Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I don't know why I've never thought of this before, so I thought I'd share! A student just asked if she could save her work to a folder that she would then be able to access from anywhere on campus, and I instinctively told her no. Then I realized that I use for just that thing all the time, so I asked if she would be interested in that. The student must be willing to set up a username and password, but it's a free service. The website makes it appear that you need to download the program onto the computer, but that is not necessary. Here's a video for setting up without the download.

Once they've set up a dropbox, they can go to from any computer, log in, and access whatever documents they've uploaded.
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Printing PPT from Kean Blackboard

Kean students trying to print PowerPoints that they've downloaded from Blackboard are encountering problems printing the documents. We were able to get them to print by following this process:

  1. Select the PPT in Blackboard.
  2. In the dialog box that appears asking to Open or Save, click Save.
  3. Save the document to the desktop.
  4. Once it has saved, the dialog box will reappear. Click Open.
  5. At the top of PowerPoint will be a yellow bar with an "Enable Editing" button. Click this button.
  6. Once you've enabled editing, you should be able to go to File, Print as normal.

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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Students changing passwords

It seems like everyone's password is expiring lately and many are vexed trying to set up a new one. This may not be sound privacy policy, but I advise the frustrated ones to use their first initial capitalized, their last initial lowercase, and a 6 digit date they will remember (but not their birthday). They seem to be able to change it on the first try after those instructions.

As a reminder, the parameters for the password are
  • 8 digits long
  • at least 1 capital letter
  • at least 1 number
  • cannot have their name in it
  • cannot be their previous two passwords
Personally, I keep a rotation of 3 passwords that I just keep going through...

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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Another fun analogy

Another round of analogies came up in a recent listserv discussion. I really liked this idea to visually demonstrate the differences among databases.

"This is not an analogy for the entire process, but I use the "M&M" analogy to explain to undergraduates why they need to use multiple databases.  I have three containers (glass jar, plastic container, and a ziplock bag). They all have brown M&Ms, but each also has another color. I explain that all our business (or whatever) disciplines have some of the same articles (eg: brown M&Ms), and you'll see those same results in each database. But! Each database also has unique results that aren't in other databases, so you have to check each one.   Also, notice that each container is different? This one is easier to open, this one to store, etc. Likewise, you'll notice that each database has different tool and features that you might like better than the others. Then, we all eat the candy. -Nom. :)"  -Tammy Ivins, Francis Marion University

I think I might use this with English II's to start talking about subject specific databases. Especially since brown is a great color to symbolize all the disciplines smooshed together (like if you smoosh all the colors together, it usually makes brown...too deep??).

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