Why Word Order Matters When You Search

The word order of a search matters in today’s connected world, so 21st Century learners of all ages should understand how search results change when a user rearranges the words. A short video on word order, uploaded by Google’s Search Anthropologist Daniel Russell — check out his Search-Research blog — teaches this lesson effectively.

Use this less-than-two-minute video, recently featured in a blog post at Free Technology for Teachers, as a quick and succinct teaching tool with students, parents, and other educators.

Lots More Fonts for Google Drive!

Until a few days ago, even as I was increasing my daily use of Google Drive, I assumed that font choices were limited.  Then I read a blog post about fonts over at the Education Technology and Mobile Learning blog (a great resource to follow).

Guess what?  We can use hundreds of fonts with our Google documents.

Google Fonts 1You can follow of the steps, with pictures, at the blog.  I’ve followed them on my laptop. They’re easy, and I and noted the steps here.

Point your mouse to the font list at the top of the page.  Click and hold and your font list opens.  Mouse down to the bottom of the fonts list where it says Add Fonts. (See image at left.)

Another window opens. (See image at right.)

In this window,  all of the fonts you can add-on are to the left-hand side  and the list of what is actually on your Google drive on the right side.

Peruse the list on the left and click on the fonts you want to add. At the top right you can filter the fonts in all sorts of different ways.

Click OK when you have selected the fonts that you want to use.  Once you choose them for one document, they seem to remain in the list for other documents. More on this later, if updates are required.

Google fonts 2Users can go back again and again.

One way to filter the fonts is by Date added, so it may be that more new fonts will be uploaded occasionally.

Still to discover is whether fonts will show up no matter what computer you use.

Several Google Drive tutorials are listed in right-hand column of this blog.

Grammar Girl Podcasts — Listen and Learn

Just about every day I have a grammar question, despite that in junior high school I was an ace at diagramming sentences. Most commonly I need to figure out how to punctuate something I have written. I search for an answer, and I want to remember the information — if possible — so that I can use it the next time the same question arises. Yes, I could consult The Elements of Style, On Writing WellThe Chicago Manual of Style, or countless other good grammar books.

Visit Grammar Girl!

Visit Grammar Girl!

These days, however, when I am puzzling over a comma or a particular word, I almost always go online to find a podcast at Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips. I listen to the explanation, usually accompanied by music and amusing examples, and even days later I still remember the rule or the spelling or usage — even if the topic has not reappeared in my writing.

If you have not checked out the Grammar Girl podcasts, take some time to do so. They are great fun — two words that I never associated with sentence diagrams.

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Neat Google Searching Tips!

Learn more about Google search lesson plans here.

Every time we search on Google we get millions of hits.  Here are some tips that can streamline your results. Remember that most Google searches are not case sensitive. Give these a try.

  • Exclude a word.  For example:  grocery stores -Safeway
    No Safeway hits will be included in your results.
  • Search a specific country’s Google site. Sometimes it is good to search through Google links in a specific country rather than for world.
    http://www.google.co.uk, — (notice there is no com, just “co” for country and the country two letter tag)
  • Connect an area code with a geographic area.
    Enter the area code in the search box and Google will give you links that tell you about the area code and where it is from.

46 Interesting Ways to Use Wordle in the Classroom

Check out some of these interesting ideas!

Click to visit the presentation.

Making PDF Files – Some Tips to Get You Started

In MS Word for Mac

  • Go to file/save as.
  • Click on the arrow to the right of format.
  • Choose PDF.
  • Save.

In MS Word on a PC

  • Go go file/save as.
  • Mouse down the window that opens on the right.
  • Choose PDF or XPS (don’t worry about XPS).
  • Save

What is a PDF???

  •   PDF stands for portable document format.
  •  If you save as a PDF, just about any computer anywhere can open your document — it’s a universal format.
  •  When you send a PDF, it’s impossible to make changes — which a lot of people like when they are sending around a document. However, this means that if you open it you can not make changes either. So you may want to first save as a regular MS Word document so you can edit later on.

David Pogue Cool Tech Tips

David Pogue is the most well-known and savvy tech reporter at the New York Times.

Read his May 18, 2011 column, Ins and Outs of Using Gadgetry, to learn all sorts of tech tips that will help you be a more effective and efficient tech consumer (and user).

Check Out Tips

  • Browsers
  • Digital cameras
  • Text editing
  • Cell phones
  • Apps
  • … and more