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Quick Tips: Get technology help online

Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 10.29.12 AMThe Service Management Portal makes it easier to explore the IT services available for students, faculty, and staff. You can also submit issues and questions to the IT Service Desk online in addition to contacting them by phone and email.

Just visit the Portal and log in with your Penn State user ID and password, then click “Submit a Help Request.”

Ask a Penn State student: Victoria Vandergeest

We’re always curious about what students think about the technology available at Penn State, so we figured we’d go straight to the source!


VictoriaFull Name: Victoria Vandergeest
Major/Minor: Biobehavioral Health
Year: Senior




1. What technology at Penn State do you use the most? 

As a Penn State student having access to a number of different technology resources, I would have to say that Penn State’s ANGEL website is one I use the most. From my first year to now my senior year, it has always been extremely helpful for me to utilize this site to keep track of assignments and due dates as well as keeping in contact with my professors.

2. What’s your favorite technology service you have access to as a student? 

Like I mentioned previously, I most definitely use ANGEL the most out of anything. ANGEL is my favorite because it gives you the ability to keep up with your course out of the classroom and well as following up with what happened in the classroom that day.

3. What technology resources do you wish you would have known about as a first year student?

After my sophomore year, I started becoming familiar with databases Penn State offers online. I wish I had known about these online data bases since my first year in order to use them for papers, projects, assignments, etc. Even though I didn’t know about them right away, they have become significantly useful when doing research in my courses.

4. What Penn State technologies do you recommend students take advantage of?

I would recommend students to start becoming familiar with Google Docs. This is a technology available to anyone online through your Gmail account. I have noticed a good number of professors using Google Docs when it comes to group projects and assignments. It is a easy and efficient way for students to work on an assignment together and all participate at the same time as well as make changes together.

(Students can also access Box at Penn State, which allows for online storage as well as real time collaboration.)

5. Are there any new technologies available to students? If so, what are they? How do they work?

In the previous question I talked about Google Docs, which I am new to myself. I have used Google Docs in the past two years to work on group projects as well as assignments due in the classroom. It is linked to your Gmail account which also makes it easier to communicate to others right away while working on your project. This is also useful for writing and turning in papers. Your professor can view it as soon as your post it and is able to make changes and edit it from their own computer, which you can view instantly.


Want to be interviewed for “Ask a Penn State student?” Email the Click! blog at

Quick Tips: myLinks at State

MyLinks at StateVendant Tiwari, a sophomore in the College of Engineering, has created an app to make life at Penn State just a little bit easier for his fellow students. The app, “myLinks at State,” allows Penn State students to access all of the University’s websites and services in just one spot.

There are 11 tabs on myLinks at State–with everything from ANGEL to eLion, and even a GPA calculator. There is also a tab for University Health Services, which gives students a quick entry to Penn State’s health website. The app features a campus map that will accommodate the needs of newer students who are unfamiliar with the campus.

myLinks at State is completely free and is available to all Penn State students. Download it today from the Apple Store!

Learn to create a website in 8 easy steps

Adobe’s web evangelist, Paul Trani, has an online video course that takes you through each step of creating a website with Dreamweaver CC 2015. The tutorial is available as part of at Penn State.

This course is helpful for students who are looking to create an elaborate, sturdy, and responsive online portfolio for future employers to view. The tutorial is broken up into eight sections, all about 10-30 minutes long, and is built for beginners, but constructed to shape experts.

The first section, Understanding Website Design, helps you determine what the goal of your website is going to be. Do you want to sell products? Exhibit your work? Or even display the works of others? Regardless of what it is, Trani says you need to pre-plan the content and design before you get started. Once your website-epiphany has been pin-pointed, you will then learn the basics and fundamentals of HTML (Hyptertext Markup Language) and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets).

The next section is called, Creating a Webpage. This section hones in on the interface itself, teaching you how to navigate the panels and tabs on Dreamweaver CC 2015. Once you are familiar with the software, Trani demonstrates content insertion with HTML.

You will then migrate over to the third section, Stylizing Content. Here, Trani teaches you how to design your website with CSS. You will learn how to change the font and color of texts, add photos and videos, and even manipulate those texts and media. Previous knowledge with Photoshop is required since Trani does not teach you how to use that specific software in this course. Photoshop tutorials are also available on

The fourth section, Adding Navigation and Pages, displays the steps it takes to add links to your website. Having multiple pages on a website makes for an elaborate experience, but it needs to be easily navigable. Trani takes you through that process of inserting smooth transitions.

The next section is titled, Creating a Flexible Layout. This section teaches you how to make your website user-friendly. Each user will access your website differently, whether it be through a tablet, desktop, or cell phone. Your website will be sized to fit any device after this section’s tutorial!

The sixth section, Adding Media, teaches you how to implement animation, video content, and add social media widgets. If you are looking to build an online portfolio, this section is crucial to watch! Having links on your portfolio to your social media is like the concept of adding previous job descriptions to your resume—the information is vital!

Creating a Contact Form is the next section. This takes you through each step of adding your contact information to the website—also crucial information to add to an online portfolio.

The last section is Testing and Uploading. Trani shows you how to test the website and make sure it gets picked up by search engines. And finally, you will learn how to upload your website to make it public!

If you are a student looking to create sort of an “online resume,” but you are not tech-savvy, this course is just the thing for you! Take on the challenge today!

Keep up with software updates

lynda1There is a constant rise of new technologies and ever-changing software updates that come with it. As a college student, your future career planning and assignments have probably been stunted by the unfamiliarity of new software. Programs like Adobe, Avid, ProTools, Excel, and Photoshop are always needed for college students’ every day life; but how are you supposed to understand the ins and outs of that software if it is consistently changing? And where do you ask for help?

Good news – is the source of all technology-related answers. is an online library that provides students and even professors with software, design, and business tutorials. The library is updated frequently so it allows you to stay current with new software. The website features hundreds of instructional videos that answer very specific questions related to all things technology!  The wonderful benefit of these videos is they are short and to the point. Particular questions can be answered in just a few minutes with

The website also offers online courses at no additional cost that will better you on a personal level and in the business world. These courses are similar to TED talks in that they offer in-depth speeches by leading professionals in a wide array of fields. You will be able to improve your pre-existing knowledge, learn to effectively communicate, and broaden your skills online.

Users are able to personalize their profile on, which makes the experience even more obliging. You are allotted unlimited spots to add videos to your own playlist. If you watched a video you liked, but forgot to save it to your playlist, no worries; your profile includes a ‘course history’ tab. There is another tab titled, ‘recommended,’ which suggests videos for you based on your video searches – caution: that tab is very addicting! is a trusted training resource online available for students and professors from universities all over the country. And the best part is, as a student or staff member you can access it for no additional cost!

So show those software updates who’s boss and get started today at!

Ask a Penn State student: Mike McCarren

We’re always curious about what students think about the technology available at Penn State, so we figured we’d go straight to the source!


Full Name: Michael McCarrenClose up of Mike McCarren
Major/Minor: IST Integration and Application Option / Security and Risk Analysis
Year: Senior
Extra Curricular/Clubs: IST Consulting Group, Students Engaging Students

What technology at Penn State do you use the most? 
I use Google Docs for almost every class I have at Penn State. It’s great for working in teams as it allows multiple users to collaborate by working on the same document in real time from different devices.

(Students can also access Box at Penn State, which allows for online storage as well as real time collaboration.)

What’s your favorite technology service you have access to as a student? 
Penn State WebApps is an extremely useful service for when a student needs to use an application that they do not have installed on their computer. With a Penn State Access Account, students can use applications like Microsoft Office free of charge through their Internet browser.

What technology resources do you wish you would have known about as a first year student? 
In IST there are weekly free tutoring services offered through the IST Peer Tutoring Program. These sessions allow for students to get help from other students who have had success in IST classes previously. It gives students the opportunity to work through problems and further understand concepts from class.

What Penn State technologies do you recommend students take advantage of? is a website available to Penn State students which provides hours of online training videos on various technologies. You can use it to expand your skill set in applications like Excel, PowerPoint, video editing, and more.

Are there any new technologies available to students? If so, what are they? How do they work?
The One Button Studio is a technology resource available at various locations on the Penn State Campus. It allows students to capture video footage in an extremely simple way and can be very useful when creating presentations. All of the video is saved to a flash drive where it can then be easily edited or uploaded.


Want to be interviewed for “Ask a Penn State student?” Email the Click! blog at

Free Workshops and Events in July!

The entire month of July is swarming with workshops! These summer events include training on project management, database design concepts, competency-based learning, the use of new software updates, and much more. If you are interested in these workshops, but don’t want to miss out on a day by the pool – just sign up for classes online. On and offline workshops are free to Penn State students and faculty!

One event happening in July is the “Network Of Trainers Summer Event.” It consists of seminars hosted by Penn States top speakers. They will cover a wide array of topics such as tracks on technology, training delivery, instructional design, the science of learning, and multiple other relevant subject matters. The event will be held on Wednesday, July 15, 2015 from 8:30 A.M. – 4:30 P.M. at the University Libraries in Stage College. Not only is it free, but it also comes with a complimentary breakfast and lunch! Don’t miss out!

Registration is done online at: 

Another must-attend event is the “Learning Design Summer Camp.” This runs from July 16 – 17 and will be inside the Kern Graduate Building at University Park. All aspects of design process will be covered at the workshop, as well as numerous other informative topics. The theme this year is “Past, Present, Future,” with the slogan, “know the past, maximize the present, and invent the future.” This free event includes coffee each morning along with one lunch per day.

Registration is done online at:

July is offering events almost every day with over half of them online. University Park will be hosting workshops on campus like Accessibility in Word and PowerPoint 2013, iMovie: Video Authoring Basics, Access 2013: Database Design Concepts, Photoshop CS6: The Basics, and more.

If a quick summer session is something you are considering, head on over to the link below for more event and registration information!

Quick Tips: Microsoft Office

The end of the academic year is quickly approaching, which means it’s time to start thinking about what to do before you leave. In addition to studying for finals and turning in the last papers of the semester, plan ahead for next year and get a copy of Microsoft Office…for no additional cost!

Students can download copies of Microsoft Office Pro Plus 2013 for Windows, Office for Mac 2011 and an upgrade for Windows 8.1 by going to and selecting the appropriate student option. Choose the software title you’d like to download (you can get all three!), then click “Add to cart.” Follow the instructions to complete the download process and voila! The software’s yours!

You will only have access to the software download and access key on the website for 31 days after you agree to the terms and conditions. After you download the file, you will need to keep a copy of the file and access key in case you need them in the future.

Penn State strongly recommends a backup solution, such as cloud storage or an external hard drive, to preserve your product key and downloaded files.

If you have questions or need assistance while downloading or installing the software, contact Kivuto for support at 866-435-4722.

Meet the Squirrel Whisperer of Happy Valley

Our squirrels are so awesome even National Public Radio (NPR) knows it!


A squirrel at Penn State University has become a social media sensation. Emily Reddy of WPSU reports that undergraduate student Mary Krupa discovered the squirrels on campus were so tame that they’d eat from her hand, soon putting hats on them and even setting up a Facebook page, which now has more “likes” than the school’s mascot.


Listen to the story below.

Students advised to take action after extensive online theft

As widely reported in the news, a Russian crime ring has allegedly stolen more than 1.2 billion username and password combinations, leaving the personal information of a large number of Internet users exposed. The stolen records, discovered by a security firm based in Milwaukee, include confidential information taken from roughly 420,000 websites varying in size and scope.

At this time there is no indication Penn State has been affected by this breach. University IT staff continue to monitor Penn State systems and services for any sign of attack.

The University advises students, faculty and staff who have used their Penn State Access Account password for such non-Penn State services as personal email, financial institutions or online shopping websites, to change their Penn State password immediately to protect the privacy of their confidential information. Users can change their passwords by visiting

Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to change all other passwords to further protect secure information. University guidelines for creating and saving strong, easy-to-remember passwords are available at

Penn State is dedicated to protecting student, faculty and staff information. Two-Factor Authentication (2FA), a security protocol used to verify user identification, is being explored for wider University implementation in the future. This protocol adds an additional step to the traditional login system (username and password only), requiring users to verify their identity with an additional credential. This robust, easy-to-use authentication service will provide an additional effective layer of protection to University information.

If you have questions or need assistance changing your password, contact the IT Service Desk at 814-865-4357.