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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Moving Documents to your iPad from your Computer and Printing Them

Now that a lot of us have iPads and use them all of the time we want an easy solution to getting our documents from our computers and to the iPad. Even better we want them to sync so that the same copy is on the iPad that is on the Computer.  Then we want to be able to print! We are demanding!

Luckily, there are lots of ways to move your documents from your iPad to your computer and to keep them in sync.


1.  PAGES - Using iTunes you can add documents from your computer to your iPad. They don't have to be .pages documents. You can even put .doc and .docx documents into Pages for iPad. In pages you can edit the document and then instead of "Saving As" you choose "Export" and export it as a .doc or whatever other format you can choose.
To add to your Pages App on your iPad:
  • Plug your ipad into your computer. 
  • Open iTunes 
  • Your ipad will show up on the list on the left side
  • Click on it and look for the apps tab on the top. 
  • The apps tab will show all of the apps that you have installed on your ipad. To get to pages slide down the page.
  • Click on Pages on the left side and on the right side it will show you all of the documents that you already have on Pages in your iPad. 
  • If you want to add a document click ADD at the bottom and find the document you would like to put up there.
Anything that is listed in the Pages documents can be edited with the pages application. You can then send it by email to your computer or use iTunes to move it back over or print it right from Pages if you have a WiFi printer (see below)


2.  GOODREADER -
Annotated PDF
GoodReader is an app that you can download to your iPad for free. Documents that you put here can be annotated. It is great for reading .pdf files or for teachers/professors who need to grade papers. After you have made the annotations that you want on the document you can send it by email. Goodreader always saves the annotated document and also the original that you began working with.








3.  DROPBOX - When you put a document into Dropbox you are actually putting it onto a server online. That server can be accessed by any computer that has the Dropbox app downloaded to it OR by logging in online at http://dropbox.com. Before you use Dropbox you sign up for an account. That way only you have access to your documents unless you specifically share them. When you work on the document and save it the changes are saved in Dropbox and so they are available on your iPad. You cannot edit a document in Dropbox, but if you have a word processing app on your iPad you can open the document into that app from Dropbox and work on it and then save it back into your Dropbox.



4.  MS OFFICE ON IPAD - Now you can get Office on your iPad. But wait! There are some drawbacks. It takes 450 MB of your iPad space just to load it. It is based on a subscription model that costs $99 annually.

5. GOOGLE DOCS - The great thing about Google Docs is that you can access them anywhere.  Google docs, also called Google Drive offers word processing, presentation, spreadsheet apps and others. When you type something in Google Docs it is saved on a server and you can access it through a browser anywhere that you have Internet access. If you need to access documents without internet access you can download Drive as a folder on your computer where you can access files even when you are not online. If you make changes they will upload the next time that you are online. 

PRINTING

You must have a WiFi printer and an app that can print in order to print from your iPad. You can print with Pages, MS Word, and there are many print apps (both free and up to $6.99). In my experience it takes a few times to get printing to work correctly, but don't give up. Search online for Printing with an iPad to get more information and quit when you are frustrated and start again when you are ready.


5 Things You Can Do to Make Being Online Meaningful (3-5)

The last post talked about the book NetSmart How to Thrive Online. It lists five skills that the author recommends for making use of the Internet meaningful. Last post I talked about two of the five skills. They were Attention and Crap Detection. In this post I will outline the next three. I know that this is very different from my "how to" posts, but please put up with me and we will get back to those.


PREFACE
Our cultural expectations have dramatically changed. A small example of that is telephone etiquitte. It used to be that you did not call anyone too early or too late. It was rude. You might be interrupting their sleep, or they might not be at home. Message machines seemed so impersonal at the beginning. 

Today rudeness on the phone means not silencing a cellphone at a concert or talking on a cell when other people are in hearing distance. The hour you call and even if a person answers does not matter. The caller just leaves a message or texts. If you call someone at 3 in the morning it is no problem because you can just leave a message that they will get in the morning. Just like cell phone etiquitte, Participation, Collaboration and Network Smarts are important changes caused by technology in our lives.

Participation
It has become possible for everyone to publish what is important to them online in one way or another. In Facebook you can "like" something, you can bookmark favorite websites, you can comment on blogs, or if you want to do more create you own blog or website. There are so many sites like Facebook, Linked In, Pinterest, Etsy, Twitter, etc... that will allow you to publish your own thoughts and pictures on the web for the benefit of others.

If you participate you need to be aware of your digital footprint. Everything that you do online is permanent and you have no control of who reads it or copies and pastes it to their own computer. Hopefully you have all positive contributions that you are proud of. Your digital footprint shows you as a positive contributer. If you have posted some things that you are not proud of it is important to be active in publishing things that correct your digital footprint, so that anyone who views you online will more likely find your current footprint than what is history.

Collaboration
Collaboration used to be considered cheating, but now it is necessary. Wikipedia is a good example. When I grew up Encyclopedias were sources of fact. You had to have a special shelf for them and they needed to be updated annually. The speed of new information increased and Encyclopedias could not keep up. Wikipedia allowed anyone to write or add to an article there are now 30 million articles. Collaboration allowed extremely current updating of information. People in locations of a disaster can add an article to show what is happening right then. The article on Hurricane Katrina was very interesting to follow because it changed in real time. If something untrue were added someone could come and correct it right away.

Since just anyone can add to it Wikipedia cannot be trusted as a final resource for information (actually, even the Funk and Wagnels could not!) However, it is a great place to start researching a topic. Usually there are links to follow at the end of an article that will take you to other information also.

Wikipedia is just one example of how Collaboration can make use of the Internet more meaningful. The general term for sites that allow this type of collaboration is Social Media. There are hundreds of sites on the Internet now that fall under that category.

Network Smarts

The final skill that I am going to summarize is more difficult to explain. The new way of relating to people is in a network rather than in a group. Sometimes you do not personally know someone, but on a social network site you are able to help them with an answer to a question. Networks make paying something forward (doing someone a favor even when they have not helped you) really meaningful. By being someone who gives you build Social Capital and trust. 

Facebook can be an example of a network. You may see comments on your news feed that are not from people you know. You are connected to them only through someone else. How you respond to them can build Social Capital and trust.

It is important also for you to be mindful and to set your privacy settings so that you know who is seeing your contributions. You do not have total control and sometimes the privacy settings change, but it is important to know where you stand.

CONCLUSION
I know that these two posts have been more academic than most of my posts. It has helped me because at times I feel caught in changes that are going so fast. It helps to take time reflect and to be mindful of what I do online and how I help others. 


Friday, March 14, 2014

5 Things You Can Do To Make Being Online Meaningful (1-2)


In the book called "NET SMART How to Thrive Online" Howard Rheingold talks about five important skills that we need to have in order to use the Internet meaningfully (and that includes email).

The book interested me because for a long time I have felt that technology is overwhelming. It seems to change so fast and once you do email fairly regularly it tends to pile up faster than you can read it.  How does anyone deal with this? Then there is the issue of safety. How can you keep your identity safe online? What about viruses?

I would highly recommend this book for anyone who is dealing with these questions. In the book he also discusses some other important questions.

  • What do you do if you have a bad reputation online when things that are online ever go away?
  • Why is it important to live mindfully?
  • How can I possibly keep up with technology?
  • Why should anyone use Twitter?
  • Is the Internet making us stupid?
  • Can everyone see everything on Facebook?

It is summed up in 5 important skills that we all need to develop in order to use the Internet in a meaningful way. These are new literacy skills that we all need to learn.

ATTENTION

I tend to avoid going to Facebook because a few hours after I have started looking at it I realize how much time has passed and remember (usually too late) why I was going there in the first place. I think we all have that type of experience when we go to the Internet and just follow interesting links from where we are to other interesting places and on and on.

Rheingold says that this is a good new way of learning, but only if you are in control of your own attention and choose to spend time this way. However, it is difficult and takes intentional effort to train yourself in attentiveness.

This section of the book is especially worth reading. He talks about the hoimportance of breathing and being aware of what we are feeling and also our body. It is not good to sit at a computer for too many hours without getting up and moving. Moving brings blood to our brain and helps us to think and learn better. He also suggests that we need to learn to put down the phone or iPad and look at the people we are talking to. Paying attention to others is important.

Multitasking usually causes a person to lose some effectiveness on each thing they are doing. Repetition is important. When you repeat good habits you instill them in yourself.

These skills are especially important for people under their 30's who have lived with technology all of their lives. I have not developed the habit of being caught up in my phone while not attending to people I am with, but you see it all of the time on college campuses. Some of the other literacy skills that he talks about are more important for us "older" folks

CRAP DETECTION

You can find almost anything you want to know on the Internet. The words you use to search are important. It is up to you to decide whether what you find is accurate, inaccurate or intentionally misleading. It helps to be skeptical first. Next you can do several "detective" activities to figure out if what you are seeing or reading is accurate.

Think about who wrote the page. Anyone can make a webpage pretty easily now. Try to find the author and search to find out if there is other information about them on the Internet. He suggests some really helpful ways to authenticate a webpage and learn more about it. One important word is TRIANGULATE. That means you should find three sources that agree on something before passing along a rumor.

Here are some websites that can help you to do this:

Snopes
http://www.snopes.com/
Snopes is a site where they do research on rumors that float around the Internet and post the source of the ones that are not accurate. If you receive an email offering a free flight on American Airlines is it for real. Searching Snopes will tell you that it is not and why.

Hoax Sites
http://teachbytes.com/2012/11/01/test-website-evaluation-with-10-hilarious-hoax-sites/
This is a page that gives you 10 websites that "look" accurate, but are actually made to fool people.

The Gallery of Hoax Images
It is very easy now to edit an image so that it looks just like it must be true!  This site shows images that have become viral (spread quickly- people sharing them with their friends) and explains why they are not  actually true.
http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/hoax/photo_database/photo_category/category/viral_images

The next three skills will be talked about in the next blog post.