Thursday, December 03, 2009

Reducing File Sizes

You take a picture with your digital camera and then try to email it to a friend. It is so large that you can only attach one at a time. Even if you just want to upload it to Facebook, it takes a long time. Want to fix that problem? Read on.
Not too many years ago we were careful about the size of our files. We had to be or they would not fit on a 1.44mb diskette. Now our digital cameras create pictures over 1mb each. But with computer hard drives reaching into the terabytes, it is easy not to pay attention to the size of the files we save.
However, bloated files take longer to open and when located on a network drive they tie up bandwidth on the network as well as being slow to open. In our anxiousness, we often double-click two or more times on the same seemingly non-responsive icon only to wait and have multiple windows open, one for each of our frustrated clicks.
Why should we be concerned? The more bloat on the hard drive, the slower it runs and the more frustrated we become. We can control the size of our files and here are some examples of what we can do.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

WebCT to Bb9

At Rhode Island College the decision has been made to move from WebCT to Blackboard v9. Since WebCT is now Blackboard you would think the transition from one to the other would be pretty easy. There is a migration tool and you can back up the old course from WebCT and migrate it to Bb9. However, Bb9 is a different LMS. It does not have the same look and feel as WebCT.

The data comes over, but the course looks quite different. After migrating one of my courses to Bb9, I have come to the conclusion that I would rather start from scratch and build a new course in Bb9. All the content from WebCT can still be used, so I do not have to re-write those assignments, lecture notes, slide decks, or even quizzes. I can use them in my new Bb9 course.

I have written some White Papers for building a course in Bb9. The link is

Let me know your thoughts and experiences with the move.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Creating a Bookmark to Jump Down to the Current Semester

1. Sign into WebCT

2. At the top of the screen, click Bookmarks

3. On the right, under Options: Personal Bookmarks, click Create

4. In the Name box, type Spring 2009

5. In the Location box, type javascript:window.scrollTo(0,500)

0,500 describes the location on the screen you want the browser to jump to. The first number (0) indicates the left to right position. The second number indicates how many pixles down the page you need to be. Adjust the second number by trial and error to get you to the top of the Spring 2009 list of courses.

6. Click Add Bookmark

7. At the top of the sceent, click MyBlackboard

8. On the right you should see the Spring 2009 link under Personal Bookmarks

9. Click Spring 2009

The screen scrolls to the postion you selected in the Location box. If this is not where you want it to be, return to the Boolmarks page and edit the Spring 2009 bookmark to try a different value for the second number.