Categories in Outlook

Color adds visibility to your desktop Outlook items. Color categories can be assigned to email messages in Microsoft Outlook, which enables you to quickly identify them and associate them with related items. This is especially helpful for those who do not use folders to sort email. Categories can be renamed and additional ones can be created.

The directions below give steps to create a category to then place all emails, meetings/appointments and tasks from your supervisor in that category.  The follow-up to this will create a rule to then automatically categorize these items as they arrive in the Inbox.

Notes:    These steps are for those using Microsoft Outlook 2010 (not the Web App).
For calendar items, the Tags group appears on the Appointment or Meeting tab.
For an open contact or task, the Tags group appears on the Contact or Task tab.

Create a category

  1. On the Home tab, in the Tags group, click Categorize, and then click All Categories.
  2. Click New.    
  3. In the Name box, type a name for the new color category.  (“From Supervisor”)
  4. Click the arrow next to Color, click the color that you want (if a different color then the default is preferred).
  5. Click OK on the Add New Category and Color Categories dialog boxes.

Categorize an email, meeting /appointment or task

  1. Selected the item.
  2. On the Home tab, in the Tags group, click Categorize.
  3. Use the drop down arrow to select the category/color from the list.

Sort by category

  1. Select the folder to search from the left panel.
  2. On the Search tab in the Ribbon, click on More in Refine group.
  3. Click Categories.
  4. Use the drop down arrow to select the category.
  5. Use any other needed filters.
  6. Click the magnifying glass to begin the search; the results will be displayed in the area below the search criteria.

Rename a category

  1. Click the arrow next to Categorize (Home tab/Tags group).
  2. Click All Categories.
  3. Check the category name to be changed (entire name is highlighted).
  4. Click Rename.
  5. Type the preferred name.
  6. Click OK.

 

Student Tech Talk

Online Collaborative Study  and Support

It is widely understood that students benefit from the collaborative wisdom of their instructors and classmates. A number of free online resources have expanded this notion into different ways to crowdsource – that is, to pull together from the general public of internet users – knowledge and materials, allowing students to work with and learn from members of a worldwide community.

OpenStudy
Advertising itself as something like a massively multiplayer online study group, OpenStudy is a social network based on collaborative learning. The free service was created by colleagues from Georgia Tech and Emory University and opened to the public in the summer of 2010. OpenStudy invites users to build study networks by joining groups and following other students. Participants post questions on nearly any academic subject and the site matches them up with others who, based on their profiles and availability, help guide the asker to a source or a solution.

Aware of the potential hazard of students using the site as an “answer machine” (i.e., as a means to cheat), the framers of OpenStudy emphasize a code of conduct for its users, with the possibility that violators may be banned. All members of the OpenStudy community are encouraged to be polite and supportive and, above all, to both seek and provide guidance, explanations, and understanding – not just the correct answer.

Sources:
The Chronicle of Higher Education
OpenStudy in the News

Koofers
Available free of charge to anyone with a college or university email address, this web based service contains an extensive library of practice tests and study materials. With a focus on information sharing, Koofers – a play on the word “coffer” (a strongbox for valuables) – was started as a means to share past exams and rate professors, but has grown into a resource that includes virtual flashcards, comparisons of textbook prices from multiple vendors, a digital mapping tool for course scheduling, and a Q&A forum to allow students to discuss specific courses and programs at their respective institutions.

Another interesting aspect of Koofers is its focus on pairing employers and recruiting firms with college students interested in jobs and internships. Those looking for qualified student interns or soon-to-be graduates have access to a searchable database of over one million candidates.

Sources:
Koofers: About Us
Virginia Tech Collegiate Times

ThinkBinder
A relatively new tool on the block – the startup was launched in 2012 – ThinkBinder was recently acquired by lecture capture leader Echo360. ThinkBinder is a social learning platform that provides students and faculty with tools for video chat and a collaborative whiteboard.

This free application allows students to invite their peers to join a study group via Facebook and email and then share and exchange notes, bookmarks, and multi-media files. The company’s philosophy is built around the idea that group study, extended beyond the classroom to a digital environment, should be convenient, easy to use, and free of the clutter often associated with online services.

Sources:
Gigaom.com
ThinkBinder.com

What’s new in Blackboard? Service Pack 13!

The new year ushered in a new semester and a new look to the Blackboard learning management system. Marygrove’s Information Technology Services Department launched Service Pack 13 just before the start of the winter 2014 term. A new service pack can include a patch to fix a known problem, security upgrades, visual enhancements, and other changes to improve the users’ teaching and learning experience. Here are some of the new Blackboard features that come with Service Pack 13. (The following information was adapted from the Blackboard On Demand Learning Center.)

New Crisp, Uncluttered Interface

The first thing you will notice is a much cleaner, crisp, uncluttered, yet familiar look to the interface design.  This new design makes it easier to navigate the platform and complete tasks.

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Course-to-Course Navigation

While you are in one course you can click the Action Link next to the Home button to jump from course to course.

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Course Themes

Themes and Structures can be used to make changes to the formatting of a course. Themes are purely a cosmetic change, while Structures fundamentally change the design of a course. Themes are pre-set color schemes that an instructor can apply to a course. Once a theme is selected, all students will see the course with the theme applied. A theme can be changed as often as desired, and the Default theme will return the course back to the original color scheme.

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Global Navigation and My Blackboard

Everything you need for your Blackboard experience is in one convenient location. My Blackboard provides you with quick and easy access to critical and timely information regarding your school, courses, and fellow classmates. From My Blackboard you can view how you are doing in each of the courses you are enrolled in, see grades, be reminded of assignments that are due, and much more.

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Discussion Board

The discussion board has been thoroughly redesigned.  Changes include:  All posts on one page.  The entire discussion thread appears on a single page, thereby maintaining the context of posts and replies to one another. 

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User Profile — A profile is a reflection of how you want to present yourself to your peers, classmates, and instructors. In your Blackboard profile, you decide what you want to be called, what your academic interests are, and anything else you want to share with other users.

Conditional highlighting of instructor’s postsConditional highlighting makes it easier for students to find posts from instructors in a sea of other posts.

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Respond to posts inline – When clicking “Reply” the text editor appears in the context of the discussion so as not to interrupt the flow of the conversation.

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Post first – In addition to the above, there is also a new setting that permits instructors to specify that students must enter their own thread before viewing other threads in a forum.

Calendar

The calendar has been completely rebuilt, providing a much more modern tool both in terms of looks and functionality.  Calendar events can be color coded to differentiate courses and personal items.  Items that have assigned due dates automatically appear on the calendar.  It is also now possible to create recurring events. 

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The Retention Center

This is a new feature.  The Center highlights retention factors and student engagement, alerting faculty to potential risk and allowing them to take action.  The easy to understand views and pre-configured rules make it easy to identify at-risk students within a course.  NO SETUP is required on the part of the instructor.  However, instructors can modify the rules to suit their own individual teaching methods.

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Inline Assignment Grading

Inline Assignment Grading is an improvement when it comes to grading assignments.  Instead of requiring instructors to download student submitted files, instructors can now view student submitted files “inline.”

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Also new in this service pack is the ability to fix problematic questions by simply editing them directly and having all updates sent automatically to the Grade Center. Negative Marking allows instructors to apply negative point values for wrong answers.

Content Editor

The newly designed content editor vastly improves the user experience for adding text and other forms of digital content to Blackboard. 

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ETS/STICC Software Workshops – 2014 Winter Semester

Word 2010 – Level 1
Tues., January 21, 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Wed., January 22, 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Word 2010 – Level 2
Wed., January 28, 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Wed., January 29, 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Word 2010 – Level 3
Tues., February 4, 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Wed., February 5, 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Word – Level 1: Geared toward the novice user, participants in this workshop will learn to 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: This workshop is intended for those who have mastered the skills introduced in the prior workshop and will cover the following topics: paragraph alignment, indent markers, custom tab stops, line spacing, lists, headers, footers, page breaks, and templates.
Word – Level 3: In this third workshop in the series, participants will learn advanced features of the program including Cover page, Text Box, background, style, theme, columns, tables, and Clip Art.

PowerPoint 2010 – Level 1
Tues., February 18, 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Wed., February 19, 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
PowerPoint 2010 – Level 2
Tues., February 25, 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Wed., February 26, 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
PowerPoint 2010 – Level 3
Tues., March 11, 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Wed., March 12, 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
PowerPointLevel 1: This workshop has been crafted to help beginners develop the fundamental skill needed to perform a variety of basic tasks including identifying the parts of the PowerPoint window; opening, creating, and editing a presentation; using the text style, spelling and grammar checker, changing slide layout, and slide transitions.
PowerPointLevel 2: In this workshop, participants will learn to use tables, charts, clip art images, pictures, shapes, un/group, WordArt & Quick Access Toolbar.
PowerPointLevel 3: Animation, sounds, movies, navigating a slide show, virtual pen, hyperlinks, working with a Slide Master and changing default settings are introduced this PowerPoint workshop.

Excel 2010 – Level 1
Tues., March 25, 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Wed., March 26, 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Excel 2010 – Level 2
Tues., April 1, 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Wed., April 2, 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Excel 2010 – Level 3
Tues., April 8, 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Wed., April 9, 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
ExcelLevel 1: In this first of three Excel workshops, participants will learn to identify the functions and parts of the Excel window, create, navigate, format, preview, print a worksheet, and perform basic calculations.
ExcelLevel 2: This workshop covers features of Excel such as charts, graphs, templates and formatting.
ExcelLevel 3: Participants will create formulas using the Insert function; change worksheet views (freezing titles, hiding data); consolidate worksheets and create a summary sheet; change page layout, create a header and footer.

Weebly – Create a website: Bring an idea and leave with a website created at weebly.com
Mon., February 24, 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Thurs., February 27, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Current & Emerging Technologies

StudyBlueLogo

StudyBlueLogo

StudyBlue is an online tool for students, faculty and even staff, who work with students, that makes learning more accessible. StudyBlue allows faculty to create flashcards, quizzes, and other easy-to-use tools to make studying easier for students. Since learning is moving into the digital age, why not advance studying as well.

StudyBlue is easy to set up. Faculty members can create classes of information for student use to study with. Students can then join classes of information and study terms, diagrams, slides, text descriptions and even quiz themselves. This tool even allows for student collaboration. Students can upload information related to the course to better assist students in studying and prepping for tests and exams.

StudyBlue is dedicated to being where students need them to be. This niche allows StudyBlue to be available for mobile devices via the iOS and Android operating systems, MACs and PCs and tablets as well. If you know of a student who is having difficulty studying, StudyBlue may be the solution to their problem.

Visit their website for more information: StudyBlue

Watch StudyBlue’s Why We Study video here.

Badge Certification Program

Have you taken, or are considering taking a workshop, offered by the Educational Technology Services department located in the STICC? Starting this winter semester, the STICC will be offering digital badges for those who take the Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint workshops.

A digital badge is an online representation of a skill you have earned. You earn badges through a process in which you learn a skill and complete the challenges for that particular skill, given by the issuer of the badge. Badges are used as a method of showing one’s achievement in a particular area. They can play an important role in establishing your digital resume (a digital compilation of your skills and achievements). They can be showcased on your social media sites, your professional social sites (i.e. LinkedIn, etc.), your personal websites and blogs, and other areas as well.

The badge certification is optional. Workshop attendees may still take the workshops without going through the badge earning process. However, if you are interested in earning a badge, here are a few things you should know.
There are five types of badges to earn, each requiring the participant pass a proficiency test with a score 70% or higher.
a. A Word Series badge: Participants must take the Level 1, 2 and 3 Word workshops, and pass the Word proficiency test.
b. An Excel Series badge: Participants must take the Level 1, 2 and 3 Excel workshops, and pass the Excel proficiency test.
c. PowerPoint Series badge: Participants must take the Level 1, 2 and 3 PowerPoint workshops, and pass the PowerPoint proficiency test.
d. A Microsoft Workshop level 1 badge: Participants must take the Level 1 Word, Excel, and PowerPoint workshops, and pass the Level 1 proficiency test.
e. A Microsoft Workshop level 2 badge: Participants must take the Level 1 and 2 Word, Excel, and PowerPoint workshops, and pass the Level 2 proficiency test.

We are very excited about offering our students, faculty, and alumni the opportunity to expand upon their skills, while receiving recognition for their efforts. Digital badges are a futuristic approach of allowing a person to build upon their degree and other talents that will continue to flourish. Call the STICC at 313-927-1582 to sign up for our workshops and start building upon your digital resume!