Welcome to the MMU "Technology FAQ" blog. Use the search bar to look for answers to Frequently Asked Questions.

eMail eric.hall@cesuvt.org with questions or suggestions for this blog.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Posting documents on the Web

The more we rely on electronic communication, the more often people ask "how do I post my documents on my website/blog?" The answer depends on how you want the recipients (parents or students) to use the document.

Google documents can be easily linked to your website so that they open in the Google Docs viewer. Printing from this viewer will generate a PDF file that is "universally formatted' for any computer and printer.

To make documents viewable online:

1) Upload the document to Google (look for the upload symbol next to "Create").

2) Rename the new Google Doc to remove the file extension (.doc) from the filename. This avoids confusion about what type of document it is.

3) Share the document and make it "Public" so everyone can view it.

4) With the document open, copy the URL (web address) of the Google Document (keeping in mind that a Google Doc is a web page!)

5) Switch to your blog or webpage and Edit the page or post where you want to link from. Type whatever text you wish to make into a link (usually a short description or title of the document).

6) Here's the TRICK: highlight the text you just typed, and find the link icon (looks like an infinity symbol) in the toolbar. In the next window, click on "Web Address" on the left (not "Existing Page" in Google Sites), and paste in the URL you copied in step 4.  Another nice touch is to check the box for "open in new Window," which will make the document open in a separate tab for the reader's convenience.

7) Save your changes and test your link!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Deleting old or "bad" addresses from gMail autocomplete

Google saves contacts from people you have received messages from as well as those you have contacted, so when people change their email address you may end up with their old address "stuck" in your Contacts. Because addresses are completed automatically from your Contacts, this can result in inadvertently sending to an obsolete address. Here's how to remove a bad address from your Contacts:

1) Click on "Contacts" (upper left)

2) Contacts are grouped on the left. Make sure "All Contacts" is highlighted.

3) Check the boxes for the contacts you need to remove, then click "More" and "Delete Contact." Use the search bar to search for specific addresses or domain names if necessary.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Google Calendars

Google Calendars allow you to view multiple calendars in one "view." You can hide or show each calendar by clicking on it's name in the left sidebar: if it is white it will be hidden, if it is colored then events will be showing in that color.

You can create as many personal calendars as you wish (eg. for different types of events), and you can also add shared calendars to your view in the "other calendars" list:

1) At the bottom of "other calendars" click Add and choose "Add by URL"

2) Paste in the URL of the calendar you wish to add, then "Add Calendar." The URL of a shared calendar needs to be generated or emailed by the calendar owner.

3) Calendar owners can share their calendars by adding individuals or staff groups to the calendar, or even making it public. To share a link, click on "Sharing," then "Calendar Details" (upper left). Scroll down to "Calendar Address" and click on iCal to copy the address.

4) Calendars can easily be embedded in Google Sites as well.

For "TBPS Staff Events" the URL is:

http://www.google.com/calendar/ical/wdsdvt.net_4toe8ei718lpk7195o9tfu61lo%40group.calendar.google.com/public/basic.ics

For "CBMS Staff Events" the URL is:

http://www.google.com/calendar/ical/wdsdvt.net_3nsq4p45bduejapkpejece5qi0%40group.calendar.google.com/public/basic.ics

URLs for School Events and Building Use are located at the bottom of those pages on our web sites.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Why Does "Sent Mail" seem to disappear?

I have been doing some research on this phenomenon and will try to clarify: The good news is that everything remains in your account unless you empty your trash, and since there are no storage limits or concerns I recommend AGAINST emptying your gMail Trash. Here's why:

1) When you "Reply" to a message, your reply becomes part of a "conversation." You may have noticed that back-and-forth messages are displayed as one item with the replies "stacked" like notecards

2) If you "Label" a message (like moving it to a folder), any reply you make will stay in Sent Mail and any replies you receive will come to your Inbox. It is a good idea to label conversations that you may need to reference later rather than deleting them.

3) If you delete a message that is part of a conversation, the entire conversation moves to your Trash, including your Reply!

4) If you wish to save your reply in "Sent" but delete the original message, scroll up to the original message after you reply and click the down-arrow next to 'Reply," then choose "Delete This Message" instead of using the Delete button. Your reply will be in Sent Mail and the original will be in Trash.

For those of you looking for sent messages, look in (or search) your Trash!

When in doubt, clicking the down arrow next to "# more" (in the left column) will show you a label named "All Mail." Click on that to see EVERYTHING in your account, and search for what you are looking for.

Keep in mind that all email that goes in or out of our system is archived at the system level, so we can retrieve "critical" messages if you can't find them in your own account.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Managing gMail Quarantine, approving senders



gMail users will notice that some junk mail goes into your Spam folder, and some gets held in quarantine. A list of quarantined messages is delivered every morning at around 7:00am. You can click "deliver" for a one-time approval, or you can permanently approve senders in the Message Center by clicking the subject of the message. There is also a direct link to the message center underneath the gMail link on our Teacher's Corner.

1) Log on to Message Center

2) Find the message in the quarantine list, check the box next to it and click "Deliver" on the right.

3) Check the box to the left of the message and click "Approve Selected Senders"

You can also manually approve senders by clicking "My Settings" in the upper right after logging on to Message Center and then clicking "Approve Senders"

If this happens with a lot of good email, you can lower your filter from "strict" to "normal" in the same My Settings area.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Facebook SPAM and malware

Although this is not specifically school-related, keeping you and your computer clean and safe benefits everyone. Here is a good, quick summary of Facebook issues and how to avoid them.

http://howto.cnet.com/8301-11310_39-20070931-285/how-to-avoid-remove-facebook-malware/

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Sending Large Files

High resolution pictures, videos and folders of pictures are usually much to large to send via email. A typical attachment limit is 10MB, but sending something that large can A) stall someone's mail program while downloading B) exceed Inbox quotas so people can't receive more email.

A free web service for transferring large files is filedropper.com. Simply upload your file to Filedropper and send the recipient the resulting download link. Files stay on Filedropper until they have been "idle" (no downloads) for 20 days.

The "trick" to sending multiple files is to put them into a folder and compress (zip) the folder. Right-click on the folder (or ctrl-click on Mac) and choose "Compress" or "Zip" to make the folder into one file that can be transferred.

Another free service that allows you to synchronize files between two or more computers is DropBox.com. DropBox requires software to be installed, but provides you with up to 2GB of online storage for free.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Welcome!

This blog is intended as a resource for finding answers to your questions about the technology tools and systems we use in our schools. Posts have been categorized and tagged, so use the category drop-down or search bar on the right to look for answers to your Frequently Asked Questions.