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Tuesday Tech Tip: Web Albums Revisited

It’s getting close to June, and the time to start packing up classrooms is near.  As you’re thinking about what to do with those paper files, you can also think about what to do with those big digital files.   Why not take them with you wherever you go?

Why online photo storage makes sense:

  • Your photos are safe.
  • Your photos are accessible from anywhere you have an internet connection.
  • You can decide how to share your photos and entire albums.
  • Your files aren’t taking up space on your hard drive.

Sounds like GoogleDocs, right?

Here’s a quick video about online photo sharing.  And here is a slightly updated version of how to use Picasa 3 to organize photos and upload them to Picasa Web Albums.

Tuesday Tech Tip: Picasa Web Albums

Today’s tip will help you do a little spring cleaning.

If you have lots and lots of files in your H: drive, you may be getting close to your size limit.  If you get close, Spacemon (in the lower right-hand corner of your screen) will go from green to red and start beeping at you. This can get annoying, to say the least.

Photos are the usual culprit in eating up space quickly.  If you have photos pasted into documents or presentations, those files can get very big as well.  Here are a couple of solutions:

If you have many photos, upload them to a web album. The advantages?

  • Access to your photos anytime, anywhere.
  • Online photo storage = online back-up for your important photos.
  • You can create a photo slide show in Picasa with a single click.
  • Sharing! You can create a private album or a shared album.
  • You can then delete the photos from your H: drive (or transfer them to a flash drive or CD) and free up lots of space.
  • Here’s a short video that explains how online photo storage works:  http://www.commoncraft.com/photosharing
  • Here’s a short tutorial that explains how to upload photos to Picasa web albums:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-a0ZvxZv-Yo

If you have very large files of Power Point presentations or Word documents, you can create a PDF of those files which are smaller and take up less space.

  • A PDF is an “image” of your document.  It cannot be edited.
  • This is a good solution if you have large archival files you’d like to keep but don’t need to edit.

Directions for either of these solutions are here.  Please don’t hesitate to ask if you need support in bringing your H: drive down to size.

Get Organized in the New Year

With a new year, people are often thinking about getting organized. Here are few Web 2.0 tools to help you out:
  • GoogleReader: Organize all of your newspapers, blogs, podcasts, and more in one location. If you like an item, you may share it with others. Creating an account is free. You’ll find subscriptions to resources like the Smithsonian, major news outlets, NPR shows, Epicurious, UW’s own CCBC, and even the Wisconsin Historical Society. Instead of visiting 10 web pages to read articles, you have one spot organized the way you like.
  • iGoogle: Organize a homepage with widgets for a wide variety of tasks and interests: your GoogleReader, news, weather, comics, you name it.
  • Pageflakes: This tool is similar to iGoogle, but allows you to create pages of grouped links. An added feature of pageflakes is that you may create a Pagecast to share your links.
  • GoogleDocs: Having one copy of a file can improve organization . . . instead of email attachments, copies on H, J, S, or other locations, use GoogleDocs to keep files you’re sharing in one location and keep track of the revisions. If you don’t have an account yet, feel free to request one. If you haven’t seen the possibilities, stay tuned for learning sessions at your location.
  • Wikispaces: If you’re working with a group that needs to create something or keep track of progress, a wiki can be a great help. A wiki is a page or series of pages that everyone can edit and discuss. Like GoogleDocs, it keeps track of each revision. If you need to share documents, Wikispaces allows you to post attachments in Word, PowerPoint, whatever. Wikispaces offers free wikis to teachers.
  • Diigo: This online tool lets you organize and collaborate . . . highlight web pages, add sticky notes, and more. They offer a special upgrade to educators. Note: you won’t be able to load the diigo toolbar here at work.
  • Evernote: Mentioned in a December tip . . . With a free account, you can begin to capture items using the web, your smartphone, your computer, and other devices like an iPod Touch or a Blackberry. Evernote holds them all on the web for you. (Also available for smartphones and the ipod touch.)
  • Delicious: Never worry about accessing bookmarks or favorites again. Your Delicious account lets you tag, share, and organize your favorite web pages.


Tuesday Technology Tips

Today’s tips are focused on organization, shopping, and photos . . .
Evernote: www.evernote.com Their symbol is an elephant and for good reason. With a free account, you can begin to capture items using the web, your smartphone, your computer, and other devices like an iPod Touch or a Blackberry. Evernote holds them all on the web for you.
Shopping Tips: Take a look at the New York Times video series with David Pogue where you can find information about tech gifts for all sorts of folks (athletes, travelers, cooks, readers, and more).
If you aren’t purchasing, their Personal Tech page is very helpful. You’ll find answers to questions like:
  • Do I need cable?
  • Kindle or Nook?
  • Kodak or Flip?
  • Scissors or cutting machine?
And, if you’re shopping online, the Better Business Bureau offers ten tips for safe online purchasing.
Pictures & Sharing: People take lots of photos this time of year. Storing them online means that you can share with others. (And if you’re managing photos here at DASD, it also means you’re not storing them on our servers.) Picasa Web Albums is a good choice. Want a real photo? Anyone you share with may pick the photo AND the company they’d like to print it. Your aunt likes Shutterfly–no problem. You like Walgreen’s–no problem.
If you’d like to get creative with your photos, try out some sites like Picnik, Photovisi, Big Huge Labs, and Scrapblog. Or download the free version of Picasa at home. (You’ll find it here under Start >> Graphics & Layout.)