even without an internet connection)

Referencing
RefMe
Mendleley

For more apps, check out this curating shelf.

Don’t forget the twitter chat this evening, between 20:00 and 21:00 (UK time) to share your experiences so far. Check out: #byod4lchat

Can’t join in but want to get your device set up for learning? Try our online guide

Need some human help? Turn up with your device at Clifford Whitworth library, first floor, between 12 and 2, Monday to Friday. No need to book, pop along with your device and we’ll help you get started.