4 Ways to Up Your Tech Game in 2016

Learn new skills and access helpful tools with Duke OIT

Duke's Office of Information Technology offers plenty of tools to upgrade tech use in 2016.
Duke's Office of Information Technology offers plenty of tools to upgrade tech use in 2016.

While plenty of people turn their attention to scales and waistlines at the start of each New Year, there’s also cause to take a look at keyboard strokes, shortcuts and technological knowhow.

With digital trends and skills always changing, now is good of a time as any to upgrade your knowledge with the help of Duke’s Office of Information Technology, which provides free programs and leaning opportunities for faculty and staff.

“There's a fantastic suite of tools available to the Duke community and lots of dedicated IT professionals who can help,” said Matt Royal, an IT analyst with OIT Collaborative Services. “There's a wealth of essential software available for download from the OIT website and lots of other in-person resources.”

Here are some free and easy ways to enhance professional development with technology in 2016. 

50 GB of Free Storage

All faculty, staff and students have free access to Duke’s Box, a cloud-based storage and collaboration service that allows users to access, store and share content securely with Duke and non-Duke users - anywhere, anytime, on any device. To access Duke’s Box, users only need an active NetID or Duke email address. 

Among the program’s features, users have:

  • Up to 50 gigabytes of storage
  • Can upload files up to 15 gigabytes
  • Track document changes with versioning
  • Lock files to guarantee single user editing

For more information about Duke’s Box and training tips, visit the OIT website.

Brown Bag It and Learn

During fall and spring semesters, OIT offers the Learn IT @ Lunch series, a collection of free, one-hour sessions covering a variety of technology-related topics. Participants hear from Duke experts on things like video production, computer security and more.

No registration is needed to join the classes, which kickoff the spring schedule Jan. 20 with tips on how to design and promote digital signs at Duke. Upcoming classes highlight 3D printing on Jan. 27, renting video and photography equipment on Feb. 10 and a discussion of technology and sustainability on Feb. 24. A full schedule is available online.

Sharing IT Knowledge

This fall, faculty and staff submitted nearly 100 tech tips to OIT as part of the office’s “We’re in IT Together” campaign. Some of the best suggestions are now compiled on the OIT website and categorized into tips for Windows, Mac and mobile, as well as general tips for all users and advanced tips for pros.

The OIT service desk selected the best tech tip of all submissions, which was offered by Justin Fleming, an IT analyst with Duke Health Technology Solutions. He noted an easy way to find network information for Mac users.

“Find it all in a jiffy by holding the option key and clicking on the Wi-Fi menu in the menu bar,” Fleming suggested. “You'll see IP address info, Mac address info, and details about your wired and wireless network connectivity.”

Video Tutorials

Want to learn how to use computer programs or enhance skills? From anywhere at any time, the Duke community can tap into thousands of business, creative, education and tech topics on lynda.com.

In 2015, more than 2,000 Duke faculty, staff and students used lynda.com, which offers courses in Microsoft Office, Adobe Creative Suite, video editing and more. Some of the most-accessed training includes courses on HTML, app development and database-building tools.

Duke community members can start learning by accessing lynda.com through the OIT website. All that’s needed is a valid NetID.