Feb 222012

Getting started with eBooks and audio books on the iPad with content from your local Utah Public Library or the state Pioneer Online Library is pretty easy – IF you have a local library card! Here’s how to get started…

First off, at your local library, ask them for their OverDrive ID. The login that you’ll eventually need in step 11 will be a combination of their OverDrive ID and your library card number.

  • My Local Library OverDrive ID:_________________
  • My Local Library Card Number: _________________


  1. On your iPad, open up the ‘App Store’ application, and do a search for OverDrive. You can also find it here. Install the OverDrive Media Console app to your iPad.
  2. Create an Adobe ID. Overdrive uses an Adobe ID to authenticate your account. Head to the ‘Join Adobe’ page, fill out the requested information, answer the 3 survey questions, fill out the communication preferences (you can uncheck them all if you’d like), and click ‘Continue’ at the bottom of the page.
  3. Once you have your Adobe ID established, open up the OverDrive app on your iPad. You’ll be presented with some options – click the ‘Sign In’ button if you have done Step 2 or click ‘Register at Adobe.com’ if you have not done Step 2 above.
  4. Enter your Adobe ID that you have just created, and click the green ‘Authorize’ button.
  5. Now, we need to connect your OverDrive app to your local Library to be able to browse, check out and download titles. To do this, click the ‘Get Books +’ button on the top right of the screen.
  6. The screen will pivot, and you’ll see a button called ‘Add a Library +’ – tap it. OverDrive will switch you to your Safari web browser, where you’ll do your ‘shopping’ for your eBook or audio titles.
  7. Search for your library by name, city or zip code. Tap on the proper library that comes up after the search, then click on the ‘Library System’ listed in the next window. It will probably say ‘Pioneer Public Library’ or something similar.
  8. You’ll now be at the home page for the titles that your library offers. In order to download books or audio, you’ll need to login.
  9. Click the ‘Login’ link near the top of the page on the right.
  10. You may need to find your local library again from a drop-down menu. Find and choose your local library, and look for a link that says ‘(Your Library) users, please click here to sign into this system.’ Do so.
  11. The login that you’ll need here comes from Step 1. Enter in your local library OverDrive ID, followed by the last 6 digits of your own library card number. Enter that now, and continue.
  12. You can now use the buttons at the top of the page to ‘Browse’ or ‘Search’ for the titles that you’d like to read/listen to.
  13. Once you find a title you want, you can either…
    • Add the title to your cart to check out
    • Add the title to your wish list to check out later
    • Place a hold on the title if there are no electronic copies available
  14. You can continue browsing, or click ‘Proceed to Checkout’ once you’ve added a title (or titles) to your cart. At any time, you can also click on ‘My Cart’ in the dark blue bar above. Check over the title(s) that you have added to your cart, and click the ‘Confirm check out’ button.
  15. You’ll now get a ‘Download’ button for each of the titles that you’ve checked out. Depending on the length of the check-out that you’ve requested, you’ll have that time to read the book. After the check-out period has elapsed, the titl
    e will be removed from your OverDrive library list. There will be a little calendar with the number of days left in your check-out period next to each title in your OverDrive library list.
  16. That’s it! You are now reading freely available eBooks and listening to audio books made available from your local library without ever getting out of your comfy chair. Read away!
Feb 102012

Today to introduce you to some techie terminology and some basic Internet and networking knowledge, we are going to play a little Jeopardy. If you’ve never watched the show, I give you ‘Answers’ and you supply the ‘Questions’ to those answers… For example, if I said, “This is the best darn charter school in Cedar City.” you would reply, “What is Gateway Preparatory Academy?!?” 

Make sense? OK – let’s begin!

Play our Jeopardy game

Feb 092012

google-docs-logo.jpgThanks for coming to our session today on Google Docs for the Iron Secretaries Conference. Today we’ll take a good close look at how to take your documents to the cloud, and do things that you could never imagine doing in Microsoft Word. Google Docs are not a replacement for Word, but there are some amazing collaboration tools and ways to share documents with your principal, staff, teachers, students – even parents!

Don’t do this before I ask you to, but you can access our collaborative experiment here!

We’ll be following the Google Docs Overview site for our agenda/instructions for this session. To get back to this online help document anytime, just click on ‘Help’ in the menu when you are in a Google Document and select ‘Google Docs Help Center’ as shown below:
Feb 082012

iphone-android.pngThanks for joining us today to learn how to get the most out of your smartphone! Whether you have an iPhone or an Android-based phone, we’ll go through some great things that you may not have known you can do with your phone. I’ll apologize in advance – I have no experience with the BlackBerry, so if you came looking for help with this sort of phone, you are out of luck!

Have a question? Post it and join the discussion at http://todaysmeet.com/secretary

We’ll certainly have ample time for your questions, but I’ve put together some possible topics of apps and services that you should be using on your smartphone if you are not already!

Also, be sure to check out this post from my blog on Getting the Most from Your Android Phone, in addition to the iPhone Manual that Apple forgot. iPhone users can also access an online manual by launching the Safari app, opening up their bookmarks, and selecting ‘iPhone Users Guide’
Feb 082012


Welcome to our session today on Google Spreadsheets and Forms! We’ll be using the Google Spreadsheets Overview page for our session notes and agenda. Any other specific resources or answers to questions that come up during our session today I’ll note below. You can always get back to the agenda/notes page when you are using a Google Doc or Spreadsheet by clicking on the ‘Help’ menu and selecting ‘Google Docs Help Center’ as highlighted in the image below.