Category Archives: Tech Tips

Tech Tip: Update your links to LinkedIn Learning

By: Ryan Johnson

On Aug. 16, Penn State Information Technology upgraded all accounts to LinkedIn Learning. links will work differently in LinkedIn Learning depending on how you shared the course, videos, or playlists.

In order for your old links to work, you will need to replace the old link with this new one in any course materials or correspondence.

In order for embedded videos to work after the upgrade , you must replace the embed code with code from LinkedIn Learning. After the upgrade, simply log in to LinkedIn Learning then click ‘share’ to copy the highlighted code and paste it over the existing code.

Tech Tip: Grid vs. List View in Microsoft Teams

By: Ryan Johnson

tech tip screen shot

Microsoft Teams recently changed the default view for your teams to a grid view.  You can change your view by clicking on three dots next to “Join or Create a team”.

Tech tip screen shot

Note: this option can appear in the bottom left or top right of the Teams application based on your view.

Click on Switch View and a new window will appear:

screen shot - tech tip

Select Grid or List to change your view.

Tech Tip: Microsoft adds suggested replies to the Outlook Android app

By: Ryan Johnson

suggested reply screen shot - Outlook app

Gmail’s Smart Reply feature can be pretty handy for short responses, saving you a little bit of time and effort. The web version of Outlook has had a similar feature since last summer, called Suggested Replies, but it hasn’t officially been available in the Android app — until now.

If you head to the Account Info screen in the app (Settings > tap on your email address) you’ll see the “Suggested replies” toggle (it may already be turned on). This new feature will only show up for certain emails, though, presumably those that Outlook deems to be conversational rather automated.

If the response is selected, you’ll have the chance to edit your response before its sent.

Note: This feature is not currently available for iOS users

Tech Tip: Mark a message as important or urgent in Microsoft Teams

By: Ryan Johnson

If you want to make sure people pay attention to your message, mark it as important or urgent.

Microsoft Teams urgent screen shot

To begin, select Set Delivery Options  beneath the compose box, and then select Important or Urgent. That adds the word “IMPORTANT!” or “URGENT!” to your message. Once in the message, you’ll be able to include files, links, or pictures—whatever you need to get your point across!

Microsoft Teams urgent screenshot

To undo this option, select Standard from your delivery options, and the message will be sent as usual.

Tech Tip: Microsoft rolling out new Outlook on the web beginning this week!

By: Ryan Johnson

After several months of testing with customers such as Penn State(currently a toggle exists to switch back and forth), Microsoft will begin rolling out the new Outlook on the web to its Enterprise customers beginning this week (July 22).

According to Enterprise IT (EIT) while an exact date is not confirmed, this new experience could roll out anytime beginning next week to Penn State. All Microsoft customers will be updated
by September. When the new version rolls out, you will not be able to switch back.

Read about some of the new features in the article HERE:

Some of the highlights include:

Categories: It’s now easier to identify , right from your message list. Categories make it easy to tag, find, or organize your messages. Add multiple categories to a message, add a category as a favorite, or use Search to find it.

Dark mode: Personalize your inbox with dark mode for those times when your eyes are a little tired. Don’t worry, you can “turn on the lights” when you want to read a specific email or when
composing one.

Expressions: Sometimes you are out of words, luckily, images are worth a 1,000 of those. Add emojis and GIFs to your messages right from Outlook.

Favorites: Favorite what is most important to you and put it front and center in your inbox. You can favorite a contact, a group, or a category by to them so you can have easier access and see the message count for each. Once you favorite them, they sync to Outlook mobile too!

Quickly get to the emails you are composing or reading: When you create new messages Outlook will keep a tab for them at the bottom of the reading pane, so you can start as many as you need, go back to reading a previous email, and still find the one you were writing.

Calendar Search: Now you can search across multiple calendars. Search for a person, keyword, or location and Outlook will show all the matching events across your calendars. You can also use the filters to adjust which calendars you’d like to search, or the timeframe you’d like to search in.

Quickly create events: Creating a meeting is now easier. Right from the calendar surface with one click bring the quick compose form, invite people, find a room, and even get suggested times for when everyone is available.

Focus on today: There is just so much you can pay attention during the week. In order to help you with that, we are making today and tomorrow front and center by dedicating more surface in your calendar to them so you can easily identify your upcoming events with a quick glimpse at your calendar.

Snooze an email: There are moments in which you don’t have time to properly address an email and wish it would have arrived at a different time. For those moments when the time is not right, Outlook now allows you to snooze an email for a more convenient time. When you snooze an email, it leaves your inbox and re-appears as an unread message at the top of your inbox on the time and date you selected.

Upcoming events in month view: Seeing your calendar in month view gives you a good sense of what days or weeks are busier, and now it’s also easier to keep track of your day’s events while still seeing the big picture. In month view, Outlook also shows you how long you have until your next event.

Create an online meeting: We’ve updated our backend to more closely reflect your organization’s online meeting policies. Depending on what services you are enabled for, you will see 1 of 3 options: i) A drop down menu to “Add online meeting” where you can select between a Skype or Teams meeting, ii) a toggle to create a Skype meeting or iii) a toggle to create a Teams meeting.

Join an online meeting from the event peek: Joining an online meeting from the place where you keep track of your day should be easy. And now it is, just go to the meeting event and you can join in one click right from the event peek.

See attendees’ responses to a meeting: You can now easily identify who is invited to the meeting and see everyone’s response. We’ve added a quick summary in the event peek and in
the full meeting invite attendees are grouped attendees by their response. If you use the event peek, you can see attendees’ details if the meeting has less than 3 attendees or a summary of
responses if there are more.

Tasks now sync with To-Do: The new Tasks experience now syncs your tasks with To-Do and across some Office apps like Planner in your “Assigned to me” list. Do you flag emails to remember to follow up on them? Now when you flag an email, it will be created as a task in its own “Flagged email” list in To-Do!

Tech Tip: Update your information for the website directory, including adding educational credentials

By: Ryan Johnson

Employee directory screen shot

If you go to the Employee Directory Maintenance Site, you’ll see what information is stored about you in LDAP. You’ll also see that you can edit some of the fields.
Fields you are not able to edit include First Name, Middle Initial, Last Name, Access ID, PSU ID Number, PSU E-mail Address, Official Job Title, Employee Type, Faculty Type and Primary Department.
Fields you can update here include Office Address, Office Phone, E-mail Alias, Preferred Display Name, Chat Name, Office Hours, Teaching, Research Interests, Liaison, Web Page URL. Note that staff will not see Liaison.

You can use the Preferred Display Name to add your credentials like Dr. Jane Doe or Jane Doe, Ph.D.

The remainder of your information is stored in Drupal and can be updated by submitting a request at the Libraries’ Website Feedback Form.
This information includes About Me, Profile Picture and Subject Expertise.

    • Note: Subject Expertise was initially gleaned from the experts listed for a given Subject Guides in LibGuides (example History Subject Guide).


For more information on how the directory works, please see the following staff site page.

Tech Tip: Who is the Captain?

By: Ryan Johnson

Tech Tip: The Captain screenshot

Have you ever come back to your desk and noticed something called thecaptain is logged into your machine?  The captain is simply I-Tech’s name for an admin account on your machine.  This account is typically used to log into your machine when you are not available to troubleshoot an issue or update a program on your machine.

To log back into your Libraries account, simply click Other user located in the bottom left hand corner of the login screen and enter in with your Penn State ID along with and your password.

Tech tip: Other user screnshot


Tech Tip: Redesigned 2FA launching in June

By: Ryan  Johnson

tech tip: 2FA redesign screen shot

Later this month, users of WebAccess—the University’s authentication system that protects University email, Canvas, LionPATH and more—will notice a slight redesign to the system’s two-factor authentication (2FA) prompt. The change follows last year’s more significant interface redesign and is triggered by an upgrade to the system.

The new 2FA prompt will look different from the current prompt but be functionally the same. However, the upgrade to the 2FA service will increase security and allow for new features to be enabled, including a “Remember my device” feature that will allow users to log in with 2FA less frequently.


Tech Tip: Time to update your University Libraries listservs, what are my options?

By: Ryan Johnson

tech tip graphic, collaboration and communications in the Libraries

The current ULL list management interface is being retired in July.

I-Tech will maintain short list of essential and aggregate listservs (ULIBS, etc).  But responsibility for creating and managing communication for committees, working groups, etc. is being handed over to you, the end user.  You now have several options for group communication and the freedom to use what works best for your need.

For most areas, Microsoft Groups will be the preferred choice.

To learn more about what options are available, please visit the new Communication and Collaboration page available on the staff site.

Tech Tip: Learn about Microsoft Groups and Teams at Discovery Day

By: Ryan Johnson

Microsoft Groups and Teams is the communication and teamwork hub of Office 365. Teams helps users meet, connect, and share their knowledge with others. Penn State University is now using teams to for projects, committees and communication sharing.

In this session, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know about using Teams, starting with how to set up and join existing teams. We will cover how to organize teams and engage in
conversations. In addition, we will cover how to add extra functionality using apps, connect Box and use video chat.

Presenter: Ryan Johnson
Location: W211A Pattee

Tech Tip: Box folder email and notification settings

By: Ryan Johnson

The folder settings page allows you to control the actions possible within a specific folder, and modify the default settings to better suit your needs. These folder settings are inherited by sub-folders, and cannot be ‘undone’ at a sub-folder level.

Note: Some settings can only be modified by folder owners and co-owners

To modify folder settings, right-click on a folder (or click the ellipses ()) to open the More Options menu, then click Settings.

Box Folder Email and Notification Settings

  • Use my default notification settings – If this option is enabled, you will receive notifications according to your notification preferences in your Account Settings.
  • Override default settings for this folder and all subfolders – If this option is enabled, you can set custom notification preferences.  To receive more or fewer notifications than usual for this folder and any subfolders, click check boxes under Notify me when someone.
    Enable this option to access Disable all email notifications for all collaborators.
  • Disable all email notifications for all collaborators –  If this option is enabled, collaborators will receive no emails about activity in this folder.

Tech Tip: New Penn State IT Alerts Page

By: Ryan Johnson

The previous Penn State IT alerts system and website was recently replaced by a new subscription page.

The service page will provide information on any current outages or degradations, as well as planned service maintenance and historical service information. Users may elect to subscribe to email notifications by service to ensure that they receive service status information about services that are important to them.

tech tip: IT Alerts screen shot

tech tip: IT Alerts screen shot

To learn more about the system status page and how to subscribe to alerts, take a look at the following video.

Penn State Wireless changes beginning on May 4

By: Ryan Johnson

Enterprise IT recently announced Penn State Wireless changes that occurred this past weekend on May 4. What does this mean for Libraries Machines?

1.) I-Tech has pushed the update to all Windows networked machines automatically, nothing will need to be done on your end.

2.) Mac’s will need to be done manually beginning May 4. Instructions are provided in the email and online at this location. If further assistance is needed, please open a helpdesk ticket.

3.) Any department wireless laptops or Student Circulating laptops will need to be done manually as well. Again if assistance is needed, please open a helpdesk ticket.

4.) Finally any personal devices (iPhones, iPads) will need to be done manually beginning on May 4 as well. Please follow the instructions here. Android devices and Chromebooks will not
require an update.

If you have any other questions or need assistance, please feel free to contact the Libraries Helpdesk.

Tech Tip: Attention Lynda users: LinkedIn Learning coming to Penn State Community

By: Ryan Johnson

LinkedIn graphic for Tech tip

In August 2019, Penn State IT will be upgrading accounts to LinkedIn Learning in order to take advantage of the newly-named service’s upgraded features and capability to work with LinkedIn to bolster your learning needs.

Although you will notice changes to the longtime learning and professional development platform, many of the features that are popular with users will remain intact.

As a reminder, you do not need to take any action during the transition and you will not lose any information associated with your account as all admin and learner data including groups, assigned content, account settings, and histories will carry over to LinkedIn Learning.

For news and updates, please visit If you have any questions about the upgrade, please contact

Tech Tip: How to Create a Group in Office 365

By: Ryan Johnson

How to Create a Group in Office 365

With the ULL interface going away, the University Library has several options to use in its place.  One is Office 365 Groups. Think of an Office 365 Group as a collaborative mailing list. When you create an Office 365 Group, you create a convenient mass-mailing list that you and others can use to email the Group. Your group also gets a bunch of other useful stuff, including a shared mailbox, shared calendar, and shared file space in SharePoint. In addition, Office 365 Groups integrate with other useful Microsoft apps. You can also create a Team for your Group in Microsoft Teams.

  1. Open Outlook on the web

2. In the navigation pane, next to Groups, select the + button

Office 365 screenshot for Tech Tip

3.  Fill out the group information

  • Group name: Create a name that captures the spirit of the group.
  • Once you enter a name, a suggested email address is provided. “Not available” means the group name is already in use and you should try a different name. Note that once you choose a group name, it cannot be changed.
  • Description: Optionally, enter a description that will help others understand the group’s purpose. This description will be included in the welcome email when others join the group.
  • Privacy: By default, groups are created as Private. This means only approved members in your organization can see what’s inside the group. Anyone else in your organization who is not approved cannot see what’s in the group.
  • Select Public to create a group where anyone within your organization can view its content and become a member.
  • Select Private to create a group where membership requires approval and only members can view group content.
  • Classification: Choose a classification. Options available depend on what your organization has set up.
  • Send all group conversations and events to members’ inboxes Optionally, check this box to enable members to see all group conversations and events in their inbox without having to visit separate group workspaces. Members can change this setting for their own mailboxes.

4.  Select Create.