Just Luv Pinning Tabs!!!

Recently in the Chrome Help Forum a user asked if there was a way to prevent tabs from being lost when closed. The question reminded me about one of my favorite Chrome Tips for Students. When students are engaged in a research project I like showing them the “Pin Tab” feature. The pin tab feature allows the student to return to the open tabs if the Chrome Browser is accidentally closed. Just follow the below steps to help prevent losing hours of research.

  1. Right Click Chrome Tab
  2. Select “Pin Tab”
  3. Repeat as needed
  4. Close Chrome Browser
  5. Right Click Tab
  6. Select “Reopen Closed Tabs”

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Why Dim Google Calendar Past Events???

The “New Google Calendar” user interface (UI) offers quite a few helpful updates such as brightness control for past events. You might be thinking, “Why is it important to dim the color of past events?” In the world of education this is one of those “No Brainer” answers in support of visual learners. If a students maintains a Google Calendar as a schedule for school assignments and events it supports them with visually keeping track of daily activities. When a student is absent or behind and notices an event appears a brighter or pastel color this sets a signal off to check the event. The new calendar also offers both notification and reminder tools. When all three calendar tools are used together this becomes a powerful support for helping students keep track of everyday school activities.

G-cal Past events

How to Reduce Google Calendar Event Brightness

  1. Open Google Calendar
  2. Click Gear Icon (upper right corner)
  3. Select Settings
  4. Scroll Down to View Options Section
  5. Uncheck “Reduce the brightness of past events”
  6. Click Settings Back Arrow

Backing Up Keep Notes it’s a Breeze…

Teachers and students who use Google Keep to maintain notes and organized to-do list do not have to worry about losing this information. Recently I had a user ask this question in the Google Docs Forum. The user wanted a way to backup a group of  Keep Notes easily on a regular basis. What I suggested was using the “Copy to Doc” tool as a work-around.  This allows the user to select all the notes in one label or on the opening page.

Directions for Backing Up Keep Notes

  • Open Google Keep
  • Click and Drag until all Notes are Selected

Keep Select and Drag.gif

  • Click More More
  • Select Copy to Google Docs

Keep-Click-&-Select

  • Click Open Doc

Click Open Doc

NOTES:

  • This creates a Google Doc with all the list notes, Images, drawings and etc…
  • There are a variety of applications for using the Copy to Google Docs setting
  • This is not the only way to copy a Keep Note to a Doc

Well as you may guess this small little post just may lead into more future tiny tip posts!

 

Freedom Thank You Pixel 2!

pixel 2 .png

Wow I never thought a phone could have the ability to provide both freedom and independence. If you are a person of physical exceptionalities you might relate to this. I have a spine condition which sometimes challenges both my small and large motor movements. In the past this has prevented me from taking selfies and photos. I wasn’t able to apply enough pressure to activate a smartphone’s camera. Now thanks to the Pixel 2 and Google Assistant I can say, “Take a Selfie” or “Take a Photo”.

It is amazing how something so simple could help someone complete a task others take for granted. Due to my position as a Teaching Assistant I see students take on challenges everyday. When technology is integrated with a specific objective in mind it could support the student with becoming an independent learner. What better motivator then working without an adult hovering over you every second. Devices such as the Pixel 2 could provide this ability for students.

The speech to operational function the Pixel 2 offers is absolutely amazing. I can say, “Open a Google Doc” and the Google Docs APP opens. Then it is a matter of finding the doc and tapping it. Once the document is fully open all the user has to do is talk to type. The accuracy of the speech to text editor built into this device is absolutely amazing. Not only does the device type or read for the student but it can do a Google Voice search. This makes the research process much easier for those students who struggle due to lower reading or writing skills.  These are just a few reasons why I’m thankful for the Freedom a Pixel 2 Smartphone provides.

Tweaking Questions & Collecting Data…

Thanks to the NJ Ed Tech Team Google Summit  I’m now a proud owner of a Google Home. After playing with the Google Home for a few weeks I started to think about the value an inexpensive tech tool like this could have in a learning environment.

My husband and I noticed the Google Home has a hard time answering “Open Ended Questions”. Due to this one is forced to learn how to ask  “direct questions” to receive answers. It is amazing how quickly question formation changes in avoidance of hearing “I don’t know the answer” or “but I’m learning new things everyday.” 

Google Home

Once this artificial intelligence device started answering  the questions it was easy to understand how it could assist us.  The Google Home can provide the time of day, not only at home but anywhere in the world. It tells about the weather in one’s area, remembers a shopping list, solves math problems, answers factual questions, plays music, looks up recipe ingredients and etc… It can even play trivia games! This helps to hone our knowledge banks for factual information. I have mentioned just a handful of the interactive capabilities a Google Home may provide.

So you may be thinking how might this be used in the classroom? One of my goals is to support students with becoming independent participants within a classroom community. Everyone needs assistance at different times in their life. When a child explores and asks questions to discover answers their communication and critical thinking skills are nurtured.  This sets an environment where the Google Home may be used to provide a correct answer.  A Teacher would jump upon the opportunity to facilitate a classroom discussion about the answer.  This fosters an environment where student esteems are built rather than destroyed. Learning isn’t about spitting out facts but understanding the relationships of the factual information.

One way this may be used in an elementary classroom is though the tracking of daily weather. This is a common routine for most kindergarten classrooms. The student will still look out the window and share observations about what they see. After the information is added to a Google Sheet the student may ask the Google Home about today’s weather for the school’s location. This information may be added to the Google Sheet as well. A quick classroom discussion may occur if the Google Assistant provides a different answer than the physical observation.

This same lesson may be built upon for upper grade levels. It is one way to collect data which could be transferred into scientific or math discussions. This not only hones communication, and critical thinking skills but adds the reinforcement of using data for solving problems. The Google Home is a relatively inexpensive tool which allows the teacher to integrate technology in supportive ways for whole class usage.