Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tech Tuesday: 12 Things Students Should Never Do on Social Media

In class, we've talked about appropriate use of technology.  Due to our recent discussion about Twitter and Tumblr, I think everyone should read this:  12 Things Students Should Never Do on Social Media

If you want 5 points of extra credit, submit a response (1 paragraph minimum) to my digital dropbox.  In your paragraph you should address at least 3 of the categories.  Use the assignment name "Extra Credit."

Friday, March 9, 2012

Kickstart Your Ideas

Do you have an invention or idea that you think would be the next greatest thing?  But...you just don't have the money to fund it!  Kickstarter.com is a site I heard about last week at a conference.  They provide a place to share your creation and gain pledged support.  Check out some of these great ideas that were among the top funded projects:

iPod Watch
Your 1st 3D Printer

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Talk to Me Chrome

I recently learned about a new Chrome extension that will read any website out-loud to you.  It is called Select and Speak.  There are even different voices to choose from!  You can find Select and Speak in the Chrome Web Store.  I learned about Select and Speak from the Online Tech Tips Blog.  Check out their step-by-step instructions here.

Chrome Speak is another text-to-speech option available in the Chrome Web Store.  I'm excited about it's offline capability!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Keyboard to the Max

After watching several of my students use the edit menu or right-click for copy and paste, I thought it was time for a review of the most popular keyboard shortcuts.  I guarantee if you memorize this top 10, you will not regret it!

Top 10 Shortcuts for Windows

1. Copy: Control + C
2. Paste: Control + V
3. Cut: Control + X
4. Undo: Control + Z
5. Copy a File: Hold Control + drag file to new location
6. Bold Text:  Control + B
7. Italicized Text:  Control + I
8. Underlined Text:  Control + U
9. Open the Start Menu: Control + Esc
10. Select Multiple Files/Folders: Hold Control + click the files

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Think B 4 U

As part of Safer Internet Day on Tuesday, Google announced the launching of ThinkB4U.   This is a "choose-your-own-adventure" style site that guides you though different scenarios.   Their purpose is to increase awareness around the issue of internet safety.  The topics in the scenario include digital distractions, online shopping, scams, cyber-bullying, digital citizenship, digital footprints, and there are different links tailored to all audiences.

Check it out here!  Warning:  Let the site load fully before you begin your adventure!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Life After Leyden

I've been thinking a lot lately about what life will look like after high school for my students.  Some of the jobs that you will have haven't even been created yet!  Now that we are well into the 21st Century, what kinds of skills will you need to compete for these positions?  What role will the ACT and your GPA play?  When I graduated right at the end of the 20th Century (a long time ago I know), the ACT and your GPA were the deciding factors for entry into college and most jobs.  No one "Googled" your name to see what you'd been up to online and Facebook hadn't even been created yet.  Zuckerburg was still in high school.

Odds are that a college, trade school, or potential boss will "Google" you.  As a student in the 21st Century, you are at a significant advantage!  Wouldn't it be great if you had a portfolio or website containing all of your best work and maybe a feed with your mentions in Twitter?  Check out the portfolios created in Google Sites by these two students:   Student 1    Student 2

So take a second to "Google" yourself.  What do you see?  What would you like to see?  How can you create a positive digital footprint?

Monday, January 30, 2012

Goodbye Picnik

About a week ago, Picnik announced that they would be shutting down in mid April 2012.  Picnik is a super simple image editing tool that even the most novice designer could feel comfortable using.  So if you are a Picnik user, it is time to find and learn a new tool or two.

Here is my list of free image editing tools, all ranging in level of difficulty.  You can check them out in the Chrome Web Store.  If you are so inclined, comment below!  Which tool do you prefer?  Did I leave any notable tools off of the list?

Aviary Image Editor-  powerful layer-based image editor
Aviary Markup- an easy way to crop and resize images
Pixlr-  similar to Photoshop; allows you to edit PSD files
Pixlr-o-matic-  add filters & borders to your photos
Picozu- photo-editing, retouching, and drawing all-in-one
iPiccy-  the most similar to Picnik that I have found
Sumo Paint- image editing and drawing