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.

Outline of Available iPad Learning Activities

ipadspectrum

Check out the Edudemic Post.

This image from Edudemic — Full Spectrum of iPad Learning Activities  illustrates how the capabilities of the iPad interact with high quality apps and enable students and educators to develop and engage with in-depth learning activities.

This graphic is the clearest image that I’ve ever seen — highlighting the adroitness of  iPad capabilities and depicting range of opportunities offered to resourceful teachers and learners. It’s a connected learning gem.

Read the full post or check out other great learning information at the Edudemic blog. Don’t be put off by the many lists and the lack – sometimes – of expository writing. The Edudemic blog posts contain a huge amount of valuable information, curated especially for digital learners.

NOTE: If you peruse past posts here on GDSTechTips, you’ll discover several other links to Edudemic, usually on topics that relate to an issue or topic that is under discussion here at school.  One to check out is a GDSTechTips post linking to an Edudemic piece that described some of the ways iPad capabilities can be wasted in schools.

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.

Continue reading

More on Using iPads and Whiteboards

Check out this post at, How to Use Your iPad as a Whiteboard over at Edudemic. A bunch of new apps make the process easier and easier.

iPad Skills We All Need to Know (Kids and Teachers)

Check out 15 iPad Skills Every Teacher and Student Should Have posted over at the Educational and Mobile Learning Blog. Below I’ve listed five that I want to be sure my students master, but there are 10 more skills over at the blog site.

  1. Create a presentation.
  2. Create an e-book.
  3. Record audio clips.
  4. Take notes from an iPad and print or e-mail them.
  5. Make a podcast with VoiceThread.

Accompanying each of the skills are recommended apps that can help students (and teachers) learn how to do the various tasks.

21st Century Learning Resources

Resources for 21st Century LearningEducator Med Kharbach, the proprietor over at the  user-friendly EducatorsTechnnology.com blog, offers a comprehensive end-of-the-year list of 21st Century learning resources, mostly from posts he has written over the past year.

To get a 2013 head-start figuring out how to make your teaching and your classroom environment more welcoming to digital students, it’s worth taking a look at Med’s list. Many of the sources on this list focus on ways to help students collaborate and think critically about the content they encounter in the virtual world.

Check them out by clicking on the image  on the right. Think about getting started with the link to What Teachers Need to Know About 21st Century Literacy which includes a short eight-minute video. Also check out The 33 Digital Skills that Every 21st Century Educator Should Have.