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Friday, August 18, 2017

New Resources Foster Chapter Health


The Chapter Check Up is designed for chapters to self-diagnose strengths and weaknesses. There are several advantages of regular health checkups, and the same is true for chapter checkups. The greatest benefit of an annual review is knowledge. By utilizing this optional tool, a chapter can establish a baseline that officers and members can use to detect unhealthy trends before they become risk factors or a threat to your chapter’s survival. By using this screening, you are taking steps to help your chapter be stronger and healthier.

Growing a stronger chapter can seem challenging and, sometimes, overwhelming. While there are no “cookie cutter” rules for creating a vibrant, enthusiastic and growing chapter, there are practices that are repeated again and again by successful chapters. Strategies for a Positive Chapter Environment offers a few tips collected from surveys, reports and informal research. 

Sunday, August 13, 2017

What is a Browser?

Our members most typically communicate with DKG via the Internet. Browsing the Internet is a common, daily occurrence for most people. Have you ever considered why they call it browsing? It is because you use an internet browser, also know as a Web browser.

A browser is simply a software program that you use to access the internet and view web pages on your computer, smartphone, or tablet. It is the gateway to the Internet.

The original browser, Mosaic (1992) was not graphical. It was text-based. Browsers have come a long way since then. You now have powerful browsers that let you safely and quickly access your favorite websites.

Most browsers are available for free download. The four most popular Internet browsers today include  Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Apple Safari.

Each has its own strengths and weaknesses. Because some websites display better in one Internet browser or another, many people have at least two browsers available on their computer, smartphone, or tablet. These strengths and weaknesses are discussed in more detail below.
Choosing a Browser to Suit Your Needs

When you surf the Web, you use one of the many browsers available. A browser is the way you navigate the World Wide Web. In most instances, you begin with the browser that came with your computer. Older Windows computers gave you Internet Explorer, while updates gave you Edge. If you use an Apple product, you started with Safari. In this blog we will take a look at Edge, Safari, and others. Because Microsoft no longer supports Internet Explorer, it will not be discussed.

Microsoft Edge resembles Internet Explorer 11, so Windows users will feel comfortable with it. It fully integrates with Windows 10. For users who want and use extensions--which extend your Web browser with additional features, modify Web pages, and integrate your browser with the other services you use--Edge doesn’t allow for much customization. Syncing with your Android or iOS device isn’t straightforward.  Microsoft has sandboxed Edge away from the operating system to limit security breaches that occurred with Internet Explorer. (Sandboxing is a computer security term referring to when a program is set aside from other programs in a separate environment so that if errors or security issues occur, those issues will not spread to other areas on the computer.)

Apple Safari is a Web browser available for the Macintosh operating system as well as the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. According to Apple, Safari has been designed based on the premise that the most useful browser is one that "gets out of your way and lets you simply enjoy the Web.” If you own several Apple products, synchronization of passwords, bookmarks, history, tabs and Reading List happen seamlessly through iCloud. Like Edge, Safari is sandboxed. In general, Safari runs a bit faster than other browsers on an Apple device.

Google Chrome has a robust set of features, with full Google Account integration, and a suite of mobile apps for every major platform. It does have privacy and security controls. By some accounts, Chrome is the gold standard for web browsers. Chrome’s integration of its products is second to none.

Mozilla Firefox has been on a roller coaster of popularity over the years. Firefox is available for Linux, Mac, Windows, handheld devices, and in more than 70 different languages. Firefox is developed by the nonprofit, public-benefit organization Mozilla and thousands of volunteers worldwide. Since 1998, Mozilla has been working to help create and sustain an open and accessible Internet for all, and its focus is on individuals, not profits. Recent updates have once again pushed Firefox into the limelight of a preferred browser. It provides secure connections and browsing protections.

Choosing: Start with the one that came with your computer or smart phone/tablet. If it does everything you want and need, go no further. If however, you are like most users, you will eventually have a reason to switch. Download the one or two that interest you. They are free.

For example, this particular blogger personally has Safari, Chrome, and Firefox on her computer. She uses each one for different tasks. If she is working in the Google world, she uses Chrome. Safari doesn’t like sites that use Flash (helps with animations), so she uses Firefox or Chrome. The blogger accesses this blog via Firefox but accesses the draft of the next post via Chrome (draft is in Google docs). For general browsing, she uses Safari.

Keep several browsers on your devices. Give other browsers a test run. You may find one that better fits your needs.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Working Together for Progress: President, Treasurer, Membership Chair

Chapters are the backbone and strength of the DKG Society International. Chapters are where members engage in altruistic activities and fellowship, and chapters are the places in which and through which membership grows and strengthens. Chapters engage in activities that are meaningful to their communities. During each biennium, state organization leaders train chapter leaders to carry out the work of DKG at the chapter level. Such leadership development is an integral part of the society.

At regional conferences this summer, international leaders shared ideas with state organization counterparts, such as the detailed and practical recruitment plan that can be found on the DKG website. More significantly, state organization presidents, treasurers, and membership chairs worked together to discuss strategies and develop plans to encourage chapter presidents, treasurers, and membership chairs to work as a team when recruiting new members, retaining current members, and collecting dues in a timely and manageable manner.

Feedback from attendees was positive. Leaders said they had ideas to take back to try in their state organizations, including surveying members for program topics at the time of membership renewal; working together as a team; and trying various ways of collecting dues.

The overriding goal is to increase membership and the sense of value in membership…. and it takes a team at each level of the Society to accomplish this goal for the benefit of all.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

A graphic conveys a thousand create one!

Many times a DKG member who is working on a project of some sort needs something to make it stand out. She checks clip art and photos online, but nothing seems just right. There is an easy way to make an original graphic that will make your project pop! We mentioned Canva in a previous posting. Perhaps some of you tried it out. If not, now is the time. You will not regret it.

Canva is a free graphic-design tool website, founded in 2012. It has an easy to use drag-and-drop interface and provides access to over a million photographs, graphics, and fonts. It is used by non-designers as well as professionals. The tools can be used for both web and print media design and graphics. (Canva - Wikipedia

Both free and paid versions are available. For most DKG members, the free version is more than sufficient. Any graphic that is created is saved and can be reworked.

Canva has many strong points, but one does stand out. Every time you need a graphic, you probably need a special size. For example presentations (PowerPoint) need a 1920 px by 1080 px, while a Facebook cover is 828 px by 315 px. These are only two examples of the many templates available.

You can upload your own photos or special icons or use one of the many free ones.

Below are examples that were made using Canva. We hope you are inspired to get creative. 

Sunday, July 30, 2017

I’m confused! Google Docs? Google Drive?

Google offers many online apps for everyone. If you have a need, Google has you covered! At every level of DKG, groups or committees can work together on a project using Google apps that make the work easier. However, if you are like many people, you can’t sort out the difference between Google Drive and Google Docs. Aren’t they the same? I can access my documents in both. So what does each do?

Simply put, Docs is like a word processor, and Drive is the place where all of your documents, of any sort, are stored.

Google Docs is a web-based editing tool (read word processor) that allows users to create, share, and edit documents.

Google Docs:
    Allows uploads of Word and other text-based documents;
    Allows multiple users to work in real time adjusting margins, adding photos, editing content, and putting finishing touches on documents;
    Allows multiple version of documents to be stored;
    Allows owner to determine what privileges are given each user;
    Allows the completed project to be saved and transferred to a desktop in Word, OpenOffice, RFT, PDF, or HTML format--as well as having the option to be placed in a zipped file.

Google Drive is a cloud storage solution for storing all of your files. Drive is set up to allow multiple users to have access to files and folders.

Google Drive:
    Stores documents, presentations, music, pictures, videos and any other files that you want to save;
    Allows you to search for anything, including text in picture files;
    Is accessible from any device;
    Is free for up to 15GB.

There are mobile apps for both Google Docs and Google Drive. In addition, if you are logged in to your Google account, you can access both via the Google Search page ( > Google “waffle” [In the upper right corner] > select app. (See image below)

Share how you use any of the Google Apps. Your DKG sisters may be able to use your ideas!

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