Using Colby Apps: New Compose E-mail Window

Google recently announced that they are making changes to the “compose email window” in their webmail interface. Beginning November 20th, this will be an “opt-in” change meaning you can choose to switch to the new look now, and switch back to the old look if you don’t like it, but the new “compose email window” will become default beginning in early 2013 with no option to switch back. Below is a video tour of the new interface:

Here are some additional links for more information:

http://gmailblog.blogspot.com/2012/10/introducing-new-compose-in-gmail.html

https://support.google.com/mail/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=2645922

Spacing text on the web

Have you ever been typing text on the web (CommonSpot, WordPress, Moodle or the Wiki) and when you hit the Enter (or Return) key on your keyboard you get an extra line of blank space that you don’t want?  You aren’t alone!

[Read more...]

Common Keyboard Shortcuts

Computer programs and operating systems were designed to try to limit the number of times you have to move your hands off of your keyboard and over to your mouse.  They accomplish this by creating keyboard shortcuts for most common tasks. A keyboard shortcut is a combination of keys that are pressed all at the same time.  Below is a list of some common keyboard shortcuts for both Macintosh as well as Windows users (along with some that work no matter what type of computer you have). [Read more...]

Using Colby Apps: Search your e-mail

When most people think of searching the web, they think of Google.  Google has revolutionized the way we find web pages by using a very complicated (and secretive) set of algorithms to take the words we give it and find what usually turns out to be a very helpful list of web pages.

Colby Apps e-mail’s web interface allows you to utilize some of those same search capabilities.

[Read more...]

Moodle Use, Spring 2012

SUMMARY

Moodle is a traditional, open-source, course management system first available at Colby in 2008. It is popular with small liberal arts colleges, among others. About three-quarters of  the members of the Consortium of Liberal Arts Colleges use Moodle.  It is one of several web platform options available to faculty at Colby.

Around 45%-50% of all Spring 2012 courses at Colby made Moodle sites available to students. The sites were used mostly to distribute course resources like readings, syllabi, images, and links to web sites to enrolled students. A total of 6,791 resources were added for an average of 32.5 resources per active course site.  A few course sites used the Moodle quizzing tool. Notable of courses in which the quizzing tool was used, there was a minimum of 35 students enrolled and usually more. About 29% of active Moodle course sites used assignment activities (activities that require students to complete or submit an assignment in Moodle). Assignment activities are required to use Moodle’s gradebook. Of those course sites that could use the gradebook because of the presence of assignment activities, 43% opted to do so which calculates to 14% overall. About 21% of activated course sites included an instructor-created online discussion forum. 

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Fall 2012 Moodle course sites

Fall 2012 Moodle course sites are now available at http://moodle.colby.edu for faculty who wish to begin building them out. You may find links to past course sites on your Moodle course overview page in the “Course sites for other terms” block. Call Ellen Freeman at ext. 4234 or email Ellen.Freeman@colby.edu for help setting up your Moodle course site or visit the online Moodle help site.

Academic ITS supported web services and aggregate use for the 2011-2012 academic year

Academic ITS support three main web platforms for faculty and students. They are the Moodle course management system, the Confluence enterprise wiki, and the WordPress web publishing platform. Each platform has its own strengths and specializations and there are significant overlaps between them in some areas. Following is a description of each service and some aggregate usage statistics for the 2011-2012 academic year.

  [Read more...]

Using Colby Apps: Google Drive is Coming to Docs

Soon you will notice a change when you visit Colby Apps Docs.  Google is updating the service to include a new feature called “Google Drive.” 

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Using Colby Apps: Move Chat List and Label Before Send

This week I thought I would treat you to two Colby Apps E-mail tricks!

  • Moving the Chat List
  • Label Message Before Sending

[Read more...]

Creating a PDF

Portable Document Format (PDF) files are great because they act as electronic versions of printed pages but with several benefits over traditional paper copies:

  • They are a much greeneroption
    • No paper required
    • No need to power on a printer or heat up a fuser
    • No need for toner
    • No reprinting pages that have mistakes
  • As the name implies they tend to be small enough to be easily transferred via e-mail or on a USB thumbdrive
  • They are viewable on almost any electronic device (from computers to smart phones to tablets)

So, how do you create a PDF? [Read more...]