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Canvas spotlight: The Calendar Tool

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.

Read the rest of “Canvas spotlight: The Calendar Tool” »

Firefox: Adding Sites to the New Tab Page

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:

Audacity’s Envelope tool makes you a DJ

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” »

How to manage what syncs from Box on your local computer

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.

See https://support.box.com/hc/en-us/articles/200852677-Box-Sync-4-0-Release-Notes#unsyncondelete

Tableau Experience in Indianapolis, April 24

Join us for The Tableau Experience in Indianapolis and transform the way you think about data. Mark your calendar and learn how you can make an impact with data in your department and beyond. All are welcome!

Indianapolis | 24 April, 2014 | 2:00 – 5:30PM EDT

Free registration

Read the rest of “Tableau Experience in Indianapolis, April 24″ »

Comparing two folders in Windows

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.

Read the rest of “Comparing two folders in Windows” »

next.iu decision: IU chooses Canvas

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:

Perhaps some of these features will lead you to switch your course management to Canvas long before Oncourse is retired.  I know once I saw the Calendar tool, I was a huge fan. More to come!

Word: Removing unneeded line break after a table

Found a really great tip the other day over at Penn State. Unfortunately the page is now giving me a 404 error, so I’m reproducing the tip here.

Have you ever added a table to a the end of Word document and ended with an extra page that you couldn’t get rid of? The problem is that when you add a table at the end of a Word document, Word automatically adds paragraph mark after a table.

Most of time this paragraph doesn’t cause a problem, but sometimes there isn’t room for the paragraph at the end of the document and you end up with an extra blank page.

To get rid of the extra page:

  1. Open the document.
  2. If necessary, go to the Home tab on the ribbon.
  3. Turn on the formatting codes by clicking the Show/Hide Button. See Figure 1.

    Image showing the location of the Show/Hide button on the Home tab of Word.

    Figure 1

  4. Find and select the extra paragraph mark.
  5. To open the Font properties dialog box, click the dialog box launcher. See Figure 2.

    image showing location of the font dialog box launcher

    Figure 2

  6. In the Effect section of the Font dialog box, select the Hidden checkbox. See Figure 3.

    Image showing the Fonts dialog box with the Effects Hidden option location highlighted

    Figure 3

  7. Click OK to accept the changes.When you look at the page, it appears the extra space is still there.
  8. Turn off the formatting codes by clicking the Show/Hide button again.

You now should see the document without the extra page.

Daily Chuckle

…heard a good one on the way to work this morning, and I thought others might enjoy it, too.

Why didn’t they call iPhone chargers “apple juice?”   
 

SIS Glossary

Are you a new IU staff member who is also new to using the Student Information System (SIS)?  Are you trying to find more information about what certain terms in SIS mean?  If so, click here to see the SIS Glossary of terms and definitions.  Don’t forget to use the alphabet at the top of the page. Click on the first letter of the term you are searching for and this will move you directly to that particular section of the glossary.

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