Technology Services a valuable, affordable resource for students

By Torey Butner

Technology Services is an irreplaceable resource to all students. It is one of the first sites new students encounter upon beginning their journey at the University; it’s where you first set up your NetID and NetID password, which connect all students to their networks and secure sites.

Your NetID is a moniker given to students that can be used to connect to all networking services. It is also the beginning part of a student’s email address, the latter part being “@illinois.edu.”

This is not to be confused with the Active Directory or AD password. While the NetID password and the AD password are used for different logins, they will be exactly the same.

There are two different email service providers available through Technology Services: Google Apps @ Illinois and Microsoft Exchange. It is up to the student to determine which one works better for them. 

As part of the UIUC partnership with Google, Google Apps @ Illinois comes with over 7GB of storage and opportunity for collaboration with other students. This setup functions exactly like a normal Gmail account and includes Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Calendar and all other Google services such as Google Plus.

The other option for those who are more comfortable and familiar with Microsoft products is Microsoft Exchange. This does not have as many options as Google Apps @ Illinois but it is still useful in exchanging secure emails and collaborating on calendars through Microsoft Outlook.

Technology Services’ mission on campus is to help along the process of “learning, discovery, engagement, and economic development” through educational technology help. In accordance with this statement, it has a number of resources available that are either free or cheap for college students.

For example, its OnSite Consulting makes it easy for college students to receive help with any technology difficulties that arise. Students do not need to make the time and go out of their way to get to the Technology Services base. Instead, Technology Services comes to them in the form of trained technicians. 

On its site, it compares itself to Best Buy’s Geek Squad. Technology Services’ rate is $40/hr for regular service and $80/hr in an emergency. This is in comparison to Geek Squad rates which start at $49.99 to chat online with an agent. As college students, we all know to take advantage of free and cheap resources.

Lynda.com, an incredible resource that has tutorials and lessons for almost every subject, is free if you are a student at UIUC through the campus WebStore. The WebStore also has affordable prices for software such as Adobe products. Adobe products are known for being expensive, and yet a Creative Cloud 12 month subscription is $5.00. If you are more of a Windows user, the DreamSpark program 2013 version is completely free.

Of course, Technology Services also provides a means for communication between teachers and students, which is known as Compass 2g. It allows for teachers to post information students will need concerning their classes. Some features include an assignment calendar, a notifications page and a place to post documents relating to the class. In my personal experience, Compass 2g is the easiest place to find a syllabus. 

Also useful is the fact that all courses a student is enrolled in show up on their home page. It is a way to organize what assignments they are juggling and a place to find all the information they need in order to succeed.

Tweet: Find out how Technology Services can help you navigate UIUC electronics.

Torey is a junior in FAA.

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