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?