How do I open this *$#%! file???


It happens every semester. A student or two submits a paper ending in .pages or .wps or some other cryptic file format that you’ve never seen before. You try opening it and your computer gives you some “not supported file type” message. You google for an answer and are hit with a million how to’s that seem more complicated than a Rubik’s cube.

Stop the unsupported file type madness I say!

There’s a great little website I’ve discovered called Cloud Convert to help you do just that.

This nifty tool lets you “convert anything into anything” with just a couple clicks. The website boasts that it supports 215 file types (as of this posting) so good luck trying to “stump” it.

A befuddled instructor just sent me a document that a student created on some software that was discontinued a decade ago. I uploaded it to cloud convert and within seconds it spit it out as a shiny new, easily openable pdf file.

The best part about this website is that there is no membership to sign up for or conversion software to download, it all takes place in the cloud. And it’s not just documents, the website can convert images, videos, spreadsheets, presentations, archived files and many more.

Here’s a little demo video I made for just for you…

Enjoy converting those files!

Open Education Resources Summit


Want to learn about free textbooks for your students and other “Open Educational Resources?”

Come to the OER Summit at College of the Canyons. All WLAC Faculty are welcome to this free event!

Mileage will be reimbursed, by submitting a Conference Request Form to Eric Ichon:

More information on this awesome event can be found here –


8 am to 2 pm

College of the Canyons – Valencia Campus
26455 Rockwell Canyon Road, Santa Clarita, CA 91355
Room: University Center (UCEN) 258

Films On Demand in Canvas

One of the great features of Canvas is the way it integrates apps within the course sites. Turnitin (plagiarism checking software) is a good example of this. Before integration, teachers as well as students had to create separate Turnitin accounts outside of their online courses. This was time-consuming and a lot of extra work for all involved. With Canvas integration, teachers simply check the Turnitin box when creating an assignment and that’s pretty much it. No separate accounts, no extra passwords, links etc.

West LA College has a campus wide license for Films On Demand. “Films On Demand is a state-of-the-art streaming video platform that makes it easier than ever to incorporate outstanding educational video content into your curriculum by providing easy integration with learning management systems, online lesson plans, distance learning courseware, or electronic card catalog systems. Most titles are available for individual lease or purchase, or through subscriptions to our robust, curriculum-focused subjects.”

This service is now integrated in Canvas. This means that you can search and embed quality education videos from FOD right from the Canvas editor.

Simply select the blue “V” icon in the editor box and select Films on Demand from the drop down menu. A search bar will appear where you can type in your query and embed your selection.


Reaching Students from the Inside Out!

Dear Instructor:

Thank you in advance for all the hard work you are doing with and for our students. As we approach the holidays we are concerned about our students who typically drop around this time during the course of the term. Having said that, we would like to provide students with Extra Support during this time. We call our effort “reaching students from the inside out!”

1.      We would also ask that you provide us with names of students that may be of “concern to you” and needing additional support that we can contact, email with the students name and 88 number.

2.      Please allow our Student Advocates/ Coaches time to speak to your students, we promise the sharing will not exceed 10 minutes. If you would like for us to visit please let us know in the email.

We plan to:

a.      Share resource websites for food, homelessness, mental health

b.      Share on campus resources for academic support

c.      Share de-stress mindful / mediation strategies

d.      Share opportunities for counseling support

We appreciate your assistance with reaching-in to our students!

Dr. Patricia Banday

Student Success and Support Program