Author Archives: Cynthia Slater

LIS Workshops for February-March: Drupal and Video-based Learning

Our current workshop schedule is now available.  Visit go/lisworkshops to view offerings for February and March and sign up for topics of interest.  You’ll find Drupal introductions that cover basic web site maintenance skills, as well as work sessions where you can get help with specific questions about how to improve your departmental web site. We are also offering several opportunities to learn how to access and use  lynda.com  — Middlebury’s fabulous online learning resource that uses short videos to help you acquire new business and technology skills.

Lynda’s recently added courses include such varied topics as “JavaScript and AJAX,” “Writing Fundamentals:  The Craft of Story,” and “Office 2013 New Features.”  Watch a single video or work through an entire course, but be warned — it’s addictive.

Education & Training Team Rings in 2013 with New Membership

The Education & Training team started the new year by welcoming four new members:  Jamie Carroll (HelpDesk/Service Requests), Jeff Lahaie (Central Systems & Network Services), Ian McBride (Web Development) and Cindy Peet (Enterprise Reporting).  Brenda Ellis (Research & Instruction), our valued link to student information literacy efforts and more, continues to bring her expertise to the group and Pij Slater (HelpDesk/Service Requests) carries on as leader of the merry band, along with sponsor, Mary Backus.

We offer a round of thanks to the following outgoing members for their efforts in the group since its inception in 2010:  Mack Roark, Andy Wentink and Kim Ehritt (College Advancement).

 

January-February LIS Workshops & New lynda.com Courses

Our current workshop schedule is now available.  Visit go/lisworkshops to view offerings for January and February and sign up for topics of interest.  You’ll find a chance to attend a Drupal introduction covering basic web site maintenance skills, as well as a several work sessions where you can get help with specific questions about how to revise and improve your departmental web site.

Do you prefer to learn on your own?  Check out lynda.com  — a fabulous online learning resource that uses short videos to help you acquire new business and technology skills.   Recently added new courses include “Mac OS X Mountain Lion Essential Training,” “Conflict Resolution Fundamentals” and “Creating Photo Books with iPhoto.”  Watch a single video or work through an entire course, but be warned — it’s addictive.

LIS Workshops & Professional Development Offerings

There is still time to acquire new skills before the year is out!  Visit go/lisworkshops to view our workshop schedule and get signed up for topics of interest.  You’ll find a few more Drupal work sessions where you can get help with specific questions about how to revise and improve your departmental web site, as well as one more chance to attend an introduction covering basic web site maintenance skills.

We’re also offering another opportunity to get acquainted with  lynda.com — a fabulous online learning resource that uses short videos to help you acquire new business and technology skills.   Recent course additions include “InDesign Secrets,” “Managing Your Career” and “Word 2010 Power Shortcuts.”  Watch a single video or work through an entire course — either way it’s professional development that doesn’t cost you or your department a dime.

Does My Computer Need More Than Sophos Anti-Virus?

Since the College’s switch from Symantec to Sophos anti-virus software, other  anti-spyware/malware products should no longer be installed on computers as they can conflict with Sophos and cause performance issues.  In the past, LIS recommended the use of products such as Malwarebytes, Spybot and Ad-Aware; this is no longer the case.  Why this change?  Newer anti-virus/anti-spyware products typically include a feature called “on-access” scanning that watches all changes to files on your computer’s hard drive.  Sophos performs on-access monitoring so the use of additional programs such as Malwarebytes can slow down your computer or cause it to crash due to conflicts between the competing scans.

If you have additional av/malware software installed and need assistance with their removal — or aren’t sure and have questions — please contact the Technology HelpDesk at 802-443-2200.  For security resources, Sophos FAQs, virus alerts and more, visit go/infosec.

Stressed out?

Notes from “Stress, Your Brain, & Productivity,” a go/learning workshop led by Porter Knight, Productivity Vermont, October 10, 2012.

The main point of the workshop was that understanding how your brain responds to stress can allow you to improve your health and increase your productivity. Apparently, LIS is sometimes not the most tranquil place to work. LISers comprised a good portion of the audience!  Here’s what we learned.

When bad things (surprise deadlines, dissatisfied customers, arguments with colleagues…) occur, here’s what happens:

  • blood leaves prefrontal cortex, and decision-making skills falter
  • brain applies a filter that encourages you to see everything in a negative light; focus of attention narrows, prevents you from “zooming out” and seeing alternatives
  • you become preoccupied and may “check out” causing you to miss important details and info
  • blood flows to the memory/emotion part of your brain, causing you to make accidental connections that are not helpful
  • compromised health due to elevated levels of adrenalin & cortisol
  • brain is chemically dumbed down, forgetfulness for example

One solution: Organization. Create a safety net so that when bad things happen, you have tools in place that help you recover.

What about that bloodflow issue? Acknowledge, then choose to act. This actually reverses the bloodflow! Say, “I’m experiencing stress. Now I choose to…Take a deep breath, use a calm voice, shake it off, spend only 10 more minutes…”  It may help to plan ahead and “write a script” of such responses to have at-the-ready.

The brain uses a lot of energy — “each decision gets harder” because you’ve used up juice.  Here’s how you can fight “brain drain”:

  • Feed it! Eat breakfast, lunch
  • Exercise helps the brain too. It feeds oxygen into the bloodstream, and oxygen carries away the brain’s “trash” (free radicals)
  • Be aware of how your brain functions — save heavy-thinking tasks for times when you’re well-nourished and well-exercised.
  • Schedule times for your intentions & recharging so they will actually happen!
  • Protect yourself by communicating your plan to others.
  • Don’t forget to evaluate your actions for effectiveness.

Solution Summary:

  • Get organized
  • Be mindful — choose/decide.
  • Schedule & protect your intentions.
  • Connect!  Smile.  Put on your friend filter so others are more likely to view you as approachable.

Books:

More (Drupal) Workshops — You Asked; We Added!

Visit go/lisworkshops to view the updated LIS workshop schedule and sign up for sessions of interest.  You’ll find another chance to learn the basics of how to manage a department web site using Drupal, as well as several “work session” opportunities where you can work on your site with someone on hand to answer your questions.

There is still time to sign up for the Oct. 16 Online Learning with lynda.com session.  Lynda is a fabulous video-based online instruction resource available to all Middlebury faculty, staff and students.  If this is news to you (or if you’re not sure what this means), you should attend one of these “get acquainted” sessions — and convince a friend to come along.

LIS October Workshop Schedule Includes Drupal & lynda.com

Pinch yourself.  If you feel something it means you survived the start of the academic year!  Since you’ve done so well it’s time to treat yourself and learn some new skills that will make your life easier.  Check out go/lisworkshops to view our hot-off-the-press workshop schedule and get signed up for topics of interest.

We’re excited to offer several opportunities to get acquainted with  lynda.com — a fabulous online learning resource that uses short videos to help you acquire new skills.  You can work through an entire course (something nice to mention at performance evaluation time!) or watch a single movie for just-in-time learning.  With over 1,400 courses, there is something for everyone.  Recent additions include “Effective Public Speaking” and “Mac OS X Mountain Lion New Features.”

You’ll also find Drupal workshops on our schedule covering the basics of maintaining a departmental web site and work sessions where you can get  help with your specific questions.