The University of San Francisco: Information Technology Services
Information Technology
Center for Instruction and Technology

Center for Instruction and Technology
CIT Quarterly Newsletter - Spring 2014

CIT Faculty Tech Intensives

Tech IntensivesThe CIT is sponsoring a three-day tech intensive program to introduce instructional technologies to full-time and adjunct faculty. The goal of program is to provide an opportunity for faculty to learn about technologies that may address an instructional challenge experienced in one or more courses. Twenty faculty will be selected. Participants will receive an iPad Air (16 GB) or iPad mini (32 GB) in exchange for their participation. 

Dates for Tech Intensives: May 27-29 or June 3-5  from 10:00am to 3:00pm.  For details, visit the information page.

Video in the Classroom? Media Services can Help You.

Media servicesMedia Services provides video recording and online media posting for faculty, staff and student-led organizations, by request. Our services enhance learning and build community at USF by sharing video in classrooms of lectures and student presentations, documenting special events, commencement ceremonies, visiting luminaries and informative panels and conferences at the USF main campus. 

Classroom recordings may be posted to Canvas, with viewing limited to class participants. Event recordings might be live-streamed or edited and shared on various University web pages or distributed via DVD.

Media Services' reservations can be made by faculty and staff via the self-service request system accessible from the USF Calendar tab, in USFConnect. Recording reservations may also be made as part of event planning with the Events Management Office. We confirm reservations until we are at-capacity, and staff them on a first-come, first-served basis with the majority of reservations staffed by our student technicians.

For more information:

CANVAS Learning Management System (Blackboard retires 8/31/14)

Canvas logoHave you ever wondered how Instructure makes product decisions for Canvas.To decide which feature improvements make it into upcomming Canvas builds, Instructure Canvas gets feedback from their community forum, feedback from clients currently using Canvas, as well as feedback from their own product advisory board.They also research features developed by other LMS companies, like Blackboard. Next, all ideas are reviewed by product managers and developers. Selected features are incorporated in the test or beta version of USF Canvas. If they make it past the beta phase they are added to the production build which is updated everything three weeks. If you have an idea for a new feature you can add your voice here. To get an overall idea of what Canvas will look like in the future, check out

Working on the iPad revisited!

iPad air and miniIn this article, we'll introduce some Microsoft Office-like apps that offer ways to create documents and to connect to common cloud storage services so that you can move files on/off the iPad. After checking out several apps we found 4 that came out on top: Kingsoft KS Office (Free), Office2 HD from Byte Squared ($7.99) Polaris Office ($19.99) and Apple's iWork suite (Pages, Numbers and Keynote, all $9.99 each). All 4 have the ability to create the basic Microsoft Office type documents (Word, Excel and PowerPoint) and to access and save to cloud services like Google Drive, Dropbox and Box. There were varying degrees of functionality with the free KS Office app having the least and the iWork suite and Polaris Office having the most features. It's definitely not Office on your PC or Mac but there are enough tools included to actually get some work done. A final note is that Microsoft finally released Word, Powerpoint and Excel for the iPad as separate apps like the iWork suite.  The apps interface is like Office 2013 and free for vewing documents.  To edit or create documents, you will need a subscription to Office 365. For more information on any of these apps or on iPad functionality be sure and contact us at the CIT!

Google Forms

Google formsGoogle Forms is a very friendly tool for creating forms such as RSVPs, surveys, and request forms. Google has recently added new functionality to Forms, including progress bars, data validation, YouTube integration, and custom messages. 

The progress bar allow users a sense of how much a survey still needs to be completed. Data validation is currently only available for Text, Paragraph text, and Checkboxes questions. Each question type has its own validation settings. Additionally, users can also upload an image to their form with a title and alternate text. Videos can be embedded by providing a YouTube video’s URL, or by using the search box to search for a video. Captions and titles can be added to the video; and users can position it using the alignment options, or resizing by pulling on one of the video's corners. Attend a CIT Google Forms class to find out more.

Tech Trends

Lecture and Personal Capture

Need a solution for recording an in-class lecture or flipping a lecture using screen casting software? USF has partnered with Echo360 to provide a solution. Read more about these options from the CIT'slecture capture page

iClicker Alternatives

There are free alternatives to using iClickers to add real-time interaction and engagement in the classroom. 

Socrative: Socrative is a smart student response system that empowers teachers to engage their classrooms through a series of educational exercises and games via smartphones, laptops, and tablets.

NearPod: Engage your students through interactive presentations, embed questions, and assess student comprehension using the intuitive reporting tools.  

Another Successful USF Tech Fair 

Tech Fair 2014_2967

The CIT hosted the Annual Tech Fair in the McLaren Complex on Tuesday, February 18th from 10am-2pm. The University's technology partners such as Apple, Turnitin, Canvas, Lenovo, and many more were present to answer and offer demonstrations of their technology solutions. Panel discussions and presentations on various topics were scheduled throughout the day to provide new ideas and upcoming trends for teaching and learning. [View photo gallery]

Training Opportunities
Whether you are faculty or staff, we surely have the right class for you! Visit our Training Calendar and register online. Our training calendar is updated quarterly. Group and individual training opportunities are available. If you have any questions or comments about the newsletter, please contact us at

blackboard retires




Online Training

Access hundreds of online tutorials on topics ranging from Microsoft Office training to Adobe design products. 
New classes include InDesign Secrets and Mac OS X Mavericks. Access through USF Connect, under the
Learning Technologies tab. 

If you have any questions or comments about the newsletter, please contact us at