Friday, December 12, 2014

Personal Productivity: Pin a Website to the Windows Taskbar or Start Screen


Welcome to a new series of posts! The goal of this series is to share tips and tricks productivity. This series is also a way to explore useful features on computers and devices.

First up: Pinning a website to your Windows Taskbar or Start Screen (depending on which version of Windows you have). For those sites that you use every single day, this allows you to boot your computer, and open the site with one click. No more in-between step of opening your browser first!
 

Pinning a Website to the Taskbar

 This tip should work for people running IE 9 or newer on Windows 7 or newer.

Simple click & drag from the web address icon to the Taskbar, and presto!
Drag a website address shortcut from the address bar in Internet Explorer to your Windows Taskbar, to make a "pinned" button on the Taskbar.

This will give you a button on the Taskbar, which can be used to directly open the site. Note that you can always remove this button later, by right-clicking it, and clicking "unpin this program from Taskbar".

Pinning a Website "Live Tile" to the Windows 8.1 Start Screen
This tip requires Windows 8.1 and Internet Explorer 11. You must also have Internet Explorer set as your default web browser. You can pin a website to the Start Screen from either the "Modern" or the "Desktop" versions of IE.
 

Pinning from the "Modern" IE

Open the start screen/touch/modern/metro/tablet version of Internet Explorer (not the desktop version). Note that if you cannot find the modern/touch version of IE, it may be because you have another browser set as your default.
Modern IE icon versus Destop IE icon
 Go to the site you want to pin to the Start Screen, in Modern IE. Click the star-shaped "Favorites" icon, and then click "Pin to Start":
1. Click Favorites.  2. Click the  thumbtack. 3. Click "Pin  to Start".
 This will give you a tile shortcut that will always open in the "Modern/Touch" version of IE.

Start Screen pinned tile

 Pinning from "Desktop IE"


 In the "Desktop" version of IE, open the website you wish to pin, and click the gear icon in the top right corner.

Click the gear/settings icon, then click "Add site to Apps".

Click the "Add" button.
Click the "Add" button.

Go to your Start Screen, and look for the downward arrow icon in the left bottom corner. Click this icon to see all apps installed on your computer.
1 new app installed

Find the new desktop shortcut, right-click it, and click "Pin to Start".

Right click on the new app, then click "Pin to Start".

A shortcut to the website which will open in desktop IE will now be pinned to your Start Screen.
Desktop and Modern shortcuts on the start screen.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

New Videos from WVU's Academic Innovation - iDesign & iTeach

West Virginia University's Academic Innovation - Teaching and Learning Commons recently produced four videos that faculty, teaching assistants, and others will find helpful.



Starting with "Undergraduate Research: Who? What? When? Where? How?" - Melanie Page, Assistant Vice President for Creative and Scholarly Activities at WVU, leads the panel and the discussion.

Second, Vagner Benedito, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Biochemical Genetics at WVU, discusses grantsmanship for junior faculty in "Grantsmanship for Junior Faculty".

"Improve your Academic Application: Teaching Philosophy Statements and Teaching" with WVU Associate Professor, Michelle Richards-Babb.

Then finish with "Mentoring and Advising Graduate Students" hosted by Melanie Page and Associate Professor, Jim Siekmeier.

To find out more about our workshops view the full event calendar at: tlcommons.wvu.edu/Events/

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Don’t Let Your Class End Up on the “Front Page of the Internet”.


The website known as Reddit bills itself as the "Front Page of the Internet". Warning: take all content warnings seriously when browsing Reddit. Any and all content types are there. One "subreddit" or section of the site is named "mildlyinfuriating". This section allows people to rant about various annoyances in their day. Today, an image entitled "How my professor organizes her lectures for our class" has 2047 "upvotes" as of this writing:


Photo of a Blackboard LMS class with the lectures utterly out of numerical order.
Click the image above, to visit the original Reddit post.

Don't let this be you! Always review your class in Student View, and think about what it would be like to come into the course for the first time. Even better, ask a person who is entirely unfamiliar with the class to find something, starting from the main page of the course, and watch them for possible confusion.