Posted by Jeff Peterson at 3/13/2012
I am making an honest attempt to be a better twitterer (is that even a word?)! But what does that mean? Twitter is a micro-blogging web page where users (twitterers) post a public message of 140 characters and can connect to other tweeters. The shortness of the posts are both a benefit and curse as there is language to twitter that takes some learning…
· Tweet: 140 character (maximum) message that is public to other users on Twitter
· RT (Retweet): A retweet (often abbreviated as RT on Twitter) is similar to forwarding an email. One can literally take a tweet from someone else and post it on their own timeline (Twitter feed) with a link back to the person who originally posted the tweet using the RT button. It's a quick and easy way to share the good thoughts and ideas of others with your own PLN.
· @username: When you mention someone on Twitter, you place the @ before their username. Similar to tagging people on Facebook, this @ sign creates a link to that user's profile. If I were to share my Twitter username with someone, I would tell them it is @lyonmi.
· Reply: When you press the reply button, you send a public response back to the user who posted the tweet. This also must be within the 140 character limit.
· Direct Message: A direct message is just like a reply except it is a private message.
· #hashtag: Hashtags are ways to label a tweet. Placing the # before the label or identifier creates a link to a search of that hashtag. Users can search common hashtags to find tweets that have been intentionally and specifically labeled as concerning a particular topic. This will be covered in more depth later on.Chrissy Harmon recommends the following hastags :
Here is a link to a post by @edudemic on some of the more popular education hashtags: 20 Twitter Hashtags Every Teacher Should Know About.
File S&M (submission and management you sickos!)Posted by Jeff Peterson at 3/2/2012
I have been thinking about a great deal about file management lately. Our students are working more and more on computers and tablets yet we often have them “print” something when we “collect” them. There are many reasons for this but I also want to move away from a paper solution and consider electronic submission. There are really two parts to this, the file part and the feedback part. The file part is how to accept and manage the files themselves. The feedback part is how do I provide feedback to students so they can see ways to improve.
Today, I am limiting myself to just the file aspect of this issue. Right now, I have a few options. A dropbox in Epsilen, MyBigCampus (see Jenna’s email from earlier in the week) or another content management system is an option. These take time to train the user (your students) and that is not always possible. Students can email you the file. Again, many students will need to be taught how to do this and getting 162 emails from kids can be trouble managing each class period. I have tried the “file request” option in Dyknow but this also has some problems as it is synchronous and kids have to be logged into a laptop with Dyknow installed. I can use web pages like Sendtodropbox.com (email to dropbox account - asynchronous) or www.DropItTo.Me (attach file to dropbox account - asynchronous). I love dropbox and have written several “tech tips” about how you should use it but these solutions have the same problem of all the files are put into the same file directory so I would need to sort each class which is a problem.
About now you are saying, get to the point so here it is… none of these work in a vacuum. Just like your classroom, we need to begin to think of electronic procedures in terms of best practice. We need to consider investing time in training our students to use these tools just as we teach them how to sign a hall pass or how to pass in real papers. It does not happen by itself. Which of these current solutions is best for you?? I am not even sure which is best for me…LOL I see there being a huge boom in development of these type of tools in the near future so hope things clear up soon, clear as mud…
Search the Internet from the Start MenuPosted by Jeff Peterson at 2/23/2012
The Start Menu's search box is a convenient way to search through your PC -- but you can also have it do double-duty and perform Internet searches as well. To enable this feature:
1. In the Start Menu search box, type
GPEDIT.MSCand press Enter to run the Group Policy Editor.
2. Go to User Configuration --> Administrative Templates --> Start Menu and Taskbar.
3. Double-click "Add Search Internet link to Start Menu," and from the screen that appears, select Enabled. Then click OK and close the Group Policy Editor.
4. From now on, when you type a search term in the Search box on the Start Menu, a "Search the Internet" link will appear. Click the link to launch the search in your default browser with your default search engine.
Shake Your Desktop Free of ClutterPosted by Jeff Peterson at 2/17/2012
Shake Your Desktop Free of Clutter
If you frequently run multiple programs simultaneously, your desktop can get extremely cluttered. This can get annoying if you're working on one program and want to minimize all the other windows -- in previous versions of Windows you had to minimize them individually.
With Windows 7's "shake" feature, though, you can minimize every window except the one in which you're currently working -- in a single step. Click and hold the title bar of the window you want to keep on the desktop; while still holding the title bar, shake it quickly back and forth until all of the other windows minimize to the taskbar. Then let go. To make them return, shake the title bar again.
You can accomplish the same thing by pressing the Window key-Home key combination -- although doing that is not nearly as much fun.
Podcast, DVR for your earsPosted by Jeff Peterson at 2/8/2012
I am amazed at how many people use a DVR to watch TV and then know nothing about podcasts. Podcasts are basically a DVR for audio content (and more and more video content these days). The iTunes store offers the best collection of podcasts and most are free. Many focus on topics from traditional topics like news, politics, and sports to obscure things like how to plan for the zombie apocalypse, aliens, and people who like Justin Bieber. Check out a few and enjoy!!
Here are a few of my favorites:
This American Life - great show on Life in Middle School! MUST LISTEN TO THIS!
Launch on StartPosted by Jeff Peterson at 1/25/2012
Every second counts and if there is a way to save a few seconds every day, those seconds quickly add up to a minute, that can add up to hours... You can save a little time each day by configuring your computer to automatically open a specific application (like Microsoft Outlook) whenever Microsoft Windows starts. The process is a little confusing but as all teachers love to say, just following the directions and you will do fine…
Click the Start button , click All Programs, and then click Microsoft Office.
In the list of available Office programs, right-click the icon of the program or programs you want to start automatically (like Outlook), and then click Copy on the shortcut menu.
In the All Programs list, right-click the Startup folder, and then click Explore on the shortcut menu.
In the window that opens, click Organize, and then click Paste.
To paste your selection into the Startup folder more quickly, press CTRL+V.
The next time you start your computer, Windows automatically runs the program or programs that you have copied to the Startup folder. If you find an easier way, chime in and share!
The "other" clickPosted by Jeff Peterson at 1/20/2012
Often users miss the power right at their fingertips. The standard mouse typically has three buttons and a wheel. The right, left and center button (center button is when you click the wheel). Often these buttons will have actions linked to them within applications like Word or Windows 7. Give those “other” buttons a try sometime and you might be surprised at how they can streamline your workflow.
Here is one example, in Windows 7, you can right click on application you have pinned to the taskbar and you will see files you have recently opened in that application. The example below is from Word but the same happens for any application that has been pinned. This is a great way to get to the files and applications you use often...
Outlook mail notificationPosted by Jeff Peterson at 1/4/2012
I would like to renew my commitment to the “Weekly Tech Tip.” I am still working with Best Buy to get rewards for those who submit ideas or questions but if you have ideas shoot them to me. I have several Cadbury “silk” chocolate bars from the duty free in Delhi I can use until I get something from Best Buy.
This week’s tip is about email outlook mail notification. Windows 7 introduced a new Toolbar in Windows which also hides additional icons quicker than in Windows XP and Windows Vista. Just as you could customize your notifications there, you can also do this in Windows 7.
To do so, click on the expand arrow of the Notification Area and then click Customize… You’ll now get a dialog box with all your previous notification icons. Scroll until you’ve found the Outlook envelope icon. Set its behavior from “Only show notifications” to “Show icon and notifications”. Click OK to close the open dialog. You can change this setting even when you do not currently have a new message waiting.
WELCOME BACK Getting around the Win7 desktop.Posted by Jeff Peterson at 7/21/2011WELCOME BACK!
I hope everyone had a great summer. Many have asked if I plan to continue with my weekly tech tips while I am in India. YES!! I will be unable to provide $5 Best Buy cards to those who give me questions or suggestions but I will keep spamming your email once a week with a tech tip that I hope you find helpful. I hope to start up the Best Buy card incentive program when I return in Dec. Now on to this weeks tip.
As you know, your teacher workstation computer was upgraded to Windows 7 and your desktop now looks very different. Getting around the new desktop will be the first challenge you have and here is a great 6 min video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-53zmi6tVbI) that will explain the main benefits. You will notice many things have changed/improved. For example, at a recent science meeting, Andy Neutzel mentioned he missed the "recent document" section. This video will explain how that option is now changed and how to access past files to improve your workflow. The video is only 6 mins long and will save you frustration later on as you learn the new system. If you are more the reading type, I will also attach a copy of a 5 page quick reference sheet that you might find helpful as you move around the new desktop .
As always, please send me "tech tip" ideas or questions!!
DVD to iPodPosted by Jeff Peterson at 5/4/2011 6:00:00 AM
Trying something different for this tech tip… a video tech tip… I am still learning how to effectively produce video content so please forgive any errors. I did very little post production due to time but hope to do more of this in the future. Please let me know what you think! Thumbs up, thumbs down? ALL GOOD!!
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