Windows 7 – What does it mean for you?

How will using the new operating system add improved functionality to faculty computers and how can it impact their teaching?

  • New Taskbar –If you hold the cursor over the icon of a running app on the taskbar, you will see a glossy icon and if the app is not running, you will see a dull and non-glossy.  You will also see a window containing reduced views (thumbnail-like but a little bigger) of every application open window.  If you place the cursor over a particular view, it will bring that application window to the front, and all others will go transparent.

This will enable you to access programs more quickly in the classroom.

  • Windows 7 Library – the  Library is similar to a folder. When you open a Library, you can see one or more files or folders. However, unlike a folder, the Library can display files that are stored in several folders at the same time. Libraries don’t actually store items. They monitor folders that contain a user’s items, and provide a single access point and rich view pivots (by file Type, date or author) of this aggregated content.

 This will give you quicker access files on your personal drive and on shared drives.

  • Connecting to a Projector – When you connect your laptop to a Projector, all you have to do is remember the letter P as in “Projector.” Specifically, pressing Windows key +P invokes a new display-switch toolbar that makes it a snap to switch between various display modes. By default, the mode is set to Computer only. Click Duplicate and Windows will clone your screen to whatever secondary display is connected, such as the Projector. There’s Projector only, which turns off your laptop’s screen, effectively turning the projector into your monitor. If you’re trying to preserve laptop battery life while giving a presentation, this will help.

This makes it easier to share content off your laptop with your students in the classroom.

  • Sticky Notes You can use Sticky Notes to write a to-do list or  jot down  anything else that you’d use a pad of paper for.  Just open Sticky Notes by tapping the Start button . In the search box, type Sticky Notes, and then tap Sticky Notes in the list of results. To create additional notes, click the New Note button. You can also open a new note by pressing Ctrl+N.

This  wil let you post reminders for class on your desktop where you can view them easily.

  • SnapYou can use Snap to arrange windows side by side, which can be especially helpful when comparing two documents or when moving files from one place to another. Just drag the title bar of a window to the left or right side of the screen until an outline of the expanded window appears. Release the mouse to expand the window. Repeat steps 1 and 2 with another window to arrange the windows side by side. To return the window to its original size, drag the title bar away from the top of the desktop and then release. If you’re a keyboard fan, you can also snap windows in place using keyboard shortcuts. To snap the current active window to the left side of the screen, press the Windows key and the right or left arrow key.

This will allow you to display 2 windows side by side rather than opening and closing different windows.

  • Shake – You can already make all your windows minimize by clicking the Show Desktop icon in the system tray or clicking on the small rectangle at the very rightmost of the taskbar. But what if you want to minimize all windows except one? Then you just shake it.  That is, you grab the window by the title bar and move it back and forth quickly.  Shaking the window makes all the rest minimize to the taskbar. Shake it again, and the other windows come back to their previous positions.  

This will give your easy access to a particular application or window.

  • Peek – this turns the small taskbar thumbnails into real preview panes, where you can control the windows they represent right from the thumbnail. You can view, close or switch between windows, and if an application has more than one window open, you get a preview of each one. 

Again, this gives you faster access to a various programs or documents.

  • Snipping Tool – You can use  this to capture a screen shot, or snip, of any object on your screen, and then annotate, save, or share the image. Simply use a mouse to capture any of the following types of snips:  
    • Free-form Snip.  Draw an irregular line, such as a circle or a triangle, around an object.
    • Rectangular Snip.  Draw a precise line by dragging the cursor around an object to form a rectangle.
    • Window Snip.  Select a window, such as a browser window or dialog box, that you want to capture.
    • Full-screen Snip.  Capture the entire screen when you select this type of snip.

After you capture a snip, it’s automatically copied to the mark-up window, where you can annotate, save, or share the snip.

This will be great for illustrating concepts, explaining directions, etc. for students.

  • Pinning – you can use this to control where your programs appear –  on your Taskbar or on the Start Menu. You can even pin specific documents to your taskbar. Click Start , find the program, right-click it, and then click Pin to Start Menu or Pin to Taskbar. If the program is already running, right-click the program’s button on the taskbar and then click Pin this program to taskbar.

Once again, you will SAVE TIME by getting to a various programs or documents faster.

For more information on Windows 7, click HERE.

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