Canvas, the learning management system recently chosen to replace Oncourse, has many tools that will help instructors and students better manage their academic lives. In this series we’ll be examining some of the nifty things we can do with these tools.
The first tool to be spotlighted is the Calendar tool. When I first started exploring this tool, I was very pleased at how intuitive it was. The more I played around, however, the more impressed I became. Let me show you some of the highlights.
Recently, I wanted to add a website to the new tab page that appears in Firefox when a new tab is opened. In looking at the help pages from Firefox, I found it showed how to work with pages that were automatically added and how add a bookmarked page. However, it seemed to me that bookmarking a page first shouldn’t be required. I searched on Google and found other people with the same issue. At this pointed I decided to just try some things, and I found that it is possible. The screen cast included below shows how to add a website to the new tab page:
I recently had the chance to invite friends and family to a celebration, and as I was planning the event I decided I wanted music – both for ambiance, and for dancing – but I really don’t like hiring a DJ for these things. Aside from wanting to save money (which was a factor, of course), I’m not very fond of the emcee role that most DJs naturally take on. So I set about creating my own playlists for my iPod touch.
The playlist idea was shaping up nicely until I learned that my iPod touch, being 4th generation (I mentioned being careful about money, right?), did not have a very important feature: the ability to crossfade tracks. This is one thing that a DJ really helps with – getting rid of the pauses that come between songs. Some of those can be mitigated by going into the track info in iTunes and choosing specific start and end times for each song (very useful for songs that have ginormous gaps at one end or the other), but it doesn’t have that smooth transition that makes it sound professional. Read the rest of “Audacity’s Envelope tool makes you a DJ” »
Do you want some documents, such as just those files you use at the office, to remain only in your Box account but not be synced to your local computer? You can be selective about what your local Box Sync app slurps from your Box account. There are two ways to do this.
When using a browser in your account on the Web, for each folder you can right-click an options arrow located next to the Share link and choose Sync Folder to Computer or else Unsync. This includes or excludes the entire folder for all your synced devices.
If you don’t want certain folders on a single local system, you can also delete the folder from your Box folder on that local system. Deleting a folder in your local system does not delete the same folder on Box; it will merely unsync the folder, remove it from your local system, and keep it saved on Box. However, if you want to delete this folder in both locations, you need to explicitly delete the required folder in your Box account on the Web. This behavior protects content from unintentional and accidental deletions.
A special note: This behavior only applies to folders. If you delete a file in your local system, you will automatically be deleting it from Box as well.
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Have you been in the situation where you have two folders that are almost exactly identical, and you want to know the difference between the two folders? Maybe you want to compare the System32 folder of one computer with that of another, to make sure they both have the same drivers. Checking for differences between folders in Windows is pretty simple, but is a bit hidden from plain view.
For the sake of this tutorial, consider that we FolderA and FolderB, both on the Desktop, and we want to see the difference in the folders’ contents. To do this, we will make use of the Windows Command Processor, which is also known as the Command Prompt.
To keep Oncourse, or not to keep Oncourse, that was the question…
…and now we have an answer. Over the next two years, Indiana University will be transitioning away from Oncourse as our learning management system (or LMS, for those who like acronyms and abbreviations), in favor of a new LMS called Canvas. Canvas is offered by a company named Instructure, and as we at IU start moving over, we’ll have a series on this blog detailing some of the neat new features that Canvas has to offer.
Ready to learn more about Canvas? Try these links to start with: