Excel – Tip – Setting conditional Formatting

Sometimes, even with the ability to filter and sort in all the ways you have learned so far, it would be nice if there was some way to make some information “pop” visually so that you could better identify certain data-points which may affect a decision or outcome.  That is where conditional formatting comes in.  The use in this tutorial of conditional formatting is barely scratching the surface of what is available but I think you will see the potential and hopefully experiment with this truly powerful feature.

Excel – Tip – Separating Data within a Cell

Now that you know how to filter and sort – what do you do when there isn’t a column with just the data you need? If you have a column which contains that information but it is mixed in with other information, this video will show you one way to separate out that information. Once you have pulled out the specific information you need into a separate column, you can then filter and sort just as you learned in the first tutorial.

Excel – Tip – Filter and Sort

The ability to filter and sort large blocks of data within an Excel spreasheet makes it possible to identify the right information necessary to make data-driven decisions. Excel has a very easy process for turning the entire spreadsheet into a table that can be easily filtered and sorted.  This first tip is the beginning of the process.  I will be sharing others over the next few weeks which will expand on this initial idea.  Trust me, this is a BIG deal and will make you look like a star to your co-workers and boss.  Be sure to watch the follow-up tutorials which expand on this ability.

Zoom – Video Conference

You probably are already aware that you have access to a powerful video conference tool from inside Canvas, titled Zoom.  I’ve included a picture of the link.  Zoom is very easy to use and intuitive, meaning that you should be able to use it with only a little trial and error. Below I’m going to discuss Why you might want to use Zoom, and How to set it up and use it.

WHY

I’m going to list several scenarios in which you might benefit from using Zoom:

  • As a way to have team project meetings. One of the barriers to team project meetings is the problem of coming out one more night, or getting to class early. Either option might be impossible. With Zoom, you can set up a team project meeting anytime during the week or weekend that works for your entire team.
  • To record a presentation or tutorial.  Zoom is perfect for recording a presentation or tutorial of some computer application.  Whatever you can see on your desktop can be shown through Zoom and recorded and made available to your classmates or the instructor.
  • To set up an optional (strictly voluntary) class meeting relative to a specific event, e.g. you could set up a Zoom to discuss political debates following the debates while everyone is still fresh.
  • These are only a few ideas, but I’m sure you are getting the idea.

HOW

Starting a Zoom is very easy, all you will need is your Belhaven login and password.  Once you click on the Zoom link you will want to “Host” a meeting after you enter your credentials.  To invite others email them the link.  I’ve included a video below which walks you through the process.

Let me know how it works for you.

Staying Organized

I am guessing you are busy. Probably VERY busy. Possibly near drowning in busy.  I’ve been there and I have discovered a way to keep myself organized and along the way become extremely efficient.  It starts with a program/application called Todoist.  I’ve recorded a short tutorial about Todoist below which spells out what it can do and shows you the basic screens.  As I mention in the video, I like this program for several reasons:

  1. It is free. While there is a paid version, you don’t really need it.
  2. It is cross platform, meaning I can have it on my desktop on my computer (I always keep a tab open in my browser to Todoist, which I consult several times a day) and on my phone or tablet.  By having it on my phone, I can easily add to it anywhere I’m at and it syncs up with my other versions.
  3. It can connect with Outlook or Gmail or Google Calendar – meaning I can take emails and send them to Todoist
  4. It works with virtual assistants such as Alexa or Google Assistant.
  5. I can easily add repeating events – this is a big plus and one almost impossible to do on a paper list.
  6. It is EASY – this is not a complicated program.  It is extremely easy to use – which means that I actually use it!

The only thing that was difficult in switching from paper lists was committing.  To get the most out of Todoist you need to go “all in.” Once I did that I couldn’t have been happier.  I add to my list easily. I can rank the items on the list for importance.  I check off what I’ve completed, and what I haven’t completed I simply move to the next day.

Check out the video and give it a try – I think you’ll love it!

Using the Belhaven Library

You may have run across this information, but it is always good to have a reminder. The Belhaven Library has a wealth of information that is as easy to access as Google (well, almost) and more reliable (Definitely!). There is an link below to a library assistant who will respond to your question as well as a video describing how to access the library.

I encourage you to practice looking up some material related to your course and incorporating it into your papers.

Reference Questions Ask a Librarian Form (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Grammarly

I LOVE Grammarly.  I installed it on my computer some time ago and I wouldn’t want to try to write without it!  It automatically highlights problems in my writing and gives me suggestions to correct them.  There are so many things that Grammarly does I’ve included a link to an article which reviews them HERE. I cannot overstate the importance of getting hooked up with Grammarly as soon as possible – ESPECIALLY SINCE IT IS FREE TO YOU AS A BELHAVEN STUDENT!!!!!

Here is how to get connected. Go to Blazenet, Click on the hamburger menu, then Academics, then Adult and Graduate. From the next screen scroll down and click on APA Assistance under Quick Links. The link for Grammarly will be on the right – just follow the directions.  This could be a game changer!

Why Google Slides works great for group projects

Many times you are assigned a group or team project that will result in a presentation. In many cases, the work is divided up by having one person create the presentation, typically in PowerPoint while others are assigned other parts of the project. The problem with this is that it is usually the same person who creates the PowerPoint and the other students have little or no input into the final presentation, nor do they become familiar with creating presentations.

Google slides is GREAT for team projects because it allows multiple people the opportunity to work on the presentation from different locations AT THE SAME TIME. So, each person in the group could be assigned to create 2-? slides relative to their portion of the content, and everyone can see and comment on each other’s work as the project progresses.  I’ve included a tutorial below from Youtube.  One person would create the project and then share it with the others in the group so everyone can access it and add their portion.

Presenting in class is a snap, just log into your Google Drive account (be sure to open an incognito window in your browser to avoid accidentally leaving your login information) and run the presentation.  You could even add the Instructor to the project so they can see what’s happening.  Even better, it is possible to see who created what, so there is no question about some team members slacking while others do all the work!