Google Drive Adds Selective Sync

google_drive_logo_3963

Google Drive recently added selective sync to its desktop clients. I am focusing more on GDrive than on Dropbox lately, but one feature missing was the ability to selectively sync the data. It was sync all or nothing. It is a problem if I have lots of data and I want to sync data with my smartphone, whose storage space is at a premium.

Starting version 1.29, we can now choose to selectively sync. To get to this option, open the client and go Preferences.

sync

The default setting is to sync everything, so you will need to enable the selective sync option if you wish to use it. From there, you can check the folders you want synchronized.

For more information, read the Help article here.

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Best USB Headsets for Skype

skype

I stumbled across a list of best USB headsets compiled by Skype. Having a good headset is obviously crucial to successful online sessions, so I recommend you take the time to look through the list. MakeUseOf.com also has a list of inexpensive recommended headsets. See the links below!

What are the best USB headsets and webcams to use with Skype? | Skype.com

On a Budget? 5 Gaming Headsets You Can Get for Under $25 | Mashable.com

2016 NADE: How To Promote Digital Fluency In The Classroom For Enriched Learning Experience

I presented at National Association of Developmental Education’s (NADE) 2016 conference held at Anaheim, CA, on promoting digital fluency in the developmental education classrooms.

 

How To Enable the New Google+ Page

g+

Google+ was Google’s attempt at social networking. It languished for a while without a clear identity, and it looked for a while that Google abandoned the effort to grow it. Well, Google+ is back with a new design.

According to Google, Google+ is now “Communities and Collections front and center.” Not sure what all that fully means, but if you use those features, you may find the new design more attractive.

To enable the new Google+ design, you need to follow the steps below:

  1. Go to Google+ Activity Log page.
  2. Click on the search box at the top of the page.

The new layout will be activated once you click in the box. You will see “Featured Collections” populate the page.

I do have a Google+ page, but I don’t regularly use it. I subscribed to a few Google-related pages and that’s about the only reason I keep up with the updates. You may find the new design more useful than before.

Recommended PDF Reader

foxit

There are occasions I want to share my PowerPoint (PPT) files. Sharing PPT through an online conference platform, however, is sometimes clumsy. For example, on Adobe Connect or WebEx, there seems to be some compatibility issues between PowerPoint 2007 and 2010/2013, particularly with animations within the slides. I don’t use animations, but I have heard that animations don’t play well over a conference platform. I also want to be able to share my slides, but not necessarily the notes I have for each slide. For those occasions, I convert the slides to PDF. This has two advantages:

  1. PDFs are more universally viewable, particularly within a browser. If the students use Google Chrome, this is a good choice as Chrome has a built-in PDF reader. I have students who use Office for Mac, who sometimes cannot view PowerPoint 2013 slides.
  2. PDFs don’t contain extra information such as notes.

So which PDF reader is a good complement to presenting? I recommend Foxit Reader. It is smaller in size and is less susceptible to security issues like Adobe’s Reader does. I like Foxit because it has one feature that I use all the time: Typewriter. It lets you “type in” the slide. So I can put some notes are text while I am lecturing. All you can do is just type in simple text, but it is much easier than doing so in PowerPoint. I recommend you learn about this feature.

Going Paperless with Evernote

evernote

Why Go Paperless?

Do you have piles of bills and other papers that are scattered throughout the house? Do you print out every article you want to read on the web? Do you wish you can store them in digital form and retrieve them later with a simple search? You answer yes, but where do you even begin?

This workshop will show you some simple methods to adopt (including Evernote) so that you can get started on going paperless.

The topics include:

Organize yourself first

Clutter you can eliminate today

What you need to go paperless

How to set up a paperless workflow

Why use Evernote?

How to use Evernote

And more!

Movie Maker and YouTube Tips

Movie Maker

Movie MakerMovie Maker is simple to use and contains useful features. I highlighted a few here.

  1. Under Home menu, you will see the Title, Caption, Credits buttons. This is where you can add the Title slide (at the beginning of the video) and the Credits slide (where you can wrap up the video).
  2. When you click on the clip you are editing, the Edit menu pops up. This is where you can trim the clips. You can trim the beginning and the end, as well as separate in the middle. You can trim and recombine them as you see fit.
  3. One cool feature that Movie Maker has is the transitional effects. It is under Animations. Just click on one and you will see the effect on screen. There are some fun ones to pick from.

YouTube

Youtube

Once you upload a video to YouTube, you will come to this screen. Here are a few things to check.

  1. At the top, you will see the Upload button. You can upload additional videos from there.
  2. You can create the Playlists to combine by topics, say Statistics or a course number. That way the videos will be grouped together and any additional video will show up in the same Playlist.
  3. To make searching for your videos easier for the students, I recommend including the tags. I use my course number.
  4. Including thumbnails will make the videos look more professional, when the students see the list of videos. I have one template that I use so that all my videos have a distinct look in the thumbnail mode.
  5. And once the video is published, you will get a link to your video at the left.

There is more to both Movie Maker and YouTube, but these highlights will get you going right away!