Category Archives: NCTS News

Tech Bites

Join our NCTS training staff for Tech Bites! Tech Bites are short topic technology sessions paired with a yummy treat, like a snack sized lunch and learn!

All sessions will be from 11-11:30 AM and will follow the schedule below:

  • January 12th – Microsoft Excel Shortcuts
  • January 26th – Mail Merge Emails
  • February 9th –  Creating PDF Forms
  • February 23rd – Creating in Canva
  • March 9th – Microsoft Word vs. Microsoft Publisher
  • March 23rd – What does your font choice say?
  • April 13th – Microsoft Excel Sparklines
  • April 27th – Video Conferencing at Penn State
  • May 11th – Creating Infographics
  • May 25th – Presenting Prezi

Registration is preferred. Let us know if you’ll be joining us at training@engr.psu.edu.

Canvas: Third-Party Learning Tools – Your Input is Needed

The Penn State Canvas team is gathering information on which third-party learning tools faculty and staff would like to be able to use in the Learning Management System. These applications include integrations from textbook publishers, participation tools, assessments, and others.

Those interested in providing input on which tools can do so via a form at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSezyXp9RAe9rDT8Zu1z1AgoIpa4I0IU1YH5EUlfpuxEuctCfQ/viewform.  Faculty and staff will need to provide the team with the name of the tool and whether it is known to work with the Canvas LMS. A list of functional integrations with Canvas can be found in the Edu App Center at https://www.eduappcenter.com/.

According to the Canvas team, “All submissions will be reviewed, vetted and prioritized by the LMS Academic Transition Steering Committee and the Canvas Project Team.” The results of this process will be added to the goals of Tier 3 in the Canvas integration process, slated to be addressed in 2017.

A listing of current PSU Canvas integrations and their status can be found at http://canvas.psu.edu/transition-information/integrations/.

ANGEL Group Space Ending – Where to Go Now

Users of the Groups feature in ANGEL have some options to choose from as we transition to Canvas as the Learning Management System at the university.

The ANGEL Groups feature functions differently than the Groups feature in Canvas, and ITS Training Services has identified four options to use in the future. New ANGEL Groups can be created until June 30, 2017, and all access to ANGEL Groups will end Oct. 31, 2017.

Alternatives to ANGEL Groups

  •      Box (http://box.psu.edu/): file storage; file and note sharing; collaboration (including collaborative note editing via Box Notes and Microsoft Office Online)
  •      Yammer (https://www.yammer.com/psu.edu/): file storage; group conversations in activity streams; file and note sharing; collaborative note editing; polling
  •      Sites at Penn State (http://sites.psu.edu/): file storage; content sharing and collaboration (including blogs and web pages)
  •      Qualtrics (https://pennstate.qualtrics.com/): surveys and polling

For guidance in choosing an alternative, you can access a table comparing these options at http://canvas.psu.edu/canvas-at-a-glance/best-practices/#ANGELGroupAlternatives.


The Canvas project team is working to create space in Canvas that will be comparable to ANGEL Group space for academic purposes such as study groups and co-curricular activities. This alternative is targeted for completion by June 30, 2017.