Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Your Digital Toolkit: Lesser Known Web 2.0 & Desktop Apps

The Summer Institute on Distance Learning and Instructional Technology (SIDLIT, pronounced "sidelight") returns to Johnson County Community College on Thursday and Friday, July 31 and August 1, 2008 with over 380 attendees registered. The conference, in it's 9th year, is sponsored by Colleague to Colleague and includes sessions on topics from ANGEL to blogs and wikis.

One of my sessions (on Friday, August 1st) covers "Your Digital Toolkit: Lesser Known Web 2.0 & Desktop Apps." It's described in this way: "If you've heard about Web 2.0, you've heard about blogs, wikis and social networks. But what web 2.0 tools are available for your digital toolkit beyond the basics? This session begins with a quick survey of Web 2.0, desktop and rich Internet applications (RIAs) that may be useful for personal and instructional purposes (both classroom and online)."

The handout for the session is this blog entry and includes a link to each of the web 2.0 tools and desktop apps that I'll discuss. The list of tagged items is available at

To be sure everyone understands the language, I'll begin with a brief explanation of the differences between web 1.0 and web 2.0. My definition will focus on the following basic comparison.

Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 represents a shift:
  1. From personal bookmarking to shared tagging,
  2. From permissions, centralized security and control to radical trust, every person involvement and decentralization,
  3. From text & graphics to media rich, participatory, web experiences,
  4. From versions and scheduled releases to continuous improvement where products are always in beta,
  5. From static web publishing with limited, restricted roles to dynamic, interactive participation where everyone's an author, contributor, editor, reviewer and owner using rich Internet tools (RIAs) available to everyone, anytime, online.

The tools I'll discuss are in the list (link above) but I've linked to a few specific examples of content created using these tools (below).

Finally, to keep up on Web 2.0 news, I subscribe to (RSS feed, email, lots of options). Good place to get news on new apps, losers and winners.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Splitting Worksheet Windows

The question came up recently “How do you split the window in Excel so you can see a spreadsheet (usually referred to as a worksheet) in two different windows.” There are several answers depending on your needs.

  1. After loading a document (workbook) in Excel 2007, go to the View tab and select the Split option. The current document window will be split and you can scroll either window (on the same document) independently of the other.
  2. Also there are splitter handles at the top of the vertical scrollbar and at the right end of the horizontal scrollbar. Click and drag one of them with the mouse and it will split the window. Again, this only lets you look at two parts of a single worksheet at one time, It won't, for instance, let you look at parts of different worksheets at the same time (whether they’re from the same Excel workbook or not).

  3. If you want separate windows showing different parts of the same workbook (including different worksheets), use the New Window button on the View tab (the third icon to the left of the Split icon on the View tab).

  4. Now if you want two instances of Excel so you can run them in separate windows and see the same or different worksheets displayed in each window, just launch Excel directly, rather than launching it by opening a file. If you use the second instance to open a file you already have open in the first instance, the access in the second instance will be read only.
Thanks to Saul Epstein, Ed Lovitt, Tracy Newman and Michael Rea who contributed to the information included in this tip.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Phishing Part II

One of the Ed Tech Center staff members at JCCC (Davy Jones) pointed out, after yesterday’s tip on phishing, that the IRS does have a site with instructions for helping them shut down phishing schemes at:,,id=155682,00.html

The instructions for submitting suspected bogus email messages are at,,id=179820,00.html. Though they indicate you can “forward’ the email to it’s actually better to send them an email and attach the bogus email to the message you send. This preserves the header information that enables the IRS to better follow-up and track the sender of the fraudulent message. To attach the message (using Outlook 2007) you’d:
  1. Open a new email message,
  2. Address it to,
  3. Enter a short Subject line such as: “Possible Phishing Message,”
  4. In the text area enter a short message, if you wish,
  5. Select the Insert tab,
  6. Select the Attach Item option,
  7. When the Insert Item dialog box appears (see image below), navigate to the suspected phishing email message and,
  8. Double-click to attach it to your message. Now you’re ready to send the email message.

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