Welcome to our Cohort 11 Techie Ideas Wiki

Purpose of this wiki: to share your favorite uses of technology/biggest techie "aha"/ or a question that you'd like to pose to the whole class about a tech issue.

Wikispace | Trouble reading text | Furl.net | Blogger.com


Something very strange continues to occur when I add a new post to my blog..... after typing in the new post and saving it, the computer reads that the new version is successfully saved, but when I look at my blog it only shows the very first initial log. The weird part is when you look at past logs it shows up so you can see that I did another, but it just doesn't show up on the blog cite. I am starting to think this blog just has a malfunction and I should start a new one. ( This happened during our class weekend and even Mike was stumped) Any ideas?? - Faith
  • Hi Faith: what you need to do is click on the "refresh" button on your browser so that it reloads the blog, otherwise what you are looking at is still the older version of your blog (as your computer keeps this older version in its "memory" or cache). ~Helen
  • Helen- How perfectly right you were! I tried your suggestion after blogging today and presto! Thanks! How is it that it is always the things that should be so obvious are sometimes the most unclear? I gues I'll just pretend I was too close to the project to make that realization... wink wink :) Anyway, Thanks! -Faith

I could not use blogger in my computer at home. After sign in my password, I could enter into the website but the conversation window did not allow me to write and edit. I tried to use my labtop and it could work. I hope I could understand what happen.~Joy
  • Hi Joy. I'm guessing here, but I think that this may have to do with the browser or version of browser that you are using. Try downloading the lastest version of Firefox at Firefox download page. Let us know if this works! ~Helen

I made my own wiki space today. It's really fun! You can change the color scheme, and links to other wiki pages, or areas lower down on the same page using "anchors". Here is a link to my page. ~ Karen C.
  • Karen - your wiki is really neat. I toured your site and am thinking about what I might add to make my presence known. I'm leading toward a recipe:) .. Bonnie
  • Bonnie, that would be great! (anyone) Feel free to add a recipie or anything to just try stuff out. If you can't log in, let me know what your wikispace ID is and I can add you. ~ Karen C.
  • Karen-Cool wiki! I visited, but couldn't add to it. My id id barn0029, so add me when you get a chance!
  • Just added you :) ~ Karen C.

Trouble reading all this text : )

Hi, Wiki'ers. I haven't been back to this page for a while and wow there is a lot of stuff here. Does anyone else have a hard time reading all of this text...hard to determine where one thought ends and the other begins. It might be just me--I'd rather print things out and read them if ithere's a lot of text rather than read it online. It does help to differentiate thoughts/questions in the Wiki if you make a header and make it large and bold. Just some thoughts : )
~Christine M

Christine- I agree completely!! I too prefer to read larger text in hard copy form and following the ideas as I scroll down the page seems to be a struggle for me from time to time. Plus with so many people contributing comments it is hard to tell when one idea/or person stops and the other begins. I like the idea of putting headers on our posts so it is easier to navigate, maybe we could take a class vote!! :) Faith

I have trouble taking in the volume of "wiki" information, too. I am most concerned with the Sue Wiki now that there is another date on the top and I'm thinking we will all be posting 3 more links plus commenting. I would almost like a whole other wiki set up - one for each week we post like that. I'm still wading through the sites on the first one to see which ones I want to "furl" now that I have figured out how to do that. Bonnie
  • Christine, I am having troubles keeping track of the wiki too. I think webx is much easier for this type of thing. I think a wiki would be good if you were working on a project together so you could all go to one space and add your part. I actually encouraged my son to set one up so all the kids working on his science project could add their parts when convenient and not try to have to get together to do it. Sarah B.
  • We are thinking of getting the device (bluetooth?) that will allow all our computers to work without being plugged into the wall. Now I am joining the nightly battle for the computer it is becoming necessary to have more than one. My husband has dug up a couple of laptops from his work and rather than having the cable co. come out and start drilling more holes in the house, we might try to get the bluetooth thingy and go wireless. Any advice or info on this? Can something be done to the older laptop to make it able to be compatible with this new technology? Sarah
  • Sarah - I don't know about doing something to an older laptop - other than getting it an "airport card" ??? But I will say that we have gone wireless in the last couple of weeks and it is awesome! Now my husband and I each have our laptops and can use them whenever we want and not tie up the phone or switch off with each other. It is so convenient. Bonnie :)
  • Just now, I found the Cohort 11 Wiki Discussion and it's neat! cohort 11 wiki discussion ~ Karen C.
  • Hey Sarah - I too have gone "wireless" and it was very simple . . . the wireless router hooks into your modem and then you can install 4 or sometimes more computers to the router and use them anywhere in the house. Another option that I just discovered this weekend when my daughter moved out - the new house has two computers that are PC desktops but not yet wireless compatable . . . so we had two options that I considered today . . . 1 was to purchase a router then also purchase "wireless antenas" for each PC (this was the more expensive option) or the one we went with today to get the kids going was to purchase a ethernet hub which allowed us to use the original modem . .. and connect the two PCs to the hub - and both used the one modem. This was about 30.00 for the hub and then I also needed to have ethernet cords for each computer and a short one from the hub to the modem. So - my suggestion is if you all have the laptops and they have the mobile technology - go with the router - they start at about 50$ and up depends on how fast you need and how large of an area you are covering. . . but if you have older computers and they are pretty much stationary - get a ethernet hub and hook up 4-8 extra computers to that hub and use one modem. It is working fine for my daughter at her new home. Betsy 10.15

  • Did not know if we were to add to top or bottom so - following the wiki instructions for Sue's wiki and starting at the top. Being of old school and wanting to see paper copies of everything. . . I have several colleagues who are using PDS's to schedule their appointments for the day/week/school year. I schedule many home visits, meetings and workshops and am almost to the point where I could possible give up my "planner" and step up to the 21st century and get a PDA. Any suggestions on a good one and if you all like or dislike them? I think I may miss being able to simply open up my planner and see my week in front of me - but I am getting terribly tired of caring a notebook everywhere. Would love to hear any pros and cons. betsy
** Hi Betsy: Good idea to add your comments at the top! My 2 cents on PDAs: I tried one for quite a while, but decided that since all I needed it for was a planner, it wasn't really necessary because (a) it was more expensive than a paper planner (b) if I forgot to charge it up (which happened more than a couple of times!), then I lost everything on it -- which was still OK so long as I had syncronized with my computer (c) I had to turn it on to wait for it to "boot up" to check my schedule, wheras with my paper planner all I had to do was open it. The down side of paper planners: if you lose them, they are gone. With a PDA, if you sync with your computer, you still have it on your computer (b) at UMD we use UMCal, which enables anyone to see my online calendar and schedule an appointment with me without even talking to me (I have to accept the appointment before it actually is entered on my schedule). Since I take my laptop almost everywhere with me, I decided all I needed was my computer, and not a PDA. I often print out my schedule so I have a paper copy in my pocket. For those of you who do use PDAs, I agree with Besty: it would be great to hear from you about which you use and why you use one. Thanks! Helen
  • Hi Betsy: Good idea to add your comments at the top! My 2 cents on PDAs: I tried one for quite a while, but decided that since all I needed it for was a planner, it wasn't really necessary because (a) it was more expensive than a paper planner (b) if I forgot to charge it up (which happened more than a couple of times!), then I lost everything on it -- which was still OK so long as I had syncronized with my computer (c) I had to turn it on to wait for it to "boot up" to check my schedule, wheras with my paper planner all I had to do was open it. The down side of paper planners: if you lose them, they are gone. With a PDA, if you sync with your computer, you still have it on your computer (b) at UMD we use UMCal, which enables anyone to see my online calendar and schedule an appointment with me without even talking to me (I have to accept the appointment before it actually is entered on my schedule). Since I take my laptop almost everywhere with me, I decided all I needed was my computer, and not a PDA. I often print out my schedule so I have a paper copy in my pocket. For those of you who do use PDAs, I agree with Besty: it would be great to hear from you about which you use and why you use one. Thanks! Helendo


  • I decided to make some of my folders/categories on my Furl account private so that I can use it as a place to store my bookmarked websites, as well as the research links that Helen showed us about. Now I just need to add the Furl button to my home computer's internet browser and I'll be all set. ~ Karen C.

- I started saving sites on my furl for some things I have been researching for a while. This looks pretty handy
considering I have been individually grouping files in separate documents for quite a while. The "private" option is good to
have also. Linda


  • Using a Blog (being new to these) appears to be a short-cut of communication. A blog could fit into the idea of becoming a tool for colleague experiences (save on time - too many meetings these days) with critical reflection (2nd article). Being in print, though, careful of wording........ Linda

How do you get the dot bullets shown below?
  • I was able to get the bullet by simply doing what I normally do in a word document to get them - using the shift key and 8 to get the star. . . and when the information is saved on the wiki - it turns to a bullet. betsy
  • Here it goes, betsy. I am trying it and when I save it I'll see if it turns to a bullet. Thanks! SB

*My husband is getting a new work computer so he is giving me his old mac powerbook laptop so that I won't have to share the family desk top computer while doing my grad program. Does anyone know how to transfer documents and files from one computer (my desktop which is also a mac) to another (the lap top)? I am looking forward to having all my UMD stuff on the same computer! SB

  • I've finally turned on my computer since this weekend. I signed onto the icon that Mike installed for me rather than my aol. The pages look different from this weekends experience. Such as, I am not able to make my tabs/bookmarks like I did on campus. I went to the top task bar and bookmarks was not listed as an option. I look at the top of my page and I see that it says Microsoft Internet Explorer. So, does this mean some of those techie moves/options are not available in this browser? I'm still trying to figure all of this out, so any comments would be helpful. Donnna
  • Hi Donna - me to with the beginning. I have found many things on my task bar are different - I reviewed a few things and found a very different process - even in Word. I found a few things after clicking on everything - a bit time consuming but it worked for some. I downloaded firefox (www.mozilla.com/firefox) and things look more like the class. When downloading, I chose to not import things out of Explorer as I am not the only one using this computer. My furl is gone - still searching for that :). My only concern is this is taking time away from getting going on the rest of the assignments. I am not bouncing off the walls yet though - I am still getting a chuckle out of even speaking these tech terms after being out of the loop for so long. Let me know progress and I will do the same - take care
  • I bought "End Note" in anticipation of needing organization and HELP on the reference pages. Now that we have talked about the Ref Works from the library, I am trying to figure out if I can just use the End Note or should I just do the Ref that the library offers? I haven't started the End Note - but everyone in my dept has been given it and we will have a training session in mid October. Any advice? Bonnie
  • Something new for all the techie's out their. This comes from Google and uses text messaging on your cell phone. This service is free from Google. If you are in a city and want to go for pizza and don't know where a pizza place is. First you have to send a text message. You send a test message to Google (466453) as the number. In the subject line you can type in any information you want, pizza for example. after you type in pizza you type in the zip code that you are in, one zip code in duluth is 55804. After you have type those in you send the message. In a few minutes, you well receive a text message from Google with the locations, phone numbers, address and distance from that zip code. This example returned Sammy's Pizza and Restaurant 4631 E. Superior St. Duluth MN 55804 (218)-525-6604. 2.4 miles SW. This is a service I cam upon during my undergrade classes. Just new techie stuff for you.
  • I am about to buy a new computer for my graduate work. I am most comfortable with a PC but leaning toward a Mac. What should I be sure to load on a computer? Please pass on any advice. Pam
  • Answer from Helen: Macs and PCs can do almost the same things, so a lot of this comes down to personal preference, what you want to pay, and how concerned you are about viruses. With personal preference, once you switch to a different platform and use it a lot, you get used to it and will find it as easy to use as your old platform. Cost: if cost is a factor, you can get a PC cheaper than a Mac. Also, there are many more downloads of free programs for PCs than for Macs, but this is really only an issue if you are into non-mainstream "geeky stuff" for the most part. Almost all standard programs, both free and ones you buy, are cross-platform. However, the new Intel Macs I gather run both Mac and Windows programs (they function as if they are PCs if you want them to), so you can get the best of both platforms while owning a Mac. Finally: the virus issue is a biggie: Macs are highly unlikely to get them, whereas this is a big issue for PCs. One last thing: screen size: If you can afford a 17 inch screen, it's really helpful if you want to have a few programs open at once; however, if all you are every likely to be doing working mainly on one program at a time, then 15" is fine.
  • Sarah's 2 cents worth: I have a Mac and love it! If you get one, I'd recommend purchasing the Apple Support package. At least once or twice a month I have something I can't figure out and I just call them up and they talk me through it. Sometimes they can even do it " with " me, controling my computer from wherever they are. One other tip... be sure to have microsoft word installed as the appleworks wordprocessing program is not compatible with documents done in word. It is a pain when you are trying to do attachments. Good Luck with your decision.
  • I just bought a new mac and I'm really happy with it. It is what I'm used to and so for me, macs have always been more intuitive to use. There seem to be less viruses affecting macs. Bonnie
  • I've heard of a few programs that sound cool for sharing video clips to a class on-line, but I'm never confident I can make it all work. Anyone out there with any experience.
    • On the Mac there is iMovie, and on Windows I think it's Windows MediaPlayer: both allow you to edit and create movies (you can make movies from photos -- and add music/narration and text). Then if you save them as a quick time movie, you can watch upload them to a web page or your blog. The only drawback: video files are really big, so take a long time to download (and also take up a lot of space on server. UMD students don't have a lot of space on your student server accounts, so you couldn't put up video there. I know you can upload video to your blog, but I'm not sure how much space they allow. A friend of mine was part of a group that went to volunteer in New Orleans. They have video on their blog -- scroll down the blog and you'll see some video clips: New Orleans blog (Helen)

  • Speaking of buying computers....I am looking into buying a new laptop and was wondering if anyone had any recommendations as far as brand or specific ones that have worked well with them. I have been searching online and was also wondering if anyone new of any good websites to check out that would have valuable information? Any input would be great! Thanks. Katie

After much more deliberation than I typically do about a purchase, I am sold on a Mac.
All things considered, I think it will serve me best and my son won't have it any other wayI He is a big believer in macs. All the tech folks, many of the profs and some of my family are mac folks and swear the issues common with PCs will not be problems with macs. Then I look at all the cool gadgets and how easily I could use them with a mac and I am sold. There is a discount for students and educators on the wesite so be sure to take advantage of that. It makes the computer, memory, apple support and such much cheaper. They also currently offer a $100.00 rebate on printers which makes a decent printer free! Happy shopping.
Pam Rees
  • Recently I have started using the wonders of Myspace and Facebook. I have been able to use this resource to reconnect with old friends that have fallen off the face of the earth and to keep in contact with some of my family members. I have found that it is wonderful to be able to add your friends and family to share your stories (in blog format), e-mail, post pictures, etc, etc. You are also able to keep your profile private if you want to keep your information strictly limited to your friends. If you do keep your profile open, make sure that you only post information that you'd be willing to share with the rest of the world. www.myspace.com or www.facebook.com
  • As a registered U of M student, there are certain programs that you can download from the University for free or purchase a disc of the program at a very low cost. One of these programs is Microsoft Office, which we will be using for this course. If you go the the url http://www1.umn.edu/ucs/Microsoft/ms4students.php/ you will be able to receive information as to how to access this program. Other software available to students can be found at: http://www.d.umn.edu/itss/students/ Melissa
  • The University of Minnesota, Morris currently sends its alumni e-newsletter out in a standard e-mail format--we'd like to send it out in a jazzier format (in a template with a masthead, colors, etc.) and a format in which you can track click throughs. Lyris is the software that is supported by the U of M and is free to us; however, it doesn't seem to be very intuitive or user-friendly. Here's a link to a story about Lyris on the U of M Web page, Lyris at U of M. Does anyone have any bulk e-mail software suggestions? Thanks! Christine M.
  • As we discussed in our first class session today, Wikis can be great to facilitate collaborative writing on one page/document. I recently learned that the use of wikis can also support one of the Seven Principles of Effective Learning, Good Practice Develops Reciprocity and Cooperation Among Students. Hope you enjoy the article. ~ Karen C.
    • This is a great resource. Thanks Karen! I also just read Technit's Latest Blog Entry (as in Meg from our class) and she describes a wonderful site that she found on wikis, Whatsawiki. It's really helpful and well worth reading if you want to learn more about practical uses of wikis. Meg's blog entry is also really helpful and interesting on this, too. Thanks Meg and Karen!:) Helen.
    • Hi Helen. I did check out Meg's blog, and it's great! (Hi, Meg!) ~ Karen C.
  • Wish I could help you out, but my wonderful husband does all the computer shopping for me. Pam Ro.
  • I have thoroughly enjoyed learning about wikis, webx, and blogs yesterday and can't wait to use this new knowledge at work as well. I am also looking forward to checking out the web sites for software from UMD - gotta take advantage of all out there that could help in this journey. . . Betsy
  • To me, techonology is excellent tools for my learning. I like to learn more about it from you. Joy
  • Not one to be shy, I strutted into work on Monday and threw around some techie terms I was pretty sure the rest did not know. I promised a short intro to those who cared. I think it is a good way for me to learn, to be able to teach it to someone else. Thanks to the great support last weekend, I fear no technology...well today anyway! Pam Re [Way to go Pam!!! You geek you!! :) I am so impressed. I think it's especially impressive that you said you'd teach others. That really is the best way to learn (I know -- I know a TON more about all this stuff after teaching it to you this weekend! I feel so much more confident having taught you all and seeing you actually able to do it. It's been one thing for me to do it myself, but a whole new leg of my own techno-journey teaching it to my students:) HMR]
  • Today I spent a good bit of time investigating how to do things with my blog. I am interested in figuring out how to add cool things like the google map and calendars. Has anyone else tried? If so can you explain because the directions in Blogger help are making me dizzy. I am terribly proud, however, of figuring out how to add links to my blog which I'd be glad to share if anyone is interested. meg
  • Sony Readers . . . has anyone heard of them? My sister, a book lover, told me that this will be her Christmas present to herself. Being curious about new technology, I checked it out online at http://www.learningcenter.sony.us/assets/itpd/reader/. This is basically a handheld tool that allows you to read digital books/pdfs/etc. rather than having to have the paper version with you. Sounds interesting, but I begin to hyperventilate when I imagine a future without books and without libraries full of them! But I guess we are all surviving just fine without 8-track tapes and vinyl records . . . <grin> Karen T

How to use this wiki:

  1. If you are a Mac user, use Firefox, not Safari!
  2. Insert your ideas below the bar below by clicking on the "edit this page" button
  3. Then scroll down the the place in the evolving document where you would like to insert your idea, and type your contributions. You can also make changes to existing entries (e.g. expanding on what is written,inserting words, taking out words). Note: you may prefer to compose your ideas off line (e.g. using a word processor), and then copy and paste this into the wiki once you have clicked on the edit button and locating the cursor at the place at which you want to place your entry.
  4. Once you have made your changes, click on the "save" button at the bottom of the page.

Note: A wiki is a page that can be edited by anyone. The beauty of wikis is that you can add and change what is onthe page, but not destroy it, because all previous versions are archived in the history part of the page. Thus, if you want to refer to earlier versions, or go back and retrieve something from an earlier draft, all you need to do is refer to the history section (see history tab).