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Tuesday Tech Tip: Web Albums Revisited

It’s getting close to June, and the time to start packing up classrooms is near.  As you’re thinking about what to do with those paper files, you can also think about what to do with those big digital files.   Why not take them with you wherever you go?

Why online photo storage makes sense:

  • Your photos are safe.
  • Your photos are accessible from anywhere you have an internet connection.
  • You can decide how to share your photos and entire albums.
  • Your files aren’t taking up space on your hard drive.

Sounds like GoogleDocs, right?

Here’s a quick video about online photo sharing.  And here is a slightly updated version of how to use Picasa 3 to organize photos and upload them to Picasa Web Albums.


Tuesday Tech Tip: Search Tools

While “Google” is now a noun and a verb, most people don’t regularly use Google Search to its fullest potential.   Here are a few tips on how to use Advanced Search to sort your results by reading level and by copyright license.

Here’s a quick video overview of Google Search

A Google A Day:  It’s a daily search task to sharpen skills… give it a try!

A well-recommended kid-friendly search engine: Duck Duck Go

WolframAlpha is also an excellent reference and computational search engine.  Here’s a few ideas for using it.

One more… If you’re a fan of Calvin and Hobbes, you’ve got to try this.


You may have noticed the recent return of an old friend from the beginning of the school year–Chrome!  It fast became the preferred browser for lots of good reasons, especially because it makes GoogleApps function to it’s fullest.

Here are a few tips to get you started.  Set Chrome as your default browser, import your bookmarks from IE or Firefox, dress it up with themes, and more!  Like with Gmail, you can customize Chrome.   And no matter where you go, your Chrome preferences and settings will follow you.

Here’s something other browsers can’t offer… Apps!  Here’s how it works:

Look for more tips and tricks for Chrome in the coming weeks.

Connecting to Wireless

We’ve been getting plenty of questions about connecting to wireless. Here are a couple of handouts and tips for making it easier to connect:

Connecting to DeForest-Guest: This network is for student devices and devices used by students. Find the DeForest-Guest network and connect >> Open a Browser >> If you don’t see I Accept Terms, click/press Refresh >> Accept. You should see the DeForest web page and then you are connected. Wireless Guest Access

Connecting Your Xoom to DASD-1

Connecting Your iPad/iPod to DASD-1



Norski Ninja: Week 9!

We’re in the home stretch of our Norski Ninja series. And today we’ll begin thinking about the ways we love GoogleApps as next week’s tip will be just that–sharing the good parts of this change. Here are this week’s Ninja skills:

  • Calendar: Sharing your calendar with others takes a few steps and we covered that in Week Three. Now you can take it a step further by creating additional calendars to share. How about a classroom activities calendar? How about a volunteer calendar? A project calendar? You may not want classroom, sports, club, or other activities merged with your calendar, so just create another one. Share it. Embed it on your web page.
  • Mail: February can be pretty busy and your Gmail box might be filling up now, so use filters to automatically categorize, label, color-code, and organize your messages.  Say you’d like all of the messages from your principal to be labeled “Important”–a filter can do that. (This feature is similar to Rules in Groupwise.) Here’s how filters work in Gmail.
  • Docs: Although it’s improving all the time (Tables! Presentations! Page Numbers!), I’ll admit that Docs does not do everything that Word does. Sometimes you might need a more elaborate layout than Docs can offer. In that case, try downloading your GoogleDoc in another format for revision or sharing. Go to File >> Download As. You’ll have a choice of formats:
    • Word: Use this one if you’re going to do a big layout, need more clipart or need to use the excellent SmartArt in Office.
    • PDF: Use this one if you’re not going to make changes to the document, but you want to “freeze” it for posting to the web, sharing with others, or as an alternative to printing.
    • RTF: This format is pretty universal. Almost any word processor will open it up. It won’t be fancy, but it will be shareable and editable by lots of tools, including the very confusing Microsoft Works.
  • Here’s more information on downloading, including Drawings, Presentations, and more!
  • You can download and upload files to GoogleDocs much like you would use a flash drive. You don’t have to convert them to upload and you may still share with others. When you’re using Docs, Mail, and Calendar to cut down on the paper in your life, you are definitely approaching black belt status.

Remember to comment on this post to be entered into our weekly Google drawing. Give it a try! Tell us how you’ve used any of these tools or any Google tools.

Norski Ninja: Week 8!

It’s Week 8 in our Norski Ninja series… these are Gold Belt skills, almost to Black Belt!
If you feel like you’re falling behind, don’t worry.  Check out the Go Google tab above for an archive of Ninja tips and more.

The theme this week is embedding and attaching.

Calendar:  Want your invited guests to take a look at a document or agenda before the meeting?  You can attach a Google doc, presentation, form, spreadsheet, or upload a file from your computer.

From your Event Details, click Add Attachment.

Email:  You can attach and embed in emails too…

To attach a file from your computer:

To attach a Google Doc: 

    1. Open your Document (spreadsheet, presentation, etc.)
    2. File >> Email as Attachment.
    3. Notice you can choose the file type or paste the item itself into the email.

Docs:  Forms are a handy way to create a survey, collect responses, and work with data.

To embed your form within an email, look at the menu bar and click Form >> Send Form

You can also embed forms in webpages.  Here’s an example.  Contact me if you’re interested in trying this and aren’t sure how.

Don’t forget!  Prizes!

Send an email or better yet, comment here for a chance to win a Google prize!

Norski Ninja: Week 7!

This week’s edition of the Norski Ninja is all about returns . . . return receipts, returning emails, and survey returns. Read on for ways to increase your Ninja skills or look back on our previous tips or there’s always our Go Google! page where we are storing all sorts of Google assistance for you.

  • Gmail Return Receipts: One of the first things we missed about Groupwise was the return receipt.  Open a new message and take a look under the “To” line. You should see Add Cc, Add Bcc, and Request Return Receipt. Click on that last link and check the box that will appear. It looks like this. (This feature is not available for our personal Gmail accounts.)
  • Recurring Calendar Events: If you have events that occur at regular intervals, you can schedule them pretty easily in Google Calendar.  When you click the Create button on your calendar, a new screen will open that lets you enter all the details for your event. Underneath the title, you’ll see a checkbox for Repeat . . . once you check that, you’ll see all sorts of choices for your recurring event: weekly, daily, monthly, etc.  Want to see the pictures? Take a look at this page for all of the calendar basics. Setting up a recurring meeting is a little more than halfway down the page.
  • GoogleDocs and Forms:Forms are one of my favorite parts of GoogleDocs and the (relatively) new semester might be a great time for a form/survey. Create a form to find out more about your students. Create a form to see which families can help out on your next field trip. Create a form to organize the next staff potluck or select a meeting time. Use a form to create a formative assessment. The possibilities are endless. The nice part about a form is that you don’t need to share any part of the document or the results. You can send people the web address for your survey without sharing the results.

We’d love to hear from you . . . how are you using any part of Google to do interesting things. Add a comment to this post and you could win the prize of your choice. I have to say that bug light is pretty neat.