Internet Tips, Tricks, Great Web Sites & Web Services
1. TinyURL: Allows you to turn a long Web site URL into a much shorter one.
2. Delicious.com: Social Bookmarking service allows you to save all of your bookmarks online and access them anywhere that you have an Internet connection.
Xmarks Free Bookmark Sync is a free add-on for all popular Web browsers, including Internet Explorer, Firefox, Apple’s Safari and Google Chrome. Install it from www.xmarks.com and your bookmarks will be backed up and synchronized from any Web browser you have this installed on.
3. Foxbright: (The PHASD CMS system for building a free classroom, department or school Web site). Check out our How-To’s page for tips and tutorials on using Foxbright, or attend one of our many training workshops to learn how to use it.
4. The WayBack Machine: http://www.archive.org/: Allows you to look at Web site content from years ago and see how any particular site has progressed over time. This is truly Web History.
5. RefDesk.com: The World’s most comprehensive reference site. Very well pot-together. You have to check out the Newspapers of the U.S. and Worldwide to see a perfect example of what I mean.
6. Import/Export Favorites: This tip allows you to export your bookmarks to another computer. In Internet Explorer, go to File>>Import and Export>>Export Favorites to a file. Save it as a file and then Import it into another computer using File>>Import and Export>>Import Favorites from a file.
7. View History by Date & Time: If you go to the yellow Star icon on the Internet Explorer 7 toolbar, or press the Alt+C keyboard shortcut, then click the History tab, you can click on a particular day, choose a visited site and then click to expand that site’s history, and then right-click on a particular Web site and choose Properties. It will not only tell you how many times you’ve last visited that site, but also what the last time and date was that it was visited.
8. Uncover your Internet Explorer version 7 or 8 Menu Bar: Right-click on a blank part of your Internet Explorer 7 or 8 toolbar. Choose Menu Bar, and your File, Edit, Favorites, Tools and Help menus are back.
9. Web Browser Keyboard Shortcuts: Here is a list of favorite keyboard shortcuts for Internet Explorer and Firefox:
Alt+Home = Go to Home page
Alt+Left Arrow= Go backward
Alt+Right Arrow= Go forward
Ctrl+D=Save current page as a Favorite/Bookmark
Ctrl+I=Opens Favorites or Bookmarks
Ctrl+B=Organize Favorites or Bookmarks
Ctrl+F=Find a word on a Web page
Ctrl+P=Print Web page
Ctrl+Tab=Switch to next tab
Ctrl+Shift+Tab=Switch to previous tab
Ctrl+Q=Opens Quick Tab View
F11=Full-screen view (you can also right-click on the toolbar at the top to hide or unhide it).
10. Print Selection: To print just the text that you want from a Web page, select the text with your mouse, then go to File>>Print (or Ctrl+P) and click on the radio button for Selection. Then, click OK. There must be text selected on the page for the Selection option to appear.
11. Google Maps Tips (Street View and More): Check out our April 16 Newsletter for these tips: http://old.phasd.us/tech/Newsletters/4-16-10%20T4.pdf
12. Kathy Schrock’s Guide for Educators: (http://school.discoveryeducation.com/schrockguide) The famous categorized list of sites useful for enhancing curriculum and professional growth has been around for many years, but it stands as one of the best collections for teachers all over the world. If you are an educational resource collector, here is the very best place to start.
13. Various Online File Converters: http://tinyurl.com/yl62vr9
14. Firefox Add-ons: Go to Tools>>Add-ons and then click the “Get Add-ons” button. Finally, click the “Browse All Add-ons” link in the top right corner to see the extensive Mozilla collection of Firefox add-ons. Adblock Plus, Xmarks Bookmark and Password Sync, DownloadHelper, FlashGot, CoolIris and IE Tab are just some of the Add-ons and Extensions that I use.
15. Adobe Reader Navigation Tips: You will have to deal with PDF files online. Adobe Reader allows you to:
• Save the PDF with the “Save” button (looks like a floppy disk on the toolbar)
• View the pages as Thumbnail Images (by clicking the Pages button in the top left side of the document). Go to a specific page by clicking on the thumbnail image of that page.
• Reveal the Bookmarks for the Document (by clicking the Bookmarks button at the left – directly under the Pages button). These bookmarks allow you to jump to different sections in the document – if it has bookmarks included).
• Zoom in with Toolbar buttons (Click on the + and – buttons to zoom in or out on anything inside a page,
• Fill the Window (click the - button to fill the window with each page and scroll continuously, or click the button with four arrows to show only one page at a time).
• The Hand Tool: If you’re in the Fill Window view (see above), the Hand button allows you to drag the page up and down – so you can focus on a particular part. Then, you can click the plus and minus buttons on the toolbar to zoom in and out.
16. Top 100 Tools for Learning: http://c4lpt.co.uk/recommended (excellent collection of online resources compiled by 278 learning professionals worldwide)
17. Google Alerts: Go to http://alerts.google.com to set up a Google Alert that will allow you to see e-mail updates of the latest relevant Google results based on the topic of your choice. -Examples of alerts might include how many times your name is referenced on the Web, or to monitor a developing news story or to find out how popular a competitor is becoming online.
18. TeacherTube.com and SchoolTube.com: Who says that all video sites are blocked by school districts? These two sites, in addition to Discovery Education Streaming, have excellent online video content – so you don’t need to rely solely on YouTube.
19. SlideShare.com: This is a great site for uploading and sharing your presentations with others. You can search by topic category. You can use programs like PowerPoint or Keynote, as well as Word and Adobe PDF files. You can even add audio to make a Webinar.
20. Zoom In/Zoom Out with Ctrl+Mouse Wheel: This is an under-utilized tip. Just click on a Web page and then hold down the Ctrl key on your keyboard while you roll your mouse wheel Up to Zoom In, and Down to Zoom Out.
21. How to Embed a Video from DiscoveryEd Streaming into Moodle or Foxbright: This Web site has all the tips you need (http://old.phasd.us/tech/moodle/index.html) for embedding videos, audio clips and photos into a Web page on Moodle. \
-Foxbright can use the same methods, only you would need to click on the HTML button in the Foxbright CMS editor and Paste the “embed code” into the HTML code on your Web page.
22. How to download a video from DiscoveryEd Streaming: At http://streaming.discoveryeducation.com you can download a video directly to your computer by right-clicking on the Download button (the button with the arrow facing down), and choosing “Save Target As” in Internet Explorer or “Save Link As” in Firefox.
23. AccessCodes for DiscoveryEd Streaming: We still have full access to UnitedStreaming content (but now it’s known as Discovery Education Streaming (Save this site as a Favorite/Bookmark: http://streaming.discoveryeducation.com) and you can get your school’s access code within the district by going to this site: http://10.14.128.60/staff/us and clicking on “School Access Codes.” If it’s your first time and you don’t already have a login, you need to click on the blue “Passcode/New User” tab in the top left. Then, enter your school’s access code and click Login. At the next screen, go to “Passcode/Trial/New User Registration” and fill out the form.
24. Where to Store Pictures Online (various free sites): The following sites all offer excellent free online photo storage:
25. How to Store Passwords Online: There are at least two free, safe Password Manager services that allow you to store your passwords online. PasswordSafe (www.passwordsafe.com) and KeyPass Password Safe (http://keepass.info).
-If you find either of these services too difficult to learn, there is always a pay service called RoboForm (www.roboform.com) that you can use. Roboform pricing is $29.95 for the first license, and $9.95 for the 2nd license. There is also RoboForm2Go which runs from a USB flash drive for $19.95 on sale.
26. Access All Instant Messengers in One Place: www.Meebo.com is one of the very best Web-based platforms for instant messaging (IM). What makes it unique is that it connects you to MSN, Yahoo, AOL/AIM, MySpace, Facebook, Google Talk and many more – all from one Web site. You just log in to which ever IM service you want to use, and you’re off and running.
27. Send Large Files Online: You may want to send a collection of pictures or a large PowerPoint presentation or even a video clip that exceeds your E-mail service’s maximum file size limit. If the file is over 5 MB, this situation will no doubt happen to you. However, there are Web services that will allow you to send large files easily. Here are some:
• SendUIt.com: Allows you to upload and send files of up to 100 MB each, and you can choose when they expire (from 30 minutes to one week). This one does not require an E-mail address.
• YouSendIt.com: Although it allows you to send files of up to 2 GB, you do need to set up an account and it will ask for your E-mail address.
• YouConvertIt.com: Go to this site and then click on the “Send Files” tab at the top. You can send up to 5 files and up to 1 GB to friends, or post it on any forum for up to 7 days. Your e-mail address is optional.
28. SkyDrive: If you already have a Hotmail or a Window Live account, you are all set to use SkyDrive. Go to http://skydrive.live.com and you get a whopping 25 GB of free online storage space. You can create your own folders for easy organization and even share them with others.
Note: Upload size is limited to 50 MB per file.
29. Vimeo.com: Vimeo is an online video sharing community and a great place to store the videos you create, including screencasts. The free, Basic version (for the casual creator) allows you to create up to three albums, 500 mb per week of upload space, high-quality video, no bandwidth or time limits, and basic video player customization, and password-protected videos. But, it is ad-supported.
30. Online Photo Editing: Picnik (www.Picnik.com), which was recently acquired by Google, is still one of the best, simple, free online photo editing sites. It allows you to do all sorts of photo editing on their Web site. No more need for purchasing photo editing software.
--Other excellent photo editing site include the wonderful Photoshop.com which allows you to store up to 2 GB of free images with a Basic account. You also get free tutorials, online photo management (uploading and downloading), interactive photo galleries and mobile access. Last, there is Pixer (www.pixer.us) which we recommend that you use to crop and re-size your photos for your free Foxbright Web site.
31. Zoho Office Suite (http://www.zoho.com/): Zoho is every bit as amazing as Google Docs, and a lot more powerful and complete. At last count, Zoho had 22 different online apps in their collection. 10 of these are free Productivity & Collaboration Apps, while the rest are Business Apps (and some for pay). What makes it better than Google’s Docs and Apps are the addition of a Wiki, a Notebook, a Planner, a Chat, and a centralized public repository called Zoho Share.
32. UrbanDictionary.com: If you ever wanted to know what teenagers are talking about with their various slang, this site can come in very handy. However, it will be blocked in most school districts due to the excessive profanity-laden terminology and definitions of slang words and phrases.
33. Twitter.com: This Web site phenomenon really does provide a useful function to many people. The epitome of microblogging, Twitter allows any user to follow other users and see what they are up to in short posts or “tweets” of 140 characters or less. It allows people to network with one another in a very concise and useful way.
34. Google Docs: The most popular online method of collaborating on text, spreadsheet and presentation documents is found at http://docs.google.com. It does require a Google account, although it does not need to be a Gmail account. What makes this highly-useful service so great is that you can now upload up to 1 GB of non-Google documents as well, which can include practically anything on your computer. Once you create a document, you can then Share it with whomever you like, and allow (or not allow) them to edit it along with you.
35. Google Reader (RSS): It is not that difficult to understand RSS Feeds (Really Simple Syndication Feeds) once you realize that there is such a thing as an RSS Aggregator. Google Reader is one of the very best, and it is also free. When you see this RSS icon on a site, you can click on it to “subscribe” to the RSS feed. Then, you just need to login to your RSS Aggregator, of which Google Reader is one. Then, all of the “feeds” will be brought right into your Reader. You no longer need to go to the site to find the latest updates. All of your RSS feeds come in like clockwork to Google Reader daily, hourly, and up-to-the-minute.
36. Wikispaces.com: This is one of the best, and certainly the simplest Wiki creator for educators. It is simple for classrooms of kids to use, and it doesn’t take a lot of time to learn how to use. Just create an account at Wikispaces.com and you’re on your way.
37. Blogger.com: Google’s own blogging site is still the easiest and fastest way there is to create your own Blog. Once you become comfortable and more advanced, you can either pay $10 a year for your own Domain through Google, or you can move on to a more advanced blogging tool like WordPress.com, which has even more features and more power.
38. Fillanypdf.com: This site is a free PDF editor where you upload your PDF and then link to it so that other people can fill it out and sign it online. No software is required. Any PDF form can be used, even if it’s not “interactive,” so you can get started right away. You can even invite a group to fill out forms and track the results. It’s a valuable and time-saving resource for anyone who collects signatures or filled-out forms.
39. HowStuffWorks.com & eHow.com: You can learn a lot from both of these sites. They are informative reference sites that explain how to do a variety of things, as well as how the simplest or most complex things in life actually work. Check them both out and you will be amazed.
40. Soople.com: Search some of the very best Google search features can be found using this one site. It is a one-stop search for just about any Google search, from the Calculator to Movie Times and just about everything in between. Google’s Translation is included.