Category Archives: Tech Tip

Tech Tip: Google Chrome Apps and Extensions

Bridget Hurley ’15

Are you using a browser other than Google Chrome? If so, I implore you, please, please delete it and start using Chrome. Chrome is faster, more intuitive, and more secure than other browsers. Even better, Chrome allows for apps and extensions that can make your life easier and more entertaining. They are very easy to install and use.

The first step for using Chrome Apps is to go to the Chrome store. This can be found at the top of your bookmarks bar. If you use Google Drive or Docs, you may already have apps installed. Click “web store” under apps and it will direct you to the web store.

Chrome Apps

The Chrome web store is expansive and the apps are organized by categories, such as business tools, education, and entertainment. On the side bar, you can select what type of app you are looking for. You can also search by the name of the application if you know it in the searchbar. This is what the Chrome web store looks like.

Chrome Apps

Once you select the application you would like to download, it is very easy to add it to your Chrome app collection. Just click the app and you will be presented with a page that looks like this.

The red rectangle shows some of the information you can look over before downloading an app, like reviews and details. All you have to do is click the button that says “free” (highlighted in the green box) and your download will be accessible from the apps tab on your bookmark bar. And that’s it!

Chrome Apps

Some apps that I find helpful are the Google Drive app and the Spotify app, which opens Spotify in a window on your computer rather than as a separate application on your computer. Good luck!

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Tech Tip: Photoshop

Rachel Fishman – ENG-PWR ’15

Adobe Photoshop’s abundance of possibility may seem overwhelming to some—it certainly did to me at first! However, there are some basic features that can take you a long way. And as you start to understand how Photoshop is organized, features that once seemed over-complicated will become more intuitive. In this blog post, I am going to take you through some of the main features that Photoshop has, as well as highlight some of the tools that I have found most useful.

To Begin

To create a Photoshop document, select File>New. Then, you can determine the measurement that you prefer. If you are editing an image and want it measured in pixels, then pixels would be a good option. But if you are creating an image that you want to be the background on a flyer, for instance, it would be more beneficial to set the size of the document using inches. In the example below, you can see how I made my document 8.5”x11” as a standard paper size.


Adding & Adjusting a Basic Image

Inserting an image in the document is then quite easy, just go to File>Open and select a photo. You cannot just copy and paste in Photoshop, so just make sure you save the image that you want to add.


There is a plethora of options for adjusting your image, from altering the contrast to changing the saturation, and even adding a Photoshop filter to your picture. To view these possibilities, go under Image>Adjustments. Two of the adjustments I think prove particularly useful are Vibrance and Saturation, options that I didn’t understand the difference between initially. To clarify, Vibrance increases the saturation of the less saturated colors in an image, making it the ideal alteration for portraits; Saturation increases the intensity of all the colors in the image equally, so it basically pumps up the overall color.

You can also crop an image by selecting the Crop option towards the top of the left side toolbar. This allows you to select any part of the image that you want to save. To follow through with cropping, simply press “Enter.”

Understanding the Basics

Photoshop’s main toolbar is located on the left-hand side of the program. Every update of Photoshop seems to alter the order of these tools in some way, but the basic organization as of now is as follows….

PhotoshopBefore you delve into the many ways to alter your image, it is important to understand some of the basic features of Photoshop. First off is the “marching ants.” This feature is the dotted lines that seem to “march” clockwise whenever you select something. By selecting something in the document, you have the ability to alter or to move it. To grab and move something, use the hand tool located at the bottom of your toolbar. However, if you did not mean to get the “marching ants” or are done needing them, just click Ctrl+D to deselect the section.

One of the defining features of Photoshop is its layers. By having different layers in a document, it allows the creator to alter certain elements without risking the integrity of the piece as a whole. Layers also provide a way to keep parts of an image organized. For instance, if you are adding trees in to a picture, you don’t want to alter the original image, but rather add trees on a layer on top of the one that already exists. Photoshop also gives you the option to name your layers (shown below), which you should be sure to take advantage of. This allows you to remain a bit more organized. Another feature of layers is that you can “hide” certain layers so as to focus on altering others. Just click the eye next to the appropriate layer, and you will find that it is hidden. If you click on the eye again, it will reappear.


One of the simplest, yet extremely helpful, features is the ability to add and edit text. In order to add text, simply select the text tool towards the bottom of the toolbar. You can then click directly in the document and a text box will be inserted. A toolbar will then appear at the top, giving you the opportunity to change the font type, font style, and size. If you want to change the font color, you must look on the left size toolbar. Towards the very bottom, you will see two overlapping squares. The top square represents the “foreground” color, while the bottom is the “background” color. To change text color, simply double click the top square, and select a color hue from the dialogue box that opens. If you prefer, you can highlight the text, and choose a color from the more permanent color-changing option located on the right hand side (shown in the picture below).


Taking Advantage of the Tools at your Disposal

The Lasso Tool can be useful if you want to transpose an image on a different background. With the “Magnetic Lasso Tool” option, Photoshop automatically guesses which parts compose one image by attending to trends in lines and color. This option can be accurate, but that’s not always the case. To manually select an image, you can use the basic Lasso Tool. Select the Lasso Tool option and then drag your mouse along the path that outlines the image you want to be selected. When you have selected the image, you will see marching ants denoting your selection. You can then click Copy to copy the selected image, and then open a new page in Photoshop and Paste the image. As you can see below, I added a new page in Photoshop and inserted an image of a desert. Then, I used the Lasso Tool and copied and pasted the selected image of KOBC in the desert in the new page. Although not the most practical option, it demonstrates the power of the lasso tool.



The Magic Wand Tool automatically selects like colors in an image. This can be helpful if you want to select a larger part of an image, as is shown below with the marching ants when I use it to capture the grass.


The Eyedropper tool lets you capture colors from your image. This is extremely helpful if you want to add in text or other embellishments using the exact colors of the image. To set your foreground color, click on the Eyedropper Tool and then click on the place where you want the color to be captured. To set the background color, press Ctrl + click. These colors will then appear on the left side toolbar in the overlapping squares, and you can use them as you please.


The Clone Stamp tool allows you to completely create new images within your document. If you select this tool and then click on part on an image that you want to clone, you will find that a crosshair appears. That crosshair dictates where the color is being pulled from to create the clone. Wherever you click next is where the cloned image will begin appearing. For example, in the image below, I create a cloud using the Clone Stamp tool.


The Spot Healing and Healing Brush tools allow you to get rid of unwanted marks. The difference between the two is that the Spot Healing tool samples from the area around the brush stroke to heal with, while the Healing Brush tool requires you to select an area to use to heal another. In order to use the Healing Brush tool, select that option off of the sidebar and then go to the image where you want it to heal. You’ll select where you want the blemish to be fixed and where the fixing will happen. An example from Photoshop can be seen below, using the Healing Brush Tool to get rid of marks on a soldier’s face.


The Erase & Blur tools let you do those actions with the simple click of a button. Just select either the Eraser Tool or the Blur Tool off of the left toolbar, and then drag your mouse across the part of the image that you want to erase or blur. *Make sure that you are on the correct layer, so that you don’t erase the background or another crucial layer!

Finally, to save your image, select File>Save As, and then you can select from the many options. If you want to save it as a picture, you might want to just use the PNG option, while if you would prefer to keep it a Photoshop document, select that choice from the dropdown.

I hope that this quick look into some of Photoshop’s features has been helpful for you! Consider taking the time to better understand and discover all that Photoshop has to offer.


Tech Tips: Getting Started with Prezi

Katherine Makepeace PWR & Lit ‘15

Ideas are not always linear. So wouldn’t it be great if there was an easy-to-use program that would give you the flexibility to display your ideas more naturally than with a typical, chronological slide show?

If you’re unfamiliar with Prezi, let this be your introduction. This walk-through will outline the basics of creating, organizing, editing, sharing, and presenting a Prezi to enhance your audience’s understanding of your content. We’ll go over the following topics:

  • Why Prezi?
  • Getting Started
  • Templates
  • Basic Editing
  • Sidebar Tools
  • Theme Customization
  • Adding Media
  • Presenting & Sharing
  • Other Editing Features
  • Published View
  • Things to Keep in Mind

Why Prezi?

Prezi allows much more flexibility than a traditional PowerPoint. It has numerous (and growing) template choices you can choose from to enhance your ethos. The variety of themes allow you to present non-linear concepts such as:

  • Multiple solutions or potential choices (i.e.: “fork in the road”).
  • Growth (i.e.: “sprouting tree”).
  • Interconnecting concepts (i.e.: “webs”).

Prezi also allows the user to easily create and edit an engaging alternative to a traditional PowerPoint, made possible by enhanced movement, flexibility, & a user-centered interface and product.

 Getting Started

Creating a Prezi account is simple. Go to and click ‘Get Started’. Then, choose your preferred access. Most people choose the free subscription, especially students, as it is perfectly functional and chock-full of features on its own. However, be aware that your Prezis will be open for public viewing. You must choose either the ‘Enjoy’, ‘Pro’, or ‘Teams’ subscriptions to make your presentations private, but this costs a monthly fee.

When you make this decision, simply fill in some basic information. Your new Prezi account will open to your Prezi library [see photo below], where all of your Prezis will be displayed and stored. From here, click ‘New Prezi’ to choose the desired template for your “canvas”.



There are many things to remember when you choose a template, especially with the many visually enticing options that Prezi gives you. You want to ensure that you are amplifying your audience’s understanding by choosing a design and format that properly illustrates your ideas, rather than just picking a template with the prettiest colors. You can always change your color scheme later, add images, and customize pretty much anything about your Prezi later on. Having a base structure that suits the natural flow of your ideas is helpful to establish in the beginning. I chose the “Bright Lights” template for the purposes of this tutorial because it is basic and best serves the purpose of showing you how Prezi works.

PreziBasic Editing

Below is the main editing page, followed by 2 images of the text box that contains your title.



The first image is of your “canvas”. Your presentation will move within the confines of the canvas, so that your audience can see how your ideas form a bigger picture. It contains options to edit your Prezi’s appearance, change your “path” (the order in which you present your “slide frames” within the canvas), add and change shapes, and present or share your project.

The interface is rather easy to use once you become familiar with it. There is a top toolbar and a side toolbar, and we will go over the many customization options they provide later on.

When you edit your title, the template you have chosen will automatically have an appealing font selected for titles, subtitles, and body text. You can click the text box once to drag it anywhere on the canvas, as seen in the 3rd image. From here, you can also choose to edit the text, which will display the text-editing options evident in the 2nd image above. These tools are just like those in Microsoft Word, allowing you to alter the format of your text as you’re already used to.

Sidebar Tools

From the side toolbar on your canvas, you can do 3 things. First, you can change the frame-shape of each slide or make them invisible, as shown:



Second, you can click a slide to zoom to it and edit it. You can also alter the order in which you present your slides by simply dragging and dropping slides into your preferred order. Third, you can click ‘Edit Path’ to see an overview of how your path is currently set up:


Theme Customization

The rest of the tutorial will now focus on how to use the top toolbar. To customize the colors or background of your template theme, click ‘Customize’. A new sidebar will appear on the right side of your screen. From here, you can add a background image or select from a library of different color schemes:


You can also add this customized theme for later, if you’d like to use it again.

Adding Media

You can add almost any media you want to a Prezi including YouTube videos, audio files, images, shapes, and even clip-art. Simply select the ‘Insert’ button on the top toolbar. Below, I show you where this option is located, and how to add ‘cute’ clip-art if the need arises:


This is simply a feature that few people use, so if anything it’s just interesting to know that it exists. There is clip-art of all kinds available depending on how you are crafting your particular ethos.

Presenting & Sharing

The top toolbar has a simple, one-click option to present from you computer. You can open access to your keyboard to move along the path of your canvas with any key.


Next to the ‘Present’ button is the ‘Share’ icon. From here, you can share your Prezi with a URL, present it remotely for up to 30 invited online audience members, or share it directly to Facebook.


Additionally, this is where you can download your Prezi as a PDF. This can be useful for displaying it on your digital portfolio or easy sharing with others. You can also download a portable version of your Prezi, which is basically a file you can send to others without sending them directly to your Prezi account’s URL.

Other Editing Features

The gear in the top toolbar allows you to change the screen ratio of your Prezi, in order to suit it for a smaller or larger screen. You can also enable keyboard shortcuts.



With shortcuts enabled, for example, keying in a capital ‘L’ will load a file onto your canvas, Ctrl+Shift+D will create a mirrored version of an image, and so on. You can access a video tutorial and a list of useful keyboard shortcuts by clicking the question mark in this menu.

If you are having issues with your Prezi, you can click the question icon located directly in the top toolbar, next to the gear icon. This will summon a troubleshooting search bar, which will direct you to relevant articles and video tutorials based on your search terms:



The last icon on the top toolbar is the ‘Exit’ button, which will direct you to your Prezi’s Published View.

Published View

Now that you are finished with your Prezi, this is where people can access and view it via URL. If you have chosen a free subscription, like I said before, it is viewable by the public. This is where your Prezi can receive comments, and be liked or shared by  yourself and others. It is also automatically “reusable” by others. To prevent someone else from using your Prezi, click the ‘Public’ button beneath the right side of your presentation:


This will present you with a pop-up, from which you can uncheck the reusable option to prevent this from happening if you want to keep a free subscription.

Things to Keep in Mind

There are 3 major things you should keep in mind when creating your Prezi. First, of course, I’d just like to reiterate that your Prezis are not private unless you pay for a subscription. Attach your name to it, and turn off the reusable option especially if it is for a school assignment. Although it’s unlikely, plagiarists could snag it if they wanted to and you wouldn’t know.

Second, consider how much you may or may not want to rely on Prezi’s fabulous templates. If the goal of your project is to show off your design skills, for instance, consider going with a blank canvas and building up a totally original design from there. If the focus of your presentation is your content, then you could choose to stick with a minimally altered version of a Prezi template so long as it enhances your audience’s understanding. Also, make sure your design is working toward audience understanding instead of using Prezi just for its flashiness.

Finally, practice your presentation a few times by yourself or for your roommates. The enhanced motion and flexibility afforded by Prezi can be engaging, but it can also be nauseating if you take advantage of this feature too much. Pay careful attention to how much movement helps or hinders your presentation. See if your design is helping to orient your audience in terms of your ideas – or making them generally disoriented and totally sick.

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Tech Tip: InDesign

Carolyn Braganca ‘15

For those of you who plan on doing any sort of print or digital publishing—books, newspapers, magazines, etc.—InDesign will probably be your new best friend. Adobe InDesign is a publishing software application used by professionals in various industries to create posters, flyers, brochures, magazines, newspapers, and books among other things. If you have never had a reason to use it in the past—like I didn’t—then I would highly recommend gaining some rudimentary experience with the program—at least gain just enough experience to justify putting it on a résumé. If you have no idea where to start, this post will help!

Since I am a literature major and am looking at going into book publishing, I formatted these tips as if I am designing and making a book. However, these tips are very general and can be used no matter what product you are looking to make.

Page Set-up

When you first click on the Adobe InDesign icon on your desktop, the only thing that will pop up is the tool bar on the top and left side of your window. To open up a new page, go to the File tab in the top left corner, scroll down to New and click Document. In the window that subsequently pops up you can choose the type and size of the document you want. InDesignUnder Intent you can choose either Print, Web, or Digital Publishing, and depending on which of these you click the default size of the document will change. If you choose Print, you will probably want to be sure the “Facing Pages” box is checked, which will arrange the pages in pairs, as you would see in a book. Additionally, take note that under Web and Digital Publishing the size measurements are in pixels while Print measurements are in picas (p0). One p0 is about six inches, and if you type in your preferred size in inches, it will automatically convert that number to picas.

If you want to see what the page would look like while you are adjusting these details, click the “Preview” box in the lower left corner of the window. Once you have set up your document, click OK to see the page.


Let’s say you are designing your title page and want to use a painting or a photo saved on your computer. Once again, go up to the File tab in the top left corner, scroll down to and click Place. A window will pop up that will allow you to choose an image you would like to upload.InDesign After you choose your image, you will see a miniature version of the image attached to your cursor. Align the cursor with the top left corner of where you want to image—I recommend just doing the top left corner of the margin or of the page—and click to drop the image. To move the image, click and hold the translucent white circle in the center of the image and drag to where you want it (see image 3 below). If you want to crop the image, click the image to see the blue outline with the white dots bordering the corners and the middles, choose the middle dot of whichever side you wish to crop and drag.

If you want the image to expand a larger space on the page, first create a box with your cursor. Then go up to the Object tab closer to the center of the top page, scroll down to Fitting, and then click Fill Frame Proportionally. InDesignChances are that in order to fit your designated space proportionally much of the image was cropped—InDesign will merely center it in the space you created. You can always alter the dimensions of the space using the cropping method listed above, and you can change what part of the image is shown by clicking and dragging the translucent circle in the middle.


There are two ways insert text into an InDesign document—you can create it within the program or you can upload text from a document in a different program.

To create text within InDesign, first create a text box using the Text icon on the left tool bar.InDesign Once you do this, the cursor will appear and you can start writing. To change the font, the size of the text, the alignment, or whether it’s bolded or italicized you will have to change that on the top tool bar. If you have a text bolded or italicized in a font that does not allow bolding or italicization, InDesign will highlight that text in pink to show you. Keep in mind that many Microsoft shortcuts (like pressing the control/command key and “I” to italicize) do not work.

On the other hand, if you are a book editor and an author sent you her or his manuscript in a Word document, you can upload it instead of copying and pasting or re-typing. First, create text boxes on as many pages you need. Then go to File, scroll down to Place, and choose the document from your files. Be sure to hold down the Shift key as you click Open to see the Import Options window.InDesign

The key thing in this window is you can either choose to keep the original formatting or to get rid of it. The thing to keep in mind when deciding is that fancy fonts do not always translate well to InDesign, so if you are dealing with a variety of different fonts or even if you are compiling works from several different authors, it would probably be best if you did not keep the original formatting. However, if you are uploading one person’s basic document—like a manuscript—you may be safe keeping the original formatting.InDesign

Once you have decided whether or not to keep the formatting, go ahead and click OK in the right side of the window. You will see the first few words of the document attached to the cursor again, so go ahead and align the cursor with the margin. If you have only a one page document, just click to place the text. However, if you have multiple pages of text, hold down Alt + Shift and click.


This is an introduction to some very basic skills on InDesign. However, if you are hungry for more, I would highly recommend visiting Adobe’s help website, where there are hundreds of tutorials. You could learn how to manage Color Groups, how to draw in InDesign, how to apply color to an object, how to create and print business cards, how to manage pages and spreads, about font enhancements and access to Typekit desktop fonts, about colorizing images, about creating special effects, and a lot more!

You could be an InDesign expert within a day or two.


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Tech Tip: Gmail Features

Emilia Azar ENG-PWR ‘15

If you’re reading this as an Elon student, you already know about Gmail. When we were freshman, we all received an Elon Gmail account to use for the rest of our undergraduate (and even part of our post-graduate) career. And if you are an Elon student, you probably check your email several times a day like myself. But it is quite easy to get overwhelmed by the amount of emails that flood your inbox each week. This week’s Tech Tip is meant to show you the cool extra features that you may – or may not – already know exist. But do you actually use them? Perhaps now you will! In addition, here’s an article to check out that can introduce you to a few others tips as well.

Tech tip #1= Star the important emails, then come back to them later.

If you want to utilize the Stars feature, go to your Settings icon and then click General. Scroll down until you see this:

GMail Stars Feature


As you can see, you’re given the option to not only pick the number of stars you want to enable, but also the colors. Think red is good for the most pressing emails? Enable it. Love the color purple and think it would be a good way to mark fun things coming up? Enable that. The great part about starring emails is that you can take it out of your “Unread” inbox, and don’t need to deal with that extra buildup. You can simply look at it and mark it for later. Less stress, less hassle.

Tech tip #2 = Grammatical error? Un-send the email.

Who knew this existed, right? I sure didn’t. To enable this feature, go to Settings, click on Labs, and scroll until you find this spot:

Gmail Un-send Email


Utilizing this feature will take some practice. I personally have not mastered it, because there is a catch or two. It will only work if the person you are sending the email to has NOT opened the email yet. But if they have, you cannot un-send. This also can’t be done two hours after sending the email; it needs to be done as soon as possible! Like any new feature you find online, I suggest playing around with it yourself to see if it will work out for you.

Tech tip #3 = Make an online to-do list!

To access the To-Do List feature, click on Mail in the fair left corner of your main screen, and then click Tasks. A to-do list like this one should pop up on the bottom right corner of your screen:

Gmail To Do LIst


Personally, I like to write the things I need to get done on a to-do list notepad. But if I don’t have writing utensils nearby, and think of something urgent that needs to be done, I can now use the To-Do List feature as a reminder. Having a list in several different places will help to ensure that the tasks that must get done, get done in a timely manner!

Tech tip #4= Personalize your theme for your taste and style.

To change up the theme on your Gmail account, go to Settings and then click Themes. Gmail provides you with some template themes to choose from, like these:

GMail Themes


There are four template themes: Color, HD, Custom, and Classic. Don’t like any of your options and want to personalize your email even more? Upload your own photograph. Maybe this way, going to your email can be a little more enjoyable and less of a drag or annoyance.

So tell me, why are Gmail and its extra features important to learn about?

  • Using these features can help you to communicate more efficiently and more effectively in both your personal and professional online life.
  • Email is the most widely used form of communication in job fields.
  • If you are a PWR student, think about the ethical responsibility you have to your peers. We need to share our knowledge on communication and organization. Helping others in this way is always a great idea!
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Hanging Indents: The Unsung Hero of Bibliographies, Proximity, and Alignment

Bridget Hurley ’15

Hanging indents may not be the most captivating subject to blog about. But understanding how, why and when to use hanging indents is an important part of being a successful writer, especially when creating bibliographies. Check out these three sample bibliographies. They are written in APA, MLA, and Turabian style:

hanging indents in citations

You can see that every reference style utilizes hanging indents for bibliographies. It allows readers to visually distinguish when you move from one piece of information to the next.

Hanging indents can also be used in resumes. In the context of CRAP (contrast, repetition, alignment, and proximity), hanging indents can help a lot with alignment and proximity. Below is an example resume that uses hanging indents to transition from the title of each section to more specific and detailed information. Check it out here:

Resume with hanging indents

Writers and researchers definitely need to understand how to use hanging indents in both Microsoft Word and in Google Docs. Here are the steps you need to know to create hanging indents on both interfaces.

Google Docs

You use the ruler to create hanging indents in Google Docs. You will see an hourglass shape at the top of the document:

Google Docs ruler

The rectangle at the top, highlighted in red, is your first line indent. The triangle on the bottom, highlighted in blue, is your left indent. These tools are essential to beginning your hanging indents.


1) Highlight the text you would like to format, or leave the document as-is if you would like the entire document to be formatted.

2) Drag your left indent to where you would like your text to be. You will notice that the first line indent will come along for the ride and move dependently with the left indent.

3) Then, drag the first line indent to the left on the ruler. The left indent will remain in place and you will be left with a hanging indent. Once you drag over the first line indent, your ruler should look like this:

Google Docs Ruler

4) Your document or the selected text will be formatted with hanging indents.


Microsoft Word

Creating hanging indents on Microsoft Word is a bit more complicated than Google Docs when using the ruler. The preferred method of creating hanging indents is using the Paragraph Menu in Word.

1) Highlight the text you would like to format, or leave the document as-is if you would like the entire document to be formatted.

2)  Go to the format tab at the top of the program and select “paragraph”. You will see this menu:
Paragraph Menu in Word3) Under “special”, select what type of indent you would like to have. In the “by” bar, select the amount you would like your text to be indented.

4) Click “OK”. Cherish your perfectly indented document.

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Tech Tip: Google+

Emilia Azar ENG-PWR ‘15

We’ve all heard of Google+ by now… but until about a week ago, I was unfamiliar with how the application could help me both in my personal and professional life. Now I recognize Google Plus as a useful tool that every college student should learn how to utilize. In essence, Google+ (or Google Plus) is “a social networking and identity service that is owned and operated by Google Inc.” (Wikipedia). Through recent research, I have discovered the usefulness of the social media platform and will now incorporate it into my current undergraduate (and future post-graduate) life.  Here are some tools and tips for those Google Plus newbies looking to explore this user-centered social media site.


Tech Tip: Utilizing Google+ Hangouts

What is Hangouts?

Hangoutsis a tool on Google+ that allows you to video-chat with up to 10 other Google+ users at a time. This is a great tool for communicating with fellow peers/co-workers for a meeting or group project. But this is your tool, so use it how you want. Just make sure you have thought through and determined your purpose for using Hangouts before you start the chat to use your time most efficiently. If you want to show group members a graph you found online, you can screen share it and they will be able to view it at the same time. If you need to watch a video for homework and want to discuss it with peers, you can share the video and simultaneously see your peers’ reactions to it because the camera will still be available.  Practice with family and friends first if you would like to see all the fun aspects of the tool that are available to you.

Emilia Azar Google Hangout  Google+ Video Integration







Tech Tip: Tag Original Creators/Sharers of Content in Re-Post

What is Re-posting?

When you re-post content, you are sharing something with fellow Google+ users on your own profile, even though you are not the original creator. I find myself often re-posting/sharing videos and articles on Facebook, and Google+ can be another avenue to take for sharing this interesting content. But remember this: try to always give credit where credit is due. If a fellow peer at Elon writes an informative article for the Pendulum, tagging them and giving them a ‘shout-out’ will enhance your own credibility. Tagging is easy: simply type the @ symbol followed by the Google+ user’s name. Then click post and you’re good to go! This could lead to great networking opportunities as well. You can always tag a Google+ user you are merely an acquaintance with, and perhaps this will lead to a conversation about the content itself.

David Iwanow Add to Circles     Google+ Sharing












Tech Tip: Broadcast Your Own Stuff

What is ‘stuff’?

That I cannot answer for you, it’s up to you to decide what original ‘stuff’ you think you would like to share with the Google+ world. Google+ automatically connects users to Blogger, a great personal or professional blogging website that is used by anyone from travel writers to entrepreneurs. I myself created a study abroad blog that I used last Fall while I was in Costa Rica. On one hand, Blogger automatically put my travel blog out into the online world every time I submitted a post. On the other, I wanted to get the feedback of friends, family, and peers so I knew that I would be sharing the blog another way. I went with the most widely used social website that exists today – Facebook. Facebook makes it simple to promote your own ‘stuff’ through several tools. I chose to post my blog as a status each time I edited it. This status was then broadcast onto all my Facebook friends’ timelines, and those who were interested could easily click and see what I had to say about my new Latin American life. A good tip is giving your friends a preview with your link. I usually added a quick, quirky sentence to my status in order to attract viewers, and I ended up receiving heartfelt responses from many of them. If you want to get attention, taking your Google+ content and promoting it through Facebook is never a bad idea.


Link to Blog


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Tech Tip: Make Twitter Work for You

Rachel Fishman, ENG-PWR ’15

Do you feel like you’ve jumped off the Twitter bandwagon? Or have you had the same Twitter profile since you created it and haven’t put in the time to revamp it? I urge you…give Twitter a second chance, and make it work for you.

Twitter can be a very powerful platform to build your professional identity, especially since every type of organization seems to have at least a semi-active Twitter account. This means that you can connect to a wide range of people and groups that align with your personal and professional interests. Here are some tips to help you establish a Twitter profile that is as effective and beneficial as possible:

Who You Are on Twitter

The first thing that people notice is your @handle. Most people choose a variation of their name or a combination of their name and a company or a position that they hold. Because handles can’t be repeated, you might have to add in a number to make it unique. When creating your handle, be sure to not be too creative or abstract, because that can decrease your credibility and opportunities to be found in searches. Also, be wary of having a handle that it too generic like @booklover. Opt for something that has a level of name recognition instead.

1st Impressions: The Visual

Profile Picture: Once people click on your handle, they’re going to notice the visual elements of your profile before they even take in any of the content. Your profile photo showcases the you that you want people to imagine while reading your tweets. Depending on your particular purpose for Twitter, you can have a wide range of profile pictures, but make sure to stay away from ones that would turn a potential employer away. In order to establish your personal brand, opt for a picture that either shows you in an environment that you like and would be proud to boast about (working on a farm, hiking in the mountains) or one that is strictly professional. Regardless, it should be a headshot so that people can see your face even when the icon is small.

Twitter Profile Header

Header Photo: With Twitter’s new design, the header photo gives you a chance to really brand yourself right off the bat. The photo extends across the whole page, allowing you to showcase a personal or professional interest. As you can see above, I chose a quote that shows my interest in social change, although there is a great deal of white space and I had to decide if I was okay with it. Paige Ransbury chose a picture that showcases her artistic side. Think about both how the picture looks visually and what it says about you.

Twitter Theme ColorTheme Color: Once you have your pictures in place, it’s important to pick a theme color that ties in nicely. I chose purple because I thought it worked with my profile picture, complimented my cover photo, and conveyed the appropriate level of creativity and professionalism that I was looking for. As you can see in the above image of Paige’s profile, her red theme color remains in the color family of both her profile picture and cover photo. The consistency makes it visually appealing.

Profile Bio: Your bio is what really says a lot about you, but with only 160 characters to use, you have to be sure you make the words count! It is smart to use keywords like “activist” or “health expert” so that people can quickly identify with you. To increase your credibility, you should @link to other organizations on Twitter. And it’s also okay to showcase a bit of your personality in addition to your professional side. Check out my example below of my editing process to improve my bio:

Improved Twitter Bio

Going Deeper

Your Twitter profile also gives you a chance to:

  • Link to blogs/websites: Under your bio you can link to a personal or professional blog or website you have. This is a great way to pull interest people in beyond your twitter page.
  • Showcase your photos/videos: Since Twitter has a tab for people to easily access your photos and videos, consider making a bigger effort to tweet and retweet these types of media. It can show visitors what you’re interested in more quickly than if they were to read through a bunch of your tweets.
  • Emphasize who you’re “Following” and who your “Followers” are: Also situated as centered tabs at the top of the profile, these pages show a lot about you. Who you follow is kind of like a list of your interests; it shares what organizations you care about, who you find interesting, and what you’re involved with. Who your followers are shows your level of credibility. If you have organizations or individuals following you that have name recognition especially, you might be looked at more favorably right off the bat.
  • Join other discussions: The easiest way to become a part of the Twitter “community” is to use a #hashtag. This allows others to search a keyword and end up on your tweet. It also lets you join in on trending discussions and twitter movements, like the #WhyIStayed movement or the #BringBackOurGirls campaign.

Trending Hashtags

  • Showcase your “Favorites”: This tab provides a way for viewers to quickly see what—out of all of your tweets and retweets—means the most to you. Although it might not always be a natural reaction to favorite tweets, clicking on this star gives you a greater chance of conveying the you that you want to viewers.
  • Pin Tweets: This Twitter feature lets you keep a tweet “pinned” at the top of your profile, regardless of what new tweets you write. People will then see this tweet before all others, giving you a chance to share a powerful quote, link to an article you wrote, display a meaningful picture, or highlight a tweet that expresses you in some other way. To pin a tweet, follow the steps in the example below and remember that you can only pin a tweet that you wrote.

Pinned Tweets

I hope these tips help you establish or revisit your Twitter profile as a way to build your online identity.

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Tech Tip: Facebook Privacy Settings

Katie Makepeace: Lit & PWR ‘15

For growing professionals, Facebook can present a lot of questions in terms of how to manage your online presence and identity. Although the primary audience of your Facebook profile may be family and friends, you can count on potential employers to research how you choose to present yourself through social media. Because of this secondary audience, unwanted tags and embarrassing statuses from 10th grade may suddenly seem a little less benign to you. It is helpful to brush up on the sorts of privacy tools that Facebook provides to give you more control over the appearance of your Timeline as well as which pieces of personal information are available to your intended audience(s).

The following walk-through will show you how to use the most recent Facebook privacy settings to:

  • Quickly review your settings via “Privacy Checkup”.
  • Control who sees future posts.
  • Create friend lists to select which audience(s) to share certain posts with.
  • Control who sees past posts.
  • Review how others can search for your profile.
  • Manage your tags.

Privacy Checkup
Privacy Shortcuts
First, you will want to access the privacy settings menu. If you don’t already know, you can access this menu by clicking the “lock” in the top right corner of your screen.

The cute and industrious dinosaur in the top corner indicates the Privacy Checkup menu, where he will lead you through 3 easy steps to manage your profile settings at a quick glance.





The first window that will pop up looks like this:


Privacy Check-up


Here, you can select your audience for future posts. Facebook will save this audience preference until you tell it otherwise. You can also customize your audience by clicking “More Options” and then “Custom” in the resulting drop-down menu.




Clicking “Custom” will lead you to a window where you can tag which friends will be able to see your posts:

Custom Privacy Settings for Posts



Facebook will also save your customized audience until you manually set it up otherwise.

The two windows that follow in Privacy Checkup look almost the same as the first. Step 2 will allow you to manage which apps have access to your profile. Step 3 will help you manage your contact information (i.e. which of your e-mail addresses to show, and whether you want your phone number, birthday, and home town to be visible to others). You can also access and edit your “About Me” section from the Step 3 window.

Privacy Checkup is the quickest and easiest way to review your Facebook presence, but you can also go to your Privacy Settings and Tools page for a more detailed look at your Facebook privacy settings. Access it from the Privacy drop-down menu by clicking “See More Settings”.

Privacy Settings and Tools


Limit Access to Past Posts.

From the Privacy Settings and Tools page, the third editable option on the right side of the page allows you to limit who can view old posts by or relating to you. This will change the audience for all of your old posts to “Friends” only. If other people outside of your friends list are tagged in your old posts or photos, they will still be able to see them. You can, however, go directly to individual past posts you are tagged in and remove your tag from them. The “Limit Past Posts” option ensures that only your “Friends” can see anything you’ve ever posted on your profile, and that the angsty song lyrics you shared every day in 10th grade aren’t available to the Public:

Limit the Audience for Old Posts 


Review How Others Can Find Your Profile.

On the Privacy Setting and Tools page, you can also manage how others can search for your profile online. There are 3 options you can change:

  1. You can make it possible (or not possible) to search for your profile using your phone number.
  2. You can also do the same thing concerning your e-mail address.
  3. You can make it possible (or not possible) for search engines to link to your profile.

If you look at the figure above, these three options are located under the “Who can look me up?” section. This is a helpful option in case you would like to review your online professional identity before making your profile searchable to potential employers.

Manage Your Tags.

From your Privacy Settings and Tools page, you can access the Timeline and Tagging Settings using the left panel. “Timeline and Tagging” is located right under “Privacy Settings and Tools”. From this page, under the “Who can add things to my timeline?” section, you can turn on the tag review option:

Timeline and Tagging Settings



This will make it so tagged posts and photos of you cannot be posted to your Timeline without your consent. Instead, tagged posts of you will show up in Timeline Review, where you can either accept a tagged post of you on your Timeline, reject it, or go to the original post and remove your tag altogether.


Review How Your Profile Looks to Others

Another cool feature on the Timeline and Tagging Settings page allows you to see what your page looks like to your “Friends”. Simply click the “View As” button as shown below, and you will see what your profile looks like to people who aren’t you. It is quite interesting, and allows you a clearer perspective of how your profile portrays your personal ethos and/or professional identity:

Review what other people see on  your timeline




These are just a few of the Facebook Privacy Settings that may be of use to you as you begin thinking about your online presence. I would suggest going to Facebook and using Privacy Checkup to see where your privacy currently stands, and also toying around with the many new options Facebook has which give you more control over your online identity and general privacy.

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LinkedIn Profile Tips

Carolyn Braganca, English ’15

LinkedIn is a professional networking website—similar to Facebook but more career-focused. This is not the best place to share what parties you went to over the weekend, to post pictures of your food, or to tell a funny story about your cat. This is the kind of website on which you share your career aspirations, your career experience, your honors and awards, and your professional skills. LinkedIn is one of the best tools to establish and market your personal brand.

Though you will probably have some real friends as connections on LinkedIn, the main audience of your LinkedIn profile will be current and future employers. You do not want them to see who you are to your friends on the weekend—you want them to see both your personal brand and your professional story. This post will go over a few tips to make your LinkedIn profile both professional and representative. Just keep in mind that the degree of freedom and creativity may depend on your chosen career field—marketers or writers are sometimes able to be more creative than scientists or politicians.

Carolyn Braganca

Profile Picture

This will probably be one of the first—if not the first—thing viewers notice on your profile, and it will definitely be the image that sticks in their mind when recalling it. For this reason, your picture should be a strong visual representation of your professional identity. It should be professional—appropriate outfit, appropriate background, etc.—and it should show your face clearly, preferably a head-and-shoulders shot. Ideally, your profile image should also indicate your interests, either professional or appropriate. If you are looking at a career in film production, your picture could show you on a film set. Be creative and unique, but don’t forget to be professional.


Your title should include your name, job, location (work location, not hometown), and career field. If your current job is not the job you want to list—I did not want to list my job as Customer Associate at Panera Bread, for example—you can put down Student at (insert university here) or you can put down something creative. I have seen people put down “Modern-Day Adventurer” as their title—it depends on how bold you want to be and what job/career you’re looking for.


Your summary is kind of like a very short, very general cover letter or like the introduction paragraph to an essay. It’s a very brief, very concise summary of your professional story. At the very least, your summary should go over who you are, for whom do you/would you like to work, and what would you like/do you do? When going over your career or desired career, be sure to use buzz words unique to your industry that will draw attention should a potential employer do a search using those words. For example, if you want to be a journalist, you might include “online journalism,” “multimedia journalism,” “web editing,” or “web and social media management.”

Do not go too far into the details—that’s what the rest of the profile is for. This is also a place to show your writing style and your voice—depending on the career you’re looking at/are in, your voice may be whimsical and quirky or it may be direct and logical.


This is essentially the résumésection; however, unlike an actual résumé, your experience section can list any or all the jobs you’ve had, you have a small degree of freedom in how you structure it, and you can show what you did instead of just saying what you did. There is no one-page limit or age limit to your experience section—you can put down your experience as freshman class president in high school if you feel that experience may be applicable to your career field. You also don’t have to do bullet points that start with action words—you can describe your experience more like a story if you wish, as long as you keep it brief.

Though, most importantly, you can attach links or projects to you experience section. If you had a technical writing internship and you helped make a company style guide, attach the guide (with the company’s permission). If you wrote blogs or designed elements of a company’s website, attach the link to your work. Why just tell people when you can also show them?


This is where you can not only highlight your skills but also frame them in a way that makes you look unique. Not only can you enter in up to 50 skills you possess, you can also re-order the skills to show skills you believe more valuable and applicable to your desired career. When your connections see these skills on your profile, they will see the ones you consider valuable first and will have the opportunity to endorse you for a particular skill. If you wanted to go into Event Management, your skills list would probably read “event planning,” “management,” “social media,” and “organizing” as your first skills, and ideally, these skills would have at least a handful of endorsements next to them. Don’t be afraid to be proactive and ask people for endorsements.

These five tips are some basic things you can do—they are kind of the core of your LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn will show you how to do them. The next five tips require a degree of proactivity and can help make your profile show your unique personal brand.

Your Link

Make your link personal and professional—this may help make your LinkedIn page be the first thing to pop up when potential employers Google your name. When you set up a LinkedIn profile, LinkedIn will assign you a computer-generated link, which will most likely be your first name-your last name followed by a series of numbers. Though it’s not terrible, it looks computer-generated. Change it to firstnamelastname or something along those lines. Just be sure to keep it professional.

Join Groups

Join groups that correspond with your interests—they do not all have to be professional. These groups serve two purposes. First, they establish a network of people united by a common interest and can sometimes even lead to jobs. Second, they give viewers a good idea of your interests.

Follow the Industry

Just like individuals, companies also have LinkedIn pages. Look for companies on you are potentially interested in joining and follow their pages. This will serve multiple purposes. It will show viewers your interest in the industry, it will keep you up to date on news and trends within the industry, and it could lead to job opportunities.

Fill It

If you consider your LinkedIn profile your professional story, you want to make you pack it with as many details as you can to give viewers—potential employers—the clearest picture of you (your professional brand) as you can give them. LinkedIn is really good about telling you what you can do to vamp your profile. Are you fluent in Mandarin—put that in. Did you volunteer at the local soup kitchen for three years—put that in. Have you written any articles or thesis papers—put them in. This is not the place to be shy.


This seems too simple to even be on here, but it is probably one of the most important things you can do, regardless of what career you are looking to enter. Potential employers probably look at hundreds of résumés, hundreds of cover letters, and hundred of LinkedIn profiles. There is no shortage of people looking for jobs, and employers are looking for anything that can help them thin the herd to a manageable number. Do not let an error as simple as a misspelled word or an awkwardly worded sentence ruin your personal brand. For the love of all things good and green on this Earth, proofread everything.


LinkedIn provides many opportunities for you to develop and market a personal brand, and the tips I have gone over are just a few of many. The most important thing you want to remember is that your personal brand should be unique but professional, and that its expression should match your desired career field.

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