Friday, October 7, 2011

Friday Tech Tip for Teachers - Pine Road Edition: How To Create a Contact Group (the artist formerly known as Distribution List)

Before you create a contact group with parent emails, you must enter the parent emails in as individual contacts.  Then you can add them to your contact group.  So, step 1: create new contacts for each parent (or person that you will need to add to a contact group).  You do not have to do so for other teachers in the building/district because they are in the global address book.  To create an individual contact, try these steps.

Also, once it comes time to send an email to your contact group, find your contact group in your address book and double click on them.  When your contact group is open, click on the button that says "MAIL".  This will create a new message to this contact group.  You SHOULD always put the group name in the BCC line when sending to a large group so that reply all is not a function, so copy and paste into the BCC line, or when constructing a new email, click on the BCC to add your contact group there.  Confused now...


Several people have asked questions about creating distribution lists and adding members to that list in our Microsoft Outlook email.  I had originally planned this topic for my first tech tip following Back to School night as many teachers create class lists of email addresses collected at Back to School Night.  Only computer hasn't been updated with Microsoft 2010.  So, if I did a video or screen shots of the process, it would still reflect the 2003 version.  Those days are gone.  Second snafu I was facing was that if I did a video or screenshots of my own email account, I might be inadvertantly sharing email addresses or email content that was not meant for the world wide web and I wouldn't do that without appropriate consent.  Fortunately for us all, someone else already did!  Often, when I hit a stumbling block when it comes to technology and the how-to's of it, I turn to my trusty friend, Google, or YouTube.  While these searching machines can turn up un-trusty info in the researching realm (at times), in the how-to department, they are a veritable gold mine.  So, in additon to the actual "tip" of the day, a word of advice.  If you find yourself stuck or think you should be able to do something tech-y, take the plunge.  Google it!  For example, I typed in "how to create a distribution list in microsoft outlook 2010" and voila! 

Here are written step by step directions:

How To Create a Distribution List and Add Members to It

And, for those of you who have grown accustomed to my snazzy videos, here's one for you.  I searched the same in YouTube.

And, here's one more:

How To Create a CONTACT Group

Upon further reading, I have now realized that Microsoft has decided to call their distribution list a contact group.  So, today's tech tip is now the artist formerly known as distribution list, i.e. Contact Group.  Slight sidebar.  During summer Microsoft 2010 training, our trainer was trying to gauge prior knowledge and asked if we knew, for example, what a ribbon was.  I know what a ribbon is.  And it has nothing to do with Microsoft.  Call the toolbar a toolbar - don't go changing the names.  With that said, contact group at least seems like a sensible name change.

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