Monday, November 3, 2014

Newsletter November 3, 2014

Happy November!

I haven't had a chance to do a newsletter in awhile and want to get this back on a monthly schedule. I found some great web sites that might help you with your instructional goals. I also found some tips

Exit Ticket

Exit Ticket is a free response system for creating student assessments. It's made to deliver preassessments, and exit tickets to give you feedback on student progress. You can make your own assessments or choose from those shared by other teachers.

Open Ed

Open Ed is a Common Core resource library. There are many shared, free lessons plans, videos, games and assessments. It is searchable by standard and grade level. You can also create a class to share content with your students.


EduCanon is an interesting educational site. It allows you to take video content, such as YouTube videos, and embed questions that go along with the content. You can assign this to the students and get a question by question breakdown of student performance. It's pretty cool.

Tips for managing a 1:1 Classroom

These were some interesting ideas that I found in an article and wanted to share.

In a 1:1 setting where every student has a device, you’ll need to provide your students with a list of procedures for using it in class. Items to consider include:

  • Care and appropriate handling of the device (hug it like you love it)
  • Appropriate use of web resources
  • Expectations for bringing or keeping a device charged
  • Directions for accessing class content on a class website or LMS (Such as Google Classroom)
  • Procedures for online testing
  • Procedures and file naming conventions for sharing files with the teacher and others
  • Red light/green light signals to alert students when they should not be using the device or to let them know when device usage is appropriate
  • Consequences for being off task
  • Basic troubleshooting guidelines (Ex: rebooting the device first)

Google Tips

With time demands, I thought it might be helpful to have access to these Google "cheat sheets". The first few are for Google Apps and the rest relate to Chromebooks. I thought they might be helpful. If any might benefit your students, copy and paste them to your own document.

Types of files Google Apps Converts

Import/export options
Google Docs allows you to easily import and store any file format. In addition, with many of the file formats you have the option to convert the file into a Google Doc for editing and collaboration. After you're done collaborating and have a finished product, you can even export the documents out to be used with other word processing, spreadsheet or presentation programs.

Import & Convert
Microsoft Word (.doc, .docx)
OpenDocument text (.odt)
StarOffice text (.sxw)
Rich text (.rtf)
Plain text (.txt)
HTML (.htm, .html)
Microsoft Excel (.xls, .xlsx)
OpenDocument spreadsheet (.ods)
Comma-separated values (.csv, .txt)
Microsoft Powerpoint (.ppt, .pptx, .pps)
Windows Metafile (.wmf)
Microsoft Word(.doc)
OpenDocument text (.odt)
Rich text (.rtf)
Plain text (.txt)
HTML (.htm, .html)
Microsoft Excel (.xls)
OpenDocument spreadsheet (.ods)
Comma-separated values (.csv, .txt)
Microsoft PowerPoint (.ppt)
PDF (.pdf)
Text (.txt)

Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts: Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V For most copying and pasting, you can use the familiar keyboard shortcuts, Ctrl-C (Copy) and Ctrl-V (Paste). This even works when going from one doc type to another. But there are a couple of exceptions in which keyboard shortcuts don't work as well (yet). In these cases, you should use the server clipboard menu:

  • If you're copying between presentations and another document type
  • If you want to copy on one computer and paste on another
  • If you want to copy something you aren't going to paste right away

"Save As" formats in Google Apps

When viewing a Google Drive Doc, Sheet, Slide or Drawing, click Download as from the File menu, and select a format.

The available formats are:
  • For Docs: HTML, RTF, Word, Open Office, PDF, Text file.
  • For Sheets: CSV, HTML, ODS, PDF, XLSX, TXT (only for a single sheet)
  • For presentations: PDF, PPTX, TXT (or individual slide image exports)
  • For drawings: PNG, JPEG, SVG, PDF

File types that can convert to various Google Docs

Compatible file types

These are the file types that can be converted to a Google document, spreadsheet, or presentation:

  • For documents: .doc, .docx, .html, plain text (.txt), .rtf
  • For spreadsheets: .xls, .xlsx, .ods, .csv, .tsv, .txt, .tab
  • For presentations: .ppt, .pps, .pptx
  • For drawings: .wmf
  • For OCR: .jpg, .gif, .png, .pdf (This is where you can convert pictures/images with text into text in some cases.)

Chromebooks Tips

At some of the recent PD sessions, questions were asked about completing certain laptop type tasks on a Chromebook. I thought these would be helpful.

Keyboard features

Shortcut keys

The Chromebook keyboard contains a new row of shortcut keys at the top and a Search key. These keys make it easy for you and your students to navigate between pages and windows and easily control settings like volume and screen brightness. The Search key launches a new Search and makes it easy to find information fast. Depending on your device model, some keys may differ or not be available.

A typical Chromebook keyboard does not have a Caps Lock key or a Delete key.

Chromebook keyboard features
Go to the previous page in your browsing history
Go to the next page in your browsing history
Reload/Refresh your current page
Open your page in full-screen (immersive) mode. In immersive mode you will still be able to access the omnibar and tabs when you move your pointer to the top of the screen.
Switch to your next window with the Window key
Decrease screen brightness
Increase screen brightness
Decrease the volume
Increase the volume
Search the web from the address bar. Note: This key is located on the side, where you'd normally find the Caps Lock key.


Use the touchpad to move the pointer and select items on the screen. Tap-to-click is enabled by default on your Chromebook and allows you to tap instead of clicking down on the touchpad. You can adjust how your touchpad works by going to Settings from the Chrome menu or Status area.

  1. To move the pointer, move your finger across the touchpad.
  2. To click, press down on the lower half of the touchpad.
  3. To right click, click the touchpad with two fingers.
  4. To scroll, place two fingers on the touchpad and move them up and down to scroll vertically, left and right to scroll horizontally.
  5. To swipe, quickly move two fingers left or right to go backward or forward on web pages or while using apps.
  6. To drag and drop, click the item you want to move with one finger. With a second finger, move the item. Release both fingers to drop the item at its new location.

If you or your students have difficulty using a touchpad, a wired or wireless mouse can be attached to your Chromebook.

Keyboard shortcuts

Many keyboard shortcuts are available to quickly accomplish tasks on a Chromebook.

Keyboard overlay

Use <ctrl> + <alt> + ? to see an onscreen keyboard overlay of all available keyboard shortcuts. Some of the most helpful shortcuts include:
  1. Caps lock - Alt + Search key
  2. Deleting text - Use the backspace key or Ctrl + x
  3. Screenshot of the entire screen - Ctrl + Next Window key
  4. Screenshot of a part of the screen - Ctrl + Shift + Next Window key
  5. Task manager - Shift + Esc
  6. Open file manager - Alt + Shift + m
  7. Launch apps on the shelf - Alt + 1 (to launch the first app on the shelf), Alt + 2 (to launch the second app), etc.
  8. Rotate screen - Ctrl + Shift + Refresh key
  9. Lock screen - Ctrl + Shift + L
  10. Open Chrome menu - Alt + e
Logout - Ctrl + Shift + q

How to schedule a time to meet?

The easiest way to contact me is through email at Please let me know what you'd like to meet about, your room number, free periods, and any other info that might be helpful to me in order to prepare for our meeting. I'd love to meet with you to see if I can help facilitate any issue you might be having.