Smashing Extension Fab Timesavers!!!

While collaborating with a group of math teachers I discovered the “Power” of  “Smashing” these two Chrome Extensions. Chrome Save to Drive Extension does exactly what its name states. It allows the user to save screenshots and images from the Chrome Browser directly to Google Drive. The second extension is Awesome Screenshot which allows the user to capture and annotate snippets before saving as an image file. I find combining these two extensions can save a lot of time for both Teachers and Students when creating lessons and projects.


Color Your Life with Filters and Labels…

This year one of my goals is to take control of the thousands of emails in my inbox.  I’m not the most organized person in the world but thanks to Google this is no longer a problem. I love how filters automate where my email is filed. It also allows me to bypass the inbox and file the messages into colored labels. Labels are similar to folders. This makes it easier for me to keep track of all my email. I can understand how this is going to be a big timesaver! It is a great relief to open the inbox and quickly find important email without having to scroll through tons of email! Just love features like this where I can find what I’m looking for within the count of 1-2-3!!!

How to Create Filters

  • Open an email in your Gmail Inbox
  • Click the More Down Arrow
  • Select Filter Messages like this

Google gmail select filter messages

  • Fill in which filters you’d like to use
    • NOTE: There is even a filter to exclude conversations
  • Click Create Filter in the lower right corner

Screen Shot 2016-08-12 at 8.52.01 AM

  • Select how you would like to filter the email
    • My Favorites:
      • Skip the inbox  and Apply Labels ~this allows the user to file the email

Google Gmail Skip the inbox Apply Label.gif

  • Email will now be filtered to a label
    • Note the numbers next to my labels
      • These are email I still need to read

Add a Pop of Color to the Labels

  • Click the down Arrow to the left of the label
  • Select a Color

Google Gmail Add a Pop of Color Labels.gif

It’s as easy as 1-2-3!!!



Can’t Edit My Doc! What do I do???


Matthew Inman  CC BY 3.0

Teaching basic self-help computer strategies should be just as important as learning to  use digital tools for creating and collaborating. Just think how much time could be saved if one knew some basic tips. I bet there are a lot of times when a simple fix could save stress and time for teachers and students.

Basic Troubleshooting Strategies

  1. Open the Internet Browser

  2. Try Clearing the Internet Browsers cookies and cache

  3. Next try to use the Browser in Incognito or private window

  4. If Private mode works then try:

  5. Disabling  extensionsadd-onsplug-ins

When all else fails: Try a different browser to see if it is a browser related issue

Google Drive Folders Who Needs Organization???

“How do I organize Google Drive?” is one of the questions I hear most often. My first response generally is, “Remember Google is famous for its Search Engine.” This means “Organization” shouldn’t be an issue. The response is often a dumbfounded look.

Truthfully the folder structure is very easy to create and maintain. It is similar to setting up a house and keeping it clean. If one doesn’t stay on top of things it becomes an unorganized mess. However the beauty of Google Drive doesn’t lie within the bounds of organized folders and file structure. Yes! You heard this right. Remember the words, “Search Engine.” Google integrated the search feature to work very well to locate files and folders.

Benefits in the Classroom

  1. Teacher can find files & folders on the fly
  2. No need to open folder tree, and scroll through dozens of folders & files
  3. Lessens  stress for students over maintaining organized files & folders
  4. Lessens stress load for teachers
  5. Supports students with becoming organized

Maximizing a Document Camera

A document camera doesn’t need to be locked in to its name.  I know you are probably saying, “What is she talking about?” My answer is going to sound like a George Carlin skit. You know the one where he decomposes the word “Tennis.” “Why is Tennis called Ten-(nis) when it is only played by two people? This made me think about the word “Document Camera” and how often I just see it being used for its face value.

Just because the word “Document” is tagged onto camera doesn’t mean it is limited to projecting worksheets and pages in a book. Not in the least! Many different brands of document cameras are made with multi function ability. The stem can be bent or the lens twisted turning the document camera into a video or still camera. What does this mean to the classroom?

Document Camera Uses

  1. Project Worksheets on an Interactive White Board (IWB)
  2. Capture worksheets to insert into slide presentations and etc…
  3. Take photos within the classroom
  4. Record student created videos
  5. Record classroom activities
  6. Use as web cam
    • Allows for Google Live Hangout participation
      • Teacher sharing lessons and collaborating with colleagues
      • Guest visitors presenting to a classroom full of students
      • Allows absent students to participate in the classroom
      • Classrooms can connect globally to collaborate on projects

The above mentioned is just a few possibilities a document camera can provide to a classroom. Kick a document camera up a notch by replacing with a tablet in a stand and this maximizes the possibilities even more.  Bottomline “Don’t just use technology tools for FACE VALUE” “Be Innovative and Maximize the Use.”