Sunday, July 7, 2013


There are many QR code generators available now; I’m using Google’s generator because it gives a convenient option to shorten the URL as part of the process. (A long URL creates a “busy” QR code, which is more difficult to scan than one less cluttered.)

Example of An Impossibly Long URL (from the Library of Congress)

1. Copy the URL of the webpage.
2. Go to (You must have a Google account.)
3. Paste the long URL into the box.
4. Click Shorten URL.
5. Click Details.
6. Copy (or save) the QR code

Click here for complete instructions with additional images. (PDF file)

Saturday, June 29, 2013


Some people download iPad apps from iTunes directly to their iPads. I find it more convenient (sometimes) to use my Windows computer.For example, if I’m on my laptop and see an interesting app on Facebook or Pinterest, I don’t want to have to write myself a note (gag) or send myself an email with a link or put a link on Dropbox--three of the 14 ways to get this information on my iPad. 
  • If you do not already have iTunes installed on your laptop….
  • Click the link in Facebook or Pinterest to open iTunes and read about the app.(You might have to click a link to open a website and then click a link to open iTunes). 
  • Click on the Download ($ or Free) button. You can view all the apps you have downloaded on your Windows computer by clicking Apps in the left panel. I usually collect several apps before syncing them to my iPad.
  • Connect your laptop and your iPad by unplugging the USB cable from your iPad’s charge block and plugging it into a USB port on your laptop.
Connecting iPad and Windows Laptop
  • On your laptop, you will see the message Syncing Apps to [your iPad’s name].
  • The apps will appear on the first iPad screen where space is available. (Because my large collection of apps is organized into folders on the first screen, all newly downloaded apps appear on the second screen.)
Directions with Additional Images (pdf file)

Saturday, March 2, 2013


Surprised by the occasional unexpected appearance of the Windows 7 on-screen keyboard? This keyboard is designed to assist users who are challenged by physical conditions. Using this device, they can type with the mouse or other pointing device, such as a mouth-stick. 

The problem is that this keyboard, when enabled, pops up whenever it “thinks” it is needed. For SMART Board users, this here-I-am-invited-or-not appearance is sometimes annoying; the keyboard can block part of a window, and it acts like it is competing with the SMART Board keyboard.
To disable (or enable) the on-screen keyboard:
  1. Go to the Ease of Access Center. You can get there through the Control Panel, but it’s quicker to use the keyboard shortcut: Windows key + u key.
  2. Click Use the computer without a mouse or a keyboard.
  3. De-select (or select) the option Use On-Screen Keyboard.
Click here for a pdf file with additional illustrations.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


I like blogs for many reasons—some of them totally irrelevant. (As a former Miz English Teacher Person, I like the idea that the word blog is a portmanteau of the words web and log. Have you ever eaten with a spork? Then you know what a portmanteau is. Have you ever slept in a motel? Have you ever chortled? But . . . I better rein it in.)

Okay, you say, but what IS a blog? How is it different from a website? The word blog has the connotation of personal opinion, of erratic personality, of strong feelings. I like that. But most blogs work within templates. I don't like that. Templates are easy, as long as you don't want total control over the placement of a column or an object. But I want, yep, control over my creations, and I already have a website, so I prefer the website format. (The main reason I have blogs is to show that I can have blogs.) But if you aren't comfortable with the website process, then you'll love blogging!

A blog has a website address, or URL, and is like a website in that it is read by a browser (like Internet Explorer) on the Internet, but several characteristics make a blog a little different from a website.

  1. A blog is most often a type of personal diary, a record of an individual's interests and opinions--which is what I've tried to illustrate above.
  2. Like a website, a blog usually focuses on a particular topic (although one blog I saw recently seemed to be simply a tedious record of the author's every waking thought). A blog is more of an exercise in personal expression than a website; it's a collection of several small, informal editorials, usually related to a stated topic. The title of a blog should thus be an umbrella for all future postings.
  3. In a blog, the entries are typically not organized by topic but by chronology; they are usually displayed in reverse chronological order.
  4. Many blogs allow their readers to post responses or questions. (This gets sticky. Many bloggers choose to moderate the users' responses.)
  5. A blog is easier--and quicker--for most people to post than a website; it can be created without a special program (like FrontPage or Dreamweaver) and can be posted from any computer connected to the Internet. A totally web-based process.

Several different companies are available to host your blog. For free. These websites offer a variety of templates, so you don't have to design a layout. If you want to get an idea about these websites, just Google the keywords free and blog. (Isn't google a wonderful new verb?) On the handouts illustrating the process of creating a blog, I'm using my favorite blog creator, Blogger, which (surprise, surprise) is a Google service.


Creating a Blog Account with Blogger
Blogging with Word 2007 (and Blogger)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Our principal has designed a new school logo and I've been trying to add it to our page but am having difficulty. It appears correctly in FrontPage. When I save it and then view it, it appears correctly. However, when I leave FrontPage, upload on Filezilla, and then view our homepage using Internet Explorer, there is a box with an x. I've gone all through my notes and I believe that I am doing everything right.

The x means that there is a problem with the link (path) to the graphic. You have told the browser to look in a certain folder to find the graphic to display on your webpage, and the browser can't find it because the path is wrong. This happens when the link is wrong in the code on the page, the image file is not uploaded, or the image file is uploaded to the wrong folder.

If you have linked and uploaded correctly, you probably just need to refresh your browser. Think of two kids fighting to sit in the same chair. If your browser already has a webpage in the cache, then the new version will not be displayed on the Web until the old version is replaced by the new version in the cache. You do that by clicking the Refresh icon in IE (sometimes by pressing the F5 key) or just shutting down IE and re-opening it. Sometimes you have to "force" a refresh by holding down the Control key while you're clicking the Refresh button--while mumbling insults to IE for his (!) failure to follow your directions. Hang in there!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


I'm having problems when I try to open the student handbook on my website. It wants to open as a zip file. Why?

For some reason, Word 2007 files are not particularly user-friendly on a website. When I try to open a Word 2007 file on a website, I get an illogical question in a dialog box on both my computers (one without Word 2007 and one with). No, Mr. Computer, I don't want to open a zip file; I want to open a Word file! Hello! If I try to open the "zip" file, I see a folder displaying three folders and an xlm file--none of which happens to be of the slightest interest (or use) to me. Until this problem is resolved, you will need to post your files as html, Word 2003, or pdf.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009



I just deleted my FileZilla shortcut from my desktop. Will I have to download FileZilla again?


If all you need is the shortcut, then you don’t have to download anything. The program is still on your computer. A shortcut is just a temporary pointer to the target program. Deleting it, or renaming it, has absolutely no effect on the program. (If you tear up my business card, it doesn't hurt me; you just don't have the contact informtion to get in touch with me easily. You might have to look inside a folder....)

To access FileZilla, click the Start Menu and then All Programs. If you want to create another shortcut, then just rightclick on the icon (it's a shortcut) in the All Programs list and select Send To … Desktop (Shortcut). Or another way: After you have opened FileZilla, a shortcut will appear below the line on the Start Menu. Rightclick it and select Send To ... Desktop (Shortcut).