Weebly – Create your own website … FREE

Scenario 1: You’re an avid gardener/quilter/cake decorator/craftsperson and want to share what you’ve done with others. A website is a great way to do this.

Scenario 2: You’re planning a family reunion and want to relay lots of information to lots of people. Instead of sending a printed invitation or an email, you could create a website for invitees to visit and get the latest info. Then after, they can share their thoughts and favorite moments for others to see.

“But I don’t have a website and they’re so hard to create and maintain”, you say.

Not anymore! Weebly is a website and builder using a web-based interface that allows a beginner to design a five-page professional looking website in a few hours. There is no software to purchase and the website can be created and edited as long as an Internet connection is available – nothing is stored on an individual’s computer. Previously, a user needed to know a website programming language, such as HTML, and be knowledgeable about formatting webpages (since they don’t operate exactly as a word processing application). Weebly uses the Drag & Drop technique – choose the option by clicking on it, dragging it to the webpage and dropping it (let go of the mouse button) when it is in place – to add elements to the page. Users familiar with this from another application know the ease of using this method. Some of those elements available with the free version include

[Basic] Title, Text, Images, Map, Contact form
[Structural] Divider, Spacer, Button
[Media] adding a document or file, attaching a Flash item or inserting a YouTube video
[More] Block quote, adding a Poll, Survey, RSVP form, Forums, Social Media icons

For most users, these elements offered are sufficient for what they want to do. However, Starter, Pro and Business versions are available, for a monthly fee, to add audio, video, use e-commerce and obtain site statistics. New features are added frequently throughout the year so be sure to check them out to see if one of them may work on your site. If you can connect to the Internet, a website is easily within reach.

Professional templates are available and it is easy to edit pages. There are videos to watch and tutorials to read to help you create your site. As elements are added to the page, other toolbars or option boxes appear. Another nice feature is that Weebly does not put any ads on webpages (however, there is a default footer with the free version) as is often the case with other “free” web sites.

Go to www.weebly.com and watch the video; use the dots on the right side of the screen to learn a little more about how the site works. Click to see demos or Learn More about the different aspects of Weebly. When ready, sign up for an account.
Once the account is created, the Weebly Editor opens to the beginning of your website. Depending on the website design selected, it contains HOME, ABOUT and CONTACT pages. There may also be a prompt for a Headline to get started. Be creative – try things and see how they work.

Once you are satisfied with what you created, publish the site. Then let others know your Weebly web address and watch what happens.

2015 Winter Semester STICC Word 2010 Workshops

Word 2010 – 1
Tues., Jan 20 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Wed., Jan 21 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Word 2010 – 2
Tues., Jan 27 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Wed., Jan 28 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Word 2010 – 3
Tues., Feb 3 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Wed., Feb 4 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Word – Level 1: identify the parts of the Word window, open, create, save, close, rename, and delete a document, select, insert, delete, replace, copy, and preview and print a document
Word – Level 2: paragraph alignment, indent markers, custom tab stops, line spacing, lists, headers, footers, page breaks, and templates
Word – Level 3: Cover page, Text Box, background, style, theme, columns, tables, and Clip Art

Technology Assistant’s Corner

Technology Assistants are available in the STICC and the Library to assist students with most software technology issues.  This semester we highlight one who is in her third year with us.

Name: Ladreshalek (Dresha) Young
Major: Forensic Chemistry with a Minor in Criminal Justice
Career Plans: After I graduate with my bachelor’s degree, I plan to go on to medical school and become a Medical Examiner for a Federal Crime Lab.

2014Dec Young,L
What made you decide to attend Marygrove? I decided to come to Marygrove because it is a small school. With Marygrove being a small school, I was able to connect more with my professors and when I need help I am able to get one-on-one assistance.
What has been your favorite class at Marygrove? My favorite classes at Marygrove so far have been Crime Scene and Evidence Collection, Criminal Law and Science Seminar: HIV/AIDS.
Describe your best moment at Marygrove. During my sophomore year in my Science Seminar: HIV/AIDS, my class and I had the chance to help run the Marygrove health fair. I was able to create a game that helped individuals learn the facts about HIV and AIDS. This was my best moment at Marygrove because I was able to help and teach other students about a subject I am passionate about.
Why do you like working in Technology? I like working in technology because there is always something new to learn, both personal and educational.
What do you like best about the position you’re in now? I am able to help students learn about the basic computer programs and I am also able to learn about new programs that I haven’t used before.
What is your favorite software program? Why? My favorite software program is Movie Maker. I like Movie Maker because you are able to be creative. You can fuse music, videos and pictures all in one slide show. It’s good software to use to create slide shows for graduation or any other parties you may have.
Any “Words of Wisdom” for students? Whenever you have a paper or presentation to do, DO NOT wait until the last minute to do it. These assignments take a while if you want them to be great.

Rules in Microsoft Outlook

A rule is an action that is done automatically to incoming or outgoing messages, based on conditions that have been specified. It can be created from a template, from a message, or using your own conditions.

Note: these steps are for those using Microsoft Outlook 2010 (not the Web App).

Create a rule

Below are the steps needed to automatically categorize a message from your supervisor to the “From Supervisor” category. (If you haven’t created a category, see the March 20, 2014 post about this.)

1. Click on a message from your supervisor.
2. Home tab, Move group, Rules.
[Note the first option to always move messages from this person (to a designated folder). If this is the condition preferred, clicking here is a quick way to accomplish this rule. This is not what is being done here; continue to Step 3.]
3. Create Rule.
4. Click box in front of From [Supervisor’s name].
5. Since “Categorize” isn’t listed, click Advanced Options …
Rules Wizard opens, Step 1 (top part) shows the condition;
Step 2 shows the rule so far.
6. Click Next.
7. Click box in front of “assign it to the Category Category” (sets action);
Step 2 now shows the rule with this additional information.
8. Click on Category in the Step 2 area (bottom); established categories appear.
9. Click in the From Supervisor check-box and then click OK.
If this is the first time this category has been used, a dialog box opens asking if it should be renamed. If so, rename it and click OK.
The category name will now appear in the Step 2 area (below).
10. Click Next.
11. Select exceptions in Step 1, if any, then Next.
12. Rule name appears; give it a better description, if preferred.
Step 2 gives an option to run this rule for all messages already in “Inbox”. Click if preferred.
Turn on this rule (Step 2 area) should have a check mark in the box; if not, do so.
13. Finish (Runs the rule; if the option to run this for all messages appears, it may take a while as the rule is run.)
14. Make sure a check mark is in the box in front of the rule for this to run from this point forward.
15. Click OK to close the informational dialog box.

Review message list; if done correctly, all items meeting the criteria set (categorizing messages from Supervisor), should now be categorized as defined (have the color indicator with the message).

Student Tech Talk: Epsilen ePortfolios

In recent years, electronic portfolios have gone from being just a good idea to an essential tool for college students and job seekers. In an effort to introduce Marygrove students to the value of presenting their academic accomplishments and professional goals in a simple, but well-organized format, Educational Technology Services and the new TWIG Makerspace now provide training and support for an ePortfolio program called Epsilen.

Epsilen is a technology company that provides cloud based services to both K-12 and higher education institutions. Among them are assessment tools and learning management systems (similar to Blackboard). While most of their products are fee-based, they also offer a free ePortfolio tool, available to anyone with a .edu email address.

The free version of the ePortfolio creator is fairly basic, but allows students (as well as faculty and staff) to create a professional looking profile and upload a resume as well as anything that showcases their work and accomplishments, including documents, images, videos, and presentations. And Epsilen allows its users to decide which individual items are made available to the public and which are viewable only to a certain population.

Epsilen was formally introduced to Marygrove this fall, when Professor Jerry van Rossum asked the students in his Introduction to Business course to use Epsilen to create an employment ePortfolio. I conducted a training session for the class, and provided them with copies of a Quick Reference Guide to help them along. At the conclusion of the assignment, students were asked to complete a brief survey about their experience with Epsilen.

While students had few complaints about the process of registering for a free user account, and felt the guide was helpful, opinions were mixed when it came to the heart of building an ePortfolio: adding content (see below).

survey_question1survey_question2survey_question3

When asked what they liked best, some students responded:

“What I like best was how if you didn’t have a resume or portfolio they gave you a template to fill out . . .”

“I like the fact that it was very easy to use, the instructions were very precise and clear. . . I also like that I can control who sees what!!!”

Among the things students liked least, however were, “how long it takes to load up” and “how uncreative it was.” One student who found Epsilen “hard to understand” and “not . . . user friendly” thought a “video tutorial” on the product’s website would have proven useful.

Marygrove College does not currently subscribe to any ePortfolio service, so a product like Epsilen is seen as a suitable, no-cost option. Using the feedback from those who have already used Epsilen, ETS will take steps to improve the training process and overall user experience for anyone interested in creating a basic professional electronic portfolio.

Exciting Things are Happening in ETS!

Fall 2014 ushered in some very neat changes to the Educational Technology Services department, and I’d like to share some of them with you.

New Resources

In terms of new resources, I am extremely happy to announce the launch of a new technology facility called the TWIG (Technology Workspace for Innovative Geeks) which officially opened for business on October 13, 2014.

The TWIG

Located on the lower level of the Library, in room L003, the TWIG is a digital media makerspace.  The purpose of the TWIG is to provide a place where students, can access and experiment with tools and resources that will help them make the shift from “passive consumers” of digital content to “producers” of messages using images, language and sound.     On campuses across the country and at Marygrove, students are being prepared for 21st century life by not just being asked to outline and revise papers, but also to storyboard videos, build websites, and repurpose existing content that can educate, persuade, motivate and inspire others, in new, innovative and meaningful ways.

Students in all disciplines will benefit from the resources in the TWIG.  For example, an Education student might use resources in the facility to create an Infographic of the changing state of education in the Unites States, or to create an educational video game for first graders.  A student in any discipline might use the space to create a digital portfolio to showcase their growth and understanding of their discipline over time, and to store artifacts as proof of their achievement of learning outcomes, a Social Work student might create a visual essay to call attention to a social problem.  A CIS student might create a website of resources that are helpful in understanding complex topics in the major. An English student might create a book trailer (think movie trailer) for reporting on the salient parts of an assigned novel. A business student might use it to create a useful phone app that can be uploaded and sold online for profit, or to print a prototype of a product they designed.    A faculty member might use it to video record a lecture or to add audio to lecture notes.   All of these things and much more can be created in the TWIG.

TWIG resources

The following is a list of equipment/resources available in the TWIG:

  1. Makerbot 3-D Printer (print 3-D objects)
  2. Recording Studio (create podcasts, voiceovers, and other audio files)
  3. High end digital video camera (digital storytelling, creating visual essays)
    1. Green Screen (built in set which can be used as a background to conduct interviews, create a video, create a talk show)
    2. Software:  A variety of commercial as well as open source software is available  for creating all of the content types mentioned above

Training and Support

Personalized walkthroughs of the TWIG are available to faculty who are interested in learning more about TWIG resources and how non-traditional content types can be incorporated into their courses.  Faculty may also request an in class presentation for their students on TWIG resources.

There will be a Tea & Technology event that will provide an overview of TWIG resources and showcase projects and assignments that have been created by students at other institutions using similar resources.  Be on the lookout for the announcement for this event

One on one training will be available on an appointment basis for anyone interested in learning to use the equipment/software available in the TWIG.  Beginning in winter 2015 full workshops will be available on using many of the programs available in the TWIG.

New Programming

After a successful pilot during the winter 2014 semester, we have included the following workshops to our lineup:

Fall 2014

Game Development Basics

In this workshop participants will gain an exposure to game creation concepts, and will use the popular GameMaker software program to create a basic action game.

Work Smarter not Harder

Geared toward staff, but open to all members of the community, this four workshop series covers advanced Microsoft Word topics including creating forms, mail merge, templates and styles and integrating documents.

2014 Fall Semester ETS/STICC Workshops

Call 313-927-1582 or visit the STICC (L011) to register for these workshops.

Word 2010 – 1
Tues., Sept. 16 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Wed., Sept. 17 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Word 2010 – 2
Tues., Sept. 23 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Wed., Sept. 24 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Word 2010 – 3
Tues., Sept. 30 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Wed., Oct. 1 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
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PowerPoint 2010 – 1
Tues., Oct. 14 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Wed., Oct. 15 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

PowerPoint 2010 – 2
Tues., Oct. 21 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Wed., Oct. 22 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

PowerPoint 2010 – 3
Tues., Oct. 28 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Wed., Oct. 29 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
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Excel 2010 – 1
Tues., Nov. 11 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Wed., Nov. 12 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Excel 2010 – 2
Tues., Nov. 18 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Wed., Nov. 19 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Excel 2010 – 3
Tues., Nov. 25 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Wed., Nov. 26 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
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Prezi – Create an on-line presentation
Thurs., Oct. 2 12 p.m. – 2 p.m.
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Weebly – Create a website
Mon., Oct. 6 12 p.m. – 2 p.m.
Tues., Oct. 7 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
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Gaming – 1
Thurs., Nov. 13 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.