Power Productivity with These Eight Tech Tips: Use school resources to make technology work for you

Provided by Penn State World Campus

You might be an expert at checking email, paying bills online, or staying in touch with friends on Facebook. But do you know the technology tips that can help drive your success as an online student? Learn the tips and life hacks that can help you succeed in your studies:

1. Know the shortcut keys for your operating system. Using keyboard shortcuts can save you time and effort in completing tasks that might otherwise require a mouse or other device.

Windows Shortcut Keys
Mac OS X Shortcut Keys

2. Keep current with software updates. Don’t miss a critical change to your computer’s software that might cause glitches with your coursework.

If you use a PC, make a point of routinely running and installing Windows Updates. In Windows 8, in Apps View, search for “windows update” and then select “check for updates” to run the process manually. In Windows 7, open the “Start” menu and then search for “windows update” and select “check for updates.” Windows 10 installs updates automatically.

If you use a Mac, select the Apple icon and then select “software update.” To ensure that updates are made automatically, go to “System Preferences” and then “App Store” and make sure that “Automatically check for updates” is selected, as well as each of the three options below that selection.

Update Java, Flash, and QuickTime as updates become available. These programs will periodically check for updates after they are installed. Some browsers may also update them automatically.

3. Create a separate user profile just for your course work. Windows and Mac systems both allow you to set up multiple user profiles. This will allow you to keep your work or personal files separate from your school files, which may be especially important if you share a computer with your family or others in your household.

4. Dedicate a web browser to use only for course work if you prefer. This is another effective way to keep your school activity separate from personal or work activity.

5. Back up files regularly by copying them onto a USB flash drive, external hard drive, or to an online storage location “in the cloud.” Storing files in more than one location can prevent file loss if there is an accident or system crash.

6. Contact your school’s Help Desk immediately if you have a problem during a timed quiz or exam. The Penn State World Campus Help Desk is available 24/7 for any technology issues you have.

7. When submitting attachments to a drop box, try selecting your submission after it is ready. This will allow you to confirm that the correct file is attached and readable.

8. Take advantage of the free technology resources that your school may provide access to:

Antivirus protections and other downloadable tools
Microsoft Office 2016: Provides Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and other programs
Adobe Creative Cloud: Provides programs like Acrobat, Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and more
WebApps: Provides programs that can be accessed on most mobile devices
WebFiles: Allows you to access and manage your files and copy files from other services like Google Docs, Dropbox, and SkyDrive
Box: Allows you to store and share files securely online
Lynda: Offers online training for commonly used programs.

For information about technology support for students, as well as the tuition reduction available to you, your spouse and legal dependents, visit the Penn State World Campus Edcor website.