Tech It Out Tips

Leeward faculty/staff receive tips delivered to their inbox.

September 19, 2018
by Rachael Inake

Talk to Books

Talk to Books is an experimental artificial intelligence (AI) service from Google that lets you browse passages from books. The AI is trained on human conversations and learns from what you ask it. It then predicts a likely human response to give back to you from a database of sentences in over 100,000 books. Learn more on how it works. Ask Talk to Books a question to try it out for yourself!

October 8, 2015
by Brent Hirata

Visitors Need WiFi Too

Do you have plans to host visitors on our campus?  If so you might be interested to know how to “get them on Wifi.”  The recommended way to host a visitor on our wireless network is to register them through the self help UH VIA website.  The process is simple but should be done well in advance of their visit.

1. Request permission to Sponsor a visitor ( ).

2. Setup your approved request with visitor’s first and last name and email address.

3. Your visitor will receive an email with their username and password.  You will also receive a copy of the email.


This 4 minute video walks you through the process of setting up Visitor Internet Access for a group of visitors.

(Direct Link: )

June 30, 2015
by Rachael Inake
1 Comment

Use Google Flights to find the best flight prices


CC0 Public Domain

Planning your summer vacation? Google Flights offers a simple way to find the best flight prices without ads and hidden fees. It pulls information directly from the airlines and will link you to buying your tickets through the airline.

Other benefits include:

  • searching for a general region and seeing flight prices on a map
  • “best flights” option to find the best combination of price and speed
  • a calendar that shows you the lowest price for any given day
  • price monitoring for a potential flight you choose

Read more about these benefits and more in Huffington Post’s article.

My other favorite sites (and also available as mobile apps) to find best flight prices are Kayak and Hipmunk. What are your favorite sites, apps, or ways to plan your trips? Post them in the comments below.

January 14, 2015
by Leanne Riseley

URL Shortener Service

turn-long-shortA URL shortener converts a regular URL into a more condensed format. In other words, it takes a long url and makes them shorter.

University of Hawaii Students, faculty and staff can create short UH URLs for Google Docs, social media, and other online communications. This service is similar to other shortener services such as Google Shortener or Tiny URL, but since you are required to login with your UH username and password, your list of shortened URLs are saved on this service. Shortened URLs do not expire but they can be removed via the interface when they are no longer needed.

Go on and try it out at

Image by Hongkiat Lim on URL Shortening Services, The Ultimate List {link to}

May 28, 2014
by Leanne Riseley
1 Comment

Writing this summer? Consider using noise generators

White_noiseAre you working on your contract renewal or tenure or promotion document this summer? If music is a distraction or you can’t stand absolute silence, you may want to to use a noise generator to create just the right background noise helping you be more productive and less distracted. Some people like Coffitivity, an online and mobile app that offers the background noise typical of a coffee shop. Others like noise generators which produce consistent, yet variable sounds. The white noise helps your brain relax from jumping at any little sound if the background is otherwise extremely quiet. It can also be used to mask other sounds if you’re trying to concentrate. Some noise generators (online and mobile app) are:

SimplyNoise, which lets you choose from white, pink, or brown noise. You can set the volume to a particular level, or choose an optional oscillation speed that will vary it.

Noisli, which offers white, pink, and brown noise as well as sounds of rain, waterfall, fire crackling, and other sounds that can be combined in various ways. In addition to the sounds, the Noisli site changes color, which some find relaxing as well.

MyNoise, which offers the widest array of choices and customizable options. These choices include white, grey, and impulse noise; natural noises; tonal drones; soundscapes; and many more. There are many preselected options, but you can also customize the sound to your own preferences using ten frequency sliders. It offers a calibration mode that helps you adjust the sliders according to your own hearing curve and your computer equipment.

Adapted from the full article “Tools I Use: Online Noise Generators

May 5, 2014
by Leanne Riseley

Group Video Calling using Skype

As you are planning your summer vacations/trips, you may want to make plans as a group. Now it’s free to get everyone together on the same video call!

Group video calling works on personal computers & laptops (Windows, Mac), Xbox One. Mobiles and tablets will be able to use this soon.

Group video calling can be between 3 to 10 people, depending on the device. For best quality, they recommend up to 5 people.

April 23, 2014
by Leanne Riseley

How to Easily Schedule a Meeting Across Time Zones

Do you use online collaboration tools such as Skype or Blackboard Collaborate with colleagues or friends/family? Do you have trouble calculating the time difference in your head? If so, try this online tool – the Meeting Planner on the website to help you schedule the best times in all timezones.

From the Meeting Planner page, you simply enter the date and two or more cities or time zones in which the participants will be:





The next screen displays a color-coded chart of the corresponding meeting times in the different locations. Green marks times within standard business hours; yellow marks early morning or evening times; and red marks times typically considered undesirable.






Full article “How to Easily Schedule a Meeting Across Time Zones” by Natalie Houston may be found on the Chronicle of Higher Education.

April 17, 2014
by Leanne Riseley

Learning Revolution Online Conference – Monday, April 20 – Thursday, April 24

The first-ever Learning Revolution Conference kicks off this coming Monday, April 20th, online and free, with a terrific set of keynote and distinguished speakers and a full day of conference sessions on Thursday, April 24th. The schedule is below.
Forward to your friends and colleagues – this event is free!

The project has over 200 partner organizations and bridges schools, libraries, museums, and the work, adult, online, non-traditional and home learning worlds. The theme for this conference is “What Are We Learning About Learning?” As the Internet shifts the boundaries of when, where, and how we learn, we believe our learning worlds will increasingly overlap.

All sessions are recorded and the recordings are generally available within an hour of a session’s completion. Keynote recordings will be uploaded to the Learning Revolution YouTube channel. Mobile users will be able to connect to sessions by going to on your mobile device. Live chat and help during the conference will be at
To see the schedule in Hawaii time zone, with session descriptions and links to attend, please go to
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