Dominik Lukeš

By Dominik Lukeš

How tech works Fridays: New training series on Zoom, Canvas, Office 365 and more


cogs and gearsThese sessions are not how-to sessions. They look at the mental models of the designers of various digital tools to help you conceptualise what you can do with them.

Each session will try to explore how the tool or tools in question are built up from the ground up. What are the building blocks and what are some useful metaphors. A sort of grammar and vocabulary of digital tools.

Starting to learn a new tool – even one that saves you time – slows you down at first. Each session will also be accompanied by a worksheet to help you develop enough fluency, so that using the tool will eventually not get in the way of the things you’re trying to do with it.

Zoom refresher: Principles, best practice tips, new features and more

Fri, 15 Jan 2021, 13:00-14:30 Register

This is a session for people who have used Zoom at least as participants in a meeting. It will not cover the complete basics but even complete beginners can benefit. It will cover:

  • Effective ways of sharing your screen without interruption
  • Ways of engaging students in collaborative activities
  • Using different whiteboards and other ways of presenting content
  • Tips and tricks for using break out rooms
  • Using Zoom to record videos
  • Collaborating with others on Zoom running sessions
  • New Zoom features for late 2020 and 2021


How Canvas works: Understanding the building blocks and how to make the most of them

Fri, 22 Jan 2021, 13:00-14:30 Register

This session does not replace the Canvas training available from the CTL or the Canvas Guide, it looks at ways of conceptualising what Canvas can do. It will look at the mental models of the designers and show how you can map them onto your needs. It will also show the limits of Canvas and how to work around them.

  • How is Canvas different from a regular webpage
  • Course as the organising principle of Canvas
  • How Canvas thinks about its users
  • How Canvas thinks about content sharing and presentation
  • How Canvas imagines people can interact with each other
  • Hidden productivity accelerators in Canvas
  • Hidden inconsistencies in Canvas


How Office 365 works: Rethinking file creation, collaboration, and automation

Fri, 29 Jan 2021, 13:00-14:30 Register

This session will want to take you beyond passive creation of documents. In the last few years, Office has completely changed some of the most fundamental assumptions we have about things like files and documents.

This has opened up new vistas for collaboration and productivity and made Office a great tool for educators. This session will cover:

  • What does it mean to have a file in Office 365?
  • The change between shared drives, USB sticks
  • Differences between Teams, Sharepoint and Onedrive
  • Office 365 vs Dropbox and Google Docs
  • The power of lists and the end of tracking spreadsheets
  • The power of automation: the death of email attachments
  • Mobile apps and other less well-known tools
  • Inconsistencies and annoyances in Office 365
  • Tips for using Office 365 with students


How tech works: How to understand what software designers had in mind and make the most of it

Fri, 5 Feb 2021, 13:00-14:30 Register

This session is for every intelligent user who has ever felt the need for an idiot’s guide. It is intended to start you on a journey of self-sufficiency and problem solving. It will challenge the assumption that software must be intuitive and explore ways of developing useful intuitions.

  • Nothing is intuitive: Intuition as lack of a knowledge gap
  • Affordances, how to find them and how to develop them
  • Metaphors and mental models used by software designers and power users
  • Identifying and dealing with leaky abstractions
  • Idioms are better than metaphors: Going from knowing the grammar and vocabulary to fluency
  • Why working memory is the biggest obstacle to being an effective computer user
  • The best software is designed for intermediate users. How do you become one?



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