This blog is my attempt to share information with faculty, introducing new apps, websites, or other snippets of information that may be of use to faculty. I am also using it to keep track of projects I'm working on that might be good to reference in the future.

Monday, August 24, 2015


This blog is no longer updated because I no longer work at Seabury Hall.  I will leave blog up for anyone who bookmarked or used the tips for classes/work.  Most should still be accurate.  I wish you all the luck with this new school year and while I start a new chapter of my life on the mainland, Seabury Hall will hold a special place in my heart because of all the wonderful staff, faculty, parents, students and others who make Seabury Hall such a wonderful community.

I will be looking to start a new blog someone time in the near future and will leave that link here once that is set up.  MAHALO!!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Google Tip - Customizing Your Theme in Gmail

If you are a Gmail user, you can customize the pictures in the theme you are using. 
It's fairly simple, you go to the Gear (Settings) and choose Themes.
Scroll down to Custom Themes, Choose either Custom Light or Custom Dark.  Choose a photo, either from your computer, your Picasa or select one of their highlighted images.

Here is a link to a short video showing you how to do this....

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Twitter: Fast Follow

I recently came across a way to use Twitter to communicate with parents not on twitter.  They can use the "Fast Follow" feature designed by Twitter.

I sent the below excerpt email to members of our staff so that we might add another venue to our parent communication stream.....

-------------------------------- email exceprts (not full email, but enough info that is useful for later reference ----------

A couple years ago I created two Twitter accounts for Seabury Athletics.......
The @SeaburySports was used for a bit for the basketball team - the @SeaburyHallAthl is another one I created and used for a bit....but don't use either now and they should belong to the Athletic Dept.

AD:  I think you could use one of the accounts to send out updates on scores and game changes - and if you advertise the "Fast Follow" twitter feature I think it can be beneficial to parents......
The  other account we can 'deactivate'  

Development office: I think parents may want to use the Fast Follow feature on the main @SeaburyHall as well if we use twitter to send school info/changes as well for things like weather alerts, etc.  But what ever account we advertise for parents to "Fast Follow" should not have too many tweets, or it might not be as 'useful' for how I think the parents would like to use Fast Follow feature.  I would be more than willing to quickly write up something for a parent email once we figure out what you guys want to do....

"Fast Follow. Anyone in the US can receive Tweets on their phone even if they haven’t signed up for Twitter. This is a simple way for people to get information they care about in real-time. 
I think many parents (especially older ones like me) won't sign up for Twitter, but they would probably like to get useful updates for sports, or school, if they could get SMS (text) updates.

To take advantage of Fast Follow and get SMS text messages for every account tweet users must do the following......
Send a text message to 40404 with the text ‘follow SeaburySports’ (no quotes).  
Now any twitter updates by the user @SeaburySports will get automatically texted to those parents that signed up for the 'service'. 
You can fast follow a user whether you have a twitter account or not."

On the Athletic front I think this would be great for score updates, announcement of team Championships or outstanding individual performances, reminders about upcoming big events (senior night?), games venue changes or cancellations due to weather, etc.  For school, I think cancellations, event reminders, etc could be quite useful.

Maybe as a school we should have a committee (I'd volunteer to be on it) to review how we use social media.  I primarily wanted to share this info on the accounts and the Fast Follow feature of twitter.  Having some formal guidelines I could share with our students to use when they make accounts on facebook, twitter, instagram or other social media would be nice from a student activities or grade level team viewpoint.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

#SummerLS Challenge Reflection - Is it Valuable to me?

I'm working my way through the Summer Learning Series Challenge hosted by Todd Nesloney.  I wanted to learn more about twitter this summer, and this is a wonderful series of challenges that have increased my knowledge of twitter, but also of how it can be used.  It had increased the usefulness of Twitter to me as someone in the education realm.

My thing is there is so much helpful technology out there, but just knowing about it doesn't make you a better teacher or smarter user of technology.  You have to figure out how it can be of VALUE to you and what you can do better.  Once you find out HOW to use something and then WHY it can be beneficial to you, then it has some value to you as a end user of that technology.  Then you BELIEVE it is of value and you will take the time to learn it and improve yourself - that is the point I've gotten to with Twitter.

When Twitter first came out (and for many years after), I would ask myself, 'why do I want to use this?'  I had Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+, and wondered can I afford the time to get to know another social media platform.  I made an account, tried it for a couple days, and then stopped using the account.  After these last few weeks of using twitter more proactively, I have come to understand how this could be used as a tool, and why it is beneficial for me to learn how to use it.  I now get on twitter more than I get on Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ combined.

There are several things still out there that I want to spend time learning, but I just have to find time.  Maybe once the kids leave for college and my wife and I are empty nesters, I can find a bit more free time.  This year I hope to spend time improving myself through online PD all year long, and not just over the summer, or the extended school breaks.  We will see if my workload allows me to do that.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Free Office Replacement - with mobile editing capability as well! WPS Office (Kingsoft)

I'm always looking for free or cheap alternatives for students, friends or family who want to be able to edit MS Office files, but not spend the yearly fee on a Microsoft Office Suite that may be too much for their needs.

I have tried  Open Office and Libre Office and have liked the functionality for both, but one area was that somewhat of a drawback was the ability to save Office files.  Many office alternatives, like these, have no problem opening and editing MS Office files, but by default they saved in their native format (.ODT).  When recommending these (and other) Office alternatives, you always have to remind users to do a File & Save As, and not just a Save.  Not always something a novice user wants to do, as they just want it 'to work'.   If they didn't do that save step correctly, when they emailed the edited file to someone, that person could not easily open it, if all they had was MS Office.  It seems if you are using something as an Office alternative, it should work seamlessly for the end users, so that no one that is sending or receiving files has even an opportunity for incompatibility.

I recently heard that KingOffice helped with that.  I looked up KingOffice and they have changed their name to WPS Office.  The BIG, BIG deal for me is that when you run the install, they ask if you want to save files in Microsoft Office format (.doc, .xls, .ppt) by default.  This should have been a no-brainer option for other replacement suites as well.  So now a novice user can install the software and not have to worry about Office compatibility issues when sending or receiving files.

KingOffice seems 'light' as it only does Word Processing, Spreadsheets and Presentation (PowerPoint).  That is all I need, I don't use Outlook or OneNote.  I use the web interface for Gmail, and prefer to use Evernote instead of OneNote.  It seems powerful enough for most users.

The other thing that made this Office Replacement Suite stand out even more was that it allows users to edit (yes, EDIT) office files on mobile devices - for no cost.  WPS Office has a Windows version, a Linux version, an Android version and an iOS version.  There is no MacOSX version.

With Linux this means that if someone wants to go with an all Linux machine, they will not have any hassles sharing files with other Office users, whether they are on Windows or Mac.

On the mobility front, this is a big feature.  Many products that claim to edit Word, Excel or PowerPoint files on a mobile device usually have some compatibility issues, but still cost quite a bit of money.   I have yet to test the mobile versions, but if they do even half of what they claim, it is a great free app that should be a must install on any mobile Android or iOS device.

We are replacing our old Windows Laptops, and so on mine I will NOT be installing MS Office, but will be going with WPS Office only instead, just to see what type of compatibility issues I come across as a regular end user of Word, Excel or PowerPoint.  I've been trying to use Google Docs more and more, but sometimes you need more editing features than Google docs allows.  I don't use MS Outlook.  There are many 3rd party programs one could use as a front-end email client, but at this point I prefer to use the default Google interface.  If I do find something that stands out, I will write about it.

For now: I will be recommending WPS Office to students that need a MS Office alternative so they can easily edit and share Word, Excel or PowerPoint files with their fellow students who use MS Office.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Email to Faculty - end of summer professional development

Aloha Faculty: 

Over the summer I have done some Professional Development on the technical side, and wanted to share some info with you.

As we all know, the internet is full of exceptional opportunities to learn something new, though it can be daunting figuring out where to begin.  This summer I had several things I wanted to explore.  One was Twitter, and it is a great resource for educators and life-long learners.  

I've had a twitter account for at least the past two year, but did not really understand how I could benefit from it, or why I wanted to get on ANOTHER social media platform.  Following Linda Lindsay's (@MauiLibrarian2) lead, I started investigating Twitter (she's a pro).  Using Twitter can provide opportunities to meet experts in education, find out popular trends and topics in our field, and feel connected - but beware, you can also loose time like any other social media platform....don't become an addict. I use it as a research tool, and have not used it to follow the kardashians or vote on American Idol, or anything like that.  
Twitter is much more than what you see on TV :-)

There are a ton of beginner resources, but I found that I liked these to begin: - This is an ongoing weekly challenge that allows you to  practice using Twitter while building your professional learning network (PLN)  #summerls   I'm only on week 4 of this challenge as i started late, but that is fine - they are on week seven right now.  If you are only going to look at one, look at this.  This will walk you thru how to use it to help you as an educator.  - this site has some info and beginner tutorials for twitter, but they also highlight some cool websites/tools/apps that can be used in the classroom.  

To me, one of the hardest things to do is figure out what videos to watch, what courses to take or what areas to look at, but Twitter can help with all that once you figure out how to use it - but it can be overwhelming at first, so don't get discouraged.  This could take up a bunch of time at first, so plan to start looking into this before school starts, and you will definitely find a lot of cool information you can use in your classes.

STEP #2:
Become a follower/fan of our own Linda Lindsay.
Twitter @MauiLibrarian2 -


The great thing about her hangouts is that you can go back at anytime later and watch the videos to just keep up with things.  She also has show notes so that you can check out links or apps they talk about on the hangout.  I've watched last the 3-4 weeks worth, and I feel lazy for missing out on this earlier.  I usually can't make the live hangouts, but going back and watching it after the fact is still really beneficial.

I've always thought Linda was an amazing librarian, and kind human being, and I know the kids love and appreciate her - but I didn't realize what a celebrity she is in the world of Google and Education online.  She has almost 14,000 followers on Google+, over 2,000 on Twitter, and she has guests on her hangout show from all over the world and shares information that she gathers from so many sources.

What a super 'Rock Star' we have on campus.

Step #3 - Apps/Tools I thought some might find interesting

Voxer: This is more than just a walkie-talkie tool.  Though we will use it for our Chaperone activities to help stay in touch, and I hope to get us started for Orientation day.  I really think using it as a tool in our world language classes could be great.  It is also an easy way to communicate easily via voice, text and pictures, with students on assignments, etc. Everything is saved so students and teachers can go back later to check things. Many educators use as a tool to expand their PLN, but I haven't gotten that far yet. or  This web site lets you take a picture and embed some clickable links that will display pictures or videos.  it's fun to play with and could have many uses....I think the kids will like it.
You can also learn more about using in your classes: 

I've been trying to use this to save interesting papers or web sites I come across.  Using Twitter I come across so many interesting articles that I want to be able to refer to later, and so saving it in Evernote is great.  I'm also trying to put meeting notes in it and such. I used it recently for some First Lego League meetings I had on Oahu. 

It can do more than just take notes, and one project i'll be testing year will be using it to take my morning attendance and then emailing it in - that way it is quick, accurate and I won't forget to walk to attendance folder up to drop off.  For each student all I'll have to do is tap a little checkbox to mark them present, tardy or absent...perfect use for a phone screen.  I think I've figured it out with Evernote and look forward to trying it out. 

Google just came out with Google Classroom, a new tool for google apps for education.  I have requested an account, and will try to test it out this semester.
Here is a short description of it from Google:
"Classroom is designed to help teachers create and collect assignments paperlessly, including time-saving features like the ability to automatically make a copy of a Google Document for each student. It also creates Drive folders for each assignment and for each student to help keep everyone organized.

Students can keep track of what’s due on the Assignments page and begin working with just a click. Teachers can quickly see who has or hasn't completed the work, and provide direct, real-time feedback and grades right in Classroom."
You can go to Google and request an invitation to check this out.

Good luck!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Google Maps - Determining Distances

Found a neat little feature in Google Maps today that lets you easily measure distances on a map.

When on a map, right click and one of the menu choices should be "Measure Distance".
You can follow the prompts, but basically everywhere you click on a map is a drop point and it gives you the total distance traveled from the first point.  It is really easy to use and gives you an accurate reading.
As you continue to click points, it gives you the total distance from your starting point.

How can you use this at a school? I'm sure once you think on it you can come up with many ways to use this tool (much more than I possibly could list).  

One thing that quickly came to my mind is to use it for field trips or races (fun runs) where you will need to know how far you will be going. Below I mapped out a course on campus for the fun of it.

I also did a quick route of how far of a distance Hawaiian paddlers would have to had to travel to go from Waianae on Oahu to Lahaina on Maui, with a stop at Kaunakakai on Molokai.

This neat feature is something that I think could be useful for history projects by students.
What do you think?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Tried out this web site today: - which takes pictures and adds interactivity to them.  Below is a trial I did on our school map.

Let me know what you think:

[Here is the embedded code]

They have a special link, with some guides and examples for educators:

----------------Email with link info from ThingLink------------------------------------
Subject: Welcome to ThingLink for Teachers!

ThingLink for Teachers allows you to use interactive images as a new visual learning platform. You can create interactive lesson plans, calendars, and study books. Teachers can sign up students with a quick list import, arrange images into channels or projects, and use our mobile app for adding notes to images on field trips. The creative possibilities are endless!

Please save this email as a reference for optimizing your ThingLink for Teachers account.





Happy tagging!


Monday, July 14, 2014

Online learning - a new experience

For the next month or so I want to try several online courses/class as professional development.  The criteria: it had to be relevant to what I want to learn, and most importantly, it has to be free.

The first thing I'm trying is a course from, called "Do It Yourself Web 2.0 Tools"
A lot of the opportunities on this web site cost money, but there are a few free things available.

The format is interesting in that they send you one email a day with your lesson plan for the day.  The first day was about blogging and the second about RSS.  I will also be trying a couple of other course, and wanted to keep track of what I'm working on, in case others may be interested.

Another great site to visit is
It is Edublogs Teacher Challenge - billed as Free Professional Learning for Educators by Educators.  There are a lot of great links to do and tutorials to follow to become more experienced in educational related technologies.

Another great site this summer to visit is
This is set up by (@TechNinjaToddTodd Neslony (  Here is what his stated goal is:  "I'm starting a Summer Learning Series.  Every week I'm going to send you a challenge to learn something NEW!  Something that will help make you an even better educator." 

You click on the blog he started for this every week to get a new lesson.  I have looked thru the first two weeks and it is very interesting.  He has gotten folks from around the web to help him create this fun and educational challenges.  He also has a Google Form for you to fill out so you can track where you are and he can motivate you and track how many people are doing the challenge: over 1,500 people as of two weeks ago.  It seems to have a lot to do with connections with others, and will build your PLN.  If you want to learn about twitter, then this is a great place to start.

Here is a list of other site you can check out for good education related bloggers....courtesy of PLPNetwork.

#plp-pregame  #SummerLearning # #SummerLS

Friday, July 11, 2014


Chromecast is Google's device to show video from mobile apps or from your laptop computer to your TV.  It uses an HDMI connection and your wi-fi network to communicate between your device and the TV.  Since most of our newer video projectors in the classroom have HDMI I wanted to see if I could hook it up to the projector and 'chromecast' from my laptop (or desktop computer) and my old iPhone4.  In the end, both worked well.

First I wanted to test chromecasting from a laptop.  This could be useful for our classes that use Chromebooks, or teachers that need to hookup via HDMI for some reason.  Our current connections from the wall to the overhead projectors is only VGA and RCA.  On the few occasions we've had presenters with only an HDMI port on their laptop (no VGA), we had to run a long HDMI cable from their laptop to the projector.

Taking the Chromecast out of the box, it was very easy to set up.  The only downside that I didn't expect is that it uses a power source - your options are using a USB cable (included) to plug either into the projector/TV USB port to power, or use the included power adaptor.  It's not a big issues, but we need to make sure the projector has a USB port (which our's do), or there is an open power outlet within 3 feet.  Most of our projectors are hung more than three feet from a power outlet.  Here I have it plugged into the HDMI port with the optional HDMI extender, and then plugged the USB for power into the USB slot on the far right.  Fairly easy with our NEC 311W projectors.

When you plug in the Chromecast, turn on the projector and set input to HDMI you will get this set-up screen.  You need to do the initial setup on the local wireless network, via a computer.   It can see the network, and your computer will see it also, even though it is not logged into the network.  You will have to tell it which network the Chromecast will use and enter the password.  The instructions they provide are fairly easy to follow, if you have no issues.

Once you have it set up, you will have to download the Chrome browser extension to get it to work from your computer.  

Once you install extension, once you are in Chrome you just have to click on the icon at the top right address bar and choose the Chromecast you want to connect to.  As long as you are on the same wireless network you can connect easily.  

I also took the device home and installed to a TV, just to test it, and it worked easily the first time out.  The only concern I had with the install was that my TV didn't have a USB port, so I had to use the power adapter, and fortunately it was close enough to use the included USB cables.

Everything is working great now!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Gmail - Get back that email you just sent

Have you ever sent an email and then realized you forgot to attach that file, or didn't include everyone everyone you needed, or just remembered you wanted to say something else?  

Well, normally you just have to send another email to explain your error.  Google has come up with a nifty 'Labs' tool.  If you go into settings, Labs and choose 'Undo Send', and Enable it, you will have the option to retrieve emails you just sent - before anyone can see it.

Basically what it does is 'delay' the sending of the email for a few seconds, and if you click 'undo' you will stop the email from sending, and it will open back up in the editor window.  This is a very cool utility that you may find useful.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

VEX/RobotC training

Last week I attended a VEX Academy Certification training at Sacred Hearts Academy on Oahu.

I was familiar with programming, but learned a few things.  I did learn that for VEX competitions, a lot of it comes down to the actual engineering design of the robot you use to complete the challenge. While we focused a lot on the programming aspects, we did delve into the sensors and motors and how they can be used in conjunction.  We focused primarily on programming with RobotC, but I wish we spent a bit more time on building and designing the robots.  It can be frustrating to get the sensors to work like you think they would, so it was a challenging four days.

Peter Park was a gracious host at Sacred Hearts.  They have a wonderful program that builds up from the 4th grade.  As students progress they move up in complexity with the program.  They start with Lego's (First Lego League) in elementary.  In 6-7 grade they will focus on VEX IQ, 8-9/10 grade they will focus on VEX Cortex, and then they go into the First Robotics - complexity, and cost, goes up with each level of their program.  He was great facility.

I'm hoping we can build up our Robotics program at Seabury to be on par with many of the Oahu schools.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

VOXER - Walkie Talker & so much more....increases school security

I had tried Voxer out awhile ago, but it was new and I wasn't sure how I could use it.  It is now more robust and works more reliably, and now I think I have several reasons to use it.

The thing that appeals to me about Voxer is it's simplicity.  It is a combination Walkie-Talkie and messaging app.  It can work like a walkie-talkie where you have real-time voice communication capability with one person or a group of people.  But like a messaging app, it also saves each recording so that you can go back and review what was said, or if you missed the call, you can go and listen to it all after the fact.  It also allows you to send text messages or photos as well, but it's the voice recording that is the big feature to me.

Possible Uses:
1) 1:1 communications with anyone else using voxer.  For me this is a perfect family communication tool.  I hate texting/typing with an on-screen keyboard.  But with Voxer I can just talk and my message goes thru.  I can 'vox' my wife that I'm coming home and ask her if she needs me to pick-up anything.  It's a 5 second voice message, but would take much longer to type.  It works with Bluetooth so I can easily use it while in the car. It is an easier way to communicate than texting, but can be used in much the same way as one would use texting capabilities with any phone.

2) Many: Many communications.
We could set up groups to use for specific instances. At school, when we have a fire drill, students evacuate to various areas on campus, and usually administrators have to use their cell phones and call one another with phone messages.  Using Voxer would easily facilitate this process, and make it easy to give the 'all clear' to return to the buildings.

Another use, would be when chaperoning events, whether on-campus or off.  It would allow chaperones with a smart phone to easily and quickly inform everyone else of what is happening.  At sporting events your security/door people could contact everyone quickly.  When sports teams are traveling in multiple vans, rather than phoning one another, you can use this to easily communicate changes to all the van drivers at once, rather than just one to one communications.

This could be used in so many ways on campus, and the best thing is it increases campus safety/security.

Now I just need to get people to download the app, sign-up and start using it.  It is a different way of communicating and it could take some convincing.  It is free to use.  You can get  a professional version that will allow you to more easily manage conversations for groups, but it is more than adequate for our needs with the free version.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

#apigee: UHMC Mobile App Development Workshop

Today I attended an 8-hour workshop sponsored by apigee, on how to build a mobile app for the web, iOS, Windows or Android environment.

Here is the website lessons that we quickly went thru.
When I have some time, I will be working thru this tutorial and solidifying the concepts I learned today.

What I enjoyed about this was that you can do your programming in one language (in this case HTML & Javascript) and then you can take that same code and put in onto either a web site, or Mobile OS.  Using a tool called PhoneGap you can directly create files for the Android and Windows mobile OS.  For an iOS app to go thru the official channels, you will need to get a developer subscription with Apple and compile the final code on a Mac.

The event was free, included food for a 20 minute lunch (we were busy the whole time and didn't break), and sponsored by UHMC.  Here is a link to the course description and info on Maui Business Brainstormers.  It was a nice event, and a technical challenge even for some of us who are familiar with programming.  They covered a bunch of tools and utilities (like a nice free text editor) to help with the process.  The nice thing is the whole development process is free, but of course there are business plans you can purchase if your app/business is growing or large enough to need extra support.

If anyone is interested in developing mobile apps, but don't want to spend the learning curve to program natively in object oriented languages, than give this a look.  If there is another presentation on Maui, I'd recommend going.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Spring Cleaning - Things to do to help cleanup your computer and hopefully speed it up

Now is a wonderful time to do some spring cleaning on your computer to help it's speed and life.

This is a bullet list of some items you can do that will help clean up your computer.

Before doing any type of work, you need to ensure that you backup your data.  This post talks about data backup and computer mirroring.  You also need to remember that with today's computers and hard drive speeds, you may not see any noticeable speed improvement.  The only way to GUARANTEE a faster computer, is to reinstall your operating system from the restore disks, so it works like it did the day you bought it.....but you need to reinstall programs and reload your data that you backed up.  These steps are meant as an easier way to hopefully get some improvement.

1) Go into Windows Explorer and on the local hard drive (C:), right click and choose properties.

You will then do the following:
 - Click Disk Cleanup.  This will remove temp files and deleted files and free up disk space.  This could take awhile, especially if you haven't done it in awhile.
- Next Click on the Tools tab, and choose Defragment Now.  Depending on the type of drive you have and if you have disk optimization software running your disk may not need to be defragmented.  Click on Analyze Now and it will tell you if it needs it or not.  If you do need it, it could take a couple hours to run.  If you have a SSD (Solid State Drive - not platter disk HDD), than defraging will not work for you....the disk controls how data is saved to disk to extend the device life, so trying to do a defrag does not help at all.
- Next (while still in the Tools tab) choose Check Now for Error Checking.  It should tell you it can not run till you reboot, go ahead and choose to do it when you next reboot.  When you will be leaving your computer for a couple hours, go ahead and reboot the computer and it will automatically start the disk checking.  This will check the reliability and condition of each sector, so the bigger your drive the longer it could take.  Even if you have a fast access hard drive it will still take awhile, as it must check every sector of the hard drive. 

2) Run a full virus scan.  This will take a couple hours, but it is something that you should do at least once a month.  While an anti-virus program will try to prevent an infection, none of them are 100% secure.  You can still get infected for a variety of reasons, so you should routinely check your whole hard drive (and not just do a quick scan).

3) Run a malware scanner.  Something like MalwareBytes Anti-Malware program will work.  Virus scanners will catch some of the more powerful or popular malware programs, but they do not catch them all, so you should have something that focuses on malware. This, like the virus scanner, could take a few hours.

4) Run Windows Update - this will update your system and internet explorer.   

5) Depending on what programs you use alot, you should run manual updates on the software you use most often, to eliminate security concerns.  If you do alot of internet browsing, you should check your browser for updates.  You should probaby also run a check on Adobe Flash, Shockware and Reader.   While on the topic of web browsing, stop using Internet Explorer and switch to either Firefox or Chrome.  Both are more secure and Chrome actually updates flash for you so it is more secure and that makes ones less thing you need to remember to update.  Flash is a way in for viruses if you visit the wrong web site, or a hacked site. 

6) Go thru your personal files and downloads folder and remove any file you no longer need.  If you want to keep a file, but are worried about available disk space, then copy off any unused files to an external hard drive.  You can still have quick access to them, while freeing up disk space.

7) If you are still using Microsoft Outlook you will want to run a compression of your data files to save disk space and speed up mail access.  

8)  If you have a desktop, turn it off, unplug the case, open it up and physically clean out the case.  If you use compressed air and a soft cloth, you can extend the life of your components as dust builds up heat in a computer, and heat is not something you want.

9)  Remove, or uninstall, any programs you no longer use.  It saves up disk space, and could help increase your speed.  You should also go into your browser and remove any tool bars you don't need or use.

These are all good things to do, but to really speed up a computer you can get a faster hard drive and more RAM.  If you can't spend more money, then doing a full install of your operating system will increase speed.    If you aren't comfortable with that (and even I cringe at doing that - it will take the whole weekend), then these steps should help you see a little speed improvement.