Tuesday, April 14, 2009

So, I was looking for a unique way to publish our latest Book of the Month responses and I happened upon this great site called Issuu (issue).
The process itself is VERY easy, with just a few quirks:
1. Create a document in Word, PowerPoint, Excel...
2. Make sure that it is JUST the way you want it, because once you download it to the site, you cannot change it. (This is one of those quirks.)
3. Sign-Up and Log-In to the site
4. On the HOME page, you'll find a box that says "Upload a Document"- click there
5. Find the document on your computer and enter in all the defining information
6. Hit Upload
7. Wait for the document to be converted by Issuu
8. Soon it will be on your published shelf
9. Now click MORE, then CUSTOMIZE and EMBED
10. This is where you can choose options for presenting it... size, one-page vs. two-pages, auto flip?, background...
11. Everytime you make a change in your choices, it changes the embed code. When you have it just the way you want it, then you can copy the code and post it on your blog or website.
12. Back to that quirk- once you publish it, if you see an error- sometimes the font was changed some on mine- you must adjust your original document and then go through the whole process again.

Side Note- A plus of this site is you can search through a database of all their online publications! Happy reading! :)

Friday, April 3, 2009

Mail Merge - Patricia Wallace

Before I begin, let me first state that I am deeply honored to be selected as a 'Geek'. I am still in the learning stage of my craft as an educator and am very fortunate to be in an environment that encourages learning and sharing of ideas and then kind of doing an ‘a-la-carte’ to tweak new information and strategies to fit your needs and style. I must admit that as a ‘newbie’ to Chets, I feel very privileged to have the opportunity to give something back to our community by having something to share that I think will be beneficial to all who chose to use it.

So let’s begin… What is mail merge? Mail merge is kind of an ‘old school’ technology tool available in MS Word. It is a merge of your data stored in MS Excel or MS Access into a Word document (i.e. labels, letters, brochures, etc.)

There are many videos and tutorials available on the internet on how to use mail merge. The help with MS Word has demos available as well. Here are my 'basic' instructions...

What are some of the different ways I’ve used mail merge? Throughout the year, I use mail merge for customizing my student's labels. Also, I use mail merge for progress reports. And when the time comes, I most definitely use mail merge for diagnostics letters home to parents.

Why do I love to use mail merge? My kids love to see things customized for them. Mail merge is a great tool that allows me to individualize labels and letters home such as progress reports or diagnostics letters. I setup one individual, and then mail merge will automatically setup all other 60 students with a click of a button. No more do I need to first print off all my labels or letters then hand write each student’s information. What an awesome way to save time!