Tech Tip Tuesdays!

Check back every Tuesday for a new tech tip. These tips come my own experiences, or I may share tips from a variety of sources, who will be credited when used.

Oct. 9, 2018

Digitize all those flipcharts!

You went to a training and there were flip charts with great information. Maybe you even created some of them. Or your students did gallery walks on butcher paper in your classes. And now, you don’t want to throw away those thoughts that were captured, so they sit rolled up in corners and under tables. No problem! Take a picture of them and upload them to Google Drive.  From there, you can rename them, organize them in folders, etc. Check out the slide shot below to see how it can be done from a phone (install the Google Drive app on your phone first). Screenshots are from an iPhone.

digitize flipchart paper.png

Oct. 2, 2018

This tip comes to us from ed tech guru and Math teacher Alice Keeler. By just switching your view of a Google slide deck from its default of thumbnails to tiles, you can see how your whole class is collaborating and the progress they are making in the work they will later be sharing! Check out the screen shot:

Google slides tile view.pngWant more details on how to do this or what this looks like in the classroom? Follow the link to learn how, and get a bonus tip on using Google Slides for student-created Frayer Model slides of content vocabulary:

Sept. 25, 2018:

Bookmark your favorites!

Love a site? Go to it all the time? Sick of typing it in or searching for it? Bookmark it! Here’s how (in Chrome browser):

  1. Make sure you are signed into Chrome! This will ensure your bookmarks are available on any device, as long as you are signed in to Chrome.
  2. Go to the site you want to bookmark if you aren’t already there.
  3. Click the “Star” at the end of the URL bar (the white rectangle at the top where you type your web addresses). When you do, a window will open. You will see that the default is to save to the “Bookmarks Bar,” but that you can also choose to save bookmarks to the “other bookmarks” folder instead. Decide if you want the Bookmarks Bar or the “Other Bookmarks” folder (read on for the difference) and you’re done.

That’s it!! You have now bookmarked a site and you will be able to “click” to open it instead of typing the address.

So how do you access your bookmarks? If you only have a few, they will be saved under the URL bar in a place called the “Bookmarks Bar.” Once you have more than eight bookmarks there, you have to click to see to the rest: There is a very small symbol to the right of the eight bookmarks you can see. It looks like a tiny version of this: >>. Click on that and a drop-down will appear with your other bookmarks. To the right of that symbol, you also have direct access to the “other bookmarks” folder.

See the screenshot below:

chrome bookmarks.jpg

Screen Shot 2018-09-24 at 9.58.45 AM.png

Sept. 18, 2018: Explore the “Explore” feature in Google Docs and Slides!

Have you clicked on the “explore” button in the lower right corner when editing Google Docs or Google Slides? You should! In Google Docs, clicking here allows you (or your

students) to conduct research in a side pane without leaving their document. And, when they find something they want to cite, they can automatically add a properly formatted footnote to that source in their Google Doc by clicking on the  quotation symbol in the upper right corner of the source they want to cite. It is also possible to determine which style or formatting to use for the footnote: MLA, APA, or Chicago Manual of Style. Note, however, that there is no guarantee that formatting will reflect any changes these organizations may make to their formatting guidelines. Here is what the pane will look like when you click on the grey “explore” button on the bottom right.

Screen Shot 2018-09-24 at 10.10.52 AM.png

Once you see something you like, you can choose to cite it by clicking on the quotation symbol in the upper right corner of that source. In the screenshot below, you can see the quotation symbol and above it, three vertical dots. Click on those dots to change the style of footnote (MLA, APA, etc.).

Screen Shot 2018-09-24 at 10.12.10 AM.png

In Google Slides, the Explore button first suggests new layouts for your current slide based on the slide’s content. But you can also search web and images and add images, all directly from the Explore panel on the right to the slide. All images that come up when searching with the Explore feature will have use, editing and modification rights, even commercially. Here is what the pane looks like once you click on the grey button in the lower right. Note the layouts are defaulted to appear first, but there is a search bar right above the word layouts. Click there and type your search term. When the results appear, they will be “web” results first, but there will be an option to click on “images” in order to see image results.

Screen Shot 2018-09-24 at 10.07.26 AM.png

Sept. 11, 2018: How get unstuck when your computer freezes

The program (or web browser) you are using has frozen. Nothing works. You don’t want to restart your machine, but you do want to quit that program. How?

  • PC users can hold down  CTRL ALT DELETE (all at the same time) when a program crashes to bring up the task manager, which will then allow to quit a program that is “not responding.”
  • The Mac version of PCs “ctrl alt delete” is “option command esc.” Hold these three keys down at the same time, and a window will appear with a list of open programs and invite you to quit a program that is “not responding.”

Sept. 4, 2018: “Talk” to your students when giving feedback in Google Classroom with the “WebCam Record extension

Would you like to just “talk” to your students to give them feedback on the assignments they submit in Google Classroom? Install the Chrome Extension “WebCam Record” from Alice Keeler. With this extension, you can record 30 seconds of video using your webcam. The video is automatically saved to Google Drive and (and this is magic for using with Google Classroom) the link to the video is copied to your clipboard. This makes sharing the video extremely easy.

Here’s how it would work in Google Classroom: let’s say students submitted their assignments as a Google Doc in Google Classroom. Open the first submission through Google Classroom. Read the work, and when you’re ready to record, click on the extension’s icon–it will be in the upper right corner of you screen, next to the URL bar. Record your message, up to 30 seconds. Remember, the link to you video was automatically copied to your clipboard, so just click to add a private comment to the student’s work (in the right-hand side bar, next to their Google Doc) and paste the link to your video. Note that you may want to start with a statement letting them know to click the link to see your video. Then move on to the next student’s assignment.

Be sure you are using Chrome browser and get the extension here:

August 28, 2018: Some favorite keyboard shortcuts

Did you know that keyboard shortcuts that you do (or hear that your PC friends do) with the CTRL key on a PC also usually work on a Mac by using the Command key instead of CTRL? Here are some favorite keyboard shortcuts:

  1. CTRL/Command F = “find” on any page: brings up a search bar, usually in the upper right corner of your screen. Great for those Google Searches where the preview looks like exactly what you wanted and when you click on the page, you can’t find what you saw in the preview in the Google search results screen.
  2. CTRL/Command Z = undo last action. Repeat to undo previous actions, one at a time.
  3. CTRL/Command Y = redo
  4. CTRL/Command shift T = reopen closed tab: great for you accidentally closed a tab on your internet browser that you didn’t mean to close