Category: Tech tips

tech tips

Tech Tip #86: Image Your Computer Often

tech tipsIn these 169 tech-centric situations, you get an overview of pedagogy—the tech topics most important to your teaching—as well as practical strategies to address most classroom tech situations, how to scaffold these to learning, and where they provide the subtext to daily tech-infused education.

Today’s tip: Image Your Computer Often

Category: Maintenance, PCs, Chromebooks, Macs

Q: I hate reformatting. I lose the personalizations I added and the extra programs. Is there any way to make that process easier?

A: Yes. Create an image–a picture of your hard drive including system files, drivers, software and program updates, software and downloaded programs, docs, files, and extras—and save it in a secure backup area. When you reformat, copy the image back to the computer. Mine is on a terabyte external drive. Even if my two internal drives explode, I’m good.

Here’s how to do this if you have a PC:

  • Click the start button. Go to Control Panel. Select ‘Backup and Restore’
  • On the left sidebar, select the option ‘create a system image’. Follow directions.

Mac owners: Use a cloud-based third-party service (like Carbonite).

Chromebook folks: Because no data or programs are stored to the device, rather than re-image, try a power wash to reset everything to factory settings. You’ll lose shortkeys and programs installed to the shelf, but that’s it. If that doesn’t work, there are more involved steps (still not too difficult, though) to re-image using third-party utilities.

Alternatively, you can use a cloud-based service like Carbonite. Be forewarned: If you have a lot of data, it takes a while. You can work on your computer while it’s backing up; it’ll just be slower.

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What’s your favorite tech tip in your classroom? Share it in the comments below.

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tech tips

Tech Tip #85: Backup Your Computer Often

tech tipsIn these 169 tech-centric situations, you get an overview of pedagogy—the tech topics most important to your teaching—as well as practical strategies to address most classroom tech situations, how to scaffold these to learning, and where they provide the subtext to daily tech-infused education.

Today’s tip: Backup Your Computer Often

Category: Maintenance, Security, PCs, Macs, Chromebooks

Q: I’ve had some virus problems and it reminds me that I need to backup my computer. What’s the easiest way?

A: For PC/Windows folks: Use Windows Backup. Here’s what you do:

  • Click the start button.
  • Go to Control Panel
  • Select ‘Backup and Restore’
  • Select ‘Backup Now’

From there, select a drive with sufficient space and start. Be forewarned: If you have a lot of data, it takes a while. You can work on your computer while it’s backing up; it’ll just be slower.

Mac: Use the Time Machine tool.

Chromebook: No need. Everything is saved to the cloud. Now if you want to backup your cloud, use a service like Backupify.

Sign up for a new tip each week or buy the entire 169 Real-world Ways to Put Tech into Your Classroom.

What’s your favorite tech tip in your classroom? Share it in the comments below.

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world backup day

World Backup Day–March 31st

world backup dayMarch 31st is called World Backup Day. At least once a year, backup your data files to an external drive (like a flash drive). This is one that isn’t connected to your local computer so can’t be compromised if you get a virus. It’s good to always backup data to cloud drives or a different drive on your computer but once a year, do the entire collection of data files to what is called an ‘air gap’ drive–one that is separated from any internet connection.

How to do this 

There are various ways to back up your data. You can back up your data to an external device or you can back up your data to a cloud-based backup service, or back up your data to both an external device and a cloud backup service. You might even make more than one backup to external storage devices and keep the two copies in different places (providing protection and access to your data even if one of the backup devices is destroyed or inaccessible. Preserving your valuable documents and images for future access and use requires planning, as well as the use of automatic backup services.

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tech tips

Tech Tip #43: Backup Your Work Often

tech tipsIn these 169 tech-centric situations, you get an overview of pedagogy—the tech topics most important to your teaching—as well as practical strategies to address most classroom tech situations, how to scaffold these to learning, and where they provide the subtext to daily tech-infused education.

Today’s tip: Backup Your Work Often

lesson plan

Category: Maintenance, Security, Email

Q:  How often should I backup my project? How about my whole hard drive?

A:  I teach students to save early save often (Tech Tip #15), when working on a project. You decide what you can tolerate losing: ten minutes or ten hours. After all, if the computer loses your work, you’re the one who has to start over.

Me, I save each project I’m working on constantly and then save-as to a backup location when I’ve completed the document. A lot of people skip the backup process. Don’t!

More options for backing up:

  • Email it to yourself. Then, save it to an email file called ‘backups’.
  • For files too large to email, save it as an attachment to a message that’s stored in ‘Drafts’.
  • Use an automated service like Carbonite that works in the background, daily. These may charge a fee (Carbonite is about $60 a year), but takes the guesswork out of whether you’ve saved a file as a backup.
  • Rely on the program you’re using to back your files up. This is a good option for many internet-based programs (like Canva) and Google Apps, but sketchy for others.

As for the entire computer, once a week is good.

Sign up for a new tip each week or buy the entire 169 Real-world Ways to Put Tech into Your Classroom.

What’s your favorite tech tip in your classroom? Share it in the comments below.

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tech tips

Tech Tip #133: 10 Favorite Mac Shortkeys

In these 169 tech-centric situations, you get an overview of pedagogy—the tech topics most important to your teaching—as well as practical strategies to address most classroom tech situations, how to scaffold these to learning, and where they provide the subtext to daily tech-infused education.

Today’s tip: 10 Favorite Mac Shortkeys

Category: Macs, Keyboarding

Here’s a poster with ten of the most popular Mac shortkeys among students:

Sign up for a new tip each week or buy the entire 169 Real-world Ways to Put Tech into Your Classroom.

What’s your favorite tech tip in your classroom? Share it in the comments below.


Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 30 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-12 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, contributor to NEA Today, and author of the tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.

Tech Tip #66–How to Add Accents

tech tipsIn these 169 tech-centric situations, you get an overview of pedagogy—the tech topics most important to your teaching—as well as practical strategies to address most classroom tech situations, how to scaffold these to learning, and where they provide the subtext to daily tech-infused education.

Today’s tip: How to add accents

Category: Languages, Keyboarding, Writing

Q: I teach Spanish and need a quick way to add accents to words. Can you help?

A: You can go through the symbols library, but there’s an easier way. Use Ctrl + another key to add the accent. Here is a table.

More tech tips:

Create Shortkeys for Windows Tools

10 Best Keyboarding Hints

Why Learn Keyboarding


Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 30 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-12 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, contributor to NEA Today, and author of the tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.

Tech Tip #105: Create Shortkeys for Windows Tools

tech tipsIn these 169 tech-centric situations, you get an overview of pedagogy—the tech topics most important to your teaching—as well as practical strategies to address most classroom tech situations, how to scaffold these to learning, and where they provide the subtext to daily tech-infused education.

Today’s tip: Create Shortkeys for Windows Tools

Category: Keyboarding

Q: I love the Windows snipping tool, but it takes too long to activate. Is there a shortkey?

A: Oddly, there isn’t, which is why I didn’t use it for a long time. I want a screen capture that’s instantaneous. I discovered how to create a shortkey for Snipping Tool—or any Windows program:

  • Right click on the program icon.
  • Select ‘properties’.
  • Select the ‘shortcut’ tab.
  • In the ‘Shortcut key’ field, push the key combination you want to invoke this program. In my case, for the Snipping Tool, I used Ctrl+Alt+X.
  • Click OK

 

Here’s a video on how to create the shortkey. Now all I have to do is remember the shortkey!

Sign up for a new tip each week or buy the entire 169 Real-world Ways to Put Tech into Your Classroom.

–Comments are closed but feel free to contact me via Twitter (@askatechteacher).

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Tech Tip #31: 10 Best Keyboarding Hints

tech tipsIn these 169 tech-centric situations, you get an overview of pedagogy—the tech topics most important to your teaching—as well as practical strategies to address most classroom tech situations, how to scaffold these to learning, and where they provide the subtext to daily tech-infused education.

Today’s tip: 10 Best Keyboarding Hints

Category: Keyboarding

This poster has ten keyboarding hints that cover the most common mistakes students make that prevent them from excelling at keyboarding:

  1. Tuck your elbows against the sides of your body. This keeps your hands in the right spot—home row—at the right angle (parallel to the rows).
  2. Use your right thumb for the space bar. That leaves your hands ready, on home row.
  3. Curl fingers over home row—they’re cat paws, not dog paws.
  4. Use inside fingers for inside keys, outside fingers for outside keys. This is a great rule of thumb until students start touch typing.
  5. Use the finger closest to the key you need. Sounds simple, but this isn’t what usually happens with beginners.
  6. Keep your pointers anchored to f and j. Notice the tactile bump on those keys so you don’t have to look at the keyboard to find homerow.
  7. Play your keyboard like you do a piano (or violin, or guitar, or recorder). You’d never use your pointer for all keys. Don’t do it on a keyboard either.
  8. Fingers move, not your hands. Hands stay anchored to the f and j keys
  9. Add a barrier between the sides of the keyboards. I fashioned one from cover stock. That’ll remind students to stay on the correct side of the keyboard
  10. Don’t use caps lock for capitals! Use shift.

There’s an eleventh in the poster. Can you tell which one that is?

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Tech Tip #161: Ten Most Important Keyboard Keys

tech tipsIn these 169 tech-centric situations, you get an overview of pedagogy—the tech topics most important to your teaching—as well as practical strategies to address most classroom tech situations, how to scaffold these to learning, and where they provide the subtext to daily tech-infused education.

Today’s tip: 10 Most Important Keyboard Keys

Category: Keyboarding

As you teach K-5 keyboarding, here are the ten most important keys you want them to learn—a few a year:

Buy the entire 169 Real-world Ways to Put Tech into Your Classroom.

–Comments are closed but feel free to contact me via Twitter (@askatechteacher).

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What are the popular file extensions kids should learn about?

There is so much tech kids need to learn these days, it’s easy to forget the basics. Like file extensions. These help kids categorize websites, prioritize credibility, and streamline their browsing. Here are the most essential of these:

What are the popular file extensions kids should learn about?

As kids work their way through the education system, they will use different types of documents for their projects. Therefore, it is important that children learn about the popular types of file extensions early on.

A file extension is the suffix used at the end of a file name to show what type of computer file is being used. The suffix also implies what program can be used to read the content of the file. Here are the most popular file extensions that kids should learn about.

DOC and DOCX

There is no actual difference between DOC and DOCX. Both are native formats of Microsoft Word, which is one of the most commonly used file types used for school projects and beyond. Whether DOC or DOCX is used is simply dependent on the version of Microsoft Office being used. DOC and DOCX files can contain text, images, tables, and other elements. The file type is perfect for writing essays and presenting graphics. Once a DOC or DOCX file has been saved, users can easily edit it in a Word program.

PDF

The PDF file extension is used for documents created in the PDF file format. PDFs are so popular because they maintain the formatting used to create the document. A PDF can contain text, images, tables, graphs, 3D drawings, and other elements. Due to the formatting being maintained, the elements of a PDF document appear richer and more presentable, making them ideal for school projects. PDFs have many benefits, but users can often not edit them directly unless they have a specific Adobe program. However, you can convert PDFs into other file types, such as DOC or JPG, by using an online tool. For instance, with PDF Simpli, you can convert a PDF into an editable JPG picture file in an instant.

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