Monday, January 30, 2012

Tool Three - Dropbox it

Not dropkick it - dropBOX it.  While troubleshooting Tool 3 with a colleague, I thought of a tip I might share with you all.  It's the answer to "how the heck do I get BACK into Dropbox?  I click on the icon and I get those windows with the folders and nothing else!"  It was the same question I posed to my daughter when she MADE me get on the DropBox train last year.  Those of you that know my daughter know she's a force to be reckoned with so I hopped right on that train because she knows EVERYTHING.  I didn't tell her I got off at the next stop but that's another story....

Anyways, how do you get back to your DropBox dashboard?  Just RIGHT-click on the icon (not double click, but right-click) and then "launch the website" - and WHOOP, 'dere it is!  There's probably an easier way so if you know one - let me know and I'll post it here.

I'm back on the train, by the way.  I had forgotten how accommodating it is - and how much STUFF I could bring on board with, powerpoints, documents, just about everything.  And I can access my stuff from my phone, from my iPad, from my laptop, from my desktop...nice.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Google Docs in action!

Even with all of the printer broo-ha-ha in the Library, I have actually been able to see Google Docs in action!  Students are really making the effort to use Google Docs and here is a tip about printing that we've discovered along the way:

Always use the printer icon within Google Docs rather than going to the top menu and do the File-Print thing as we usually do.  If you do it the wrong way, all that prints is a header and the url on the bottom.  It's the same with pdf files, by the way.  I always tell kids to use any printer icon that is available in any database, program, website, document.  That they would put that icon there means that it's the best way to print the material.  It works like that in EBSCO, too.  Always look for the printer icon rather than using the File-Print option at the top of the page.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Finishing 11 Tools

That phrase will probably send most of you over the edge but there really are some of your colleagues that are finishing 11 Tools this week!  We all need to make sure we take the survey/test at the end of the 11th tool.  That process is what will generate your certificate so after you take the test, check at the bottom of the 11 Tools blog list and watch for your certificate - print it out for your files.  Keep it handy just in case Ed Tech comes back and says you didn't take the test.  See the method to my madness?  Your certificate is proof you finished the survey/test!  How would you have received the certificate otherwise???  BAM.  You have a paper trail.

AND WHEN YOU DO take the test....please do NOT stress over it.  Your score will not necessarily reflect your 11 Tool prowess.  I promise.  Seriously.  If you make below a 70, just let it go.  You will still receive credit and hopefully will have walked away with at least one tool to enhance the classroom experience for our students.

Tool Six idea

I wanted to share an application with you that I've just learned about.  I don't "tweet" (nor do I "moo", "woof" or "meow" but I digress) but if I did..I would want to be able to browse through my Twitter tweets feed by subject area (I'm doomed to think like a Librarian for the rest of my life)  How would I do that, you ask?  By using TweetDeck, a separate application.  It allows you to sort your Twitter feed into categories (I'm getting goose-bumps).  For instance, CoolCatTeacher tweets her patweetie off so it would make it easier for me to receive or view tweets with subjects that interest me rather than scanning through her daily deluge of tweets.  Who has time to read all of that?  Seriously?

Tool Four and Google Docs

Here is a tip I learned while trying to juggle several gmail accounts:  make sure you get in the habit of signing OUT of the different applications and accounts.  Case in point - this was why several of you were not able to create your blog the first go around - Blogger wanted to use your personal gmail/google accounts since you were still signed in on those accounts.  Just a royal pain in the you-know-what.  SO...sign-off or out every time you leave those applications.  This counts for your cell phones, too!

Also, in reference to Google Docs and security... please pay special attention to those "share" options.  Some of them will throw your document out on the web for the whole world (literally) to see.  And....that just might not be cool with you.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Required iPad tutorial dates coming up!

Please pick one of these dates to attend and register on PDLC - we're moving along quickly :)

2/15/12  iPad Tutorial PDLC#: 7565.18972               3:15 – 4:15pm in Library      attend one session on the 15th, 16th or 21st 

2/16/12  iPad Tutorial PDLC#: 7565.18973               3:15 – 4:15pm in Library      attend one session on the 15th, 16th or 21st  

2/21/12  iPad Tutorial PDLC#: 7565.18974               3:15 – 4:15pm in Library      attend one session on the 15th, 16th or 21st

Required iPad tutorial dates coming up!

Please pick one of these dates to attend and register on PDLC - we're moving along quickly :)

2/15/12  iPad Tutorial PDLC#: 7565.18972               3:15 – 4:15pm in Library      attend one session on the 15th, 16th or 21st 

2/16/12  iPad Tutorial PDLC#: 7565.18973               3:15 – 4:15pm in Library      attend one session on the 15th, 16th or 21st  

2/21/12  iPad Tutorial PDLC#: 7565.18974               3:15 – 4:15pm in Library      attend one session on the 15th, 16th or 21st

Help Sessions scheduled - two big dates coming up

1/30/12   11 Tools General Help 3:30  - 5:30pm  in Library   - attendance not required       troubleshooting or getting ahead                   

2/23/12     11 Tools General Help 3:30  - 5:30pm  in Library  - attendance not required      troubleshooting or getting ahead

Thursday, January 12, 2012


For those of you that are having problems with creating your blog because of unrecognized verification codes, error messages and other tools of Satan, TAKE HEART.  It’s not you, it’s the network.  Below is a message from Terri McLaughlin – the district helped identify the issue yesterday and at least we know we’re not doing something wrong.  My advice is to try it at home or walk to Starbuck’s with Terri (read below and you will understand the Starbuck’s thing…)

Here’s what I learned today from troubleshooting the Tuesday after school blog hiccups.  It is definitely some sort of network issue for some computers at MHS. It actually happened today in a class where students were setting up blogs! The district folks are trying to get to the bottom of this but in the meantime I have some band aid solutions to offer for those who still need to get a blog created. You can either try to set it up at home, (it will work because you are not on the MHS network) or see me on Friday.  I happen to know that we can get you set up in minutes by simply walking over to Starbucks and accessing their internet. I tested this today with two of our Tool Timers and had great success!  I’m off campus in meetings all day on Thursday but would be happy to conduct Starbucks field trips on Friday.

So, would someone pick up a skinny latte for me?  Thanks!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

11 Tool Posting Tip

One of our colleagues is posting her answers to the Tool questions and I thought I would share her method with you.  She’s copying the actual questions from the 11 Tools page and pasting them in her post about the tool and then answering them right there!  Brilliant idea!  Then you don’t have to go back and forth from the 11 Tools page to your blog.

Think you could use this idea – heck yeah!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Picasa and Tool Three

When you look at Tool Three, one of your options is to go to Picasa and search for photos.  The instructions to use Picasa (on the 11 Tools page) are not working for some of us.  This is what it says:

...login to your Picasa Web Album through Google Apps - don't download Picasa, just click on the Web Albums link. 

EXCEPT when you follow those instructions and go to Picasa in your Google Docs account there is no "Web Albums" link unless you actually download Picasa -  which they don't want you to do!  Here's a work-around I found so we can get on with the program.  I found a link to Picasa Web Albums that does not require you to download it.  In order for this link to work, you must be logged in to your Google Apps for Educators, in Google Chrome.  And then you can just click on it or paste it into a new tab.  And then follow the rest of the instructions:
Search for a few pictures. After searching, look at the filters on the left. Use the Creative Commons or remix filter to find images that you can reuse and remix. How could you use either one of these tools in your classroom?

Take that, Technology Gremlins!
First of all, thank you to the 56 of you that have sent me your blog name and blog URL. 

I wish to address the 90 of you that have not sent me your COMPLETE blog URL and your BLOG NAME.  You have the opportunity to get caught up Tuesday after school (see Terri McLaughlin's email – thank her profusely) and complete Tool One with your colleagues.  If you attend Terri’s session Tuesday, PLEASE make sure you bring your laptop and that you have downloaded GOOGLE CHROME like you were instructed to do on January 3. You should be entirely finished with Tool One by Thursday.

Look for a comment from me on your Tool One blog post by Thursday.

Stay calm and carry on :)

Sunday, January 8, 2012


Although I haven't starting officially commenting back to you on your blogs, it's been pointed out to me that some of you are not answering or addressing ALL of the questions for each tool on your blog posts.  That is what the moderators are going to be looking for.  So go back to the 11 Tools page and look at all of your tool posts and make sure you have answered all of the questions required to get credit for each tool.  You cal talk about other stuff, but you MUST answer the questions for each Tool.  You can edit posts - it's one of the tabs on your blog's post tabs.  I edit all of the time - sometimes I forget to spellcheck and I don't see the misspellings until after I've posted.  So EDIT any Tool One posts that you have left incomplete by Thursday, please.

Keeping it simple:  Read the tool.  Do the tool.  Talk about the tool by answering the questions in your post.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Central TIME

A few teachers have noticed that the time stamp on their blog posts is a couple of hours “off” the actual time they posted.  That’s because Blogger’s time stamp defaults to a different time zone than our Central time.  You want to post after 3:30pm or before 7:30am, remember?  Don’t despair!  It can be fixed.  Amy Lipp forwarded this set of instructions to her department and wanted to share them with you all as well:

To change the time zone on your blog:

1.      Go to your Blog main page.
2.    In the upper right hand corner, go to Design.  Then, next to the Design Tab you will see a Settings Tab.  Click that tab.
3.    Under the Settings Tab, the third tab is Formatting.  Go there.
4.    5 sections down you should see “Time Zone”.  Choose the Central Time Zone and then scroll to the bottom of the screen and “Save Settings”.

What if you already posted and you didn’t notice the time was off by two hours?  You could post an addendum to Tool One and explain how you didn’t notice the time was wrong but you’ve since  learned how to fix it and now it’s all good.  Rock on. 


you could delete the original post and re-post it after you fix the time in your settings.  Just make sure you fix the time NOW.

11 Tools

Hey Everyone – PLEASE read through all of the instructions on the 11 Tools Page and read through all of the instructions on each individual tool.  You are not finished with any tool until you complete all tasks and then POST about it on your blog and that post MUST address the QUESTIONS that are listed for each tool.  For instance, your tool one task list would look like this:

1.       Create blog account
2.       Send blog url and name to Renae (complete url! Starts with http and ends with
3.       Design your blog page
4.       Design and insert an avatar (Voki) on your blog page
5.       Answer these questions in the form of a post on your blog:  Write a brief post about your experience to date. Did you find the experience fairly easy? Did you face any challenges? These questions are on the Tool One instructions. 

You MUST complete the entire tool and then post about it (after 3:30pm to get non-contract hours.)  Don’t wait for someone to comment back to you to tell you if you’ve done it correctly, etc.  Don’t ignore the project if you don’t understand something.  Try it whole-heartedly, post that you really tried it and state what problems you had with it and that you will come back to it when you get help.  And still GO ON TO THE NEXT TOOL.  Don’t get bogged down on a tool.  

And please clearly label your posts with the tool numbers.   Make it easy – label your posts TOOL ONE, TOOL TWO, etc.