Wednesday, November 24, 2021

A Tip for Finding and Reading Thanksgiving Leftovers Recipes

One of my favorite things about Thanksgiving is eating the leftovers the next day. I enjoy a good turkey sandwich almost as much as Ross, but I do like to mix it up a bit and try other ways to use leftovers. In fact, I was doing that earlier this week (yes, I was planning for Thanksgiving leftovers) when I got super annoyed by all of the pop-up and scrolling ads on various recipe websites. That's when I implemented one of my favorite search tips, searching by file type. 

To the end of my search term "turkey shepherd's pie" I added filetype:pdf. I did that in order to only find links to PDFs containing recipes for turkey shepherd's pie. There aren't annoying pop-ups and scrolling ads on PDFs to get in the way of reading a recipe. 

The other trick that I often use when looking for recipes online is to use the OneNote web clipper to save articles instead of just bookmarking the links. The web clipper will let you view the article without having to actually go back to the original web page. 

Both of these tips for finding and reading Thanksgiving leftovers recipes can be employed whenever you're searching online. I used the file type search method earlier this fall to help someone identify a piece of old archery equipment and I used it just a week ago to find a copy of the owner's manual for the portable generator in my garage. 

Watch this short video for a demonstration of searching by file type and a demonstration of the OneNote web clipper. 

Searching by file type is one of just many search strategies that students need to know. That strategy and many more are taught in my online course, Search Strategies Students Need to Know. The course is on sale this week for 33% off. Register here and take the course at your own pace. 

Display a Timer With a Google Document

Earlier this week a reader of my weekly newsletter emailed me to ask for advice on how to display a document and countdown timer on the same screen. The idea being that the document is displayed on a large screen via an LCD projector or Chromecast and a small timer is also displayed. The document could be displaying questions for students to answer or procedural steps for them to follow in an alotted amount of time. 

I offered a simple suggestion for displaying the document and a timer on the same screen. My suggestion was to just resize two browser tabs so that the full document and a small timer are displayed on the same screen space. This short video demonstrates how to do that. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Ten Updated Microsoft Teams Features for Teachers to Note

Mike Tholfsen is my go-to person for all things related to Microsoft Education products. He regularly updates his YouTube channel with informative videos about the latest features added to Microsoft Teams, Word, PowerPoint, Immersive Reader, and more. And as a product manager at Microsoft he has early access to features that are rolling-out to users. That means his videos sometimes include overviews of features before anyone else has used them. 

Mike's latest video highlights ten updated Microsoft Teams features for teachers. Most of the updates apply to the awesome reading progress feature that is now in Microsoft Teams. The complete list of features highlighted in Mike's video is posted below. 

  • Returning marked up passages to student in Reading Progress
  • Updated OneDrive and Teams file picker in Reading Progress
  • Timed passages in Reading Progress
  • Edit draft assignment in Reading Progress
  • Keyboard shortcuts in Reading Progress
  • Feelings Monster and Reflect
  • Reflect data in Class Insights
  • Reflect data for School Insights
  • Content from Camera in Teams meetings
  • CART Captions in Teams

A Thanksgiving Special!

As many of you know, the primary means of support for Free Technology for Teachers comes through the sales of my Practical Ed Tech courses and professional development services. 

This week and through next Tuesday all of my Practical Ed Tech self-paced courses are on sale for 33% off the regular price. You can register for any or all of the courses right here!

Course Offerings

Search Strategies Students Need to Know!
Based on my most popular webinar, this ten-part course guides you through essential search strategies for students of all ages. More importantly, it provides you with activities to duplicate and or modify to use in your classroom. Click here to start this course today!

A Crash Course in Google Earth & Maps for Social Studies
Google Earth and Google Maps should be staples in the toolbox of anyone who teaches social studies lessons. These are powerful tools that can be used by elementary, middle, and high school students.

This course will teach you how to use Google Earth, Google Maps, and Google My Maps in your classroom. In this crash course I outline five social studies lesson activities that utilize Google Maps and Google Earth to help students make discoveries and to demonstrate what they’ve learned. Click here to get started today!

A Crash Course in Making & Teaching With Video
A Crash Course in Making & Teaching With Video is a self-paced course consisting of six modules designed to help you create instructional videos and make sure that your students actually watch those videos. Get started right here.

Copy Specific Pages in Google Sites

Google Sites (the new, current version) has a new feature that could be helpful to those people who make a lot of variations of the same website. That new feature is the ability to copy specific pages from one site into a new site. 

The new page copying option lets you select a specific page or set of pages to copy from an existing site into a new Google Site. To do this simply open the editor for your existing Google Site, open the "three dot" menu next to the publishing button, then select the pages you want to copy. I've included screenshots of the process below. 

Step 1:

Step 2:

Applications for Education
This new feature could be helpful at the beginning or end of each school year. If you want to create a new Google Site for each school year, but don't want to start from scratch each year, simply copy the pages that you want to re-use and then build the new site from there.

Watch this video for an overview of Google Sites publishing and sharing settings.