30 Clicks: Paperless Solutions

February 17, 2011

Reducing paper is about more than print costs and sustainability. There are also the issues of flexibility, accessibility, and accountability. This Cannell Library 30 Clicks session addresses print handling, PDF document format, and Microsoft Office review tools, and addresses pros, cons, and challenges of going paperless. Click here to download the handout from the Paperless Solutions session.


Email Etiquette II: Accessibility Emphasis

October 20, 2010

What is accessibility?

Accessibile are designed to be effective in communicating to all users. While accessibility has applied primarily to people with disabilities, it has also expanded to include mobile device and software compaitibility. In short, keep your audience in mind!

Why Email?

It’s an important question! In general, email correspondence is used best for the following:

  • Quick Q & A
  • “FYI” information
  • Negotiating complex schedules
  • Sending digital documents quickly

To maximize these strengths, the sender should keep the following tips in mind:

Be readable

  • 14-point font size is the new standard
  • Use high contrast color between text and background. Avoid using images as background, as images increase the size of the message.
  • Use clear, standard fonts: Arial, Times New Roman, Calibri, Cambria

Be simple

  • Underlined text is discouraged due to its similarity to a hyperlink. Using color for emphasis is also discouraged for the same reason.
  • If you must attach a PDF or embed an image, put key information into the body of the text.
  • Use italics for emphasis. Bold is typically reserved for headings. Bold italics is acceptable, but rarely necessary.  ALL CAPS READS LIKE SHOUTING.

Be clear

  • Write to the proper language level of your audience.
  • Use short sentences and paragraphs with clear topic and focus.
  • Anticipate your response, and try to avoid extended exchanges.
  • Be cautious of humor and sarcasm, which is often lost in the translation to text and particularly to screen reader.

Links

Prepared for the 2010 Northwest eLearning conference. For general email Etiquette Tips, Click here for the original Email Etiquette post.


Is PowerPoint dangerous?

October 6, 2010
A graphic displaying the complex solution to the war in Iraq.

The solution to the war in Iraq.

Does this chart mean anything to you? PowerPoint has been scrutinized nearly as long as it’s been utilized. One author proposes that the problem isn’t the program itself, but with the learning philosophy.

This New York Times article proposes that the fundamental flaw with PowerPoint is not that it’s boring (which it often is), linear (when minds aren’t), or static (by design). The problem is that PowerPoint encourages complex topics–such as military strategy–to be stripped of meaning and relegated to “dumb dumb bullets.” While bullet points can be effective in creating a foundation or providing an outline, it is the responsibility of the learners to create meaning.


Employee Development’s Upcoming Events

September 27, 2010

penguinClark College faculty and staff may view and register for Environmental Health and Safety and Employee Development events on a calendar and in a catalog.  Simply create your own account so you can register for classes quickly and easily.

To register or view more details, just click on any title.  If you have not already done so, simply create your own account so you can register for classes quickly and easily.

  • Click here for a guide to walk you through the process of creating an account, finding sessions, and registering for classes.
  • Click here to view our catalog of events and register for any of the sessions.
  • Click here for a calendar of upcoming events on the intranet. You can also click a link to register from the calendar.

To register or view more details, just click on any title.

Thursday, 9/30/2010:        Windows 7 on Main Campus

Thursday, 9/30/2010:        Windows 7 at CCW

Thursday, 9/30/2010:        How to Buy Anything or Go Anywhere

Monday, 10/4/2010:           Windows 7 at CTC

Tuesday, 10/5/2010:          Windows 7 on Main Campus

Tuesday, 10/5/2010:          Writing Email to Get What You Need

Wednesday, 10/6/2010:    Windows 7 on Main Campus

Friday, 10/8/2010:              Report Reading: Operating Accounts, Grants, and Contracts


Finding the right wiki for you.

September 21, 2010

Wikis are (collaboratively) re-writing the book on collaboration. If you aren’t familiar with Wikis, CommonCraft–the gurus plain English explanations–does an excellent job summing capturing the basic idea of a wiki and how they’re used for collaboration.

The end of the video provides a couple examples of places to go for free wikis, but perhaps you would like more options.  Like most Web 2.0 collaborative tools, there are dozens upon dozens of providers. Choosing the right service for your needs can be tricky.

WikiMatrix allows users to browse an extensive list of wiki providers. The column on the right lists all wiki providers, but this list may be shortenend to the “25 most popular” using the dropdown box. Using the checkboxes next to the provider names, you may compare wiki markup styles, feature sets, cost (if any), and other variables which may come into play when choosing a wiki provider. The site also employs a choose wizard which narrows down the list of wiki providers by the features desired by the user.

Determining the right tool for your needs takes some planning, and the most popular service isn’t always the best. Always keep your course objective at the center of your decision-making process, and you’ll be stay on the right track.


Need a Smart Classroom Key?

September 8, 2010

Fall term is almost upon us. If you are teaching in a Smart Classroom and wish to use the Smart Classroom podium, you need a key. To receive your key you must take a brief training in one of two formats:

Complete the Convenient Online Smart Classroom Training

You may also opt for Online Smart Classroom Orientation which may be taken online from any location. You will be guided through the basic operation and features of the Smart Classroom podium. A printer is required to print the quiz results page which is required to receive a podium key.

  1. Navigate to ClarkNet.
  2. Paste the following into the address bar: http://intranet.clark.edu/department_information/human_resources/development/smart_classroom/smartclassroom.htm

OR

  1. Navigate to ClarkNet.
  2. Click “Tools.”
  3. Click “Smart Classroom Podium Training” (found under “Employee Training”)

Go through the presentation and complete a brief quiz. To obtain a key, print out your passing (80+) score sheet; write your name, phone number and department name at the top; and bring your score sheet to the front desk in Teaching and Learning center in GHL 206.

*To access ClarkNet while on campus, simply type “intranet” in your browser address bar.  If you are off-campus, navigate to intranet.clark.edu, and enter your Clark username and password when prompted.

Come to an Open Tech Lab

Offered several times per week, these drop-in open labs are an opportunity to receive the required training on Smart Classroom podium equipment, or practice with the equipment. Click here to view the Open Technology Lab schedule, and stop by for assistance!

If none of the tech labs work for you and you would like in-person guidance, please call or email me to make other arrangements.

Please return the key to the Teaching and Learning Center in GHL 206 when it is no longer needed.

If you have any questions, just let me know. Thank you and have a great term!


Windows 7 – Toolbars galore!

August 19, 2010
Create your own toolbar

Turn a folder into a toolbar for quick access.

The new taskbar in Window 7 can do a lot of things, and it has a built-in link to open Windows Explorer and browse folders on your hard drive. Within the taskbar are toolbars which enhance the functionality of your Windows taskbar.What if you wish to create a toolbar to a specific folder on your PC?

You already have the option to create toolbars for common PC locations. Right-click on the taskbar and hover over the “Toolbars” command to open a list of possible toolbar options. Some standard options include an address bar which enables web navigation from the toolbar or links or desktop buttons which create easy access to the internet links or desktop shortcuts respectively.

You are not limited to these shortcuts, and you may create a dedicated toolbar to any folder on your hard drive. Right-click the taskbar, expand the Toolbars option, and select New Toolbar…” You may now browse to any folder on your hard drive or even network share drive you wish to access via toolbar. You can create as many toolbars as you wish, and you can choose to show or hide toolbars by right-clicking the taskbar, expanding the Toolbars option, and selecting or deselecting toolbars you have created or used in the past.

Save clicks, use toolbars!


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