Technology has undoubtedly brought us a lot of interesting solutions to most of our teaching needs but at the same time, it has probably made it harder to be in control of what happens to and around us.
The main aim of these weekly posts is to give three quick tips -in no particular order- (in each post) to teachers to make their tech teaching lives a bit easier to manage. I choose the topics based on what my friends and colleagues ask me each week. You will find them practical especially if you have just decided to integrate technology into your teaching life and you find everything complicated and daunting!
Have you ever wanted to quickly add an image or a screenshot from an object on your desktop to a presentation or a Word document? Have you ever wanted to connect your Dropbox to your Google Drive, add your Instagram class photos to a Google Drive folder to share with colleagues and friends or save your favourite Tweets in an Evernote notebook ‘automatically’? Have you ever received two versions of the same document and didn’t know how to find the changes quickly? If yes, read on:
1. How to take screenshots:
For various reasons teachers might need to take screenshots of certain parts of their screen as this is usually the quickest way to copy something and add it to a presentation or a lesson plan. There are different ways to do so but the easiest are:
On a Windows system:
- In the ‘search’ menu of your version of Windows look for ‘Snipping Tool’.
- Once opened, click on ‘new’ and select the part of the screen you want a shot from by dragging your cursor around it to form a rectangular.
- Click on ‘save’ on the screenshot page and save it on your machine.
- Drag and drop it to your task bar to create a shortcut to access it if you use it a lot.
- Need to know more about ‘Snipping Tool’ on Windows? Click here.
On a Mac
- If you need a shot from the whole page (your entire screen): Command+Shift+3
- If you need a shot from a certain part of the screen: Command+Shift+4 and move the cursor round the object on the screen. You can do this by moving three fingers on the track pad and lifting your fingers all together for the screenshot to be taken. (You need to have activated your trackpad features for this.)
- The screenshots will appear on your desktop.
2. How to connect different services and apps to Google Drive:
This, in fact, is not just about connecting services to Google Drive but is about connecting all services to each other. If you want to add your Dropbox files to your Google Drive automatically or add the names of the new students to a Google Sheet automatically, or save your favourite Tweets on Twitter to an Evernote notebook or a Google Sheet or even save your Instagram photos to a Google Drive folder without even having to worry about anything, then IFTTT is the right tool for you!
- Go to https://ifttt.com
- There are 231 (as of today) already thought about routes betweens apps and services and most of them are useful for teachers. Just click on the app you want to connect your other apps to and ‘connect’ to the channel. I’d rather not explain the details here because you just need to follow the on-screen steps to get things done and they are easy to follow!
- Note: The IF THIS THEN THAT website is an online productivity tool which helps you design your own online commands so that certain online tasks between your favourite apps and services will be done without you wasting any extra minutes switching between your apps and devices. If the route you want is not among the 231 items already there, you can create your own route and share it with everyone using IFTTT.
3. How to compare two versions of a document in Microsoft Word
If you have two versions of a document or if you have sent a document to a colleague and they have made changes to it and have sent it back to you and now it’s hard to see which parts of the document they have changed, then Microsoft Word gives you an option to easily and quickly find those differences between your version and that of your colleague’s.
- Open one of the files (any versions of Microsoft Word).
- Click on ‘review’ in the ribbon on the top.
- Click on ‘compare’.
- Choose the two documents you want word to compare as the ‘original document’ and the ‘revised document’.
- Click ‘OK’.
- You can also click on ‘more’ and decide which particular items you want Word to compare in the two files and then click ‘OK’.
- Done! Enjoy the comparison!
Watch this space for the next posts if you found this one useful and comment on this post if you have any particular issues with this week’s post.
Link to previous posts: