Colette Cassinelli's visionary use of information literacy and educational technology

Tag: Tech Tip Tuesday

Tech Tip Tuesday – RSS and Google Reader

Tech Tip Tuesday – RSS and Google Reader

Stop spending hours looking for information online – have the information come to you. How can make this happen?   By using Google Reader and RSS What is RSS?  RSS (real simple syndication) is the ability to “subscribe” to changes made on a website or blog. (Click here to […]

Reflecting back .. looking forward

Reflecting back .. looking forward

The beginning of a new year is always a great time to reflect on growth and accomplishments of the past year. For me professionally, 2008 brought about the greatest change.  Having the opportunity to present concurrent sessions at ITSC, NCCE and ILC 2008 gave me […]

Tech Tip Tuesday – iGoogle Gadgets

Tech Tip Tuesday – iGoogle Gadgets

Following Google’s philosophy of making the information you want readily available to you, iGoogle offers many different gadgets and themes to customize your iGoogle home page. Here’s a look at what we’ve done with ours.

From Mary Fran:

I really like a quick snapshot of the time and weather. That’s why Date & Time and Weather are at the top of my page.

To keep organized I now have my Google calendar on my iGoogle page. My husband and I share calendars, so if he forgets to tell me about a meeting he has at night, I find out about it by checking the calendar. I also miss fewer birthdays and the ToDo list that is easier for me to keep track of now that it isn’t on a piece of paper that’s easy to lose.

Cooking is one of my favorite pastimes, but I rarely sit down and look at the magazines I get in the mail. To keep meals interesting at home, I have the Epicurious.com and 100 Cookbooks gadgets. There are often fast, easy, and yummy recipes to try. And if the recipes are really good, I just copy them to a folder to keep track of them.

I like knowing what’s going on in the world, and I like to get the news from different perspectives. That’s why I have the CNN, BBC, and NYTimes news gadgets on my iGoogle page. After reading the news, Inspirational Quotes and Pictures often gives me a quick pick-me-up, as does the Places to See gadget. They take me away from it all for a second. And, if I want to find out more about the place, there is a Google Search box on the Places to See gadget so I can find out more about the place and broaden my horizons.

On my class iGoogle page, I keep Phases of the Moon, the World Daylight Map, a timer, and a Dictionary Gadget. It makes it easy for me to pull them up in a second should the opportunity to use them arise.

From Colette:

On my main iGoogle page, I keep my critical Google gadgets:  Gmail, Docs, Calendar and Reader. This allows me to quickly scan which items need my attention, unread messages, and appointments.  Because I see my iGoogle page every time I open my browser, I can easily keep on track of all that’s going on in my life.

Like MaryFran, I also have several news feeds on my page plus the 4-day weather forecast.  I also like to occasionally try out new gadgets on my homepage.  If after a few weeks I find that I don’t use it – I switch it out for another.  Currently I am checking out:  How to of the Day, MyRecipes:  Dinner Tonight, and Free Coupons Finder 2.1.

Don’t want to spend a lot of time searching through all the gadgets?  You can add thematic tabs that are already populated with gadgets.  For example, if you add a new tab and name it “Just for Fun“, the following gadgets will appear on that tab for you (keep “I’m feeling lucky” checked):  Joke of the Day, Sudoku, Hangman, Quote of the Day and Horoscope.  Consider adding tabs named Finance, News or Sports and see which gadgets show up.

Another tip: Did you know you can share iGoogle tabs you create with your friends?  Click on the down arrow on the tab name and choose “share”.  You can also edit your tabs or restore your iGoogle page to a preview version.

Have fun with your customizing your iGoogle page and don’t forget to check out the Artistic themes and customizable themes for your iGoogle page.  The themes color your iGoogle page with holiday images, artwork and color schemes. Some even change throughout the day, depending on the time.

Tech Tip Tuesday is written and published weekly by MaryFran Lynch and Colette Cassinelli.  The archive of all tips are located at:  http://sites.google.com/site/techtipstuesday/

Tech Tip Tuesday – Google Presentations

Tech Tip Tuesday – Google Presentations

Google Presentation is not quite robust a presentation program as PowerPoint or Keynote but students can create their entire presentation online and work on it with group members or access it from home/school.  But I have found the REAL POWER of Google Presentations is when […]

Tech Tip Tuesday – Google Forms and Spreadsheets

Tech Tip Tuesday – Google Forms and Spreadsheets

Collecting data from multiples users has always been quite the challenge.  But now thanks to Google shared spreadsheets and forms – it’s a snap! Just like Google Docs, spreadsheets can be shared with anyone.  This makes collecting information easier than ever.  Here are some examples […]

Tech Tip Tuesday – Teaching Revision & Google Templates

Tech Tip Tuesday – Teaching Revision & Google Templates

By MaryFran Lynch

Revision

Last week we introduced you to Google Docs and gave you some ideas of times you might want to use the text feature to collaborate with your colleagues and times you might like to have your students use it. This week, we’d like to introduce you to one of the great features of Google Docs, Revision. The Revision feature keeps track of changes, when they were made, and, if the document has been shared with collaborators, who made them. It also gives you the opportunity to compare two versions of the document, and to revert to any of the previous versions. Whether you’re working on your own, or working with others, having a history of the different versions can be really helpful.

As a collaborator revises, their changes and comments can be made in different text colors. As a teacher, this gives you a great record of who has done the work, and when it was entered. You’ll need to be sure your students invite you to the Document as a collaborator so you have access to it and can revise it or leave comments on the document. And the great thing about leaving comments is that when you are ready to print, and click the Print link, none of the comments will show.

You’ll find this feature under File > Revision History
Teaching students how to revise is an important skill, especially when they are working collaboratively. Recognizing the need to teach that skill, Google teamed with Weekly Reader to help you teach revision skills in your classroom. Here you’ll find downloadable PDF files you can use with your students to help them learn collaborative revision skills.
Screen shot of Google Templates for Teachers and Students

Templates

Google has made it so easy to use Google Docs! They’ve even thought of a number of times you might like to use Google Docs and have made a Template Gallery with over 300 templates that are ready for you to use! You’ll find Templates under New > From template…

There you can perform a search for the kind of template your might like. There’s even a section devoted to Students and Teachers. You can find templates for your students to write a paper or for you to write a lesson plan. There are templates to help you make an online math quiz or templates to record grades.

But it doesn’t stop there. You’ll find templates for all kinds of things! Here are just a few examples of the kinds of templates Google is there to help you with:  calendars, invitations, gas mileage calculator. Take a look, more are becoming available all the time.

Just as with any Google Doc, you can share your template with others to collaborate or view, using the steps outlined last week.

Tech Tip Tuesday is written and published weekly by MaryFran Lynch and Colette Cassinelli.  The archive of all tips are located at:  http://sites.google.com/site/techtipstuesday/.

Tech Tip Tuesday – Intro to Google Docs

Tech Tip Tuesday – Intro to Google Docs

Google’s focus will always be providing high quality search results but many of their other products have revolutionized how individuals share information and collaborate on documents. This week’s tip is to introduce you to Google Docs & Spreadsheets.  Google Docs makes creating, editing and sharing […]