It’s nice to have easy access to lots of sites, but that bookmarks bar can get crowded. Use Bookmark folders on your bar to categorize them while still having convenient access.
2. Shorten those bookmark titles.
Shorter bookmark titles take up less bookmark bar space. Take the title out to just use the sites logo. If the site doesn’t have a logo, or it doesn’t make the destination clear (like a docs logo), use short words or even emojis to save space!
3. Create Bookmarks for Creating New Docs or Slides
Did you know that docs.google.com/create opens up a fresh new Doc? Or that slides.google.com/create does the same with Google Slides? Create bookmarks for those links and have quick access to that capability.
4. Different Bookmarks for Different sections of your Drive.
Do you go to your Starred files often? Need quick access to Shared with Me when someone sends you a file in a meeting? Do you have a folder for all of your students’ assignments that you go to daily? Make a special bookmark for different locations!
5. Different Bookmarks for Different Parts of Docs, Slides or Sheets
Different tabs in Sheets, Headings in Docs and slides in Slides have different URL’s. That means you can make your bookmark (or a link you send in an email or message to someone) direct you (or the recipient) to a specific spot. It’s nice when you want to send someone to today’s meeting agenda in the massive Doc with all meeting agendas in it. It’s also super convenient if you regularly access a certain spreadsheet tab.
6. Bookmark specific sections of GMail
Have a certain GMail label you access regularly? Want quick access to your starred or important files? Want to be able to get to emails from your admin or boss quickly? Create a bookmark for that exact part of your Gmail.
7. Bookmark specific Calendar Views
Want to be able to access Day, Week, Month, Agenda or a Custom View quickly? Make it a bookmark.
In the episode below of The Chromebook Classroom Podcast, John Sowash interviewed Eric Griffith. Eric had some really great insights for going 1:1 with Chromebooks. Here are a few of my favorite things that are different from what we currently do at my school . . . but may consider adopting in the future: Continue reading Chromebook Management ideas from @MrGrifftastic
Being able to have side-by-side windows open is a key functionality tool when using computers. Doing it quickly and easily makes it even better. Chrome OS has two little-known shortcuts and one little-known tool that support this. Check them out in the video below!
Video included at bottom of the post.
Keyboard shortcuts are a great way to be a little more efficient. Two of my most used in Google Chrome are:
- Ctrl+W (or ⌘+W on Mac) for closing your “top” tab (the one showing on your screen).
- Ctrl+Shift+T (or ⌘+Shift+T on Mac) for opening your most recently closed tab.
#2 is probably my fave. Not only does it open your most recently closed tab, even if you closed it hours ago or even before shutting down Chrome, but it can open an entire window full of tabs, if you closed them. But my favorite-est part of it? Well, it has an educational aspect of course:
Ever walked by a student and seen them quickly close a tab before you got there? Ctrl+Shift+T to the rescue! Just imagine that student’s face when they find out that their teacher is a Chrome Keyboard Shortcut Ninja!!
We’ve all pasted something from a website into a doc, presentation, email or other destination before and experienced that annoyance when it doesn’t match your other font. Fixing this is simple… Just add shift to your ctrl+V keyboard shortcut to make your text match the destination font (including size, color, spacing and all style options).
Note: I’ve always been a little apprehensive about sharing this with students, because there’s no easier way to identify a plagiarizing student than a mismatched font with white highlighting . . .
Efficiency is intelligent laziness.
This pretty well summarizes my approach to use of technology. If I can find a way to trim seconds or minutes off tasks without sacrificing quality, I’m all for it.
In recent posts about Google Docs, I shared how to boost font formatting efficiency with the Paint Format Tool and the Select Matching Text option. This post’s topic fits well with those 2.
Most people type in Google Docs and change fonts as needed without ever noticing the Text Styles dropdown. They live in “Normal Text” mode, but change their fonts regularly. But they are missing out! There is hidden functionality in that dropdown . . .
- It allows you to change your default font styles. Are you an elementary school teacher who always types in size 16 font? Change your default! Are you a professional basketball team owner who always types in Comic Sans? Change your default! Do you believe that Helvetica is the world’s best font? Double-space all of the time? Prefer blue font? Like size 13? Always typing in italics? Change your default!
- Using titles & headings adds other functionalities to your Doc. Do you have a 100-page Google Doc for your lesson plans and hate trying to navigate it to find the correct snippet? Use Headings & Document Outline view! Here’s how . . .
The quote at the top is often credited to David Dunham, though it appears that he’s not the originator of the quote).
My obsession with Google Sheets is no secret. I loooove spreadsheets. And I think that they have a big place in education, especially in math (but elsewhere as well).
Recently, I posted about how you can prove the mean (or average) formula using Google Sheets. In this post, I’d like to share with you how you can find all 3 measures of center (or measures of central tendency) and explore them in Google Sheets. I love to change or add numbers in the data set and ask students to make predictions about what will happen. It really is a great–and relevant–way for students to become more familiar with these statistical measures.
In a recent post and video, I shared one of my favorite Google Docs hidden gems: the Paint Format Tool. This Google Docs feature is also a lesser known feature and goes hand-in-hand with the Paint Format Tool. Watch the video below to learn about the “Select Matching Text” option.
Don’t use duct tape just because it’s shiny. Use it because something is broken and duct tape is the appropriate tool to fix it.
Don’t use Kahoot just because it’s fun. Use it because you need to do a formative assessment and your students need to self-assess.
Don’t use a HyperDoc because you learned about it at a PD. Use it because it’s the appropriate way to organize content and create a learning opportunity around a certain standard.
Don’t use VR Headsets because they’re neat. Use them because your students need to understand a rainforest habitat.
Educational Duct Tape:
Educational Duct Tape term, quote and infographic created by me, Jake Miller. Feel free to use them, but provide attribution.
The OneTab Chrome Extension (one-tab.com) is typically recommended as a way to free up processing speed and reduce clutter when attempting to have a tab-tervention with a tab-crazy browser user. And, well, that’s a true, but it doesn’t tell the full story of OneTab . . .
OneTab is actually a fantastic option for organizing, categorizing and sharing the sites that we mean to look at, read or follow up on, but just don’t have time – as well as ones that we intend to come back to repeatedly. Think of it as your website to-do list manager. Check it out in the video below.
Pro Tip: At the school that I work at, our students are doing Passion Projects. Each week, they have to reflect on their progress and growth in a Google Doc. For 12 of the kids, I’m tasked with looking at that reflection weekly and providing feedback. So, I keep the links to their reflections in a locked OneTab Group.