Tag: chromebooks

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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169 Tech Tip #116–How to Take Screenshots

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: #116–How to Take Screenshots

Category: CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT

Sub-category: Keyboarding, PC, Mac, iPad, Chromebook

Here are the screenshot shortkeys for five platforms:

  • Windows: a tool included in Windows called the Snipping Tool
  • Chromebooks: Ctrl+Window Switcher key
  • Mac: Command Shift 3 for a full screenshot; Command Shift 4 for a partial screenshot
  • Surface tablet: hold down volume and Windowsbutton
  • iPad: hold Home button and power button simultaneously

There are also screenshot programs you can download like Jing and Printkey (the latter uses your keyboard’s Print Scr key) or use from your browser (like Nimbus or Snagit). Each has a different selection of annotation tools. You may find this works better for your needs.

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tech tips

169 Tech Tip #128–Top 10 Chromebook Shortkeys

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 #128–Top Ten Chromebook Shortkeys

Category: CHROMEBOOKS

Sub-category:  Keyboarding

Here’s a poster with ten Chromebook shortkeys popular in classrooms:

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chromebook shsortkeys

169 Tech Tips–Two Great Chromebook Shortkeys

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: #121–Chromebook Caps Lock and #122–Chromebook Delete Key

Category: CHROMEBOOKS

Sub-category: Keyboarding

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tech tips

169 Tech Tips–8 Tips for Chromebooks

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: #94–8 Tips for Chromebooks in Class

  1. Be clear what the Chromebook can and can’t do. Then you won’t expect the impossible.
  2. It is sturdy–reinforced hinges, water-proof keyboard (waterproof everything), able to survive a drop from desk-height–but still teach students to handle it with care.
  3. Chromebooks are platform agnostic. It doesn’t matter if students create documents in Macs or PC. Once they load it to their cloud storage, they can view it and/or share it.
  4. Taking screenshots is easy. Review this early and often with students.
  5. Get students used to the most fundamental Chromebook shortkeys. They’re much faster.Here’s a big list of ones they’ll find useful.
  6. The Chromebook operating system (Chrome OS) is Linux-based. I won’t bore you with what that means. Just be clear that you’re not working with an OS X or Windows operating system. That will inform a lot of the stuff you do along the way.
  7. Chromebooks will operate more efficiently on the Chrome browser than IE or Firefox.
  8. Who you buy your Chromebook from will affect how much Cloud storage each user gets.

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tech tips

Tech Tip #121: Chromebooks Caps Lock

As a working technology teacher, I get hundreds of questions from parents about their home computers, how to do stuff, how to solve problems. Each Tuesday, I’ll share one of those with you. They’re always brief and always focused. Enjoy!

Q: Where’s the caps lock on Chromebooks? There’s a ‘search’ button where that key is on my normal keyboard.

On Chromebooks, caps lock is a shortkey: Alt+Search. Search is the magnifying glass located where the the caps lock is on other keyboards. To turn it off, tap Shift.

If you’re like me and never plan to use that Search key, you can remap the Search key by visiting the Settings > Device > Keyboard settings.

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shortkey

Tech Tip #116: How to Take Screenshots

As a working technology teacher, I get hundreds of questions from parents about their home computers, how to do stuff, how to solve problems. Each week, I’ll share one of those with you. They’re always brief and always focused. Enjoy!

Q: I need to take a screenshot with my Chromebook.

Here’s the shortkey: Hold down the Ctrl key and press the Window Switcher key. The screenshot is placed on the clipboard and in the download folder. If you have trouble finding the Download file, click Alt+Shift+M to open the File Manager. Download will be one of the options on the left sidebar.

In case you use a different digital device, here are the screenshot shortkeys for other platforms:

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decision matrix

Faceoff: What Digital Device Should My School Buy?

chromebookIn the not so distant past, two types of computers battled for supremacy in the classroom: Macs or PCs. Both were desktops and both did the same things, but in hugely different ways.

Today, whether it’s a Mac or a PC, a desktop is only one of the digital devices available in the education toolkit. First laptops eased their way into schools, pricey but popular for their portability and collaborative qualities. Then came iPads with their focus on the visual, ease of use, and engagement of users. The most recent entrant into the education digital device market is Chromebooks–able to do ‘most’ of what ‘most’ students need–at a precipitously lower price.

That means educators now have four options (desktops, laptops, iPads, Chromebooks) as they select tools to unpack education. The challenge is to understand the differences between these options and select based on personal criteria. That includes classroom needs, infrastructure, maintenance, and–yes–money. What gives the most value for the least investment?

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shortkeys

Computer Shortkeys That Streamline Your Day

shortkeysAfter twelve years of teaching K-8, I know as sure as I know August comes earlier every year that kids will try harder if its fun. The challenge for us as teachers: How do we make a the geeky side of technology ‘fun’?

The answer is keyboard shortcuts–aka shortkeys. According to Wikipedia, keyboard shortkeys are:

a series of one or several keys that invoke a software or operating system operation when triggered by the user. 

Shortkeys are one of the teacher tools that scaffold differentiation. Students learn in different ways. Some excel with toolbars, ribbons, drop-down menus, or mouse clicks. Others find the mishmash of tiny pictures and icons confusing and prefer the ease and speed of the keyboard. Give students the option to complete a task in the manner best suited for their learning style. Once they know shortkeys, these will be an option available when they can’t find the program tool, or when it’s nested so deeply in menus, they can’t drill down far enough to find it. Shortkeys provide an alternative method of accomplishing simple tasks, like exit a program (Alt+F4), print (Ctrl+P), or copy (Ctrl+C).

My students love them. I start in kindergarten with the easy ones–like Alt+F4–and build each year until they discover their own. Throw in a few quirky ones and you’ve won their hearts and minds. My two favorites are –> and :):

keyboard shortcuts

  1. To create the first: Type – – >; many programs automatically switch it to an arrow
  2. To create the second: Type : followed by ); many programs automatically switch it to a smiley face

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