Thursday, January 27, 2011

10 Reasons Students Say They Prefer Learning Online

I read different blogs and articles to stay current with technology. I recently came across an article titled "10 Reasons Students Say They Prefer Learning Online" and I think its fascinating to get student perspectives for learning online. It is no secret that online learning is growing in this technology era. There are more adult learners wanting to go back to school and online courses is a convenient way to earn their degree.

The argument for undergraduates is that they prefer to have an in class college experience and they will take online classes, but earning degrees online would not be their choice. When I received my undergraduate degree, online courses were new and I preferred to take traditional classes to receive the college experience. Like any generation times are changing and technology plays a significant role in that change. To some of us online learning for undergraduates may have a bigger change than we expect.

Here is the link for the article

10 Reasons Students Say They Prefer Learning Online

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Keyboard Shortcuts Rock!

I love keyboard shortcuts. Spending as much time as I do on the keyboard every day makes me appreciate the timesavings afforded by shortcuts. True, we are probably talking microseconds of difference when pressing a keyboard combination rather than the point-and-click of a mouse. But there is something gratifying about pressing a series of keys and having the function appear on your screen rather than venturing through a series of mouse clicks.

Therefore, I'd like to share with you some of my favorite shortcuts that save me a few seconds each day. I get shortcuts from a number of sources including the Microsoft websites, online support manuals and various blogs and articles I stumble across. The shortcuts in this post come from an RSS feed from Microsoft titled Microsoft at Home.

I suggest not learning all of these but rather picking out the functions you use most frequently. For example, in Word I am always using shortcuts to copy (Ctrl + C), paste (Ctrl + V), cut (Ctrl + X , undo (Ctrl + Z), select all (Ctrl + A), bold (Ctrl + B), italicize (Ctrl + I) and underline (Ctrl + U).

And remember that virtually every software program will have its own set of shortcuts. Check the users manual, click the Help button, or Google "keyboard shortcuts" and the name of the program.

And please share your own personal shortcut favorites in the Comments section.

Desktop keyboard shortcuts:

To...Use this shortcut
Select a file/folder/icon
Type the first letter of the file. If you have several files starting with the same letter, continue hitting the letter key until your cursor lands on the file or folder you want.
Search for a file/folder
Rename a file/folder
Select the file/folder, click F2, and then re-type the name
Find out when the file or folder was created, by whom, and how big it is
Select the file, right-click, and then click Properties
Display the Start menu
Ctrl + Esc
Create a shortcut on your desktop to your favorite file/folder
Drag the file/folder icon to your desktop
Scroll between open items
Alt + Tab, then hold down Alt while clicking Tab to reach the desired file or program

Internet Explorer keyboard shortcuts:

To...Use this shortcut
Add sites to your Favorites
Go to the site.
Hit Ctrl + D to add to your Favorites.
Select Favorites and then Add to Favorites to create a separate folder for the site or to add it to a list already formed.
Select a home page
Go to the Web page that you would like to make your home page.
Open the Tools menu and select Internet Options.
Under Home page, click Use Current.
Use the History function if you visit a few select sites constantly
Select the History button on your top navigation (a green arrow on a clock face).
Select the site that you would like and double-click.
If the History button is not visible, go to the View menu, select Explorer Bar, and then click History to access.
Customize your toolbar to the tools you use most frequently
Right-click your top navigation.
Select the icons that you use or go to the View menu, select Toolbars, and then clickCustomize.

MS Word keyboard shortcuts:

To...Use this shortcut
Select text
Shift + Right Arrow, Left Arrow, Up Arrow, or Down Arrow to highlight text
Copy selected text
Ctrl + C
Cut selected text
Ctrl + X
Paste selected text
Ctrl + V
Undo your last action
Ctrl + Z
Select all the text within your document
Ctrl + A
Bold text
Ctrl + B
Italicize text
Ctrl + I
Ctrl + U
Decrease font size
Ctrl + Shift + <
Increase font size
Ctrl + Shift + >
Change font
Ctrl + Shift + F, then use the arrow keys to reach the new font
Change font size
Ctrl + Shift + P, then use the arrow keys to reach the new font size
Create page break
Ctrl + Enter
Create new document
Ctrl + N
Open My Documents window
Ctrl + O
Close a document
Ctrl + W
Save a document
Ctrl + S
Print a document
Ctrl + P
Preview what you're about to print
Alt + Ctrl + I

Excel keyboard shortcuts:

To...Use this shortcut
Move right to left, cell by cell
Move up and down, cell by cell
Erase data in current cell
Return to the beginning of the row
Enter the date
Ctrl + ; (semicolon)
Enter the time
Ctrl + Shift + : (colon)
Start a formula
= (equal sign)
Check the spelling of titles or words within the cells
Find out about the style within the cell
ALT + ' (apostrophe)
Display the Format Cells dialog box
Ctrl + 1
Apply the general number format
Ctrl + Shift + ~
Turn numbers into dollars
Ctrl + Shift + $
Make numbers a percentage
Ctrl + Shift + %
Apply a border
Ctrl + Shift + &

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

iSpring Free for PowerPoint

iSpring Free

"iSpring Free PowerPoint to Flash Converter creates web-friendly Flash presentations from your PowerPoint content keeping its visual parameters, animation effects, slide transitions, audio narrations, video and Flash objects after conversion."
  • iSpring Free is PowerPoint plug-in.
  • Install iSpring Free and it shows as a tab when PowerPoint is launched.
  • iSpring is free.
  • It is compatible with any PowerPoint Version XP/2003/2007/2010.
  • It is compatible with Windows only.
  • Students do not need to download the PowerPoint presentation; they simply view it in their web browser. They need flash player to view the presentation.
  • Three files are published and all the files need to be uploaded to Angel.
  • Reduces File Size.

Rating scale: Excellent (5) Very good (4), Good (3), Fair (2), Poor (1)

Feature or task
Downloading and installing the program
Publishing a presentation
Ease of use
Availability of tutorials or help