Category: Tech tips

How Tech-savvy Teachers Do It

Education Week had a great article on how teachers are expanding their use of technology in the classroom. Here’s a peak:

5 Practices of Truly Tech-savvy Teachers

Education Week caught up with select teachers and instructional coaches who shared their thoughts on some essential practices to effectively implement technology into the practice of teaching. Some were discovered or honed during the pandemic. All offer lessons for job seekers wanting to present in-demand knowledge and skills, as well as districts and schools that are seeking truly tech-savvy teachers.

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Here are some articles from Ask a Tech Teacher about teachers using technology in their classes:

19 Ed Websites to Fill Spare Classroom Time

Digital Assistants in the Classroom

Tech Ed Resources for your Class–K-12 Tech Curriculum

Classroom Activities for Earth Day

How teachers address cell phones in class

How Tech Enhances Class Performance

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Tech Tip #3: Turn an Address into a Link

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: Turn an Address into a Link

Category: MS Office, Google Apps, internet, Edit/Format

Q: I get documents from friends with links to websites. How do they do that?

A: When you want to send a website address to people, here’s what you do:

  • Copy the address located at the top of the screen (right click on it and select copy).
  • Return to your doc (it’s probably on the taskbar at the bottom of your screen) and paste the address into the message (using right-click>paste, edit>paste, or the paste tool on the top toolbar).
  • Push the space bar once or push enter after the address. That activates the link. You’ll know you succeeded because it turns blue with an underline.

If you want to paste a link behind words:

  • Highlight the text you want the website linked to
  • Ctrl+K to bring up the link dialogue box
  • Ctrl+V to paste your link
  • Push enter for ‘OK’

This works in MS Office, Google Apps, and lots of online webtools.

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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 #96: How to Add Zip to a Slow Computer

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 Zip to a Slow Computer

Category: Maintenance, Security

Q: I have a netbook (or a PC, a desktop, or a laptop—pretty much any computer except for a Chromebook) that starts incredibly slowly. What can I do to speed it up?

A: Here are ten suggestions:

  1. Run malware programs.
  2. Uninstall unnecessary programs.
  3. Uninstall unnecessary fonts.
  4. Get rid of documents you don’t need anymore.
  5. Empty the trash.
  6. Clean the junk off your desktop.
  7. Clean up your Start Button.
  8. Clean out your subscriptions.
  9. Slim down your start-up process.
  10. Add more RAM.

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 Tip #159: Create a Macro

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 a Macro

Category: MS Office, Problem-solving, Keyboarding

Here are basic steps for MS Word:

  1. Click View – Macros – Record Macros.
  2. Specify a name for the macro.
  3. Choose whether it should be a keyboard shortcut or a button.
  4. Once you click OK, your mouse becomes a cassette tape. Click all elements you would like to be part of your macro.
  5. Stop recording by clicking View – Stop Recording.

Here’s a video on how to create a macro in MS Word:

If you use Chromebooks, you can adjust what some keys do (such as the Search key can become the Caps Lock) through Settings. Additionally, there are several add-ons like iMacro that will help you create macros.

Google Apps call Macros ‘scripts’ and they’re popular. Alice Keeler has a starter-project you can find on her website.

Mac calls them ‘substitutions’. Use the System Preferences.

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 Tip #54: How to Auto Forward a Slideshow

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 Auto Forward a Slideshow

Category: MS Office, Google Apps, Webtools

slideshow projectQ: My students want slideshows to automatically forward without requiring a mouse click or spacebar click. How do we do that?

A: Auto-forward isn’t difficult in PowerPoint:

  • Go to Transition on the menu bar.
  • Go to Timing on the right side.
  • Set the timer to serve the needs of the slide. This will require students to practice before presenting so they can put the correct time in. A good default of 5-10 seconds.

It’s easier, but more basic in Google Slideshow: When you play the slideshow, it has an autoplay button that looks exactly like you find on videos

Online tools like Haiku Deck usually have an easy-to-find option for manual or auto-advancing slides.

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 Tip #44: Computer Safety

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: Computer safety

Category: Maintenance, Security

Q:  I’m afraid of getting slammed with viruses, malware–all that bad stuff that comes with visiting the internet. What do I do?

A:  If you take reasonable precautions, the chances of being hit are minimized. Here are two first-steps:

  • Don’t download from music or video sites. They carry the greatest danger of malware statistically.
  • Make sure your firewall is working.

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 Tip #97: Speed up MSO with Quick Access Toolbar

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: Speed up MS Office with the Quick Access Toolbar

Category: MS Office

Q: I tend to do the same actions over and over in MS Office. How do I make that easier?

A: This one will improve the quality of your life immediately.

First, you need Office 2007 or later. Earlier versions don’t include the Quick Access toolbar. Click the drop down arrow (see inset) for the most popular actions–new, open, save, print, etc. Check off those you want on the Quick Access toolbar. Toward the bottom is a choice to have the QA toolbar above or below the ribbon. I choose below.

You can also customize it: If there are tools not included that you use frequently (for example, I use strike through a lot), select ‘customize’ and go find it in the endless list.

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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 Tip #63: Reset Default Font

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: Reset Default Font

Category: MS Office, Google Apps, Classroom Management, Writing

Q: How do I change default font and spacing?

A: Type a couple of paragraphs in any document. Highlight what you typed and right click; select font. Change the font to what you prefer. In my case, it’s TNR 12

Then, in Word: Click the Default button on the lower left to approve that this is how you’d like future documents formatted. See how-to video here.

In Google Apps: Go to Styles drop-down menu>Options>Save current.

That’s it. The next time you open an MS Word or Google Docs document, it will have this revised formatting.

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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Two Tech Tips for Everyday Life

The last time my daughter visited, life became different than the norm. That inspired two easy tech solutions I had no idea existed and you’re going to love. Here they are:

BTW, I cross posted this to my writer’s blog so my writerly friends could read about these also. If you subscribe to both, you’ll see it there too:

Hey Siri! Where are You?

I have an iPhone. I kept losing it–putting it in places I didn’t normally. My daughter would call me and I’d find it, usually one room over. But then, I discovered if I say, “Hey, Siri. Where are you?” She answers. Then I can follow her voice. Since often, losing a phone occurs when no ones around to call it for you, this was a great discovery.

Walking directions

We went to Fashion Island–a large outdoor mall in Newport Beach–and got separated from my husband. I found him on iPhone’s Find My app and thought I’d follow his dot but it’s easier than that. Find My offers walking directions. They took me direction to the store he was shopping in.

What cool tech tricks have you discovered to improve your everyday life?

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