Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Taking Screen Shots

Have you ever needed to take a picture of your computer screen?  
  • To get help with a tech problem you are having.   
  • To make a how to page for your students. 
  • Or to copy something to put on a presentation?  
Below are some easy ways (on PCs, Macs and Chromebooks) to take screenshots of your computer screen.  

Screenshots on a PC
Entire Screen - copies image to your clipboard:  
Print Screen

Single Window - copies image to your clipboard:
Alt-Print Screen

Partial Screen: Use the Snipping Tool program built into Windows
  1. click on the Windows icon on the bottom left of your computer screen.
  2. Start typing in Snipping Tool.
  3. Click on the program to open/use it.

Screenshots on a Mac
Entire Screen - saves an image onto your desktop:

Partial Screen - saves an image onto your desktop:  

*If you press Control at the same time as either of the options above, it won't save the picture to your desktop.  Instead, it will copy it to your clipboard, and then you can paste it into an email or document.

Screenshots on a Chromebook
Entire screen - saves an image in your downloads folder:

Control-Windows Switcher

Partial Screen - saves an image in your downloads folder:
Control-Shift-Windows Switcher

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Translate your Gmail (and Loop Mail)

Now that we are using School Loop, more lines of communication have opened up between parents and teachers.  Parents can even use School Loop in Spanish and Chinese.  

That means that some parents are now communicating and sending emails in their native language to teachers, but many times a teacher does not speak or read this language.

Gmail actually has Google translate built into Gmail, which can easily translate messages in other languages into English.  So if you have your Loop Mail being forwarded to your Gmail, you can instantly translate it into English.  

Forward LoopMail to your Gmail
The first step is to make sure you are autoforwarding your Loop Mail from School Loop to your Gmail account.  Here's how to do that:

Translate Mail into English
Next, you can translate the email into English.

Google Translate isn't a Perfect Solution
Google Translate is not perfect, so you must be aware that the wording may be off.  Here's a fun example of how "not perfect" Google Translate is.  

If you are not a fan of the Fresh Prince, and are looking for a more recent song, check out this Frozen Google Translate video.

Check with your School for Procedures and Translation Services
Also, while you can translate this email into English, you can't translate your response in Gmail.  Many schools in our districts have a translator who will translate responses or contact parents for you.  While translating the emails in Gmail is helpful and you get an idea of what the parent is saying, I would not recommend using Google Translate as your communication method.  Please speak with your department chair or IVP to find out your school's procedures for translation services.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Save Time - Use Your Omnibox

The Omnibox is the search bar at the top of your Chrome Browser.  It does a lot more than just search for information or take you to your web site URL.

The Omnibox can be used as a timer, a calculator, search your google drive, and can even add events to your calendar.  

If you need a quick timer for a class activity, type timer and the amount of time into the Omnibox.  
It will start counting down.  You can even make the timer full screen by clicking on the blue image of "four corners" on the bottom right.

Type in a problem to see it solved on a calculator.

Or just type in calculator.

You can even make line graphs....
and moving 3D graphs!

Search your Google Drive (or YouTube, other websites, etc.)
To be able to use the omnibox to search your Drive, you have to set it up in the Chrome settings.

1.  Go to settings.
2.  In the "Search" section, click on "Manage Search Engines".
3.  Scroll to the bottom to add your custom search engines.  
4.  In the first box, enter your new search name.  (Drive, etc.)
5.  Then in the keyword box, enter in the letter or shortcut you want to use.  (dr for Drive, yt for You Tube, etc.)  You can choose anything you want it to be.
6.  In the last box, enter in the web URL from below.
Keyword: dr
Keyword: yt
URL: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=%s&page={startPage?}&utm_source=opensearch
         Keyword:  gm
         URL:  https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#search/%s

7.  Now, when you want to search your Drive, Youtube, type in a dr or yt into your Omnibox, followed by tab.  You will see this:
8.  All you have to do now, it type in what you want to search your Drive or Youtube for.

9.  If a webpage has a search bar (ex. Amazon), right click on that search bar, then choose "Add As Search Engine" to add that search to your Omnibox too.

Add Google Calendar Events from Your Ominbox
To add a calendar event directly from your omnibox, you will do the same thing as above.  Go to settings, manage search engines, other search engines, and then add in the following:
Add Calendar Event
Keyword:  cal
URL:  http://www.google.com/calendar/event?ctext=+%s+&action=TEMPLATE&pprop=HowCreated%3AQUICKADD

Now, to use it, type "cal" into the Omnibox and press tab.   
Then, type in the name of the event, the date, and time.  It will bring you to the calendar event add page.  And then you can choose your calendar, edit the event, and then save the event!

One Last Tip
Have you ever had too many tabs open, and want to easily and quickly switch back and forth between tabs?  Press "Control" and the Number "3" (If I want to open the third tab).  On a mac, press "Command" instead of "Control".

Maybe Just One More....
To open a tab that you accidentally closed, type "Control", "Shift", and "T".  (On a Mac:  "Command", "Shift", and "T")