Sunday, February 8, 2015

2015-02-08 Instructional Technology Newsletter


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Instructional Technology  News and Useful Tips.
February 6, 2015
In this issue:
Prezi Workshop, System Status Access, Updates to the Google Apps Launcher and to Sheets, and an Online Graphing Calculator


Upcoming Instructional Technology Events

Prezi: More Than Just PowerPoint Replacement
Thursday, February 12, 2015
11:30 and 5:30
Buehler Library Fishbowl

PowerPoint and Google Slides both allow you to make visuals-supported presentations.  Prezi can do that also, but Prezi can enhance your presentation using the very structure of the presentation visuals.  Prezi can produce a linear set of slides just like PPT and G-Slides.  But its real power is in the way it allows you to create presentation files with hidden “dimensions” and a non-linear flow.

News From Information Services

Information Services Tip

While there is no news this week from IS, we do have a tip.  If you are ever experiencing difficulty accessing one of the technology systems provided by the College, you can take a look yourself before calling the Help Desk.  IS has provided a link to a System Status page on the College Portal.  
  1. Login at my.elmhurst.edu using your.
  2. Select the Application tab.
  3. Most of the way down the left sidebar you will see System Status - select it.
  4. You will see a page indicating the health of our essential information systems and applicable notes regarding their status.

Instructional Technology News

Updates to Google Apps
Additions to the App Launcher:  Google added Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides to the App Launcher for Google Apps customers, making it easier for people to get straight to the Docs editors when signed into other Google products.  Groups and Contacts were moved to the ‘More’ screen to make room.   The App Launcher is the “waffle iron” in the upper right of the browser content frame when you are logged into Google Search, Gmail, Drive or Sites.

Additions to Protected Ranges in Sheets: Google has added several improvements to the protected sheets and ranges functionality in Google Sheets, providing faster and more granular control when locking down sections of content in spreadsheets.

Key changes include:
  • Ability to lock down all content in a sheet except a particular cell or range
  • Faster set up with the ability to re-use the same permissions you previously chose on a different set of cells
  • Ability to quickly lock down a sheet or range to only a single person, a small number of people or a domain





Spotlight

Online Graphing Calculator

We have all seen the ability of some browsers (e.g. Chrome) to do math right in the address bar (e.g. type (8 + 14)/7 into the address bar and immediately get your answer), but what if you want to do something trickier, like calculus?  There are several online graphing calculators available, but the one that I have found to be the most full featured is Desmos (https://www.desmos.com/).  In addition to the standard sort of math-y things that you would expect to see, the site also hosts some interesting artwork created using equations in the calculator (here is one of the more spectacular:
https://www.desmos.com/calculator/a8nigjbpcb )

There are also Android and OIS apps.

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