Friday, March 26, 2010

GMail Keyboard Shortcuts - Part Three

Today we will be again be looking at Keyboard shortcuts. Yesterday we talked about how to manipulate emails from your inbox. Today we'll be talking about how to manipulate things while you are reading your actual email message instead of from the list.





Actions While You Are Reading A Conversation
I have been using the term "Conversation" instead of "email" (or at least I'm trying to remember to do so). The reason for this is because as you've hopefully noticed by now, GMail takes emails which are similar (I believe it does so based on the subject line being the same) and groups them together... making it easy to follow a conversation happening by email (also meaning less emails listed in your inbox, which is a plus for me). When you enter a conversation, typically only the new emails will be displayed, emails which are marked as read are collapsed at the top of the conversation. The following list of shortcuts are helpful while you are inside the conversation, but before I start those, please bear in mind that most of the keystrokes listed above also work while you are in the conversation. Here are some others you may want to know:
  • "p" - Previous email withing this conversation
  • "n" - Next email within this conversation
  • "o (or [Enter]) - Opens (or collapses) the selected email (watch for the triangle, and use n/p to move it up and down)
  • "m" - Mute the current conversation (will automatically archive all future emails that would normall have gone into this conversation... great for a mailing list conversation you're not interested in)
  • "r" - Reply to the current message (in the same window)
  • [Shift]-"R" - Reply to the current message (in a new window)
  • "f" - Forward the current message (in the same window)
  • [Shift]-"F" - Forward the current message (in a new window)
  • [Tab] then [Enter] - Send the email (after you're done composing/typing it)
  • "[" - Removes the conversation from the current list (removes the label), and then moves you to the next (older) conversation (great for when you're trying to get through lots of conversations without having to keep going back to the conversation list)
  • "]" - Removes the conversation from the current list (removes the label), and then moves you to the previous(newer) conversation


    Thursday, March 25, 2010

    GMail Keyboard Shortcuts - Part Two

    Yesterday I shared with you some basic keyboard shortcuts to help you quickly move around:
    • ? - Show list of shortcuts
    • / - Jump to the search box
    • q - Jump to the chat box
    • c - Compose a new message
    • [Shift]C - Compose a new message in a new window
    • j - Move to an older conversation (down the list)
    • k - Move to a newer conversation (up the list)
    • [Enter] - Open the currently selected conversation
    • u - Return to the conversation list
    Today I am going to share a few more of the keyboard shortcuts which can help you move around efficiently within GMail. Specifically, today's video shows options for moving around and organizing your inbox. My goal is "Inbox Zero." Inbox Zero means finishing all of tasks related to the emails within your inbox, and getting them out of the inbox where you don't have to deal with them again. This was never possible for me within Outlook without hours and hours of responding, completing tasks, and filing folders away. The process was daunting for me! With GMail, I meet "Inbox Zero" about once a week, and shortcuts have been extremely helpful in meeting this goal. Here is a video highlighting today's tips:



    Selecting and Working With Conversations From The List
    Daily I receive numerous emails that I honestly do not need to read. They could include advertisements from stores, spam, or automatic email messages from our school's computer system. With these emails, I can quickly select, mark as unread, and archive the emails in one quick sweep. Here is how I do that.
    • While you are on the conversation list, you can press "x" to select a conversation (it puts an x in the checkbox next to the conversation)
    • Use "j" and "k" to move the traingle to the next conversation you want to work with and select (you can select as many emails as you would like
    • Once you have the conversations selected, here are some keystrokes which can apply tasks to the selected messages:
      • [Shift]-"i" - Marks the emails as READ
      • [Shift]-"U" - Marks the conversation as UNREAD
      • "e" - Archives the conversation (means it removes the "Inbox" tag from the conversation, if it has another tag from filters or that you've applied, the other tags stay on the conversation)
      • "v" - Move the conversation to a label (After you press "v" you can type in the label you want to apply... GMail will apply the label and remove it from the inbox)
      • [Shift]-"T" - Add the conversations to a Task within your task list (then you can move it out of your inbox, and later, when you open the task, the conversation is linked to the task for easy reference later
      • "s" - Star a conversation (you can use this to prioritize specific conversations)
      • "#" - Deletes the selected conversations (moves them to Trash)kj
      • "." (period) - Opens the "More Actions" menu for the selected conversations

      Wednesday, March 24, 2010

      GMail Keyboard Shortcuts - Part One

      One of my favorite parts of GMail are the keyboard shortcuts. Granted, I am quicker on the keyboard than most, I'm thinking that even for people who type slower than 100wpm will find keyboard shortcuts a huge time saver. Over the next few blog posts I'm going to share videos demonstrating the power of keybaord shortcuts for moving around and reading emails. Today I'm going to show you how to use some of the application shortcuts and some of the basics of moving around the inbox, tomorrow I'll focus more on moving around your email and organizing your inbox, and then the next day I'll talk about how to get to others parts of your GMail with keyboard shortcuts. Before I get started on the various shortcuts, I wanted to remind you that the shortcuts are case sensitive, so please be sure you pay attention to upper and lower cases in the shortcuts. As always, I'll start with a video for you visual learners:



      First, if you haven't already done so, make sure you enable keyboard shortcuts in GMail:
      • Click on Settings
      • In the General tab, the third option is "Keyboard Shortcuts" ... make sure to select "Keyboard shortcuts on"
      • Scroll to the bottom and click "Save Changes"
      • After changing your settings you may need to reload GMail (Press: [F5], or hit the Reload button on your browser)

      Find a list of shortcuts
      • From your inbox just press "?" (Question mark)
      • A list of all available shortcuts appears on your screen
      • From this screen on the top left you can open the list in a separate window if you want to print it out or keep it handy.
      • Pressing any key will make the box go away.

      Search without the Mouse
      • Just press "/" to move your curser to the search box.
      • Type in your search and press enter.
      • When the search is returned you will be back in the list for navigation.

      Jump to Chat Windows
      • Press "q" to juump tp the chat window
      • Type in the name of the person you want to chat with.

      Start A New Email
      • Starting a new email in GMail is called "Compose Mail" to do so, just press the "c"
      • A new email message will be started in your current window
      • If you would like to start a new email in a separate window just make a capital "C" (Shift-C)

      Moving Up and Down The Message List
      • Pay attention to the little black triangle to the left of the emails (►)... this arrow shows you which email is currently selected
      • "k" and "j" are the letters you need to remember to move up and down your email list
      • "j"-moves to older conversations, or down the list
      • "k"-moves to newer conversations, or up the list)
      • [Enter] will open the conversation you currently have selected
      • "u" will return you to your list of emails

      Tuesday, March 23, 2010

      GMail Settings (Part 5): Labs

      Google is always experimenting with new ideas and programs. One of the best ways to find some of the new things they have come up with is by clicking on "Settings" and then going to "Labs." The video below will highlight six of my favorite lab options:


      (Sorry for the bird screaming in the background of this video).

      If you find a lab you would like to try, just click the "Enable" button and save your settings. You will need to refresh your screen or close your browser and reopen it before the extra features will work. Here are the six favorite highlighted in the video:


      • Google Docs Preview in Mail: Will allow you to open Google Docs more quickly to see what they have.
      • Canned Responses: If you have emails that you write repeatedly, this will help you do it more quickly.
      • Hide Read Labels: Those labels that have no unread emails will not show up on the left hand column of your GMail home screen (they will be found under "More."
      • Inserting Images: Allows you to embed images into your outgoing emails.
      • Google Calednar Gadget: Let's you see your calendar on your GMail home screen.
      • Mail Goggles: Fun tool that allows you to set a time when you shouldn't be sending emails, and then when you try to send an email during that time frame, it forces you to correctly answer the math questions before the email will be sent - prevents you from sending emails when you're not in a fully conscious state of mind.

      Monday, March 22, 2010

      GMail Settings (Part 4): Forwarding, Chat, Web Clips and Themes

      GMail is very customizable, and you can set it up to operate in a way that best helps you communicate! Today's video talks a little about how to setup your email to forward to another account (and how you can download your email with an external client if you wanted), where you can find "Chat" settings, and how to change the way GMail looks.



      Play around in the settings for yourself and personalize your GMail account to look and behave the way you want it to!

      Sunday, March 21, 2010

      GMail Settings (Part 3): Labels and Filters

      GMail does not use Folders in the same sense that most desktop email programs do. Instead, GMail uses Labels. Each email can no labels, or as many labels as you would like. Labels will typically show up in the left hand column of your default GMail view. When you click on the label, any email that has been assigned that label will be displayed in the list. So you can have one email in several different Labels without having to copy it into various folders and having multiple copies of one email You can setup as many labels as you would like in the Settings under "Labels." Another helpful feature is the "Filters" option in GMail. With Filters you can set up GMail to do specific things with specific emails. Say for example, every time you get an email from a particular person, you would automatically like to label that message and take it out of the inbox. You can set that up in Filter. Here is an example video showing some of the power of these options:



      How you could use these features is up to your own imagination. At our school, all students have email addresses that end in "ppa-student.org" A teacher may wish to setup a filter where anytime an email arrives with "@ppa-student.org" in the address, it automatically receives a "Student" label, so that way they can go to that label to see all of the student emails. Or maybe you teach your students that they need to email you an assignment, and in their email they need to type "Class 4-3 Assignment", and then you setup a label for that class, and create a filter where anytime "Class 4-3 Assignment" shows up in the email it automatically gets labeled for that assignment. It can make it easy to organizat your mail and be more efficient with yoru communication!

      Saturday, March 20, 2010

      Gmail Settings (Part 2): Accounts

      If you are an avid GMail user, it is helpful to know that you can actually use one GMail account to check all of your email accounts.  GMail can download your mail from other accounts and put them all into one place for you.  If you are using GMail in a school district or school, you should first check you're school's policies and applicable laws though.  Because of open records laws, it is possible that if you do use your work email to check your private email accounts, you could be making your private emails subject to open record laws.  However, if you have a seperate GMail account (I have a work GMail, and a personal GMail), this can be very helpful for your personal accounts.  Personally, I prefer keeping my separate.  But either way, you will want to know that it is possible to setup this feature.  Here is a brief video showing what the screens look like:


      Friday, March 19, 2010

      Gmail Settings (Part 1): General

      If you are a new user to GMail, one of he first things you should do is spend some time looking through the settings, and customizing the program to work the way you want it to. This video is the first of 4 which will walk through the settings available to you in GMail. Today we'll just look at the "General" tab, and the various options available.




      I would recommend the following settings to be default if you want a place to start:

      • Keyboard shortcuts On - Keyboard shortcuts making using GMail much more efficient.  Another post will be coming in a few days to talk about the benefit and some of the important keys you will want to remember, but I highly recommend turning this on.  Once it is on, just type a question-mark to see which keys you can use. 
      • Always use https - This will help to keep your emails more private and secure. 
      • Personal Level Indicators: Show Indicators - Helps you to see if an email is sent only to you, you as part of a group, or to a mailing list with your specific email address identified.  This is a great way to prioritize your emails.

      Thursday, March 18, 2010

      Introduction to GMail

      Many schools have or are thinking about moving away from corporate email systems such as Exchange to Google's free Google Apps for Education, which inclues GMail. Our school made this switch a few months ago. Thanks to the many tools available this switch went very smoothly, and many of the staff haven't had to make any changes as end-users. However, since the change, I have realized the power of GMail over Outlook. I have noticed however that many of the staff at my school haven't embraced the web-based GMail client. The video below shows some of the features of GMail, and gives an over view of how GMail works. Over the next few days I will have posts which demonstrate specific uses and tipcs regarding how to use GMail to more efficiently communicate online. So without further ado, here is the video:



      Topics Covered:


      • Web-based: Because GMail lives in the cloud you can have access to it anywhere you have a web browser. Most mobile phones are able to easily connect and retrieve your email.
      • Conversation Threads: Instead of needing to search through individual emails to find previous parts of a conversation, GMail automatically groups individual emails together into a conversation so you can easily look back at the progression of a conversation.
      • Search vs. Organization: Desktop email solutions often required a great deal of orgainzation. Google's strength is search, so instead of needing to orgainze your mail in GMail, use it's powerful search feature to find what you're looking for more quickly.
      • Labels: Outlook, and many other email systems, use folders to organize emails. GMail uses Labels which is similar but a bit more powerful. You can use multiple labels on a single email, letting your email show up in multiple views.
      • Integrated: GMail is integrated with Google's other services such as chat, calendar, tasks and documents.
      • Keyboard shortcuts: Using keyboard shortcuts you can easily keep your inbox orgainzed

      Wednesday, March 17, 2010

      Find Similar Images

      Have you ever been using Google Images to search for a picture and find one that is ALMOST exactly what you want, but not quite? Well there is an option that you can actually look for images that are similar. You may notice that below many of the images in your search you will see a link that is called "Find Similar Images". When you click on that you will receive a new search with pictures that are similar in color, shape, or description of the one you were looking at. It is a great tool to know. Here's an example:

      Tuesday, March 16, 2010

      Advanced Image Search

      If you ever need a specific image for a specific search, Google's Advanced Image search allows you to quickly find an image that meetgs your needs, such as black and white, specific image sizes, or even specific file types. To use advanced search is easy, here's how:




      • Go to http://images.google.com
      • Click on "Advanced Image Search" to the right of the search button.
      • The top part of the advanced search options are specific terms you want to search for.
        • Related to all of the words: means that all words in the field need to be used to describe the image.
        • Related to the exact phrase: means the words in the field all need to be used, in the exact order you type them.
        • Related to any of the words: only one of the words in this field need to be used to describe the image for it to be shown.
        • Not related to the words: If these words show up to describe the image, the image will not be displayed.
      • The bottom section of the advanced image search allows you to limit the results even further, by content type, size, aspect ratio, file type, whether color or black and white, and from which domain it may have come.


      This could be very useful to teachers to help them find images for presentations, handouts, assignments, or writing prompts.

      Monday, March 15, 2010

      Creating A Template

      If you create a general form that you want your students to use in order to complete an assignment, a template would be a great way to set it up for students to use.  For example, if you are a science teacher who has a lab report format you want your students to use, you could create the general document, and then make it into a template for the students so that they are able to use that same form over and over again without you needing to worry about people writing in the original document.  Here's how you can setup and use a template:




      • First, have a Document ready to be used as a template in your GDocs account
      • Click on "Create New" and go to "From Template..."
      • Look at the top right of your template gallery and you will see a link that says "Submit a template", click on that
      • Click "Choose from your Google Docs"
      • Click the document you want to use to setup a template, then click Select
      • Type in your description, and choose one or two categories for your template to live in. (The administrator of your Google Docs domain can add whatever categories they would like to the list, so you can customize this to meet the needs of your schol).
      • Choose the langauge of the document
      • Click on "Submit template"

      It may take a few minutes for the template to be available to other users, so you won't want to do this right as class is starting.  But it usually doesn't take very long at all.

      Once your template is setup, here is how a student would use it:




      • The student would log into their GDocs account
      • Click "Create New" and go to "From Template..."
      • They can either search for the file, or go to the category of the file they are looking for and click on that name.
      • Once they find the document they want, they click the "Use this template" button
      • A new document will be created in their account based on that template.
      • I would recommend that once the file is open they rename the file to a name that matches their assignment.
      • They are good to go!


      Templates are a great tool for teachers to use in order to standardize the assignments that they are getting from their students. Try it out, it's an easy process and will make your life easier!

      Sharing a Documents With an Entire Class

      I received an email today from a teacher asking for help with sharing a document with all of her students inside of Google Docs. I've created the following screencast to show how to do this. In my opinion the easiest way to do this would be to setup a SHARED FOLDER in GDocs, and to share that with all of the students in your class. That way any document you put into that folder will give the entire class access to the document. This is much easier then needing to set the sharing options on each individual file. Here's how you can do that:



      • Log into your GDocs account
      • Create a new folder by clicking on "Create New" and choose "Folder".
      • Give your folder a name and a description if you so choose.
      • Right click on the folder name, and go to "Share" then "Invite people..." 
      • Enter in the username or email addresses of all of your students into the "Invite" box
      • Click either "Send" to send an invitation to those students or click "Add without sending invitation" and the students will have access without receiving and email. 
      • Find your document (or upload it if you've created it using another program), and drag it into the folder.
      All students now have access to the folder and all of the files in it.  So students can add the documents that are in there, save new documents that they want to share with the rest of the class, and so on.

      Another tip, in the video, I show that I am setting up folders for each one of the classes.  If you want to have one folder be in several different folders, you can do that as well.  Just click on the check box before the file, click on the "Folders" button and put a check mark before all of the folders you want that one document to show up in. 

      Remember that using this method means that when the students open the document they are all opening the same document.  Another option would be to create a "Template" with a file, where a student opens a generic form, and then changes it and saves it as a new document, as opposed to making changes to the one that is already there. 

      Hope this helps!

      Image Search

      Using pictures help students understand topics that you may be teaching more effectively. For example great images on your presentations to students, will help connect their learning and make your presentation more powerful. There are lots of ways to find great images, and Google is one of them. They have an image search that is easy to use. Their image search also allows you to limit your search based on whether or not the images are legally able to be reused. Here's how:




      • Go to: http://images.google.com
      • Type in your search term
      • Click on the image you're interested in
      • If you want to LEGALLY use an image, be sure to click on "Advanced Search"
      • Change "Usage Rights" to the appropriate setting, such as "labeled for reuse"
      • Click on the Google Search to find the images that are legal for you to use.


      This could be very useful to teachers to help them find images for presentations, handouts, assignments, or writing prompts.

      Sunday, March 14, 2010

      Custom Search Engine

      Sometimes a Google Search can be overwhelming... imaginge how overwhelming it must be for young students who may have lower reading abilities, or a less developed ability to determine if a source is credible. Google has a tool that is great for teachers called Custom Search. The great thing about Custom Search is YOU can define the possible sites that your student could end up at. Most teachers have a whole list of websites that are helpful to students. Using Custom Search, you can build a search engine that will only search the sites you identify. Best of all, it's not very hard to do! Here's how:




      • First, identify a list of websites that you would like to be included. These could include kid-friendly research site, government sites, whatever you feel is appropriate for your students to visit. Make the list as long as you would like. What works best for me is to make text file with all of the links as I come across them.
      • Go to http://www.google.com/cse/
      • Click "Create a Custom Search Engine"
      • Give your search engine a name and a description.
      • Choose whether you ONLY want th sites you selected to be displayed, or only if you want them emphasized in the list. Most elementary teachers will probably want to select "Only sites I select."
      • For "Sites to search" type in (or copy and paste) all of the websites you would like included, one per line.
      • You can use the Standard edition for free. Business edition is available for a charter (it shows no ads). Standard Edition means you don't have to register. Choose business means you need to register your use. It is available for free for schools, but I'm not sure how to go through that process, sorry).
      • Make sure you select that you have read and agree to the terms of service.
      • Click Next.
      • The next page gives you the opportunity to test your search if you would like. If you are diong the free version, you also have the option here to send yourself a link to the search.
      • Click "Finish" (or "Next" if you're using business)
      • If you choose Business you will be asked to identify yourself and business and choose your payment methods. 
      • Now your search engine is ready to use! This page will list any and all search engines you have setup.
      • From this page you can get into your control panel to change yoru settings, or even look at statistics of how often your search is being used.
      • Click on the name of the your search and you are at your search engine.
      • The best way to make this search engine available to your students is to include it in your blog.
      • You can copy the search box to put on your own website by clicking on "Add this search engine to your blog or webpage"
      • Choose the way you want your search to look, and then click on "Get the Code" Then below you will have a box of HTML language, copy the box, and paste it into the "HTML" part of your blog or site, just like you would embed other objects.


      Another way you can share this search once you have created it is to use a service like "Bit.ly" or "tr.im" to make your URL shorter. Just copy the address and go to either: http://bit.ly or http://tr.im
      Paste your address into the address bar, and click "Shorten" whatever action button the site is using.
      You then have a website address that is shorted and easier to give to your students.

      That's it! There are lots of steps in this process, but once you do it once, it is not hard, and allows you to provide a SAFE search for your students where you can control the types of information your students are seeing, especially helpful with younger students when they are researching on the internet.

      Saturday, March 13, 2010

      Google as a Calculator

      Use Google as your calculator, just type your math problem into your search bar. Here's an example:



      If you would like to learn more goto http://www.googleguide.com/calculator.html to view information on different operators and functions you can use to get very complex math problems solved quickly by Google.

      Friday, March 12, 2010

      Google Insights

      Google's mission is to orgainize the world's information. That goes much beyond just allowing you to search the information. Many of Google's new tools are working to present and organize information in a way that is more visual and easy to use. One example of this new approach is the Insights Search. Insights will give you a graph of data and search results over time, in a much different way than Timeline (which I talked about previously). Here is an example of how to use Insights:



      • Go to: http://www.google.com/insights/search/
      • Type your search title (works best with data searches)
      • Choose any filters you wish to apply (i.e. countries, time limits, or the type or category of information it includes).
      • Click Search.
      • Look around at where the information is coming from below the graph and make changes as necessary.
      Insights could be very help ful statistics teachers, history teachers, economics or even social studies teachers. If you have an idea for how you will use this in your class, leave a comment!

      Thursday, March 11, 2010

      Google Scholar

      As educators we not only need to model life-long learning for our students, we also need to stay up-to-date on the current research and trends in Education. You may have guessed it, but Google has a tool for that! It's called Google Scholar. Scholar limits search results to scholarly article, judicial rulings and books. It does not include unreputable sources or blogs, instead focusing only on profeessional sources. Best part, it's easy one to use. Here's how:







      It is important to know that not all articles are freely available on the internet, so you may run into some road blocks when you try to access some of the articles. Also, with Google Books, many of the books (especially currently copyrighted books), you will not be able to read the entire book online.

      You can use Google Scholar to stay up-to-date and make sure you have the information on the latest educational research.

      Wednesday, March 10, 2010

      Google Squared

      Gathering information can take a lot of time. Google helps by making information available quickly.  One of the new tools that Google is developing is called Google Squared. Google Squared will actually gather information for you and put it into a spreadsheet that compares different facts about a list of items. It is extremely powerful, and a great tool that all teachers should be aware of.  Best of all, it's easy to use!  Here's how:



      • Go to: http://www.google.com/squared
      • Type in your search term.  (It works best to use a term where there are many items with comparable information, such as states, presidents, flowers, automobiles, planets, etc.) 
      • Wait for Google to compile the information
      • You can add your own information to the square by going to the far right and typing in a new piece of information you would like about the items.  Google will fill in the blanks.
      • Click on an individual piece of information to find out where Google found the information, or to change the information to another result Google may have found. 
      • You can save the Square by clicking "Save" 
      • You can share the Square by clicking "Share" 
      • You can export the Square to either Google Spreadsheet, or even to a CSV file which you can open with Excel or nearly any other spreadsheet program. 


      Here's how you could use this as a teacher, as you're comparing and contrasting different objects with your students, create a square before your lesson.  Save the square, and then either share it with your students or put it up on the screen.  If you use Google Apps you can even put it into a spreadsheet that you could share with your students so they could access it on their own!

      Tuesday, March 9, 2010

      Wonder Wheel

      Teacher's love graphic organizers, but did you know that you can even view your Google Search results as a graphic organizer? Well, with "Wonder Wheel" you can! When you use wonder wheel you can find search terms which are related to your current search term as a graphic organizer. Here's how:





      • Do a Google search for a term.
      • Click on the [+] Show Options.
      • Find "Wonder Wheel" towards the bottom of the left hand column
      • In the center of yoru screen a circle with your search term in the middle will show up. Each ray out of the circle is a related search term. Click on any of the related term.
      • The term you clicked on becomes the new center of the circle, and in the right hand column are the search results for that new search term.


      This is a great way to search for items related to what you're searching for. Teacher your students to use this to find ideas related to what their learning about.

      Monday, March 8, 2010

      Timeline Search

      Often an important piece of information is the timing related to a topic you may be looking for. Are you aware Google has a tool which helps you to visualize the time frame topics are discussed? It's easy, and here's how:




      • Do a Google search for a term.
      • Click on the [+] Show Options.
      • Find "Timeline" towards bottom of the list in the left column.
      • Google then creates a time line which shows you the number of times a link appears in each year. You can click on the decade/year/month to limit the search results listed below based on when you clicked.

      This is a great tip to be able to find trends in information, and when things are becoming more popular. This could be especially valuable to help with creating timelines in your classroom, or helping students see when things are most popular or at least most talked about.

      Sunday, March 7, 2010

      Advanced Search

      Are you having a hard time finding the information you're looking for with a Google Search? You can use the "Advanced Search" option to more precisely find the information you are looking for with your search. You can limit your search to specific types of pages, exclude pages with certain words from your results, and limit your results to time frames, types, and more. It's easy to do, here's how:



      • Next to where you type your Google Search find the link for "Advanced Search"
      • Click on Advanced Search
        • "all these words" - means all of the words in this box must be in the page (but not necessarily together) in order for it to be shown on the results.
        • "this exact wording or phrase" - means that the exact phrase that you type into this box needs to be on the page (together) for it to be listed in the results
        • "one or more of these words" - Words that you want included, but don't need all of the words in order for them the be listed.
        • "any of these unwanted words" - If these words are on the page, it will not be listed in the results.
        • "results per page" - how many results it will list (if you have fast internet, increase the number so you don't have to click "more" at the end of the page so often.
        • "Language" - which language you want the results in
        • "File type" - only list results with the file type that you choose
        • "Search within a site or domain" - means it will only look at a specific website for information (for example, you could put in "fldoe.org" to list only within the Florida Department of Education's website.
        • "Date, usage rights, numeric range, and more" - Additional options you can use -- play around with them!
      • After you have everything set, just click "Advanced Search" and you will get the more precise search results!

      Search: Show Options

      Do you have millions of "hits" on your Google Search, but you want to limit your results?  Maybe you're only looking for video or for images?  Maybe you're looking for "NEW" information and want to see things only posted in the last week... Google has a tool for that.  It's easy: 




      • Do a normal Google Search
      • On the results at the top left, you will see a [+] Show Options
      • When you click on "Show Options" you will get a new column on the left
      • You can limit your search results by:
        • Type of Results
          • Images
          • Videos
          • News
          • Blogs
          • Updates
          • Books
          • Dissussions
        • Time Limits
          • Latest
          • Past 24 hours
          • Past week
          • Past year
          • Specific date range
      And more!   Try it out to narrow down your search results to exactly what you are looking for!

      Friday, March 5, 2010

      Google Teachers Academy for Administrators

      I write this very first blog post sitting in my hotel here in San Antonio, TX, having just completed the first ever Google Teachers' Academy for Administrators.  I know it will take a while for me to make sense of all that I have learned today, but I have to say that I am excited and energized to put what I have learned into action.

      I should start off by saying that while I was extremely excited to have been selected to attend this training, when I first read the agenda, I was surprised. I use most of the tools that they were planning on talking about, so I wasn't sure I was going to take that much away from the training.  Little did I know, that while I use the tools, I've only scratched the surface on many of them -- who knew?!

      Meanwhile, our school (Pinellas Preparatory Academy) just migrated to Google Apps, and I have been encouraging the staff to use these tools more in their work and the instructino of the students.  The other day one of my teachers asked me to do more professional development on the tips and tricks of using the various tools in Google.  My plan was to make a few screencasts and post them to our school's Moodle, as I have done for other how-tos.

      Today, I learned so much about Google that I did not know was even there.  I am known as a bit of a geek. I could be considered a Google fanboy... and I didn't even know these tools were there! So thus is born this blog, a place for me to record, organize and post various tips specifically for educators on using Google tips and tricks.

      I look forward to sharing with you, and hope you will let me know the tips and tricks you use so that I can share them as well. Thanks in advance, and I look forward to the conversation!