Six ways to discover new digital tools

Fiona Philip
Wednesday 4 January 2023

Wondering whether you could make better use of the technology at the University? In 2019, the University invested in a new role to help staff understand what digital tools could support them in their roles. Since then, we’ve completed 150 IT inductions with new staff members and have worked with teams from across the University to adopt new tools and ways of working. Find out how you can get involved below.

#1. Book an IT induction or refresher

For all new staff that use University systems, an IT colleague will arrange a one-to-one 45-minute induction, tailoring this as required.

Feedback from inductions: 

“As a new start to the university, it was absolutely invaluable having Fiona by my side and there were several things that she was able to help me with which I would otherwise have struggled.”

Administrator, School of Earth & Environmental Science

“Fiona’s flexibility to adapt to my needs rather than running down a pre-set agenda”

Head of Engagement with Research 

#2. Join the Microsoft 365 Community 

We’ve set up a Microsoft Team for you to promote which tools you use in your department and learn about new and existing Microsoft features. Benefits of joining the Microsoft 365 user community: 

  • Be part of a community of over 500 members where you can learn and ask questions through Microsoft Teams. 
  • Attend in-person sessions that interest you. 
  • Improve productivity and departmental business-as-usual around communication, meetings, collaboration etc. 
  • Request further engagement activity for your area. 
  • Access helpful video guides demonstrating how to use or set up new tools.
Join the Microsoft 365 User Community

#3. Attend a fortnightly drop-in session

We run a variety of online and in-person sessions for staff to attend.

Walter Bower House drop-ins

We hold regular fortnightly drop-in sessions in Walter Bower House to discuss different topics and allow staff to exchange ways of working.  The sessions only last for around 20 minutes but staff are free to stay to ask us anything. 

Feedback from sessions: 

“These drop-in sessions are great for picking up new tips in short bite-sized chunks.” 

Colleagues from OSDS (Organisational and Staff Development Services)

Cuppa Teams online

Like our in person drop-in sessions, Cuppa Teams mirrors the content from these fortnightly sessions, but online via Teams, making sure those who could not attend in-person sessions are also given the opportunity to find out more online, and on a different date.   

We often hear from guest speakers at this session, most recently the Head of Data Transformation.  Other previous guest speakers include members of Entrepreneurial pathways and the IT Services Security and Systems Teams. 

 #4. Invite IT to your next staff meeting

Despite using the same technology, units and schools work in different ways. We understand that how you work depends on the projects, working groups and best practices within each team. With this in mind, we appreciate that it’s easier to embrace new technology and ways of working when there is local context. The Education Quality and Policy, Sports Centre, and Careers Centre teams, have all made use of this service at a planned staff meeting, to cover some of the following: 

  • Tips for using Microsoft Teams 
  • New tools and features across Microsoft 365 
  • Microsoft 365 tour through all apps 
  • Hybrid working and meetings tips 
  • Storing, sharing, and archiving documents across OneDrive and Teams 

This list is not exhaustive and we’re happy to work with you to deliver content relevant to upcoming projects and areas of interest. 

Feedback from recent session: 

“Thanks both for today. We’ve had some really positive feedback and I’m sure the video will go down well for people to refer back to. Thanks for your time with us to help shape this training too. I’m sure we’ll be back in touch in due course.”

Employability Experiences Manager, Careers Centre

We also run tailored sessions for smaller teams. Recently, we ran a focused webinar for personal assistants and administrators, to cover Teams meetings, breakout rooms, and how to use co-organisers in meetings. 

If you would like us to spend time with your team, observe how you work, and offer any suggestions on tools that might assist in making the team more productive, feel free to get in touch to book some time with the team. 

#5. Register one of our regular overviews

We offer a variety of online and in-person sessions available to book using the personal development management system, with a focus on productivity. 

These include: 

  • Hints and tips in Microsoft Teams 
  • Introduction to Microsoft 365 apps (such as Forms, Sway, and Planner)
  • Managing minutes, notes and actions using Microsoft OneNote 
  • Clean up your computer and files 

Some recent feedback:  

“Big thanks for your time today it was exactly what I needed.  I tend to find workarounds without much knowledge but taking the time today has triggered thoughts on efficiencies for the team as well as things I can implement to make my life easier too.” 

Assistant Director, Careers Centre 

#6. Ask for help to set up hybrid meetings, events, and teaching 

If you have any events or meeting taking place and would like some IT/AV support in advance to make sure things run smoothly, we can offer: 

  • An initial consultation to discuss your requirements. 
  • Use of the existing audio-visual equipment in your chosen venue. 
  • You will be met on the day for an overview and demonstration. 
  • Daily check-ins throughout your event to ensure everything is running smoothly. 

The IT Service Desk will be able to advise if there are any upcoming group training sessions. These are usually held before the start of term.

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