Organizing Your Tasks

We, the online folks, often have a running list of things to do, and our environment is such that we may be working in cafes, at home, at libraries, in hotels, you name it! Plus, the constant potential disruptions in the form of incoming Skype calls, emails, actual phone calls, meetings we need to attend, virtually or otherwise, and sudden issues that pop up or scheduled events, like grading a set of papers, and then there is this blog to read, which fortunately comes out at the most convenient time and has wonderful tips on how to keep your online sanity!

Since we have been pushing Chrome as one of the better browsers for Blackboard, here is how you can leverage Chrome extensions to create your own task lists. Every time you open a new tab in Chrome, you will see this (your own version of this, that is!):

today's to-do list

When you mouse over an item, you can trash it or edit it, but by all means, the goal is to check it off! If a list gets overwhelming, you can switch to the focus mode  – one task at a time!

Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 8.52.27 AM

And then you can pat yourself on the back, when you look up your history. I have nothing to show yet (slacker!), but I am just getting started!

Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 8.52.40 AMThis is certainly not limited to just online faculty, it can be useful for anyone! Your students may be the most avid users of this extension as well.

To get your extension click here – Dayboard. Click install, and then just open a new tab.

Let me know how it goes. In fact, add it to your task list to report back! 🙂

I first found it on Free Technology for Teachers.


Introducing Classroom by Google Apps

As you know, there are a number of Google Apps we are using every day here at UNE. You can choose to use the Calendar or Google Hangouts, but of course, we make everyone use Google Drive and Google Docs in particular. What a great way to share documents and work collaboratively!
Now, Google is introducing another app which should be coming sometime in September. Watch how Google Classroom works in this clip. The ease with which the docs can be shared and collected is pretty awesome – if it really works the way they show it in this teaser. While the assignment (what I did last summer) is a textbook (horrid) assignment, it is the process itself that we are after in this case.

Learn more, and sign up to try it (eventually) at this link.

Workaround for Media Content after Upgrade

In order to avoid issues, we encourage you to use Safari on Mac and Firefox on Windows.

However, for Chrome users and Firefox on Mac, please follow these steps to view some of the media content (YouTube videos, Vimeo, and some other services have not been affected).

The following is a set of directions for Chrome on Mac (similar on Windows).

  1. Look for a shield icon in the web address space when content is not displayed properly. Notice that https is green.Media not playing
  2. Click on the shield to get a popup. Click on “Load unsafe script”.Shield and unsafe script
  3. View your media content. Notice, that https is now crossed out.Media loads

In Firefox, similar steps.

1. Media not loading 2. Disable Protection 3. Media plays

Happy viewing! (We are hoping to get a better, sustainable solution for this in the near future).