Technology Tips and Tricks
Google Safe Search
When your students are using Google to search for images or information on the web, have them select the Safe Search feature' found on the Google search menu bar.
VIEW CLOSED WEBSITES
The Wayback Machine - You will need to know the URL of the closed website to use this free service.
When you first type in the URL, the archive will give you a list, by year, of specific dates that it archived the website. The archive goes back to 1996. To make a permanent copy (in case the archive closes down or deletes sites after too many years), I used CutePDF, a free download, to convert the web pages to PDFs and saved them on my computer.
Website print too small? Press the CTRL key at the same time you press the + key. Zoom out by pressing CTRL and - .
CREATING A DESKTOP LINK TO WEB PAGE
1. Go to the web page.
2. On the address bar, to the left of the URL, click on the little world symbol (Firefox) or ePage (Internet Explorer) and drag it to the desktop. You now have a quick link to that web page.
SAVING A WEB PAGE AS A PDF
Have you ever wanted to save a web page exactly as it appears on your computer screen? It’s a useful trick when you want to show students a web page and know the Internet might not be available. It’s also great when you want students to have access to information on a web page but don’t want them surfing other pages when they’re supposed to be reading the assigned page.
Save the web page as a PDF and you can print it, copy it onto other computers, email it, etc. It’ll look just like it does when you’re viewing it on the Internet.
1. Copy the URL (address) of the page you want to save/copy. (Highlight address, click Edit on Menu Bar and then Copy).
2. Go to http://pdfmyurl.com/
3. Paste the URL of your web page into the box and click the P on the right. Your web page is instantly converted to a PDF.
4. Save your PDF on your computer or pin (thumb) drive.
SAVING ON-LINE ARTICLES
Have you ever found a blog, or on-line article you wanted to read while surfing the web but just didn’t have the time right then?
Register for a free account at www.instapaper.com and get a new bookmark tool. Next time you find an article you want to read later, click the Read Later tool and the article is saved for you.
Your iPhone has a built in function that does the same thing.
YOUTUBE SAFETY IN THE CLASSROOM
There are a lot of good resources on YouTube. There are also a lot of concerns with using YouTube in the classroom.
One issue has been the presence of ads and other video links that might contain inappropriate content. There's an easy, safe way to use YouTube that eliminates all content other than the video you want to show.
Go to YouTube and copy the URL (web address) of the video. Easiest way is to highlight the address and press the CTRL and C keys simultaneously (Copy).
Go to the Safe Share site: http://www.safeshare.tv/
CHANGING ALL CAPS TO LOWERCASE
Ever typed without realizing your caps lock key was on and everything is in caps? (You do realize that’s the computer equivalent of shouting in someone’s ear?) Want to fix it quickly and easily?
1. Highlight the text you typed in all caps.
2. Press the Shift and F3 key together. Everything is now lowercase.
What, you wanted the first letter of each sentence capitalized? No problem, just press Shift and F3 again. Voila. Correct sentence case.
If you press the two keys again, you will return to all uppercase. This is nice if you have lowercase and actually wanted to make everything uppercase (titles, labels, etc.).
EASY TO UNDERSTAND MICROSOFT OFFICE HELP
Try this Intel Education site: http://www.intel.com/education/helpguide/app.htm?cultureID=en-us&officeID=2007&skillID=null
(This link is for Microsoft Office 2007, but other versions are available.)
On the left side menu click on the type of application you need help with, Word Processing, Graphics, Spreadsheet, etc, and then select the main area of interest. More detailed options will appear for you to choose.
How is this different from Microsoft Office's Help function? To start, the steps for each task are clearly explained without excess information and in language that non-technical people can easily follow. But the best feature is that step-by-step pictures showing you what your screen will look like and what you need to do are provided for each step!
CONVERT PDF FILES TO SOMETHING YOU CAN EDIT
Have you ever needed to edit a PDF file but didn’t have the pricey software (Adobe Creator, for example) it takes to do this? Why not just convert the PDF file to a Word document and make whatever changes you need. (Don’t forget to follow all copyright and privacy laws when doing this.)
1. Go to www.zamzar.com
2. Click Browse and find the file on your computer. Double-click it.
3. In the Step 2 box, select doc (the file extension for all Word documents).
4. In the Step 3 box, type in your email address.
5. Click Convert.
6. You will receive an email within minutes containing a link to your converted document. Use the link to find your converted document and download it to your computer. Now you can edit it however you need.
You can convert a PDF to almost any format using this free service.
CHANGE TEXT SIZE USING ONLY YOUR KEYBOARD
1. Highlight the text you want to re-size. Bonus tip: place your cursor at the beginning of the text, hold down the SHIFT key while pressing the right arrow key to select text.
2. Press Ctrl ] (that's the right bracket key and the Control key) to increase the selected text one point size. Press Ctrl [ (left bracket key and Control) to decrease it. Repeat until the text reaches the size you want.
iPad (and iPhone) Tips and Tricks
PUNCTUATION AND NUMBER SHORTCUTS
Instead of pressing and letting go of the ’123′ key then selecting the appropriate punctuation, simply tap and hold the ’123′ key, slide your finger to the desired punctuation or number, and lift your finger. The punctuation/number you want will be inserted and the keyboard will automatically go back to the “ABC” option on its own when you lift your finger and you can continue your typing.
SETTING UP AN iTUNES ACCOUNT WITHOUT A CREDIT CARD
To set up an iTunes account without a credit card, open iTunes. If it's not yet installed on the computer, the download is at:
9. Remember, you can authorize 5 computers per account to download
from the iTunes store.
10. Passwords must have at least one upper case letter, one lower case letter and one number. They must be at least 8 characters.
11. Click Continue.
12. On the payment page, after all the credit card options, the last option will now be ‘None.’ Select that option.
13. Fill in your address and select Continue. If you have a gift card, you can enter the information here, or you can enter it later by clicking Redeem under Quick Links on the right side of the iTunes Store main page
after you've signed in to your account.
14. Click Continue as needed to complete the process.
15. Make sure to read the email they send to your email address and follow the directions to authorize the account. You won't be able to sign in until you do.
FLASH ON AN iPAD or iPHONE
One of the problems most people encounter when using an iPad or iPhone to access the web is that Flash-based web content doesn't work. There are numerous apps which will allow you to access and view Flash-based videos and games. Some of the top picks include iSwifter Games Browser (free), iSwifter Browser ($7.99), Photon ($9.99), and Puffin Web Browser (free).