Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Share files and folders to work collaboratively with Google Docs and Drive

Recently I have been getting a lot of queries on how to use Google Docs to share files and folder, so I thought it would be useful to create dedicate this week's blog to give you all a quick guide on this.
Using Google Docs and Drive you can share a file or folder with someone to allow them to view, edit, or comment on it and see the changes happen almost instantly so everyone can work on the most current page. There are a number of ways that you can share a file either via Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, through a link or email attachment.


Share a file or folder





You can share a file or folder using Google Drive or in Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides home screens.
1. Once you have logged into your SOAS email account click icon


2. Then click the Calendar option from the menu.


3. Click the New button and then File Upload



4. Locate the file you wish to upload and then click the Open button.


5. Once the file has uploaded successfully it will appear in your Drive.


A notification will also appear in the bottom right hand side when the file has been uploaded:


6. You can either click on the Share link in the above notification or click the file from your Drive files. Once you click the file you will see options available for that file. Click the icon  to share.




7. From the Share with others window enter the email(s) for the people you wish to share the file or folder with. If the person(s) already exist in your contacts you can search for them by typing them into the box. 



Next select the type of access you wish to give to the users by clicking the Can edit button:
Can edit - This is the default setting where users can edit the file or folder and share it with others
Can comment - Users can only view and add comments to the file or folder, but can’t edit itCan view - Users can only view the file or folder but can’t edit or comment on it

Once you have added the people you wish to share the file and added any comments click the Send button. The user(s) will then receive an email letting them know you have shared the file/folder with them.

If you want to share multiple files at once, add the files to a folder in Drive and then share the entire folder with the people you want to see the files.



8. To share a link to the file is to click on Get shareable link from the Share with others window. A link will then be available for you to copy and share.





RefMe - create citations, reference lists & bibliographies


RefMe is a free tool available on the internet and as an app that helps you create citations, reference lists and bibliographies across multiple devices from anywhere, any time
Use the iOS and Android app to scan the barcodes of the books and journals that you have used and they will be automatically converted into an alphabetical bibliography in Harvard referencing style or any of the other styles that are available.

The bibliography that is created by RefMe is stored online (cloud storage), which makes it easy for users to access their bibliography anywhere and on any device. 
Features:
- There are 6,500 styles that you can use to create references for any source.
- Easy to use scanning tool to create references from book/journal barcodes in seconds using their mobile app.
- Bibliographies are all saved and synced to the www.refme.com platform, which users can access anytime and across multiple devices.
- Bibliographies can also be copied directly into your essay or you can export to Word, Mendeley, Google Docs, BibTex, Evernote and more.


Signup and setup:
1. Install the app onto your device, either through Google Play Store or iTunes


2 - You can also directly login to the RefMe website


3 - Click the Log In button (top right) from the app otherwise create an account by clicking the Sign up button.


Create a new project

1. Click on the  icon to add a new project. Enter the name of your project and then click the OK button.

2. Once you have created your project click on theicon to start adding to references to it.


Four ways to obtain or create the references
1. Capture the barcode – this is the easiest and quickest way to obtaining the details from a book or journal.
Hold your device over the barcode of a book or journal article, your device camera will take an image shot automatically of the barcode as soon as it detects it and then generates the reference as it would appear within a bibliography. 


2. Search book/journal – this allows the user to search for a book or journal either by entering the title, author or ISBN.


After you enter your search query hit enter and you will be given a list of results matching your search. Select the desired reference from the list.


3. Website – if you wish to create a reference of a website you have read then simply copy the web address from your internet browser then open the RefMe app and select Website


Paste the web address that you copied into the search bar and hit enter. Please note most of the time RefMe will automatically detect the copied web address.


Select the relevant reference from the search result and this will then be listed in your project including the date you accessed the web page:


4 – Enter manually – the final method allows you to add your details to create the reference. After selecting Enter Manually, simply select the from the type list what kind of material you wish to create a reference for.


Enter the details into the available fields as necessary and then click save.


Once you have obtained the details of the reference using one of the above four methods your reference will appear in your project. 


Click the Add Citation button to specify the location of your reference within the material in question either by entering a page number or page range and then clicking the OK button.


The citation will then appear under the reference that it relates to:


To delete a project or reference, swipe to the left on the project you want to delete. If you made a deletion by mistake simply click the Undo button (bottom left).

Once you have added all your references and citations you can export these to a more suitable format that you use to enter in your work. From the project screen click theicon from the top right and select Export.


Then select how you wish to export the reference or citation. If you wish to paste directly into Word then select the Copy to clipboard option and then navigate to your word document and paste into the relevant section.


By default Harvard referencing is set to default however if required there are thousands of other styles available:


RefMe’s recently launched website allows users to sync the references made on their devices to their computer.


In practice I found the app much easier to use than the website especially when utilising the capture option via my mobile device.





Monday, 8 December 2014

Mindmup – (Mind Mapping: eLearning Productivity Online Tool)

Everyone has their own unique way of brainstorming and organising their thoughts and ideas. An effective way this can be accomplished is by creating a mind map, which can be described as a ‘diagram used to represent concepts, ideas, tasks or other items linked to a central theme’. It begins in the centre and bursts out in all directions with your thoughts and ideas. There are several programs, apps and websites that can help you to capture your thoughts and neatly organise them into a mind map. This guide will show you how you can use one such tool called Mindmup to create a mind map for free!

Mindmup has been praised for its simple and intuitive interface which allows a short learning curve. One of the benefits of using Mindmup is that it allows anonymous access therefore users are not required to signup to use their cloud services.

In brief Mindmup combines editing and productivity user interface aspects typical for desktop applications,
 such as keyboard shortcuts, edit history, right-click menus and toolbars, with online application capabilities such as cloud storage, easy sharing and enabling users to embed maps in their web sites

Create your mind map

Go to - https://www.mindmup.com

Click on Create a new map button.

You may then see the following pop to ask you what type of mind map you wish to create.

Otherwise you will then be taken to blank mind map canvas straight away. Double click the node in the middle (central theme) to edit. 


Here is an example of a simple mind map:


You can save your mind map in two ways either quick save button situated in the top left corner:


Or via the File > Save As option:


Select Google Drive from the list and then click Authenticate from the pop window.


Click accept from the next pop up window to confirm you are granting Mindmup access to save to your Google Drive.


The simplest way to work in auto-save mode with Google Drive is to create a collaborative map (see below). You do not necessarily have to collaborate or share it with anyone, just create a map for yourself in this mode to utilise the auto save feature.

To export your mind map click File > Export Map and the select what type of file format you wish to save your mind map in:


If you select PDF you will need to specify the orientation and page size that you wish the mind map to be saved as


After selecting your options click the Export button. Once you have notified that the file is ready click the Click here to open to download the PDF. The link will only be available for 24 hours


Storage capabilities and constraints

Storage options have different constraints and limitations. Here is a comparison of the most important limits.



Images and icons in nodes


You can associate images with each node either as a node icon or a visual description of the content. Images can be positioned behind the text (in the background) or left/right/above/below text. 

The easiest way to add an image to an existing node is to ‘drag and drop’ the image onto a node.

Mindmup will automatically resize the image if it is too large. You can also drag an image onto the map background, and it will become a new child node of the currently selected node.




To edit (reposition / change the size) the image associated with the node, press the ‘I’ key from the keyboard, or select the Icon/Image button in the toolbar: 


You can add or change the image by clicking or dragging a new image into the dashed area.  Ensure Keep Proportions is ticked so that the image scales proportionally according to the original dimensions if you make any change to the height or width.


Please note that you can also use this button to add an image to a text-only node. This is particularly useful for touch devices where you cannot drag and drop images easily. 
  

Working with node attachments

If you have a lot of additional information that you would like to use but cannot display directly on the mind map then consider using the attachment feature that Mindmup offers.

To add an attachment to any node, click on the node that you wish to add a attachment to then click on the paperclip icon in the toolbar or the menu top bar.
In the attachment viewer/editor window enter your additional information relating to the selected node and then click the Save button in the top right corner.


You will then notice that the node now has a small paper clip in the top corner.


Collaborative maps are different - they are auto saved remotely

To set up a collaborative mind map click on Extensions (situated along the menu at the top).



Check the Realtime collaborations tick box and the click the Close button.



Now you will see the collaboration icon appear in the menu:



Click the collaboration icon and select Start.



Give your collaboration session a name and then click on the Start button.


To allow other users access to your mind map click the collaboration icon and the Invite collaborators from the drop down menu.


From the Share with others window enter the email(s) for the people you wish to share the file or folder with. If the person(s) already exist in your contacts you can search for them by typing them into the box.



Next select the type of access you wish to give to the users by clicking the Can edit button:
Can edit - This is the default setting where users can edit the file or folder and share it with others
Can comment - Users can only view and add comments to the file or folder, but can’t edit it
Can view - Users can only view the file or folder but can’t edit or comment on it

Once you have added the people you wish to share the mind map with click the Finished button. The user(s) will then receive an email letting them know you have shared the mind map with them.

If you click Advanced from the Share with others pop up window then you will be able to get a shareable link to your mind map that you can email.

Please note:

Collaborative maps do not store the actual map content. Instead, they store only changes. This makes it effective and safe to remotely auto-save. As multi-user support is built into collaborative maps, it is also safe to autosave when several users work on the same map at the same time. For collaborative maps, autosave is turned on by default, and you don't have to remember to press the Save button. The Save button is disabled, and you will see a spinner in the save button while changes are sent to Google Drive.



Useful shortcuts:

Twitter: @SOASBLETech