Thursday, September 5, 2019

A Quick Way to Transfer Pages from Your Phone to Desktop

A couple of weeks ago I showed you how you can quickly send a webpage from your desktop to your phone without using a bookmarking service. Today, I have directions for doing the reverse of that process. If you use Google Chrome on your phone as well as on your laptop or desktop you can quickly transfer pages between those devices.

To send a page from your phone to your desktop simply open the sharing menu in Chrome and then tap "my devices." That will show you a list of all of the devices that you're signed into Chrome on. Select a device and send the page. This will work even if you are not anywhere near the your desktop or laptop. Watch my video below to see how this process works.

Applications for Education
Our students today are more likely to browse and search the web on their phones than they are on their laptop or desktop computers. But many schools ban the use of cell phones during the day (that's another debate for another blog). By using this little trick students can quickly transfer the pages they need from their phones to the laptops or desktops that they have to use during the school day.

Using Mindfulness to Break a Bad Habit

In this week's Ed Tech Fitness Challenge newsletter I included the video of a TED Talk given by Dr. Judson Brewer. His talk is titled A Simple Way to Break a Bad Habit.

My big take-away from Dr. Brewer's talk was the idea of thinking about why we engage in a bad habit while we're doing as a means to breaking that habit. For example, my bad habit is eating potato and tortilla chips when I'm stressed out. Brewer's suggestion is to think about why I'm doing that when I do it and I'll be less likely to do it again. I actually watched this talk back in January and started to employ that technique of using mindfulness to break my stress-snacking habit. It has worked...most of the time. I've lost over 30 pounds this year. I'm now using that strategy to curtail my Facebook habit too.

Applications for Education
The concepts and examples that Brewer shares in the talk are ones that high school students can relate to. For that reason, with the exception of one “PG word” in the talk, you could use this video to create a mindfulness lesson in a high school classroom.

A Self-paced Course for Learning How to Use G Suite in Your Practice

One of the ways that I have been able to keep Free Technology for Teachers running for the last twelve years is through offering professional development services in the forms of in-person workshops and online courses sold through Practical Ed Tech.

The most popular Practical Ed Tech course that I've hosted over the last six years is Getting Going With G Suite. I've offered that course in live formats and on-demand formats for years. This week I released an updated version of the on-demand Getting Going With G Suite course.

Getting Going With G Suite is a course that was designed for teachers who are new to using the powerful the tools within G Suite for Education. In this course you’ll learn everything you need to know to feel comfortable using all of the core G Suite tools with your students. This course is more than just a series of “how to” videos. You’ll be provided with examples of activities that you can use and adapt to use in your classroom.

Course Highlights:
  • Streamlining your workflow through Google Classroom.
  • Taking control of your inbox with Gmail hacks.
  • Creating self-grading assessments in Google Forms.
  • Developing a classroom website with Google Sites.
  • Using Google Sheets to send personalized emails in bulk.
  • Organizing meetings with Google Calendar.
  • Keeping track of bookmarks and notes with Google Keep.
  • Using Jamboard and Drawings to create diagrams.
  • Making beautiful presentations in Google Slides.
  • Creating guided reading activities in Google Docs.

Getting Going With G Suite is on sale until next Friday. Register in the next eight days and you'll save $30 off the regular price of $97. You can register now and start the course whenever it is convenient for you.

Finally, a huge thank you to all of you who have invited me to your schools or participated in one of the Practical Ed Tech courses over the last decade. I couldn't do it without you!

One Code to Share It All at Open House Night

September is a popular month for schools to have open house nights or back-to-school nights for parents. Those are great opportunities for parents to see how the first weeks of school are going and what's happening in your classroom and school. At open house night parents often end up with collection of papers that they may or may not save for reference throughout the school year. This year try using QR codes to put the odds in your favor of the information in those papers being saved. You can create QR codes and paste them on the door to your classroom, on a bulletin board, or right at the bottom of the papers you're distributing.

I use QR Droid's free QR code generator to create QR codes that lead to all kinds of valuable information. In the video embedded below I provide a short demonstration of how to create a QR code that contains your contact information.

How to Avoid the Google Calendar Scheduling Mistake I Keep Making

Google Calendar is a great tool for scheduling appointments with students, friends, and colleagues. I use it all the time. Despite my regular use of Google Calendar I've made an annoying mistake with it twice in the last week.

I'm using Google Calendar to schedule times to record episodes of a new podcast. I have a bunch of guests lined-up to be on the podcast. The guests are all appearing virtually so I'm using to have them call in and we record through Zoom.

The annoying mistake that I've made twice in the last week is forgetting to remove the default Google Hangout link that is generated in the Google Calendar invitation and replace it with the Zoom link. Because of that mistake both of my guests this week have been sitting in an empty Google Hangout waiting for me while I was sitting in an empty Zoom meeting waiting for them.

In the following video I demonstrate how to remove the default Google Hangout/ Meeting link that appears Google Calendar invitations.

Learn more about Google Calendar and all aspects of G Suite for Education in my self-paced Getting Going With G Suite course. The course is on sale now.

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