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 wondered what those square code boxes are that people scan? Have you ever wanted to create one for a classroom activity? Have you ever worried about the way you use Google services and wondered if there is a way to control your Google account? Have you ever wanted to quickly edit writing tasks on your computer and send them to your students? Or have you looked for the same ‘editing’ features on your Mac? If yes, read on:
1. How to create QR codes:
For various reasons, QR codes are of everyone’s interest! There are a lot of platforms you can use to create these small mysterious boxes with links, texts, contacts, etc. and I have found the following two easy to work with:
- Note 1: Static QR codes are free but dynamic ones are usually not. I think static ones do what we need them to do, so make sure you tick the box for static ones on these websites.
- Note 2: If you don’t know what QR codes are, they are Quick Response Codes which are two-dimensional barcodes initially used in Japan but found everywhere now! They contain bits of data and you need to scan them with your smart phone to see what information they carry. They are usually used to direct you to websites or to help you save contact details quickly on your mobile device. You might need to install apps to scan these codes. If you need apps, these are my recommendations:
- Note 3: On some phones, you don’t even need an app! Just scan the code with your camera while connected to the internet and you phone does the rest of it!
- Note 4: You can also add a QR Code to your Chrome browser and generate codes with just a single click. Click here in your Chrome Browser to add it. You can add logos to your codes there as well.
- Note 5: If you want to know how to use these in the classroom, these are some interesting posts to read:
2. How to control Google services:
Google provides us with a lot of interesting services. If you are like me and sign up for all services that Google introduces and check how things work and might stop using them after a short while and forget all about them, then Google Dashboard is the right place for you to go to.
In Google Dashboard you can control all Google services and get to their setting pages quickly and manage how you use Google services. You can see the number of messages in your Gmail, conversations you have been a part of, services you have connected to each other, devices you have used to connect to Google, suspicious activities and a lot of more valuable things!
Just log in to your account, click on the services from the menu and be in control of your Google activities:
3. How to mark writing tasks easily on your computer:
I have already gone through giving feedback using different technologies in more detail here but to cover this very quickly, this is what you should do when your students send you their writing assignments:
On Windows devices:
- Open the document in Microsoft Office Word.
- Click on the ‘review’ tab in the top menu bar.
- Find ‘track changes’ in the ‘tracking’ section.
- (optional) Click on the drop-down menu next to ‘track changes’ and click on ‘track changes options’ to customise the colour coding and other settings and click ‘ok’.
- Click on ‘track changes’ to activate it. (You can also do this by Ctrl + Shift + E.)
- Now go through the document and edit it! Delete text, replace words just like you would do with any texts in Word and all changes will be colour coded and highlighted.
On Apple Macs:
- Open the document in Pages.
- Click on ‘Edit’ in the bar at the top of your screen where the Apple logo is (not the top of the page).
- Click on ‘Track Changes’.
- Edit your text and enjoy the same Microsoft Office Word features.
- Once done, click on ‘Edit’ again and click on ‘Turn Off Tracking’.
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 ideas.
Link to previous posts:
- IT & ICT Tips for an Easy Teaching Life (1)
- IT & ICT Tips for an Easy Teaching Life (2)
- IT & ICT Tips for an Easy Teaching Life (3)