HW 1

October 10, 2015 in Uncategorized


SPREADSHEET – CLASS #5 – 10-9-2015

October 9, 2015 in Uncategorized


Class #5: Using Excel to do the Payroll

October 9, 2015 in Comp_Lab

Today is the most difficult class of the semester — even if you haven’t taken a note in this class, I strongly recommend doing so today, otherwise you will likely be lost when taking the midterm, two weeks from today.  That being said, this class will offer you skills that, regardless of your career path, you will find beneficial in whatever job you may have or will have in the future.

The skills you will learn today will make your life easier if you ever have to publish a bunch of letters or forms to a group of people, each with slightly different information, determined by each individual’s records.  A form letter, paystubs, individualized assignments — all of these tasks that can take a day to complete if you create each one individually, can be reduced to an hour’s work if you know how to use Excel formulas and Word Mail Merge.  You really can make yourself invaluable to your boss if you learn these skills.  Today we will only do the first part, setting up the spreadsheet.  We’ll do the mail merge in a later class.

Creating a Formula in Excel

One of the best functions in Excel is its ability to use formulas to automate repetitive calculations. Today, we’ll create a time sheet that can calculate your take home pay, simply by inputting your hours each day and your pay rate.

Let’s assume you have more than one source of income.  So the first thing we need to do is list the different assignments, On a blank spreadsheet, copy/paste/type the following information into cell A1, etc.

Assignment Rate
Tutoring 40
Bookkeeping 25
Babysitting 20


Next we will create a drop down list, to make entering daily values easier.  In cell D5, type ‘Date’.  In cell E5, type ‘Assignment’.  In F5, type ‘Pay Rate’.  Make all of the text bold, 14 pt.

To make a drop down list, follow these steps.

  1. Move to the cell you want the drop down list (E6).
  2. data_validationClick on the Data menu, and click the Data Validation button.
  3. In the ‘Allow’ dialogbox, click on the ‘List’ Option.
  4. In the ‘Source’ box, click on the spreadsheet button to the right of the box.
  5. Using the mouse, select the words that will be in the list, in this case, the assignment types in cells A2 to A4.
  6. Click the spreadsheet button again, and click on the ‘OK’ button in the dialog box.


If you click on cell D6 now, you will be able to select the specific job you did that day without having to type it in.

Now we’re going to have Excel determine what the pay scale is for the job we selected.  To do so will require using the VLOOKUP function.


  1. Move to the cell to the right of the dropdown list, F6, and click on the Formulas menu button.  Click on the first button, ‘Insert Function’, type VLOOKUP in the search box, and click on the ‘Go’ button.
  2. In the list below the search box, double click on VLOOKUP.
  3. VLookupFor the Lookup_value, click on the spreadsheet button to the right, and select the cell to the left where the dropdown list is (E6).
  4. For the Table_array, select the names you used to create the dropdown list and the rates in the next column (A2 to B4).
  5. Important! Type a $ in front of every letter and number, so the array values look like this: $A$2:$B$4
  6. For the Col_index_num, type a 2 in the box.
  7. For the Range_lookup, type FALSE in the box.
  8. Click on the ‘OK’ button

Now, whenever you select a job assignment, Excel will automatically place the corresponding pay rate in the cell to the right.  One click, and two cells of information is created.

Doing the Calculations

Now we need to input our time starting and ending work on a given day.  First, let’s create a header for ‘Start Time’ in cell G5, ‘End Time’ in cell H5, ‘Hours’ in cell I5, ‘Minutes’ in cell J5 and ‘Time’ in cell K5.  Give the text the same formatting as the other headers.

Let’s input some sample data to work with.  Type ‘8:00 AM’ in cell G6, and ‘5:00 PM’ in cell H6. Now we need to get Excel to figure out how many hours we worked, and, more importantly, how much we’re going to get paid.  Let’s start with the time calculations.

In cell I5, we’re going to calculate how many hours we worked, using an Excel formula.  All Excel formulas begin with an equals sign, so Excel knows what follows isn’t text, but a mathematical formula.  Type in the following formula in I6,


What this formula means is that Excel will take whatever time is typed into cell H6 (5:00 PM) and cell G6 (8:00 AM) and take the difference, in hours between the two times.

Now type the following formula into J6,


This formula is almost the same, except, you guessed it, the formula calculated the remaining minutes.

In order to calculate wages, however, the time values must be in decimal format.  To do so, type the following formula into K6,


Now we know how many hours we worked, in decimal format.

Finally, we can determine our earnings,  First, type ‘Earnings’ in cell M5.  Then, in cell M6, calculate your earnings by multiplying Pay Rate by Time.  We earned $360!

Once we have one row/record working it is very easy in Excel to copy the functions/formulas into adjacent rows/records.  Highlight cells D6 through M6.  On the lower right hand corner of the selected cells you should see a little black square.  When you roll over it with the mouse, the cursor will turn into a plus sign.  Click and drag the cursor down 15 rows, and volia!
You now have an automated time sheet.

in Rows 7-10, type in the following information, and have Excel do the calculations.

Babysitting, 5:30 PM – 9:00 PM

Bookkeeping, 12:30 PM – 4:15 PM

Tutoring, 6:30 PM – 8 PM

Babysitting, 10:30 AM – 4:45 PM

Then ‘Autosum’ to get the total earning.

Although setting up an automated payroll spreadsheet takes time, once you have it up and running, all you have to do is click on the dropdown list, enter start and finish times, and Excel does everything else.  If one of your job duties is payroll, I’m sure you see the value to making a spreadsheet like this one.


That’s it!


Homework #5

Create a spreadsheet like the one we did today with the following time log:


  1. What are her total earnings for October?
  2. Suppose her tutoring rate was $55, her bookkeeping rate $37.50, and her babysitting rate $22.50.  What would her earnings for be for October?
  3. Upload the spreadsheet, with your name on it to your post page.

Class #4: Excel-ent gráfico!

October 2, 2015 in Comp_Lab

Pies, Bars & Scatters

Where’s the formula for bin ranges?

Excel is Microsoft’s graphing software, and it’s easy to get lost among all of its functions.  Before we delve into its seemingly limitless depths, let’s make sure we all have a basic spelunker’s bag of tools in hand. Even so, this is going to a long post, so you’ll probably want to take your own notes as we go through this basic graphing technique.

The first step in making an Excel graph is to set up your spreadsheet. This is a little like creating a PowerPoint template before you pour your content into a bunch of slides.  A spreadsheet is a grid of “cells” that can contain text or numbers.  Each cell is identified by a row (a number from 1 to 1,048,576) and a column (a letter from A to XFD).  The cell in the upper left corner of the spreadsheet is ‘A1′ and the cell in the bottom right corner is ‘XFD1048576′. You can see the name of the cell you are currently at in the (surprise) Name Box at the upper left corner of the Excel window.

Hotkeys work in Excel, and I really recommend using the keyboard to enter data to a spreadsheet, and not the mouse.  It’s easy to scroll off the page, losing your place in the spreadsheet when using the mouse.  The arrow keys (and the Shift, Ctrl, Page Up, Page Down, Home and End keys) will get you where you want to be in the spreadsheet faster than the mouse.

There’s another way to refer to cells in a spreadsheet, a way that’s more aligned to database management.  Each row can be considered a record, and each column can be called a field. Each row, then, contains data referring to a specific date, person, or company.  Each column contains information about a specific category of information, like credits or debits, types of expenses, or various acquisitions.  It’s important that you visualize what information you want your graph to convey and set up your spreadsheet before you start typing or pasting numbers into the spreadsheet.


Let’s create a simple spreadsheet to see how this graphing technique works.

A basic Excel graphing technique

Generally speaking, you should start in cell ‘A1,’ which you can get to through the keyboard with the Ctrl-Home command.  A1 can be left blank since it technically is neither a record nor a field.  So hit the down arrow key to get to cell A2,  Let’s start typing in some Expense categories that we spend money on each month (rent, food, cable, etc.)

Now let’s move to the ‘B’ column.  B1 will be our first field tag.  Let’s type ‘October’ into that cell. Each of the cells below the field tag (B2, B3, etc.) will contain the amount of money we spent on each category in the month of January.  See how the grid organizes our data?

Now we’re ready to take the next step, actually making the graph. Before starting, however, we must select the data we want to graph. As you might expect, there are two ways to do this. One is to use the mouse (sigh…), click in the upper left most cell, and, holding the left mouse button down, drag to the lower right most cell in the range of data to be graphed. The other way is to use the arrow keys to highlight the upper left cell, and, holding the Ctrl and Shift keys down, hit the down arrow once, and then the right arrow once. Now all of your data is selected!

Ready to make a graph? Here are the steps:

  1. Make sure your data is selected (see above)
  2. Click on the ‘Insert’ menu.
  3. The third group of buttons on the toolbar are the chart buttons.  Under the last button (Other Charts) is an arrow that will open the ‘Create Chart’ dialog box.  You should always click on that arrow and not the buttons.
  4. Now you can choose whatever graph you would like to visualize your spreadsheet numbers with.  Let’s choose the first pie graph.
  5. Hit the OK button and you’re done!


You can right click on the various parts of the graph to customize the font, color, etc., just like we did with our PowerPoint slides.

NOTE:  Selecting your data before you click on the Insert Chart button makes graphing easier, because Excel doesn’t have to ask you what data you want to graph.  Selecting the data first answers the question from the get go.

Same Deal with Bar Graphs

Bar graphs are just as simple to make.  Suppose I want to see a breakdown of grades in a class I’m teaching.  Here are the grade ranges:

Grade Range Number of Students
91-100 5
81-90 8
71-80 13
61-70 4
<60 2


  1. Highlight the data, copy and paste it into a blank spreadsheet.
  2. Select the data (see above).
  3. Then click on the ‘Insert’ menu button, and choose a vertical bar graph.
  4. Delete the legend, because the axis labels offer enough information.


Sorting Data

Let’s say I want to have the grade ranges increase rather than decrease left to right.  Select the data once again.  Click on the ‘Data’ menu button.  Then click on the ‘Sort’ button.  Make sure the first dropdown box has ‘Grade Ranges’ selected.  Then click on ‘A-Z’ Order in the last dropdown box.  The graph should instantly switch low values with high values and vice versa.

Taking it to the Next Level

So far we’ve looked at pie and bar graphs.  Now let’s look a more sophisticated kind of graph: the scatter chart.  First we need some data.

Stocks are at historical highs right now, so creating stock price runs might be a good way to see if there are still any good buys out there.  Let’s go to Yahoo Finance and download some date.

Click on this link now –> Yahoo Finance

Let’s start with simply charting the daily Apple stock price for the past year.

  1. historicalIn the Symbol Look up box, type, ‘apple’, and click on AAPL).
  2. Click on the ‘Historical Prices’ link in the left panel.
  3. Change the Start Date to October 1st, 2014.
  4. Click the ‘Get Prices’ button.
  5. Scroll to the botton of the page, and click on the ‘Download to Spreadsheet link’.
  6. Open the file in Excel.
  7. Save as an Excel Workbook to your flash drive.
  8. Toggle to Excel, click in the A1 cell of a blank spreadsheet, and paste (Ctrl-v) in the Dow Jones data.


Notice that the data is in reverse chronological order, that is, October’s prices are on top of September’s, and so on.  Let’s switch the order of the data so that the oldest date is on top.

Select all of the data.  On the keyboard, use the arrow keys to move to the first cell in the upper left part of the spreadsheet with data.  Then, hold the Ctrl and Shift keys down simultaneously, hit the down arrow once, and the right arrow once.  Voila!  All of your data is selected.

Now click on the ‘Data’ menu button, and then click on the ‘Sort’ button.  A dialog box will pop up, and you will click on the Sort by drop down arrow, select Date, and make sure the Order box says, ‘Oldest to Newest.’  Click the OK button.

Now we are ready to graph!  Go back to cell A1, hold the Shift and Ctrl keys down, hit the down arrow, let go of the Ctrl button (but keep the Shift key pressed down) and hit the right arrow once.  You should now have the first two columns of data selected.

Now you can insert a Scatter Plot Chart.

Homework #4

Chose a stock you’re interested in graphing.  Post the Company Name and Abbreviation as a comment to this post below (first post chooses).  Then make a scatter plot of at least the last three months of data.

Class #3: PowerPoint Popurrí

September 25, 2015 in Comp_Lab


Published in The New Yorker 9/29/2003
by Alex Gregory

On February 1, 2003, the space shuttle Columbia exploded upon reentry to the Earth’s atmosphere.  The subsequent investigation found that, “that the NASA organizational culture had as much to do with the accident as the foam that struck the Orbiter on ascent.” Part of the problematic culture, it turned out, was PowerPoint.

Prior to the launch, groups of NASA engineers sat around tables, looking at PowerPoint slides like the one below, and failed to comprehend that “test data” didn’t include scenarios that the shuttle’s tiles would experience upon liftoff. Looking at the slide, how could anyone comprehend anything that the slide is trying to communicate?

the slide that blew up Columbia‘a Power-Point festival of bureaucratic hyper-rationalism.”

–  Edward Tufte

Fifteen years later, another PowerPoint slide made the rounds as an example of the futility of information overload.


We Have Met the Enemy and He Is PowerPoint

– Elisabeth Bumiller

The slide has been cited as “an example of a military tool that has spun out of control.” Once again, the capacities of a slideshow software had been outstripped by the intent to shrink and crop a complex message into a bunch of broken phrases, none of them meaning anything. If my message still isn’t getting through to you, here are a couple of links that list the worst ways to use PowerPoint.

What makes a good PowerPoint presentation?  Simple: simplicity in design.  For the rest of the class, we will learn how to set up a simple, clear and maybe mesmerizing PowerPoint template.

In class assignment

But before we do, let’s recap how you will submit assignments to me.
Don’t forget to be logged in (upper left corner of the page) first.
Remember, No Printing!

  1. The first way is to post comments at the end of a Class post.
    So go to the end of this post and type a comment explaining where you would like to go for vacation.
  2. Write a post.  publish
    Go to the Dashboard and roll over the Post button.
    Then click on the ‘Add New’ button.
    Type your name and vacation spot.
    Copy your comment into the text box.
    In the Categories box on the right, uncheck the ‘Uncategorized’ box, and check the ‘f15’ box.
    IMPORTANT! Click the ‘Publish’ button on the right side.
  3. Upload media to your post page.media
    Search online for a big picture of your vacation place.Download (save) the picture to your flashdrive.
    Edit your post page.
    Click on the ‘Add Media’ button, the ‘Select Files’ button, and the ‘Insert into Post’ button to upload (paste) your picture into your post page.

The “Look and Feel” of a PowerPoint template

There is one other BIG MISTAKE people make when creating a PowerPoint presentation: they open up a new, blank presentation and immediately start pouring and dumping content into the slides left and right, up and down, without taking a moment, or even an hour, to focus on what message is to be conveyed in their presentation. If you don’t know what you want to say, your PowerPoint slides will convey exactly that message.

Think about what your presentation is going to be about, and then ask yourself, “what the slides should look like without anything on them.” If your answer is nothing but blank white space, think again. What color would you associated with your message? Should the text look grandiose, like something the Romans would chisel onto a marble column? Or playful cursive letters mimicking how children speak? Take some time to think about what your background, or template, should look like.


Consider the following 3 words:

stop_1 stop_2 stop_3They’re all the same word, yes?  But they convey different messages because each “Stop” uses a different font.

The two categories of fonts are serif (type with curvy branches of the main stems of a letter) and sans serif (type that doesn’t have the curly qs).  You should use sans serif fonts for presentations. Here are some examples of how to use fonts effectively in your presentation.  A hard copy of various fonts can also help you choose what font will work for you.   If you’re really into typography (like me!) the tools described in this article will help you explore the nuances of fonts in greater detail.

Finally, the font links on the right side of this web page will give you lists of fonts that will offer you pretty much any kind of typeset that you are looking for in your presentation.


On a computer monitor, TV or video projector, all colors are a composite function of Red, Green and Blue colors (RGB).  That is to say, any color can be specified by defining how much red, green and blue color is used to create the specific color.  RGB color values in PowerPoint are defined in a range from 0 (no color) to 255 (fully saturated color).  So a RGB value of (255,0,0) would represent pure red, and (0,0,255) would represent pure blue.  Here are some additional examples of RGB color values.

There’s another way colors can be referenced instead of by three RGB numbers. The Pantone color chart uses ramps to create light and dark colors. Certain pairs of colors, like blue and yellow, and red and green, stand out well against each other, it is easier for us to distinguish these pairs of colors than say, red and orange. A Color Schemer can help you pick out a good mix.

Again, there is a list of links to the right on this webpage that you can use to help find a palette of colors that will look just right for your presentation.

Opening up a blank PowerPoint template

Let’s start from scratch.

  1. Open up PowerPoint
  2. Click on File | New, and double click on the ‘Blank Presentation’ icon.
    I strongly recommend only using the blank presentation template.
    That way you have total control over what your template will look like.
  3. Create 3 blank slides, using the Ctrl-m hotkey.  You will see the slides on the left column of the PowerPoint window.
  4. Again, before you start typing away, or cut-and-pasting content into your slide, begin designing your template by working with the Slide Master.
  5. slide_1Right click on the first slide, select the ‘Layout’ option, and click on the ‘Title Slide’ option.  Right click on the second slide, and select the ‘Title and Content’ option.  Right click on the third slide and select the ‘Blank’ option.
  6. SAVE your template to your flashdrive.


Think about what goes on a PowerPoint slide.  Some slides are introductions about what is to come in the presentation.  These are Title Slides.  Other slides are text summaries of information you want to convey to your audience.  These are Title and Content slides.  And finally, there are slides that are predominantly graphics based, like the old 35mm Kodak Carousel slide projector shows.  These are created from Blank slides.

Now it’s time to turn those three boring black on white template slides into something more expressive of the message you want to communicate to your audience.

Color Backgrounds

slide_2Let’s start by seeing how you can add color to your slides with just a few clicks of the mouse.  When you want to make simple changes to all of your slides, the way to do it is to work with the “background” of the slide.  Let’s see how that works.

  1. Right click on the Blank slide, and select the ‘Format Background’ option.
  2. Click on the fill color drop down option.
  3. Click on one of the Theme or Standard colors.
  4. Click on the ‘Apply to All’ button.

Now, all three slides have the color you specified.  But the stupid Microsoft colors aren’t the colors you will want to use in most presentations.  So let’s get a little deeper into color models.

  1. Format Background and click on the fill color drop down option again.
  2. Click on ‘More Colors…’
  3. You now have two tabs to work with: Standard and Custom.  Clicking on any color on the standard color map will make your background that color.  The Custom tab, the one you should use to find the exact color you desire, requires some additional explanation.



Setting Your Font Styles

Once you have chosen the fonts you like, follow these steps to include them in your PowerPoint template.

  1. Click on either the Title slide or Title and Content slide.
  2. On the menu bar, click on View | Slide Master.
  3. Your slide will now have the words, ‘Click to edit Master title styles.  Right click on a text box, and select the ‘Font’ option.
  4. Click on the ‘Latin text-font’ drop down menu, and select the font of your choice.
  5. You can also change the color of the font (remember the color palettes) by clicking on the ‘Font Color’ drop down button.
  6. Once you are done editing your Slide Master, click on View | Normal to return to your regular slides.

Templates include objects that will appear on each slide of your presentation. Let’s look at some examples of PowerPoint templates from the following website:

slideworld search engine

So what elements make up a PowerPoint template?  A color background, simple graphic, and text container are the basic components you should think about designing before typing in your words of wisdom and pretty pics. Let’s look at how to build these pieces into a good template.

Once you set up your template slides correctly, all you have to do is copy them when needed by selecting them in the slide window on the left side of the PowerPoint window, and copying however many you need.  Don’t type into your template slides!

Summarizing the Do’s & Don’ts of PowerPointing…

If I didn’t get my message across to you about the limitations of PowerPoint, here it is again: if your message is complex, nuanced, and took you more than an hour to figure out what you want to say, write it down on paper first, and then brainstorm about how a few PowerPoint slides can enhance what you are going to say to your audience.  So let’s go straight to the process I’d like you to use to make your own presentation.

  1. Research! Nothing makes a presentation more interesting than having something to say.  That requires doing more than Googling a few keywords, clicking on the first few (advertised) links and being done with it.  Think about what you want to talk about, and focus on finding some interesting details online that no one in your audiences knows about.  When you find something online, save the url and write a summary sentence or two about what you learned from the page, so you’ll be able to remember it later on when you’re putting your presentation together.
  2. Design. You don’t need a lot of bells and whistles to keep your audience attentive during your presentation.  A good, clear (sans serif) font, a couple of complementary colors, and a picture or two will get you well on your way to putting together a successful PowerPoint presentation.
  3. Make the template first, then pour in the content. Avoid to urge to immediately start cut-and-pasting as soon as you open up PowerPoint.  You’ll be creating twice as much work for yourself doing it that way.  Instead, go to View | Slide Master to work out a good layout for all of your slides.  Avoid having different color schemes, etc. for each slide.  You want a consistent “look and feel” to each and every slide.  Consistency implies professionalism and skill.  A hodge-podge, scattershot approach reminds us of arts and crafts class in elementary school.

Homework Assignment #3

  1. Visualize in your mind what you would like to do on your vacation.  Your slides to look like the images you have in your head, to help communicate the message you want to give the audience.
  2. Chose 2-3 fonts and 2-3 colors you would like to use for your PowerPoint template.
  3. Create a Title Slide.
  4. Create Title and Content or Blank slides to place your vacation photos in
  5. Upload your PowerPoint slides to your post page.

Please take some time to work out in your mind what you want your PowerPoint presentation to look like — if you make it really shiny now, you can impress your facilitator with your own presentations in colloquium, without doing more than a few touchups on the presentation you create for this homework assignment.

Class #2: ¡Estoy cansado de módulos!

September 18, 2015 in Comp_Lab

Docking Ports to Set Sail on Web 3.0

If you think Googling a Top 10 list for a topic you’re interested in learning about will cover everything you want to know about it, you are sadly mistaken.  Michael Bergman vividly described this “information glut” as a fishing problem: most Web 2.0 search engines only skim the surface of Web documents available.

Surface Web

It’s estimated that today’s search engines only index about 0.03% — or one in 3,000 — of the pages available to them today.  The other 99.97% is called the “Deep Web.”


What is the Deep Web? It’s about “surfing semantically.”  Just like you overlay Bloom’s Taxonomy when structuring your module responses, accessing the Deep Web requires applying a pedagogical framework to an online search.

Consider the common Web search for medical information.

In medicine, finding the best evidence has become increasingly difficult, even for librarians. Despite its constant accessibility, Google’s search results are emblematic of an approaching crisis with information overload, and this is duplicated by Yahoo and other search engines. Consequently, medical librarians are leading doctors back to trusted sources, such as PubMed, Clinical Evidence, and the Cochrane Library, and even taking them to their library bookshelves instead. Unless better channels of information are created in web 3.0, we can expect the information glut to continue.

Dean Guistini, “Web 3.0 and Medicine.”

So if you’re looking for specific content relating to a specific question, like a medical question, Googling isn’t going to get you anywhere.

So where are good places to look for quality online content?  The link list running down the right side of this page offers some starting points. The Internet Public Library offer links to sites checked by librarians. The Wayback Machine can help you find “dead links” to a page you really want to read, but was taken down. The Virtual Reference Shelf is encyclopediatic in its scope of primary material.

Most of these websites are “drill down” in design.  That is, you enter the website on the homepage, and are offered links to broad topics.  Choosing a topic leads to lists of subtopics that pertain to the overall category, and you continue clicking lists until you find the specific information you are looking for.  For example, iBoogie has a homepage with a big list of general topics, which you can then focus by clicking on more and more specific subtopics.  Dmoz, a major source of Google’s database, uses the same search strategy.

If you know what book you’re looking for, many online libraries exist to help you find it, if not online, at least which library holds a physical copy of it.  If the copyright has expired, Project Gutenberg for over a decade has been making old texts available online.  Bartleby offers more reference materials, including dictionaries and thesauruses when you can’t quite find the right word for what you want to say.

In Class Activity


Each student should pick one of the research links on the right side of this page, and post a comment at the bottom of this page stating which link you chose — once posted, no other student can use that link.  Then, play around in the website, and find 1-3 interesting things you didn’t know about before.

Part II — Using the Microsoft Word Outline function

Have you started writing your modules yet?  Being computer savvy can help you get through them a lot quicker.For example, Section 4.30 of Bloom’s Taxonomy, “Analysis of Organization Principles” states that an example of an education objective is:

the organization, systematic arrangement, and structure which hold the communication together. This includes the “explicit” as well as “implicit” structure. It includes the bases, necessary arrangement, and the mechanics which make the communication a unit.

Some people “translate” this objective into writing an outline about the text in the module.

Microsoft Word is a versatile word processing program that can help you write many of your modules.  So today’s class is going to be about using Word to create an outline for one of your Analysis modules.

Let’s make a practice outline first.  How can we make an outline out of the NBA teams? I can see at least three levels of outlining a list of the teams: the conference, the division, and the team name.  So let’s see how we can make an outline from a NBA team list by following these steps:

  1. Open up a blank Word document.
  2. Change the View to ‘Outline’.word_views
  3. On the menu, click on the Outlining tab.
  4. Type in ‘Eastern Conference’.
  5. Hit the Enter key.
  6. Now type in ‘Atlantic Division’.  This should be the second level of the outline, so click the green right arrow at the top left of the window once.  Notice that the text is indented and the text box next to the green arrow now reads “Level 2″
  7. Hit the Enter key.
  8. Now we need to enter the names of the teams in that division.  Type ‘Boston Celtics’.
    We need another level to the outline.  So click on the green right arrow again, and observe that the text is indented again, and you are now at “Level 3.”
  9. Hit the Enter key.
  10. Type in the names of a couple of the players on that team (Gerald Wallace, Mar Shon Brooks, Kris Humphreys). This time we will demote the organization level to the lowest one: Body text.  Click on the double right arrow.
  11. Hit the Enter key.
  12. Now we need to type in the next NBA team.  Type in ‘Brooklyn Nets’.  Notice that we are still on the Body Text level, so go back to “Level 2″ by clicking on the left green arrow.
  13. Type in the names of some Nets players, (Chris Johnson, Paul Pierce, Reggie Evans) and demote to Body Text.
  14. Repeat the procedure for the rest of the teams/divisions/conferences (but you don’t have to type in player names).


Looks good, right? Remember that we’re in outline view.  So go back to ‘Print Layout’ View. Doesn’t look the same, right? Different views show you different page formats for your Word document.  Draft view zooms in on everything that is in the body of the page, the paragraphs of text that make up the content of your document.  Print Layout view shows you what the document will look like when you print it out.  And Outline View is the view we started with, allowing you to focus on creating your outline without worrying about text formatting.

You can change the outline format by following these steps:

  1. Go to the ‘Home’ menu, and clicking on the ‘Change Styles’ button on the right side of the toolbar.
  2. Click on the ‘Style Set’ button.  Roll over the list of options with your mouse, and the outline format will change before your eyes.
  3. When you find a format you like, click on it.
  4. Type your name in the Header area, format the text (Calibri, 14 pt., bold, small caps).
  5. Insert the Date/Time field code in the footer, format the text (Calibri, 10 pt., italics) and print your document for credit..


Homework Assignment #1

Choose a topic (from a module if you like) that has multiple concepts that can be formed into an outline.  Follow the steps above to create an outline that is 1-2 pages long.  Format it, save it, and upload it to your post page.

Class #1: Welcome to GS-32367 Computer Lab!

September 11, 2015 in Comp_Lab

Congratulations for finding our computer class website! What follows are the steps you will need to take to save your assessed work for this class.  Let’s start with the basics…

What you will need for this class:

  1. A USB flash drive.  All of your assignments for this class must be saved to it.
  2. Prompt attendance.  This is a Friday afternoon class.  Most students would like to leave campus and begin their weekend ASAP.  I will start class at 12:30.  If you are late, I will have to repeat what I already said, and we’ll all get out of class later.
  3. Access to the Internet.  The Boricua Computer lab is officially open until 5:45PM.  Anywhere else you have access to the Internet, you can view all of the class materials and assignments.  So if you miss a class, you are still responsible for the assignments.

How do I log in?

login page

The log in box is on the right side of this page.  Type (in lowercase only) the first initial of your first name, and your last name into the ‘Username’ box.  Type in your password in the password box.  If you do it right, you will see your username, avatar, and a ‘Log Out’ button replace the log in box.

Also, you will see a black menu bar across the top of the webpage.  You can customize your account by clicking on the ‘My Account’ tab, and clicking on ‘Profile’ .  Under ”Profile’ you can upload a picture of yourself under the “Change Avatar” tab, and under ‘Settings’ you can change your password or email account.


More importantly, once you login you can access the ‘Dashboard.’ The Dashboard is your control panel for saving your class assignments. That being said, here is the cardinal rule for this class:


If you don’t upload a file to your account
and you lose that file
is your problem, not mine!!! If you upload a file and then lose it,
I’ll be able to get it back for you,
but only if you upload your files to your student account!


You have been warned!!!

There are three ways you can save your work to this website.  Let’s say you just want to write down a comment about the class material for that day’s class.  Posting a comment requires doing the following steps:

1)  How to Post a Comment to a Webpage on the Class Website

  1. Make sure you’re logged in.
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the post.  If you don’t see the words, “Leave a reply”, click on the blue comment link that should be at the bottom right, at the end of the post.
  3. You should now see “Leave a reply” and a white text box.  That box is where you should post any comments to my edublog entry.
  4. When you’re finished typing your comment, click on the ‘Post Comment’ button.


Sometime you may be asked to write your own post for a class assignment. To “post” your class assignment, follow this procedure:

2)  How to Post a Page to the Class Website

  1. Click on the ‘Posts’ button on the left sidebar – this will take you to a webpage that lists all of the files and posts you have created on this website.  Whatever you have uploaded, you can find here.posts
  2. To create a post to save your class assignments in, click on the ‘Add New’ button, just to the right of the pushpin and ‘Posts’ title.
  3. You will now see an “Add New Post” title.  Two text boxes are below the title, the first says, ‘Enter title here.’  Not surprisingly, type in a title for your post.  The title should include information that will help you find it when you are looking for it in the future.  The second box is a text box where you type whatever information you would like to include to complete a given assignment.  This can include computer files, pictures and other media.










4.  On the right side of the page is a ‘Categories’ box.  Check the ‘!melrose’ box, so that your post doesn’t get lost in the many files on this website.

5.  When you want to save a draft of your work, [THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT], click on the blue ‘Publish’ button to the right of the text box.  If you do not click on the ‘Publish’ button before leaving the page, all of your work will be lost!


Finally, in the later classes, you will be creating your own Word, Excel and PowerPoint files.  To save them to the class website, you will need to do the following steps:

3)  How to Upload a File to the Class Website

  1. Create a new post and add a blank line to it.media
  2. Above the text box is a button  with the words, ‘Add Media’.  Click on that button.
  3. When you click on the ‘Add Media’ button, a popup window will appear. Click on the ‘Upload Files’ link, which will open up another window where you can select a file on your hard drive or flashdrive.
  4. Click on the ‘Select Files’ button.select
  5. Once your file has been “crunched,” scroll to the bottom of the window and click on the ‘Insert into Post’ button.  Important: if you don’t click on the ‘Insert into Post’ button, your file will not be uploaded, and your work could get lost!insert
  6. Once your file is uploaded, you will see a link embedded in your post.  While you are editing your post, you won’t be able to click on it to open it up.  When you are done editing your post, click on the ‘Publish’ button (your edits will be lost if you don’t!)
  7. You need to know these skills in order to submit work to me for evaluation.  No printouts, flashdrives or emails will be accepted.  By the third class, we will have practiced these steps several times, so everyone should become comfortable saving their work in this manner.
  8. Let’s move on to today’s assignment: using Web 3.0.


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