Sunday, November 26, 2006

E-mail--scrolling a screen at a time

As you read the e-mail, you can scroll the track wheel OR you can hit “M” to jump down a screen or “U” to jump up a screen.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

BlackBerry Tricks and Tips--An Introduction

At the beginning of the school year, each administrator in our school system was issued a BlackBerry. I had been a Palm user for about 5 years, so I was looking forward to what I thought might be a learning curve. Yes, there are differences between how I organize with the BlackBerry versus what I did with my Palm.

Over the last several months, I have become keenly interested in 1) how many people I see on a day-to-day basis who are using a BlackBerry; 2) the growing number of questions I see posed about how to organize (especially tasks) with the BlackBerry; 3) the little I see written that specifically addresses how to use the task list effectively.

This post starts a series of outlining tricks, shortcuts, and strategy I have learned along the way. I will begin with the track wheel, or more specifically, how to get around using it. Using keyboard shortcuts instead of the track wheel eliminates many steps.

Let's start with opening an e-mail message. You could click the track wheel, scroll the wheel to "Open," and click the wheel. An easier way is to simply hit the “Enter” key

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Translating your blog

People often ask me how I am able to have my blog translated into the various languages just by clicking a link. The process is surprisingly easy:
  1. Go to Google.
  2. Click on the small link that says "Language Tools."
  3. Scroll down the page until you see a heading that says "Translate a web page."
  4. In the box, enter the URL for the page you wish to translate.
  5. Just below the box, select the language to translate from and to and click on "Translate."
  6. You will be taken to your page, and you will be viewing that page in the new language.
  7. Look at the URL at the top of that page. That is the URL for that page in that language.
  8. Highlight and copy that URL.
  9. Create a link and paste that URL as the address for that link.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

What good is a blog? Yet another answer

I have previously written about two blogs that I created for our school system. Little by little, we are seeing the benefits of this form of communication. This past Wednesday provided an excellent example of how a blog can be the quickest and most effective way to communicate a detailed message to a large body of people.

Early into the school day, weather reports were indicating severe weather for the early afternoon, and the decision was made that we would dismiss school at mid-day. Surrounding schools systems were doing the same. As usual, we called radio and TV stations. At best, however, we could only count of them to announce an abbreviated message. Because of our bus routes, our elementary schools, junior high, and high school would dismiss at three different times. Asking the media to announce three different dismissal times was asking too much. As you can imagine, phones were ringing off the hook at each school and the central office asking if we were going to dismiss and at what time.

Within two minutes of word getting to me that we were closing, the complete announce was on our school system blog. Any parent who thought to check our blog got the information, got it completely and accurately, and got it before any radio or TV station had the information.

What good is blog? We just found one more answer.