Using Google Chrome Extensions - Guest Blog Post

Guest Blog Post by Maria Burnham, Library Media Specialist

You might be asking yourself, "What is an extension?"

Answer: an extension is a handy-dandy little tool that hangs out on the top of your Chrome browser (to the right of the URL bar), ready and waiting to help you be more efficient in your life.  

To find/obtain Chrome extensions, there are two places to look: 

Educators Connect to Share Wisdom

We have almost concluded Connected Educator Month! Behind ISTE® this is one of my favorite events that the Ed Tech Community sponsors.  It’s at the perfect time of year…I’ve just about calmed down from the chaos of the back to school rush and I am ready to buckle down and start getting to the heart of moving education forward. 

As a classroom teacher, I always felt that October was the month when the real learning began.  Students have figured out how to manage the halls, adjust to the schedule, and where to sit, or not to sit depending on the distractions.  It’s that time when we have started the course and now the real learning has begun.  It’s during this time that I have determined what my students strengths and weaknesses are and I am ready to plunge into some new ideas and see where they take me and all those formative minds that I’m working with for the rest of the year. 

Using technology to connect with your peers is an exciting, yet also, overwhelming task! Do you feel like you couldn’t take it all in? I know the days passed quickly and I’m hoping to find some archived sessions at http://connectededucators.org. They also have a  starter kit, created by Powerful Learning Practice will at help you understand some common terms, and tips for things you can do each day to connect with educators just like you even after the Connected Educator month ends.

It’s never too late to become a Connected Educator and learn about ways to ‘connect’!

Images and attachments in GMail - Guest Blog Post

Guest Blog Post by Maria Burnham, Library Media Specialist

If you are sending a picture to someone via GMail, you have four options:

  1. Drag and drop the image file in to the text portion of the message.  This will embed the picture in to the e-mail message, allowing your recipient to view the image right in the email.  
     
  2. Click on the photo icon at the bottom of your message.  That is the "Insert Photo" option.  Selecting this will allowing you to select the photo file to embed in the text of the message from any pictures you've uploaded in Google (for your Profile pic, in Blogger, or from Google +).   Or you choose the "Upload" feature to select a file from your Hard Drive.  
     
  3. Drag and drop the image file over the bottom portion of the message where the "attachment paperclip" is on the message.  Your picture file will now upload as an other attachment would. (By the way, this feature works for ALL attachment files)
     
  4. Click on the paper clip for an attachment.  Selecting the paper clip will bring you to your computer's Hard Drive, allowing you to select the photo file to attach to the message.

Need more tips and tricks for GMail? Check out Atomic Learning's training here.


Maria Burnham is a passionate Library Media Specialist at one of our partner districts in Minnesota, Sauk Rapids-Rice. She shares her passion for technology in education with her peers in a weekly email highlighting tips and tricks to engage users in technology and Atomic Learning, which she cleverly named “Mondays with Maria.” That weekly email is where this guest blog post came from. We will continue to post Maria’s inspiration from time to time, feel free to share with others! You can follow her on twitter:

Navigating the "new" Google Drive - Guest Blog Post

Guest Blog Post by Maria Burnham, Library Media Specialist

At some point in the undetermined near future, your Google Drive will change from the original look to the "New Google Drive" if you have not already made the switch. Right now, Google is maintaining both "themes", but likely the "Classic" look will go away.  

Saving Battery Life in OS X Mavericks - Guest Blog Post

Guest Blog Post by Maria Burnham, Library Media Specialist

In Mac 10.9 (called Mavericks), one of the neat features is to now see which apps are using up the most battery.  

If you are like me and typically have multiple applications running at the same time, you might notice that your battery dies down faster.  To see which apps are taking up the most battery, click on the battery icon at the top of your screen.  You will see a message in grey that says "Collecting Power Usage Information."  

Do Teachers Need iPad Training?

A recent Edudemic article discusses whether teachers need iPad training and not only points out the obvious that students catch onto new technologies easier, but that teachers need to be trained BEFORE getting their devices.

Exporting Bookmarks - Guest Blog Post

Guest Blog Post by Maria Burnham, Library Media Specialist

Part of our "End of Year" instructions include exporting out your bookmarks if you are a Safari or Firefox user. However, one thing to consider is to start switching to Chrome for your browsing needs. The one biggest benefit? Your bookmarks stay with your Google Account.  So, as long as you are logged in to Google, your bookmarks will be with you, no matter from which device or computer you are working!  Sweet!  

To import and export your bookmarks, check out this tutorial.


Maria Burnham is a passionate Library Media Specialist at one of our partner districts in Minnesota, Sauk Rapids-Rice. She shares her passion for technology in education with her peers in a weekly email highlighting tips and tricks to engage users in technology and Atomic Learning, which she cleverly named “Mondays with Maria.” That weekly email is where this guest blog post came from. We will continue to post Maria’s inspiration from time to time, feel free to share with others! You can follow her on twitter:

Report Finds Mobile Learning Continues to Grow

According to The New Digital Playbook: Understanding the Spectrum of Students' Activities and Aspirations report by Project Tomorrow, the prevalence of mobile devices in schools is on the rise. In fact, one third of 3rd through 12th grade students have access to school provided devices.
 
Another indicator of the mobile revolution is the shift of tolerance for personal devices. The Speak Up 2010 National Research Project found that 52% of districts did not allow student owned devices, down to just 32% in 2013.

Google Account "Details" - Guest Blog Post

Guest Blog Post by Maria Burnham, Library Media Specialist

Today I'm going to give you a little tip on information regarding your Google Account.  

If you look at the very bottom left corner of the Inbox of your GMail, you should see an overall percentage of use--this is for your entire Google Account.  Please know to check this from time to time to see how your doing concerning your Google space. 

 
And, while you're hanging out at the bottom of your Inbox, click on the word "Details" that shows as a link on the bottom right hand side of your Inbox.  This link will bring up a window showing where you've accessed your Google Account.  You'll notice in my screenshot, it even shows when I've accessed mail from my mobile phone.  If you've logged in somewhere else and you'd like to log out of all other locations in one click, simply select the "Sign Out All Other Sessions" button toward the top of that screen.  You should now be logged out at all other stations!  Cool, right?

5 Teachers Using Twitter Chats in Their Classrooms Around the World - Guest Blog Post

Guest blog post by University of Southern California Rossier School of Education’s Stephanie Echeveste

Technology in the classroom is no longer a futuristic vision, but simply reality — from students using iPads to create artwork to teachers using Twitter as a means of communicating with their own classroom. Teachers who take the initiative to teach their students in a new, engaging way are using technology now more than ever.

Infographic: Tech Trends

This infographic provides a quick glimpse into how school administrators, teachers and staff are utilizing technology—with a significant emphasis on digital content and mobile devices. Check it out to see how you compare to your peers. Feeling left behind?

Survey Says: Technology Impacts Student Outcomes

These days, there seems to be no shortage of discussion around the impact of flipped learning, mobile devices, and numerous other tech initiatives. However, an important part of the conversation seems to be missing—professional development.
 
A recent survey of over 600 educators found that while over 90% believe that technology can positively impact student engagement, nearly half (46%) of the surveyed educators felt that they do not have access to the training needed to effectively utilize technology in the classroom.
 
These findings beg the question: Are you providing your teachers with the technology skills they need to be successful in the classroom?
 

Re-opening tabs and windows in your browser - Guest Blog Post

Guest Blog Post by Maria Burnham, Library Media Specialist

Today's tech tip is a neat little feature available to you in most of your Internet browsers.  If you're anything like me, once in awhile you accidentally close a window or a tab in your browser that you need about 20 seconds later.  Depending on the browser you're using, you can easily recover where you've been without re-typing in a web address.

Planning Ahead: Snow Days as Learning Days

This past winter, several states across the United States were forced to delay or cancel school during inclement weather. As the snow piled up, so did the school cancelations, and suddenly districts are struggling to make up missed days. Consequently, many district leaders are looking for alternatives to avoid repeating this problem next school year. And, while the staff here at Atomic Learning can't control the weather, we have some ideas to maximize your teachers' time.
 
Whether your teachers are homebound because of drifting snow or your district requires them to report even if school is closed, consider converting weather delays/cancelations to informal training days or an impromptu in-service.
 

On-Demand Professional Learning Improves Performance

Recent research has shown that schools who utilize on-demand professional learning show higher student scores than comparable local schools and districts. The study, as published in the International Journal of Evaluation and Research in Education (IJERE), states,
Taken as a whole, the findings from this research support the high-participation use of Internet-based, on-demand PD for improving teacher efficacy and improving student performance. Given the cost-effectiveness and efficiency of this PD delivery approach, such methods should be considered as credible strategies for addressing needs for continuously improved teacher efficacy and better student achievement.

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