Software News

September 2021 Software Spotlight – Adobe Creative Cloud

This month’s software spotlight is Adobe Creative Cloud! creative cloud

Earlier this month we hosted Adobe Day which featured UA students, faculty and staff showcasing their use of Adobe tools. Adobe is often thought of as a tool for “creatives” and while that may be true, Adobe offers many tools that we can all use to enhance work.

Adobe Spark is one of our favorite tools to use instead of a PowerPoint presentation, Adobe Premiere Rush is a great tool for basic video creation/editing, and Adobe Spark Mobile can be used to create animated images for social media. Good news – we have upcoming trainings on all of these tools! Check out our OIT Events Calendar for details.

Visit the OIT software catalog to learn more about Adobe Creative Cloud. Plus, join the Adobe Creatives Microsoft Team to join a community of Creative Cloud users.

August 2021 Software Spotlight – LastPass

LastPassOne of our favorites in OIT is LastPass. LastPass is a secure password management tool that can create and store passwords in an encrypted environment. LastPass is available as a browser tool and a mobile device app. Get to know LastPass through their YouTube channel.

Bonus! Recently LastPass rolled out a “Family as a Benefit” perk that allows LastPass users to share the service with up to 5 friends and family members.

Learn more about LastPass in the OIT Software Catalog and start using it today!

Adobe Day – Sept. 17

Make plans to attend Adobe Day, Friday, Sept. 17 in Gorgas Library. We’ll feature guest presenters and panelists who share how they use Adobe Creative Cloud software.

At Adobe Day 2021, we’ll dive into new Adobe offerings that utilize some of the most exciting trends in emerging technology: interactive design, on-the-go video storytelling, and more. As a reminder, Adobe Creative Cloud is available to all UA students, faculty and staff. This event is designed to spur creativity and encourage the use of Adobe Creative Cloud software across campus. We hope you’ll join us!

Learn more at

Adobe Day

Listserv Upgrade – Aug. 15

Listserv will undergo a system upgrade Sunday, August 15 at 6:00 am. The Listserv web interface will be unavailable for 1 hour while the upgrade is performed. Any messages sent during the maintenance window will be put in a queue and will be sent once the upgrade is complete at 7:00 am.

This upgrade brings an updated look to the Listserv web interface. Our team will be updating instructions for managing a Listserv through the updated interface.

listserv upgrade

Blackboard Learn Unavailable Aug. 5 – 13

Blackboard Learn and certain tools accessed through Blackboard Learn (Panopto, Collaborate, and Turnitin) will be unavailable from Aug. 5 until Aug. 13 for a database migration and upgrade. This move will help provide a more stable, scalable, secure, and updated Blackboard Learn experience for UA users.

More information is available on the CIT website.

Blackboard Learn Upgrade Aug 5-13

Microsoft to Retire Skype for Business Online

Microsoft is retiring Skype for Business Online on July 31. Skype functionality has been fully integrated into Microsoft Teams. After July 31, if someone attempts to use Skype for Business Online for calls, chats or for scheduling new meetings, they will be redirected to Microsoft Teams.

Access to Crimson Google Drive Will End May 2022

After the Spring 2022 semester, Google Drive will no longer be available to UA students and alumni with Crimson Google accounts.

Current UA students with a Crimson Google account (students enrolled before May 2021) should move all Google Drive content to Microsoft OneDrive. Alumni and former students should export content to a personal storage space.

Faculty and staff who share content with students using Google Drive should also transition to use OneDrive.

This project is a function of OIT’s initiative to consolidate redundant email and cloud storage environments at UA. One major step in this project was completed by migrating Crimson email accounts from Google to Microsoft O365. Coincidentally, Google will be limiting available storage space for Google for Education customers in 2022, further accelerating the need to move away from the Google platform.

See more information, and step-by-step guides for moving content, on the OIT website.

Flipgrid to Replace VoiceThread

Flipgrid is available to UA students, faculty and staff. Flipgrid offers a modern, fun and accessible video discussion option for UA instructors and students, ideal for engaging students asynchronously.

By using Flipgrid, instructors can increase feelings of social connections and community among students while providing students with the opportunity to develop their voices. All UA students, faculty and staff have access to Flipgrid through UA’s Microsoft license agreement.

Flipgrid can be embedded in a Blackboard Learn course or viewed from a browser or the Flipgrid app, which is available on mobile devices. Instructors can create welcome videos with the tool, and students can use it for presentations. Instructors can create Flipgrid assignments and allow students to…

  • Verbalize their thinking process
  • Create and deliver short how-to videos
  • Create or participate in a digital video scavenger hunt
  • Verbalize goals or reflect
  • Provide digital or oral reading responses
  • Collaborate on projects
  • Provide feedback through peer reviews
  • Summarize and highlight student work or discussions
  • Plus, so much more!

Get started with Flipgrid at Click the Educator Sign up button and choose to login with a Microsoft O365 account. Enter your email address, or Crimson email address, and password to sign in. More information and guides for using Flipgrid is available on the CIT website.

UA is transitioning to Flipgrid as our video discussion and collaboration tool. Effective for the Fall 2021 semester, VoiceThread will no longer be available to UA students, faculty and staff. If you previously used VoiceThread for recorded lectures, you can export that content and upload into Panopto, then share it as a link in Flipgrid. We have step-by-step instructions on how to export VoiceThread content on the CIT website.

Courses to be Removed from Blackboard

In accordance with UA’s LMS Course Retention Policy, materials more than two years old will be removed from the Blackboard Learn system. The Center for Instructional Technology will begin removing content from the LMS on July 15. Instructors can export course content, copy content to another course, and request a course shell to copy content from an existing course. Visit the CIT website for more information.

MATLAB Webinars – Spring 2021

MathWorks is offering several free upcoming webinars for research with MATLAB and Simulink. Topics include “MATLAB and Simulink with Python,” “The Use of MATLAB in Open Science,” “Scaling Up MATLAB Applications to Clusters and Clouds,” and others! More information, and webinar registration, is available on the MathWorks website.

matlab webinar