Box.com is like Dropbox and Google Drive in that it is a cloud-storage service, and like any cloud storage service, you have the advantage of grabbing and sharing a link to any resource you store "in the cloud." This makes sharing links with students to handouts, homework, Discovery Education videos, and the like very easy. But unlike some of these other cloud storage options, Box.com has a really neat way of embedding individual files or whole folders and directories right in your website, be it School World Teacher Sites or something else. Find out how in the video below...and if you like what you see, be sure to subscribe to the Tech4Folks Channel on YouTube!
Make your Windows 7 user experience that much more efficient by pinning often used programs to the taskbar, that little bar running across the bottom of your desktop.
STEP 1: Find the program you want to pin...usually this is as easy as using the Start menu search box and typing the name of the program.
STEP 2: Simply right click on the program you'd like to pin, and select "Pin to Taskbar." That's all there is to it!
NOTE: You can also pin any program you find using Windows Explorer, to the taskbar or the Start men...if it ends in ".exe" and/or is listed as an application file type, chances are you can pin it! Just right click on the file and make your choice.
Call me a traditionalist, call me stubborn, call me ELA, but I like my fonts, and if I have to type, highlight, and change the font for every one of my text boxes in SMART Notebook to reflect my preference for Georgia, I'll do it!
But there's a better way!
In SMART Notebook, you can create your own custom theme and set your preferred font, and your preferred background, so that for every new page you create, it will automatically default to your preferences. Talk about a time saver! Here's how:
STEP 1: In SMART Notebook, go to Format - Themes - Create Theme.
STEP 2: This will create a little editable object within your SMART Notebook page. Simply name your theme and then double click on the text box and choose your preferred font.
STEP 3: Then right click within the object to "Set Background," choose your background (solid color, gradient...whatever you prefer) and hit "Save" to save your theme.
STEP 4: To use the theme you've created, go into the Gallery, My Content tab and find "Backgrounds and Themes." Double click the theme you created to make it active. (Note here how you could have multiple themes you've created and stored!)
When you double click your custom theme to insert, SMART Notebook will ask you if you want to use this theme for all pages (within that Notebook file)...which I do, so I just click OK! Presto!
That's it! Now, every time you create a new page within that Notebook file, all your font and background preferences will automatically be included. Want to see a theme creation in action? Here's a 90 second video that shows you the process.
With our switch to Outlook Web Access 2010, many people are still getting used to the default Conversation View, where emails from multiple senders (and your own) are grouped together based on a shared subject line. First, conversation view can be helpful because you can quickly see in one area any and all communication concerning that subject. But...it may take some getting used to, AND, thanks to one of y'all pointing out to the right (thank you!) using the conversation view can result in you accidentally forwarding an entire conversation to someone instead of just the email you intended!
It's not hard to turn off conversation view!
To turn off conversation view, simply click the little drop down arrow above your inbox where you'd normally change your view to By Date, From etc...
...at the bottom of the list is the Conversation check box. Deselect that, give it a second to reload and you're done!
Note: You can also choose to arrange the folder you're in by any of the characteristics below! This makes finding files much easier.
One of my favorite time saving tricks is when I know someone in particular sent me something but I can't find that email, I select any email from them, then "arrange by from" that whole folder....since I had an email from them selected before I chose to arrange the folder by "from," I'll automatically be in the section where all the emails from them appear!
Often times people are amazed at all the ways I can work with data and windows/tabs/multiple programs, but really there's nothing to it. Knowing the right combination of keystrokes enables you to keep your hands on the keyboard more often and minimize the times you have to go to the mouse. There are a ridiculous number of shortcuts out there (Microsoft's extensive list), but I just wanted to highlight some of the ones I use most often. With few exceptions, these can be used within and sometimes between most PC programs and applications (the key is making sure that the program you're trying to apply the action to is selected/active...most of the time this will be the last place/program you did something, but you can always left click on a field/space within the program too).
Be brave, try some out...shortcuts can save lots of time, and there's always CTRL+Z to undo your last action!
Print Version (put next to your computer for reference!)
MS Word 2007 Shortcuts (prepare to be overwhelmed :)
Did you know that if you're on the Windows 7 operating system, you have access to a great little tool for capturing, cropping, annotating, and saving screen shots of anything you see on your desktop? It's called the "Snipping Tool," and it's rapidly becoming a teacher favorite.
You can find it in a variety of ways, but here is the easiest:
Click on your Windows 7 Start icon in the bottom left-hand corner of your screen, then type "snipping"...
See it in action!
With Windows 7, which most of you are now using as an operating system, when you get too many windows open and want to get to the desktop quickly, you can click on the little space to the bottom right corner of your taskbar and you'll instantly get your desktop! Presto!
Why can this be useful? Minimizing multiple windows takes time when trying to "dig" back down to your desktop. This takes you there in one click!
Remember, SafeShare.tv links to YouTube videos work great for teachers at home or school, and great for students at home....but not for students logged in as themselves at school. SafeShare requires a behind-the-scenes direct YouTube connection (w/o the Edu filter), so students will have trouble getting the video to load logged in as them. If you want students to watch the video logged in as themselves, solo or in small groups, request white listing of the video in YouTube.Edu through an Eduphoria Formspace request, then have them watch it right from YouTube.Edu
Let me know if you have questions!
Creating a distribution list in OWA can really make your life easier as a teacher. With all LISD secondary students now having school Gmail accounts, why not create a distribution list for each class so you can email a single class, or all classes, announcements, homework reminders, resources, or interesting articles with a couple quick clicks?
Outlook Web Access allows for any email address to be entered into a custom distribution list. I use a custom distribution list for my daily free iOS Apps and Kindle E-Books; Coach Emerson uses one for his Badger Bits. You can include student emails, parent emails, teacher emails...and have as many distribution lists as you want. And if you use the blind carbon copy option (BCC) to enter your distribution list, recipients won't see anyone else's email addresses. Watch how easy it is below in this 5 minute HOW TO video!
NOTE: Video has a glitch I'll be fixing soon...will pause a few seconds in...just click again to resume!
Want some help creating a distribution list?
Contact me or Lori Ramsey, and stay tuned for the upcoming after school training on using OWA and Skyward for parent/student contact and documentation!
If you're like most secondary teachers at Lampasas ISD, you know secondary students recently received Gmail accounts, but you have no idea how many tools come paired with those school Gmail accounts (most students do not either!). You'll see below that there are many, many services that come with a Google Apps for Education account (not all of which we've turned on at this point, but most), one of these services is Gmail. Sure, students can email teachers and each other now in a safe and secure environment at home or school, but what else can they do, really? The answer is quite a bit!
K12 Mobile Learning Specialist, IT Zealot and Advocate, M.Ed.Tech, MTT