Posts

Taking Better Photos with a Chromebook

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l received some requests to create a video with tips for students on how to take better photos on a Chromebook. With students being required to submit assignments via the Chromebook camera, this video gets in-depth about the camera's features, settings, basic photo editing in the Gallery, and how to just make those photos better for turning in to teachers. The video is made for students and teachers, or anyone with a Chromebook who wants to take better photos. Learn how to crop, increase the countdown timer, do a one-click fix, take snapshots from a video (even in Tablet mode), and more. Feel free to share it with anyone who might find it helpful.

Keyboard Shortcuts: It All Depends on Context (A Deeper Dive)

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  Keyboard Shortcuts: It All Depends on Context (A Deeper Dive) It's true. I can write a full in-depth article on just about anything technology-related. Even something as seemingly straightforward as keyboard shortcuts. Who knew how complex this topic could be. You might have wondered why a shortcut like Ctrl+D does one thing in one app or extension, while the same shortcut does something completely different in another. Hopefully, I can shed some light on a bit of the keyboard shortcuts confusion. Here are some things to consider: 1. The keyboard shortcut Ctrl+D in Google Slides or PowerPoint, for example. If you're in Google Slides and you select a graphic object, you can press  Ctrl+D  and it will duplicate the object. This should work the same way for everyone. However, if you are not selecting an object in a slide, but are just in Filmstrip mode instead, pressing  Ctrl+D  will duplicate the slide. And, if you are not in Google Slides but on a random website, pressing Ct

How to Schedule and Run Virtual Parent-Teacher Conferences Through Zoom

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The print tutorial below takes teachers step-by-step and shows how to run online parent-teacher conferences using Zoom . It does mention that the conference slots were scheduled using a 3rd-party tool. We use a feature of our SMS, " Skyward ," but your school could have parents sign up for the conference slots using a tool like Google Calendar's "Appointment Slots" feature or a free online tool like Calendly or Signup Genius .  Once the parents have signed up for appointment slots, the tutorial I made will show you screenshots on how to enable and manage the Waiting Room in Zoom so that the teacher can send a message to anyone waiting, letting them know approximately when the current conference session will end, and who is next on the list. I hope this helps you use Zoom for virtual parent-teacher conferences at a time when it is often best to stay at home and still get the essential jobs done.

Mark Reviews Chromebook Piano & Drum Apps for Music Teachers

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I try to share some of the most comprehensive tips and recommendations I write up for teachers here. This is one of the most recent. When asked what is out there for music teachers to use with students on Chromebooks, particularly if those students are learning at home, I had to start from scratch.  Knowing very little about what was available, I just started with the Piano apps available for Chromebooks, extended it to Android, and then added Web apps that work in the browser, as well.  The music teacher who contacted me about this also wanted to know what was available in the way of drums and drum kits . So I added that as well. Below, you will find a section for each. If you know of additional web tools or apps that may be good for elementary music teachers (with an emphasis on free), please add your comments and recommendations below. Piano Apps Reviewed: Chrome Music Lab (Shared Piano):  https://musiclab.chromeexperiments.com/Shared-Piano/#DW16KKgmb   Notes:  Chrome Music Lab is

Combining Multiple Google Forms Results into a Single Spreadsheet with Separate Tabs

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It is possible to create multiple Google Forms and have them all feed into the same spreadsheet. What makes this technique useful is that you can have different groups of users filling out different forms in different locations, and all of these results can go into the same spreadsheet, but the results will be automatically filtered into the correct tab at the bottom. I say "automatically," but first you will need to set up the form(s) to know where to go.  I created the video tutorial below because I know I will be referring to it for various scenarios, which include: Teachers who want to give out a copy of the same Quiz in Google Forms to multiple classes but have the results feed into the same Google Sheet. Technology trainers (or any trainers) who provide classes during the year and want to keep a record of all class lists in the same spreadsheet. Using a Google Form for each class session, all of the class lists can feed into the same master spreadsheet. Band direc

How to Place Text on Top of a Picture or a Picture Behind Text in Google Docs: The Workarounds

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Here is a common question from a Google Docs user: So here's the deal...I would like to insert a picture into a Google Doc. I would like the picture to be behind the text. I looked up online for an answer, and found that I must: Insert the picture as a drawing. Add a text box to the drawing and insert the text. This seems very cumbersome...Any thoughts? Great question. Unfortunately, you have hit on one of Google Docs' biggest flaws/limitations. It has no "Behind Text" text wrapping feature.  Microsoft Word  does have this feature though (see my screenshot below). I'm not sure what you are creating, so I'm not sure if it is something you could do in Microsoft Word instead. Also, many peple out there simply don't have a full-blown licensed version of Microsoft Word. What I did below was to insert a photo and then type some text, click on the Text Wrapping button, and then chose  Behind text . Then, I used the Windows Snipping Tool (found in nearly

Switching Between Multiple Accounts in Google Chrome

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I have wanted to clarify this process for some time now. While people are using their home computers more and more often now, with each family member doing different, specific work, and each family member often using the Chrome browser, I think this video should help a lot of people who want to create their own workspace within Chrome.  Did you know that each person who uses Chrome can create his or her own profile? This is also known as Adding New People, so you can easily add a new person within Chrome, which will allow each of you to have your own set of bookmarks, open tabs, extensions, and settings specialized to meet your own needs. The video below should help to demonstrate and clarify how to this up. Please leave a comment if this video helps you make some sense out of your Chrome browsing experience. Just remember: Everything is tied to your own individual Google/Gmail username and password.