Thursday, April 24, 2014

Need to Cram for FINALS?

I know most are not ready for finals, but here are a few tips for you to do without without going crazy-- you just need a little organization, some preparation, and a solid night of sleep!! 

  • Find out what resources are available to you. Instead of cramming in one night, make sure to look over information beforehand to determine what gaps are in your knowledge of the material, and then develop a game plan for quick learning. 
    • If you have the time, go to your prof's office hours, SI sessions, or a GA's study session to ask SPECIFIC questions you might have about the topics that will be on the final. 
    • Also, a lot of teachers give handouts or study guides for review.. STUDY THE GUIDES! 
      • AND there may be additional information on the final, especially extra credit questions, but make sure you know the information that is on the study guides!
  • Write things down! Sometimes the simple act of putting pen to paper can actually help you retain information. 
    • Write concepts on notecards, and then the definition or explanation of the concept on the back--it make seem obvious, but it's easier to sift through the known concepts and the concepts that need more attention.  
  • Understand the basics if you're low on time. 
    • Go over the study guide, review the notes, look over the syllabus for any other concepts that may not be on the study guide or in your notes. 
  • Don't over-study. It's tempting to stay in Alden until the wee hours of the morn, but studying for long stretches is actually less effective than short, varied sessions. Mixing up where you study and the types of studying you do (reviewing notes, reading, talking through concepts with classmates, etc.) is more effective than long, drawn out sessions in the lib. 
  • No more all-nighters. I know it's a hard concept to grasp, but you're better off sleeping and knowing less, than "knowing" everything but not being able to remember it, or confusing it with other concepts. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

OU Digital Literacy Survey

Please participate in the digital literacy survey that has officially been launched! It is designed for current OU students, and it only takes approximately 20-30 minutes to complete. It is crucial in my thesis work, and I ask that you complete this questionnaire honestly and in entirety. It will be measuring your digital skills during FIRST semester (or quarter) at OU and your current skills this semester. 

Thank you again for all of your time and effort in both the online learning community and survey. I will continue to update the community with additional information that can help assist students advance in their digital knowledge. Good luck with your projects and finals this semester! 

box -- More Cloud Storage for OU Students

Web-Based Service: 
box is a cloud-based file sharing ad storage service workspace which enables people to collaborate, synchronize, and share information. It provides 50GB of free online storage to ALL OU students, faculty and staff.

Options through Microsoft Office products: 
box for Office is a free add-on that help you open box files directly from Microsoft Office products, and you can then save to the cloud and share with colleagues using box. If you want to add this to your Office products (it's free, and is compatible with Office 2007/10/13, and available to all box PC users). Check out this link, and click on "To download the latest version, CLICK HERE"

With box, you can: 

  • drag and drop files in and out of box
  • edit your files right on box
  • access your files from any Internet-capable device
  • share files with other box users, either for viewing or editing
  • view or edit files others have shared with you
  • comment on files

After you Download the box for Office...
Click on the "Use company single sign on credentials" and enter your OU credentials (Oak ID and password) to log in to the box for Office.

In Microsoft Word, under the "Home" Tab, you will see the add on feature (box) at the far right hand corner (highlighted below)

You can then "Open" or "Save" documents directly from Microsoft Word. It is very useful to be able to directly save your docs from your word file to your cloud.

Check out this YouTube video, Box for Office, on an overview of box with Office as well as other features.. 

You can check out other official box applications here through OU.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Organizing Your Files with Dropbox

How to Organize Your Files with Dropbox 
Dropbox is a great tool for staying organized and accessing your data from anywhere, but it can become different to find what you need if your files become cluttered. Included are some simple ways to organize your files, and save yourself from unnecessary work and stress in the future! 

*If you don't have Dropbox, see my previous post, or visit the link above and download the program for free! 

*These tips apply for other file organization as well

First you need to install Dropbox, and then create a subset of folders within your main Dropbox folder. You can name these whatever you want, but the general idea is to have 4-6 main folders, and not to go too deep into sub-folder territory (folders within folders within folders, etc.) 
This is what my main Dropbox folder looks like: 

The "Big 4" Folders
1. Current Projects/Material 
You first need a current folder--important materials that you are working on or referring to frequently. This is where you will spend much of your time, updating it often with new material. This is where you keep all of your working files for your current class assignments, papers, projects, to-do lists, etc. 
  • Sub-Folders for Current Projects/Materials: 
    • One folder for each of your current courses 
  • Keep 2-3 Sub-Folders for each course: 
    • One folder for class materials--such as the syllabus, additional readings, assignments, project outlines, etc. 
    • Keep another folder for the actual assignments, papers, and other homework you are working on, or have finished 
    • Lastly, keep a folder for your class and reading notes 
When the semester is over, you should move all of these folders into the next big folder, The Archive. (In my Dropbox, my archive would be the "GRAD SCHOOL" folder since I am no longer taking classes. Currently, I am working on my thesis, and research at the Voinovich School, which are two sub-folders under my "Current Projects" folder). Below is my VS folder with the projects that I am working on for my research position.

2. The Archive 
Here is where you keep all the important materials that you are no longer working on, but you may need to refer to in the future. After each semester, you want to clean your "Current Projects/Materials" folder and put most of it in this folder (cut and paste the folders). You should make a list of folders organized by Year and Semester, as in the picture below. 

This makes referencing easy--and this can be helpful especially if you take similar classes (which you will!) in the future and want to refer to old notes and/or papers. 

3. Side Projects 
This folder is for things that you work on in your spare time, but are not currently your top priorities. Maybe you are trying to learn to code, or you blog in your free time, or are working on some side research--these are all projects that you undertake in your spare time. 

4. Miscellaneous
What you put in here can easily be separated from your more important or currently relevant school materials. I personally keep a folder "Pictures" which I organize pictures that I use for scrapbooks that I have. I also have a folder for online payments and receipts (I use the Snipping Tool on Windows 8 to save them).  

TIP: Make sure to give your files relevant names when saving your files for the first time (so you don't have to go back and rename them in the future). Try to keep them as short as possible while making it easy to decipher what is in that file. This applies to all material you download as well--PDFs often come with obscure file names, and it can be difficult sifting through many PDFs just to find an article you wanted to reference. 

**Overall, you can make folders for whatever purposes suit your needs, but the general idea is to keep them organized with relation to topic and to current/past, important/not-so important materials. 

Additional Resources: 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Access your Docs Anywhere, Anytime with Dropbox

Dropbox has already been briefly introduced in OU Get Smarts, but this is a more in-depth overview of this necessary program to use while in school!
  • FREE and easy to use 
  • Desktop application and/or web service 
  • Helps keep your data, papers, assignments, etc. organized and accessible from any device

You no longer have to email yourself multiple drafts or papers or congest your inbox with old papers and assignment. No more worrying about losing your flash drive, or losing all of your documents due to a computer virus. With Dropbox, all of your important documents, assignments, pictures, etc. are backed up on the Internet for you. 

Note: You start off with 2GB worth of space for free. To get more space, you can upgrade to a paid version, or invite other people to join the service and get extra free space with each person who signs up (that you invite). When you sign up with your .edu email address, you will receive 500MB worth of extra storage for each person (as opposed to 250MB for email addresses. Plus, each person that you invite also receives an additional 250-500MB of free space. 

To invite others, simply sign into Dropbox, and look for the link Get free space! Here, there are many options to increasing your storage space. You can refer friends through email and/or Facebook, follow Dropbox on Twitter, upload files, and more. To get you started with some free space, here is my Dropbox referral link.
* Feel free to share your own links in the comments to earn some free space from others! 

Additional Resources: 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

2013-2014 OU Job Search Manual

The Ohio University Job Search Manual is no longer available from the Career & Leadership Development Center, but you can access it online: 2013-2014 Job Search Manual

The Job Search includes:
  • Networking and Researching 
    • Informational Interviewing
    • How to Find the Right Job
    • Turning your Internship into a Full-Time Position 
    • Cleaning up your Social Media Identity
    • Career Fairs
    • Using Social Media to Network and Find a Job
  • Resumes
    • Resume Writing
    • Transferable Skills 
    • Developing Self-Marketing Skills
    • Sample Resumes
  • Correspondence 
    • Cover Letters
    • Employment References
    • Job Offer Correspondence 
  • Interviewing 
    • The Interview
      • Preparing
      • Questions to ask the interviewer
    • Students with Disabilities 
  • Strategy 
    • International Students and the Job Search 
    • Choosing Between Job Offers
    • The Benefits of Company Benefits 
    • Backpack to Briefcase 
*For more information on the Career & Leadership Development Center, you can access the website here!