Feb. 1, 2021

We know technology can be intimidating. Technology is constantly changing, and as I'm sure we all know by now, change can be overwhelming. Every time you blink, there's some new gadget, app or tool to learn. Trust us, we know. But that's why we're here, to offer solutions to the technology questions you've been too scared to ask. Software, hardware, wearables, robots. Each month we'll answer any questions you've got about tech. You can send us your anonymous questions, and OIT's Yasmeen Yahya and Jesse Plaza will hound our in house experts to get details. Then, we'll share our expertise with you on the last Friday of each month. Let's get started!

Q: I set Zoom to record automatically every time, but they don't, and it drives me batty. And yes, I watched the videos online and read the support articles from zoom.

A: The issue with Zoom is that there are a lot of variables. So, whether you created a Zoom recurring meeting in Canvas if you're a faculty member or made a separate meeting on your Zoom Pro account itself, you can select that option to automatically record the meeting. That's either locally or in the cloud. Downloading the recording to the cloud is preferred because you get an email notification when your recording is done, ready to view and share. However, to make this work consistently, we're recommending that you log into Zoom through your St. Edward's account on myHilltop before starting your meeting. If it's signed in and you've set it to record automatically, saved to the cloud or otherwise, then that automatic setting should start. Keep in mind that these Zoom cloud recordings usually take about two times the meeting duration or so to process. Basically, Zoom takes the raw recording and splits it into a video and then an audio file. That takes some computing power. We've seen it take up to twenty-four to seventy-two hours in some instances. Though, that was with longer meetings. If you're still having issues, then it's time to talk to OIT Support. You can do that by sending an email to support@stedwards.edu, and we'll help you out as best we can. We've been fielding questions about Zoom for nearly two years—a good 80% of those have come in the last ten months—but we like to think we're getting pretty good at it.

Q: Students tell me it's hard to see my feedback on papers or surveys on Canvas. I tend to write a fair amount of feedback, and if they can't read it, that seems counterproductive. How can students view feedback on a paper like I can see it as the teacher, a big full-size page with my comment bubbles all over it, rather than having to peer edit through a tiny window?

A: Students are just a few clicks away from viewing faculty feedback in Canvas! First, go into Canvas, click on "Grades," click on the assignment name, then click on view feedback. That will let you view all the feedback on a submission. For more information, visit our knowledge base article about Viewing Instructor Feedback in Canvas

Q: Does Excel create rows as you scroll down? I feel like I can never find the bottom of an Excel spreadsheet. It goes on, and on, and on with blank rows. Is there any way to stop this function?

A: Yes, but no. There's no way to stop this function when you create an Excel spreadsheet or Google Sheet. You create the document and it'll have that default function. However, you can clean it up by deleting all those rows once you're done putting in your data. 

So, as an example, let's say you're using cells A1 through B15, but you want to get rid of all of the other empty cells, so there's no extra noise on your document. It just takes two steps to clear those out. First, click on the number of the first empty row. If you're using the example of A1 through B15, it would be row 16. Highlight everything in that row, press control, or command depending on if you're using a Mac or PC, shift, then the down arrow key. This will select everything from row 16 down to the very bottom of the document. Then all you have to do is delete the selected cells, which you can do by going to "Edit" in your toolbar, then clicking "delete rows." You can do the same thing for everything to the right of those data cells. For this example, you would highlight all of column C, press control/command + shift + the right arrow key. Then, you can delete that. Now, all you're left with is the data that you want without any extra noise. Again, you can't stop Excel from creating all those extra cells, but you can clean it up, and it takes very little time.

That's all for this month's #AskOIT blog and podcast! Remember, whether it's about robots or your personal iCloud account, we want you to pick our brains. Even if it's not necessarily work or university-related, we're happy to take those esoteric technology questions. Between editions of #AskOIT, you can follow us on Twitter and Instagram for all kinds of Tech Tips and important updates from OIT. See you next month!