Infographics using easel.ly

You’ve seen and heard of infographics; now is the time to create one yourself!
An infographic takes a large amount of information in text or numerical form and condenses it into a combination of images and text, allowing viewers to quickly grasp the essential insights the data contains.

There are eight types of infographics. Knowing the types can make outlining your content and finding an appropriate design much easier.

Subject Specific: Provides all of the facts about one thing or topic
a. Talks about benefits or risks
b. Includes researched statistics
c. Generally only includes validated and widely accepted recommendations
d. Meant to be educational
e. Is fact based

Brand Specific: All about a product, company or brand
a. Similar to a subject specific
b. Meant to help sell a product or promote a brand
c. Usually includes statistics & comparisons
d. Should utilize brand colors, fonts and feel, unless you are not the owner of the brand

How to: Tells the reader how to do something
a. Usually has numbered instructions
b. Walks the reader through a process
c. The steps can be based on research or based on experience

Recommendations: Provides your recommendations
a. Can be based partly on fact, but also includes your personal insight
b. Often times is masked by a How to, or other title, but always includes specific recommendations mixed with facts and quotes
c. Can be a ‘guide’ or have numbers

Time Sensitive: Covers a time sensitive subject
a. Can be just about anything that is relevant for a particular time.
(i.e. political, news, social, product launch, industry specific, etc.)
b. Is generally used to get a large number of views because if the increased searchability of the topic
c. Need to consider large influx vs longevity of being relevant

The History Of: Walks the reader through a timeline
a. Usually includes years
b. Can walk through the life of a person, product, movement, event, etc.
c. Is great to show how something has changed, grown, or affected us

Decision Tree: Breaks down a process depending on our choices
a. Include yes/no branches
b. Are great to show the reader the consequences of certain decisions
c. Can get complicated

Top #: Gives the top # (number varies) of something
a. Can be the top # by success
b. Can be the top # by your recommendation
c. Can be the top # of benefits or risks
d. Can be a comparison list
e. The list goes on and on

Easel.ly is a website that features thousands of free infographic templates and design objects which users can customize to create and share their visual ideas online or print. Using the site is as easy as dragging and dropping design elements; users can either choose a template from their extensive library or they can upload their own background image and start from scratch. Thousands of users have already registered with Easel.ly and thousands of infographics are produced using the site every month. They have also created an easy-to-use guidebook that is available by clicking here.

Go on … get creative and design an infographic at www.easel.ly!

ETS serves as a CIS Intern Placement for two students

This semester, the ETS Department served as a placement for two interns from the CIS program, Gaoussou Cisse and Antonio Reyes. They learned about the technologies available in the TWIG (Technology Workspace for Innovative Geeks), which is designed to help students master new forms of media. They also learned the various aspects of working in the STICC. With this experience, they now have a working knowledge of 3-D printing, using ChromaKey (green screen software), Blender (a video editor), Gimp (an image editor), creating infographics using http://www.easel.ly/, creating a phone app with App Inventor and getting an understanding of working in a digital media makerspace.
I asked them a few questions about their experience here.

CisseG Apr292015 Gaoussou Cisse
Major/Career Plans: Computer Information System

What’s your earliest or funniest memory of using technology?
When I first came to the TWIG and I was told about all these programs had to learn, my first thoughts were “How am I going to learn everything all at once?”. As the semester went on and I kept using these programs, I began to learn the tools and created my own programs.
The funniest moment here at the TWIG was when I figured out a way to connect the music host from a website to my program ( to create my own radio station); I thought that was pretty cool.

Why do you like working in Technology?
I’ve loved technology ever since I was back home in the Ivory Coast. I’ve always wanted to deal with technology; unfortunately we did not have any type of technology. Coming to America was helpful because this is where I was able to really do what I want and work on cool programs. Marygrove College and Ms. Brawner and her team really helped me better my knowledge on Technology. I can proudly say I know a little more than the average person.

What is your favorite software program you learned working your internship in the TWIG? Why?
My favorite programs are Camtasia and Blender and AppIventor. I love creating with these tools. I can almost create anything I want, and since I love graphic designing, with these tools you can design anything you want from shapes and sizes.

Any “Words of Wisdom” for students about using technology?
With technology you figure out things — if you can think it you can make it … it might not be easy but it is possible.


ReyesA  Apr292015Antonio Reyes
Major/Career Plans: Computer Information System/Video Game Design

What’s your earliest or funniest memory of using technology?
The earliest with technology is about when I was three years old; I used to play The NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) for hours at a time. I used to play Metroid the most and spend hours traveling down corridors filled with monsters.

Why do you like working in Technology?
It’s interesting figuring out how a machine thinks in terms of programming, it’s simple for a person to pick up that box and put it over there. For a machine, you have to program to bend the knees, keep balance through muscle adjustments, move the arms to clasp the box, have adjustments to compensate for the added weight, stand back up, coordinate the movement to adjust for various terrain, and by the time you reach the location to put it down, you should have to program the reverse of picking it up.

What is your favorite software program you learned working your internship in the TWIG? Why?
Blender, it offers for a better insight on video game design through the creation of 3D models and some of the animation behind it. Even though I have spent a good deal of time using Blender, I still have a way to go before I can be proficient enough to use it how I want.
Game-maker was another program I have had fun with; it was too hard to choose only one. It offered me the ability to create 2D games that were simply made and with relative ease.

Any “Words of Wisdom” for students about using technology?
With enough hard work or dedication you can create, design and envision anything; it does however take a certain degree of maturity to use it. Also, keep your hand away from anything that uses heat in the hundreds of Celsius. The 3D printer in the TWIG can be very unforgiving.

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.