I know many people just don't know where to start with Google Apps (GAFE). I created this to help teachers and students get rolling with Google. If you have any questions or need help, please don't hesitate to email me a firstname.lastname@example.org. Or even better, set up an appointment so we can meet in person to get you and your students started!
Using keyboard shortcuts I think is one of my favorite time-savers especially when I'm using a laptop. Shortcuts are much faster than using the track pad especially if you memorize a few of them. Growing up using WordPerfect, on an IBM PC jr. long before a mouse keyboard shortcuts were pretty much the way to make anything happen. The cool part is that most of these shortcuts still work today. Students especially love keyboard shortcuts. Perhaps because they like shortcuts or maybe because they realize how quick they really are. Either way, keyboard shortcuts are VERY helpful. Check out the printable PDF I made below of the most common keyboard shortcuts. If you have a Mac, just substitute the apple key for ctrl. Enjoy and shortcut on!
There are times when a teacher sends me a text message asking for help because their computer is 'doing something weird' and it would be a HUGE help if the teacher knew how to take a pic of their computer screen to show me the problem.
This is actually incredibly easy to do if you know the program to use. On Windows (which our teachers use with their smartboards and on the netbooks) this program is called Snipping Tool. If you click the start menu, select All Programs, then Accessories you'll see Snipping Tool. This tool allows you take a pic of part or all of your screen. Watch the 1:30 video below to see how it's done. It is such a useful tool that I use daily. You can send these snips (or pics) via email as an attachment or even copy and paste it in to an email.
It's one of the most useful tools in my toolbox. Check out the video, give it a shot and let me know what you think!
Taking a Pic of Your Screen with a Chromebook
A chromebook is a bit different. You can do it with keyboard commands or with an app. The keyboard commands are to the left. I recommend using the keyboard commands on the bottom as they let you select what part of your screen you want to take a snip of.
You can also download an app to help you. I HIGHLY recommend Techsmith Snagit! As it is very user-friendly and automatically sends the pics to your Google Drive. Watch the 3 minute video below to see how it's done with both these options.
With Google as your web browser, you don't even need a coin to flip a coin! Just type in 'flip a coin' to your omnibox (remember that's google's name for their address bar) and press enter. And you'll see a coin flip! It will even show you (and tell you the results).
You could use this for a probability lesson in math. You could use this to decide which team goes first in a class game. What other creative ways could you use this?
I regularly get teachers asking me for a website with timers and yes, there are cute and exciting ones I can share but if you want a quick one, check out Google!
Just open Google Chrome and type in the word Timer and the amount of time you want on your timer then watch the countdown begin! It's a fast way to get a timer going especially if you're like me and always have an Google Chrome window open. Remember in Google Chrome, your address bar (known as your omnibox) does everything.
When you're on a website and want to get back to the homepage, what do you do? Many people look for the "home" button but there's an easier way that I learned about 13 years ago when I worked for an online store. Most websites make their logo clickable and it will take you back to the homepage. It's surprising to me how many people don't know this little trick. In fact, I showed a teacher just this morning.
Watch this 1 minute video to see it in action!
A few weeks ago a teacher asked me how I got two windows share the screen so quickly and evenly. Several years ago Microsoft advertised this one click feature before they released Windows 7 and as soon as I got a computer with Windows 7 I figured out how to make this feature work. Here's a pic if you're not sure what I'm talking about:
This is a great tool to use in the classroom (and one I use often) because you can show two things at once equally without having to click back and forth! Below is a short video of how to make it happen. This is seriously one of my favorite tricks because it's so useful!
This is something teachers often ask me to show them how to do and it's really quite simple. If you want to create a shortcut to a website on your desk top, you can just drag the small picture by the web address to the desktop. Below is a picture of what you drag to your desktop. You'll need to have your desktop and the website showing.
This super short video will show you how to do it too.
Here's a link to the SBAC calculator that sixth grade students will have access to during the assessment. This would be a great tool to model how to use BEFORE the assessment and even before the practice or training test.
6th Grade Student Calculator
Have a link or resource you want to send to students or parents and the URL is long or clunky? Simply visit the site you wish to share and click on the goo.gl URL shortener to the right of the omnibox (where you type a website address). You will be able to customize the short URL or that page to make it easy for people to visit and remember. Once you set the URL it will stay!
The goo.gl URL shortener is already installed in your Google Chrome browser! Just click it once your at the page you want to shorten. Try this shortened URL now! http://goo.gl/RWto7E
About Tech Bytes
This idea stemmed from a Twitter chat with the my #connectEDtl PLN when we were talking about how better to break down technology in to simpler chunks. Cate Tolnai from Loomis USD decided to partner on this to put it in to action! This is true collaboration in action!
If you have a Tech Byte you'd like to share or something you'd like to know how to do, email me at email@example.com