Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Microsoft Surface Wins Another Presentation Test

I used the Microsoft Surface tablet all day yesterday and today when teaching.  Yesterday morning I could not get the projector to see the tablet.  In the afternoon - in another classroom there was no problem.  Had no problem today either.  I used it because the software in the classrooms where I was teaching is out of date.  The Surface has my thumbs up on performance.  It is winning my confidence day by day.  This evening I am using my Apple Bluetooth keyboard, external monitor, and external number keyboard to enter data.  It is fantastic to see two windows at the same time.  Cannot believe that I waited so long to get an external monitor - so inexpensive and was on sale, too.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

8-Steps for Successful APA Formatting

The APA Manual can be intimidating for many.  Just so many nuances!  I have "sticky-notes" on on pages in my APA Manual to make it easy for students to write papers that use APA style. The information is summarized below.
  1. Page 15, Section 1.10 - differentiates the differences between plagiarism and self-plagiarism.
  2. Page 23, Section 2.01 - provides essential information on the title page, abstract, and introduction of the paper.
  3. Page 41 - provide examples of a written paper.
  4. Page 62 - discusses the 5 heading (Remember to use the word processing paragraph heading style to format correctly).
  5. Page 125 - Chapter 5 - this chapter is especially important for students reporting research results as it clarifies how to format figures and tables (Remember to use the word processing table formatting tools to obtain the output).  You can skip this chapter if you are not using figures and tables. 
  6. Page 170, Section 6.+ - discussion quotes, paraphrasing, and permissions.
  7. Page 189 discusses the journal article doi and the importance of using the journal homepage URL when there is no doi.
  8. Page 198, Section 7.01 - provides examples for how to cite references within the text of the document and the associated references in the reference list.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Using an External Monitor with the Microsoft Surface Tablet

It is challenging to write a new edition of the Informatics and Nursing textbook while also teaching full-time.  To complicate things, I attempted to switch to Windows 8 using two tablets over the last 4 months. The Dell Venue Pro Enterprise was a disaster.  However, the Microsoft Surface tablet is perfect.  The only problem with the Surface is the very small window for "serious" writing.  Now that I am almost finished with the book, I splurged and purchased a 24" external monitor last week. 

There were a few adjustment problems.  First, I wanted the high definition (HD) component that uses an HDMI cable.  I did not realize that the tablet uses the mini-port, like the MacBook Pro.  I found a mini-port to HDMI cable at Radio Shack, but the input shaft was a little short, so sometimes it would connect and other times not.  I could see when searching the Internet that the connection cable I needed cost ranged from $4.99 to $39.99.  Not wanting to purchase something that did not work and not having the easy access to other stores that are in Macon and Atlanta, I decided to use the 9-pin to mini-port cable I had for the Mac.  I don't have HD, but it provides an interim solution until I find the right cable. 

I was able to change the Device > Project settings on the tablet to Extend the view.  So now I have two windows, one on the tablet and the other on the monitor.  It allows me to view two different documents at the same time, which is exactly what I need when editing a chapter. 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Excel Survey App

At Georgia College, all faculty, staff, and students have a OneDrive (used to be called SkyDrive) account with 25GB of storage.  It is similar to the free OneDrive account, except the business account has additional security features agreed upon with a University of Georgia System contract.

When reviewing the OneDrive for Business features this past weekend, I discovered the ability to create a survey using Excel Survey - from the listing of new file types.  Initially, I was really excited about the alternative for Google Forms, which does not provide a secure environment.  However, once I explored Excel Survey, I was immediately disappointed!  I cannot believe that Microsoft engineers released the app!!!  I know that they have the ability, because the forms feature was a part of Frontpage web design software many years ago.
  • Unlike Google forms, the designed has only one opportunity to design, edit, and obtain a link to share the survey. 
  • The designer can give the survey a title and subtitle, but the number of characters and lines is limited.
The survey does provide different answer types.  When data is entered, like Google Forms, it shows up in a spreadsheet.  The two bullet points above are the weaknesses of the survey tool.  SurveyMonkey and Google Forms are better free alternatives.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Giving a Presentation with an iPad

TCGeeks has a very good article on how to give a presentation with the iPad at http://www.tcgeeks.com/how-give-presentation-your-ipad/

I should have taken my iPad or other computer to the most recent conference where I was giving a presentation.  The problem was that I brought the Microsoft Surface tablet instead.  The problem was not the tablet - rather the fact that I have not received the 9-pin adapter necessary to connect the tablet with an overhead projector.  I had all of my slides in the cloud and on flash drives, but at this particular conference, presenters had to use their own computer.

Bottom line is to plan and test the ability to give a slide presentation before you leave on a 2-hour flight to another city.  Lesson learned. 


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Microsoft OneDrive for Business - Very Nice Additonal Cloud Storage App!

Believe I have figured out OneDrive for Business!  I have used OneDrive for many, many years (used to be called SkyDrive).  However, I was confused between the two apps. All of our University faculty, and staff have OneDrive for Business now.  I had go to my unify account and open my faculty email to see the OneDrive for Business app.  I played with the app - found it easy to drag files into it, make new files, and to create folders.  Since it is secure storage, I will be able to mirror my computer with it. 

Afterwards, I downloaded the OneDrive for Business to my iPad and Microsoft Surface tablet. 

I still have my old OneDrive account and Dropbox.  At work, we are transitioning to moving all university files over to OneDrive for Business.  Dropbox will be only for personal files.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Microsoft Surface

Well I gave up on the Dell Venue Pro.  Apparently the model that I attempted to use was the problem.  I exchanged it for a Microsoft Surface at the end of last week.  Life is good!  The small screen is good for portability, but it is small. 

I finally learned how to use the pen today!  I "knew" it had to have some added value.  In OneNote, I can write just as I would with paper and pen.  I can also "erase"  using the end of the pen - as well as have the written info converted to text.  I am concerned that it might be easy to lose the pen when only attached at the magnetic point on the side of the tablet.  I'll have to be careful.

Like the Dell, the battery life is fairly short.  It almost lasted the 4 hour meeting this afternoon.  Of course, I have everything "turned on" that uses battery life. 

I am using it as my only computer on the Sloan-C/MERLOT Emerging Technologies in Teaching Conference here in Dallas.  The tablet fits easy in my purse.  The next step is to finish building it and to transfer files from the old laptop.