Oct 23

#TechTipThursday: Password Protection for your Word Documents

There is no doubt that in today’s world security is plays a regular part in our day-to-day lives and digital security is no exception. For this week’s #TechTipThursday, we’ll review how you can protect a Microsoft Word document with a password.

Apple machines:

  1. Open the document you would like to protect with a password.
  2. Click on “Word”, then “Preferences”, in the upper left-hand corner.
  3. Select “Security” Mac_figure1
  4. In the “Password to open” field, enter the password you’ll require users to enter when opening the document and then click “OK” Mac_figure2
  5. You will be prompted to re-enter the password to confirm. Mac_figure3
  6. Close the document completely and then reopen to confirm you successfully set the password protection. You should be prompted for the password you just set. Notice the lock icon that now appears over the file.Mac_figure4

Windows machines:

  1. Open the document you would like to protect with a password.
  2. In the upper left-hand corner select “File”, “Protect Document”, and “Encrypt with Password”. Windows_figure1
  3. Enter the chosen password and click “OK”. WIndows_figure2
  4. Reenter your password to confirm and click “OK”. Windows_figure3
  5. Notice that your document’s information confirms that you’ve successfully protected it with a password. Windows_figure4

If you have any difficulty replicating the steps detailed in this blog post, or have questions that weren’t answered here, please don’t hesitate to contact us directly.

Oct 14

Now hiring ITCs for Spring 2015!

posed from ropes course

The Digital Education Collaborative is currently hiring student staff workers to start this coming spring 2015 semester. Our student staff members, or Instructional Technology Collaborators (ITCs), assist the campus community in their use of supported instructional technologies. If any of these focus areas interest you, then you interest us!

  • The future of instructional technology and modern advances in online learning
  • Support for Canvas, Echo 360 (personal and classroom capture), video conferencing, smart technology, educational resources (such as Dropbox and Google Drive), iPads and apps
  • Computer languages (Java, CSS, HTML)
  • WordPress blogging
  • Graphic design
  • Public relations (physical and digital)

After becoming a member of the student staff team, ITCs will complete an in-depth training so they are prepared for all assignments and appointments. ITCs will provide support, as requested, via phone calls, emails, and during one-on-one appointments. During a shift, you may also be assigned to complete interesting tasks like researching new apps, program planning, program-specific badging tasks and exploring new technology to recommend for use in the learning environment. Offers will be contingent on the student’s ability to be available for training on January 11th and 12th, 2015.

If you want to nominate a student for this position, please contact the ITC Program Manager directly.

Click here for more information.

Oct 09

#TechTipThursday: Comments in Canvas

If you follow us on Twitter you may be aware that we recently re-tweeted an article which offered “5 Research-based Tips for Providing Students With Meaningful Feedback“. We certainly believe in the value of timely and specific feedback, as many of you to as well. Our learning management system, Canvas, has a built-in system whereby instructors can provide comments on assignments. Similarly, for assignments submitted via file upload (directly to Canvas), instructors have the ability to annotate directly on the assignments themselves. All of these features are well in good, but do your students know how to access your valuable feedback? This week’s #TechTipThursday blog post will review the steps a student can take to view comments on assignments, including annotations on assignments submitted via Canvas’ file upload tool.

For students to access comments an instructor has left on an assignment submission:

  1. First want to navigate to “Grades” on the horizontal global navigation menu in Canvas.Figure 1
  2. Select the desired course from the list of current classes to view graded work for that specific class. Figure 2
  3. Notice that any assignment with comments will have a dialogue bubble icon on the far right-hand side of the assignment’s row. Figure 3
  4. To view the comment(s), click on the dialogue bubble icon; the comment, and author’s name, will appear. Figure 4
  5. If you click on the assignment’s name, instead of the dialogue bubble icon, comments will appear on the right-hand side of the page. Notice the “Add a Comment” dialogue box; it is here that students can add comments specific to the assignment. Figure 5
  6. To view annotations left directly on the submitted assignment, click the “View Feedback” button. Figure 6
  7. This will open a student’s submitted assignment, complete with annotations left by instructors. If the student wants to add comments, or otherwise annotate the previously submitted assignment, click “Comment”. Figure 7
  8. A small toolbar will open immediately below; this is where the student can select the desired annotation tool. To make a comment you will select the yellow dialogue bubble icon. Figure 9

If you have any difficulty replicating the steps detailed in this blog post, or have questions that weren’t answered here, please don’t hesitate to contact us directly.


Sep 18

#TechTipThursday: Exporting “.pages” files

We’ve noticed an increase in the number of our students who use Apple’s Pages, an alternative to Microsoft Word, as their primary word processing program. Though Pages is a great program, its default file type is incompatible with Canvas’ document previewer and SpeedGrader tools. [Point of clarification for students: instructors use SpeedGrader to grade assignments you submit through Canvas.] This post will guide users through the steps needed to easily convert a Pages file into a PDF or Microsoft Word document. Instructors, please feel free to use this post as a reference for your students who submit “.pages” assignments.

After you’ve completed your word processing document, make sure you save the file with the “.pages” extension as a back-up. You then have two optional pathways to export your file so it can be easily accessed by Canvas.

Option A: does not involve keyboard shortcuts

  1. Navigate to “File”
  2. Select “Export to”
  3. Choose the desired file type (either PDF or Word)Option A, Figure 1
  4. To specify the Word document file type (i.e., “.doc” or “.docx”), you’ll need to navigate to “Advanced Options” Screen Shot 2014-09-12 at 3.13.35 PM

Option B: involves establishing keyboard shortcuts

  1. Navigate to “System Preferences”
    Option B, Figure 1
  2. Select “Keyboard” from the second row
  3. Make sure you are in the “Shortcuts” (horizontal) menu and select “App Shortcuts” from the left-hand side of the window
  4. Click the “plus” symbol to add a shortcut Option B, Figure 2
  5. Select “Pages” from the application drop down menu
  6. To create a Word shortcut enter “Word…” in the “Menu title” field. Create your custom keyboard shortcut in the “Keyboard Shortcut” field. For example, a shortcut for a Word document could be Control+W. Click the “Add” button. Option B, Figure 3
  7. To create a PDF shortcut enter “PDF…” in the “Menu title” field. Create your custom keyboard shortcut in the “Keyboard Shortcut” field. For example, a PDF shortcut could be Control+P. Click the “Add” button. Option B, Figure 4
  8. Navigate back to your Pages document. When you are finished with the document and are ready to save, enter your keyboard shortcut and the export menu, specific to your shortcut, will automatically appear.

Click here to view our video tutorial on converting Pages files into Word documents and/or PDFs.

Aug 29

Digital Den Open House & Ribbon Cutting

Join us on Thursday, September 4, between 11:00am and 1:00pm for our Open House and Ribbon Cutting! Stop in at your convenience to celebrate the commemoration of our space’s new name. We’ll have our ribbon cutting at 12:20pm with an ice cream sundae bar available for our guests. Come one, come all!

8.5x11 Digital Den Flyer_Social Media

Apr 14

Google Apps for Education on 4/15/14

Come join us for good food and great ideas!

12:15 pm on 4/15/2014 “Google Apps for Education” with Jeff Everhart

Are you interested in storing and editing documents in the cloud? Are you looking for ways to share, collaborate or communicate at a distance? Do you or your organizations need flexible ways to create schedules and collect data?

The Google Apps suite provides a variety of collaboration tools for the modern professional. Come learn about how these tools could be applied by educators and researchers.

 This session will be hosted in the Annex of Dorrill Dining Hall and will include lunch through the line.

Please RSVP early to reserve your seat. To register, please email Brooke Greenbank at greenbankbl@longwood.edu.

Apr 13

*New on April 16* Nights at the Library with the ITCs

Students: Are you concerned about the end of the semester? Do you need, or want, to know what final exam grade is needed to help you pass that worrisome class? Are you not sure what to do if you have trouble in the middle of an exam on Canvas?

We can help!

Join us for our 3rd and final session of “Nights at the Library with the ITCs” on Wednesday, April 16th, 2014.

Greenwood Library Atrium @ 6:00pm – 7:30pm

We will:

  • review best practices when using Canvas, particularly at the end of a semester;
  • discuss “What If” grades and how that feature can be used to inform your end-of-semester preparation efforts;
  • be available to answer any other Canvas-related questions you may have.

We hope to see you there!

Apr 06

Tech Tip: Combining Files

In this post we will highlight a free web-based tool for combining files, of various formats, into one file. No download necessary!

Mergefil.es would be great for giving students course documents. Instead of sending multiple files for a project or assignment, instructors can combine all necessary documents into one file for ease of reference.

This web tool allows you to take documents with different file formats and put them all together into a single file. In order to accomplish this, users must first make sure all files to be merged are in the same file folder. Once you are ready you can go to Mergefil.es and select “choose files.” From here you can select all the files you want to merge. This will work on almost all file types including Microsoft Office files, image and audio files, .txt, and PDFs. Once you have selected your files, you can choose the file order for the final document. You can also compress the file, which decreases the file’s final size. Next you can select the final file format for your merged files. Once selected, the merged file will download automatically.

Mar 19

Spring Bling DEC Event

Are you tired of boring and bland Canvas courses?

Have you ever wondered how to make your courses more visually appealing?

Are you trying to re/design a summer course but keep running out of fresh ideas?

If so, come check out our “Spring Bling” event on 4/11/2014 from 11AM to 1PM. Several faculty members will be there to show off the ‘bling” in their Canvas courses. Take this opportunity to get some creative ideas from your peers, and then use the DEC’s resources to create your own Canvas bling.

Space is limited, so reserve you seat now! Catered lunch will be served in the DEC space in Ruffner from 11AM-1PM.

To RSVP, please email Brooke Greenbank at greenbankbl@longwood.edu.

Mar 14

Web 2.0 Apps: 15 + Great Ideas in 45 Minutes


1. Google Apps- http://www.google.com

The Google suite of applications covers all of your technology needs, including email with Gmail, calendar and task applications with Gcal, video teleconferencing with Google Hangouts, cloud storage and document management with Google Drive, and a host of other helpfuls features.

2. Toggl- http://www.toggl.com

Toggl is an online tool that helps you keep track of how much time you spend on different tasks.

3. Stickk- http://www.stickk.com

Stickk is an online tool that helps users set and stick to goals. First, you set a goal that you want to achieve, and then you create stakes (possibly monetary) that will help you incentivize your goals.

4. Trello- https://trello.com/

Trello helps users get organized by using an intuitive card system to create actionable lists.


ToDo  helps users create actionable lists using the GTD (getting things done) methodology.


iDoneThis allows user to keep track of daily tasks by replying to automated emails.

5. Canvas and Speedgrader iOS apps- https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/canvas-by-instructure/id688577349?mt=8


Both of these iPad apps are helpful for the instructor on the go. Don’t lose class or grading time. Installing these apps on your device can help get you connected to what’s going on in your classes.

6. Doodlepoll- http://doodle.com/en/

Doodle allows users to simplify scheduling. You can create several open time slots, and members can fill in the best times for their schedules. This allows you to quickly see when the most people are available.

7. Canvas Scheduler- http://canvas.longwood.edu

The scheduling feature in Canvas allows you to easily manage time slots for your course. This feature is perfect for advising sign-ups.

8. Dropbox- https://www.dropbox.com/

Dropbox is a cloud storage solution that allows users to easily share files with one another.


9. Diigo- https://www.diigo.com/index

Diigo is a web annotation tool that plugins to your web browser. With it you can post sticky notes on web pages, annotate articles or take screenshots, which are all saved in your Diigo library for review later.

10. Video Notes- http://www.videonot.es/

Video Notes is an application that helps you take notes on YouTube, Coursera, or any other type of video. You can review these notes through the Video Notes application or store them in your Google Drive.


11. Coggle- https://coggle.it

Coggle is an interactive online tool that lets users create detailed and specific mind maps.

12. Text 2 Mind Map- https://www.text2mindmap.com/

Like Coggle, Text 2 Mind Map allows users to create interactive mind maps. These can be saved or downloaded as images or PDFs.

13. Screencast-o-matic- http://www.screencast-o-matic.com/

Screencast-o-matic is a screencasting tool that lets user quickly and easily create screencast tutorials or record narrated PPT presentations. Screencast-o-matic integrates directly to YouTube so publishing is quick and easy.

14. Soundcloud- https://soundcloud.com/

Soundcloud is an audio sharing platform that lets users quickly record and share audio with other members. This is a great platform for sharing music or podcasts.

15. Glogster- http://www.glogster.com/

Glogster is an interactive media creation platform that allows students to curate multiple types of interactive media, including text, video and images.

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