Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Planning Office Parties and Holiday Carry-ins

Planning a holiday party? Having an office carry-in? Just went to an event and EVERYONE brought meatballs?

Try this online Potluck tool for your next event. If the band parents are bringing in dishes for Senior Night to feed 150 students or you have a small gathering of 20 the Perfect Potluck will help you cut down on duplicates AND get the items you need.

There does need to be an administrator but you signup per event NOT to create an account.

Once you setup your event anyone with the admin password can edit the types of items needed. Then guests can visit the link and 'take' an item and post what they are bringing, they don't need to login.

You can print a schedule and email participants to remind them of the event or what they signed up to bring. It's super easy, and very accessible.

Have fun planning your next social event with Perfect Potluck.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Computer Science Education Week {BONUS TIP}

There is a huge buzz about teaching students about computer science. (see infographic)

But the thing is...many adults are intimidated by what it MIGHT take to learn the code.
Take the first step along with our students to learn basics of coding. This module is like a game and only takes an hour. For some of you it will take less. I had one 5th grade student finish the Hour of Code in 25 minutes. Take a look and have fun!

Begin to code in 1-hour

Have fun!!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Weather Alerts

It's that most wonderful time of the year, when everyone's wondering...do we have school today?

There are many ways districts get out their information to students and employees using TV and radio media, social media, and all-call phone systems.

These methods beat the call chain and waiting an hour on Smiling Bob to read your school on the list. Thing is, most recently I actually was more successful with watching the TV, scanning 194 closings/delays than actually receiving the all-call 30 minutes later. I would have been cleaning my car off by the time I got the call. With all the outlets school districts contact to get the word out it's no fault of the district but...what is the best method for getting your closing and delay news?

My tech tip this week is Text Alerts. Here is the best part. Several news outlets will text you if your district contacts them. You just have to register your cell to receive the texts, and the district doesn't have to do anything extra.

This free service is available in the Ohio Miami Valley on WDTN. Simply visit the text alerts page, find your school or business...sign up for more than one even,then get texts to your cell when that district/business calls.

Enjoy the most wonderful time of the year!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Save As PDF

Often I receive emails or visit websites with Word documents as attachments. This poses a problem if I am viewing the email from an Apple device or mobile device that does not have the Microsoft Software. Even many desktop/laptop computers do not have the Microsoft Office software installed. If you are sending information AND do not need the receiver to edit the document, then I find it best to send and post PDF versions of the file.

PDF noun
1. A file format that provides an electronic image of text or text and graphics that looks like a printed document and can be viewed, printed, and electronically transmitted.
Portable document format
In Word 2010 and 2013 it’s extremely easy.

Select File -> Save As -> Browse for the location on your computer to save to.

When the dialog box opens, in the SaveAsType select PDF then click Save.

You can still save a version in Word file format for editing but the PDF is best for email, and posting links or even as a text picture on the Internet. Most flyers I create are saved in two format types; one for me, and one for sharing. You can even save Excel, and PowerPoint slides as PDF files. I like to save presentation handouts as PDF files with 6 slides per page. Saving an Excel file with a chart is nice on a one-page handout also in PDF format. Check the options in the SaveAs section when you select PDF for the file type.

If you have an older version of Microsoft Office you can search for a plugin to Print to PDF. Instead of SaveAs you will select Print and print to a PDF file format. See plugins available at www.microsoft.com. Search for other types of file formats that may have plugins to save as PDF format also.