Tekiota https://tekiota.com Technology Catalyst to Education Fri, 08 Dec 2017 04:17:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://i2.wp.com/tekiota.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/favicon-54aa3b69v1_site_icon.png?fit=32%2C32&ssl=1 Tekiota https://tekiota.com 32 32 78800613 10 Best Tech Tips for 2018 https://tekiota.com/10-best-tech-tips-for-2018/ https://tekiota.com/10-best-tech-tips-for-2018/#respond Fri, 08 Dec 2017 03:51:03 +0000 https://tekiota.com/?p=1772

I want you to start the year right with the best tech tips one could hope for in 2018. Tip #10 Master Media Literacy with Fake News This tip unfortunately remains as relevant today as when I published this article. The main idea is to develop ourselves as knowledge constructors by critically curating a variety […]

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I want you to start the year right with the best tech tips one could hope for in 2018.

Tip #10 Master Media Literacy with Fake News

Media Literacy

Media Literacy

This tip unfortunately remains as relevant today as when I published this article. The main idea is to develop ourselves as knowledge constructors by critically curating a variety of resources.

Tip #9 Best Apps for Virtual Reality

Example of Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality

Are you ready to begin your journey into a new and virtual reality? Would you rather start with a pit stop in the augmented reality realm? These 7 apps are your starter kit.

Tip #8 Create a Random Spinning Wheel

Create a Random Name Picker

Random Name Picker

So many of you wrote to let me know how much you enjoy this toolkit. Make sure you know how to build your own random name picker and do other fabulous thing in two clicks with Google Sheets.

Tip #7 Path to Inbox Zen

5 Pro Tips for the Perfect Inbox

The Perfect Inbox

It’s time to crack the whip and master your inbox. Don’t drown in the flood of email. Start here and be on your way to regain your zen.

Tip #6 Screenshot with your Eyes Closed

Partial Screenshot to the Clipboard on a Mac

Master your Screenshot

This may seem like a very simple skill but can you answer these questions:

  1. Do you know how to copy part of your screen to a file on your laptop?
  2. Do you know how to copy your screen to your clipboard on your laptop?

Not sure? Just head over and refresh your memory, it is only a two minute read.

Tip #5 Growth Mindset Wallpapers

Growth Mindset Wallpapers

Growth Mindset

This was an absolute favorite this year. I received lots of positive feedback for these wallpapers which are ready to decorate your laptop screen. Be less ordinary.

Tip #4 Ticking Timers to Bookmark

Classroom Timer - Countdown Timer

Timers

The simplest of our best tech tips? Perhaps. The most effective? Definitely. Bookmark this article and never fail to use the right online timer for an activity.

Tip #3 The New Google Calendar

New Version of Google Calendar

Hear hear, the new Google Calendar has come. It’s enough of a design refresh that you should explore our piece and discover the new features available to you. Don’t get frustrated by this update, learn the ins and outs of scheduling your next appointment.

Tip #2 How to Publish Your Own Website

Ultimate Guide to WordPress Website

Ultimate Guide to WordPress

I wrote this guide out of necessity: WordPress is a big production now and you need steps to use it effectively. Cut though the overly complex interface, follow my lead and you will be able to design an amazing website with beautiful photos in no time.

Tip #1 the List of Best Tech Tips Continues

Best Tech Tips

Best Tech Tips

And of course, you should subscribe to Tekiota so you never miss another tech tip!

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Create a Random Name Picker with Google Sheets https://tekiota.com/create-random-name-picker/ https://tekiota.com/create-random-name-picker/#comments Fri, 01 Dec 2017 02:26:12 +0000 https://tekiota.com/?p=1760

Recommended by our good friend Tom Hammerlund, this set of Google Sheets templates should be part of your teaching arsenal. Use pre-made Google Sheets to quickly create a random name picker, jeopardy games, word puzzles, crossword puzzles, and more. Flippity Templates The idea is really simple and so are the instructions. These are the steps […]

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Recommended by our good friend Tom Hammerlund, this set of Google Sheets templates should be part of your teaching arsenal. Use pre-made Google Sheets to quickly create a random name picker, jeopardy games, word puzzles, crossword puzzles, and more.

Flippity Templates

The idea is really simple and so are the instructions. These are the steps to follow:

  1. Copy one of the Google spreadsheet templates provided on the Flippity website.
  2. Replace the default information with your own.
  3. Publish your spreadsheet with a click on File > Publish to the Web
  4. Share the Flippity link provided on the spreadsheet tab called Get the Link Here.

Voila! Now let’s have a look at the types of activities you can create.

Random Name Picker

This is definitely one of my favorites. Grab your class list and paste it in the Google Sheets template available at this link. In a few steps, you will create an online random name picker in the shape of a colorful spinning wheel. Click the wheel, watch it spin and pick a random name from the list you fed it.

Create a Random Name Picker

Random Name Picker

The online random name picker also features options to pick a line up, create random groups of 2, 3, 4 of 5 and even to build teams or seating charts.

Create a Random Name Picker - Teams

Teams

Once you created your class list and generated the link to choose random names out of a hat, you should bookmark the URL so you can come back to it as often as needed.

But wait, there are a lot more templates to explore!

Quiz Show Games

In the past, you may have used old PowerPoint presentations to create Jeopardy games. You can now easily turn a Google spreadsheet into a trivia game show. Bring your questions and answers, and all the interactions are created for you. Don’t sweat it, just try it: make your own online Jeopardy game.

Make an Online Jeopardy Game

Online Jeopardy Game

In a similar fashion, you can create memory games which may be more appropriate in elementary classrooms.

I highly recommend trying out Jeopardy games and memory games if you have an interactive whiteboard. The students will love it.

Word Games in Google Sheets

With Flippity, you can also create word games in mere seconds. Google Sheets are available for the following word games:

  • Spelling words
  • Crossword puzzles
  • Bingo
  • Hangman

Other Templates

The list continues on and we won’t detail all the options available to you but from their website, you can also create a quiz with certificate, sport team brackets, mix and match, progress indicators, madlibs, badges and even flash cards. Go check it out, you won’t regret it.

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Guide to the New Version of Google Calendar https://tekiota.com/guide-new-version-google-calendar/ https://tekiota.com/guide-new-version-google-calendar/#comments Fri, 10 Nov 2017 03:52:46 +0000 https://tekiota.com/?p=1727

You’ve probably noticed that one of our favorite topics is productivity. Today is no exception as your favorite scheduling app underwent a design makeover. This how-to guide for Google Calendar will teach you all the new features you need to know. Ready to learn? Try the new version of Google Calendar with a click on the […]

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You’ve probably noticed that one of our favorite topics is productivity. Today is no exception as your favorite scheduling app underwent a design makeover. This how-to guide for Google Calendar will teach you all the new features you need to know. Ready to learn? Try the new version of Google Calendar with a click on the Use New Calendar button in the top right corner.

Use New Google Calendar

Use New Google Calendar

Customize View and Design

The most striking feature of the new Google Calendar is its fresh design. Google aligned its Calendar app to the look of the Material Design family. One of the most iconic characteristic of the new esthetics is available across other apps on your phone or on the web: to create a new event in Google Calendar, click on the large red plus button in the bottom right corner of the interface.

New Version of Google Calendar Create Meeting

Add a Meeting

You can also customize how you see your calendar a few different ways. You can now choose to show or hide weekends when viewing your calendar. You can also choose the see  whole year at a glance, when you choose Year view.

To control the layout density and color set of your Calendar, click Settings and then Density. You will be able to choose between the following density for your calendar:

  • Responsive to your screen
  • Compact

In the same tab, you can also choose between a Modern or Classic color set.

New Version of Google Calendar Customize View

Customize Your View

A much needed improvement to the interface is the way a user can handle her other calendars and other people’s calendars that are displayed. First, if you do not already see the left sidebar, click the Main menu button in the top left corner (three horizontal bars). From this side panel, you can do the following:

  1. Show or hide a calendar by clicking on the check mark in front of a calendar name.
  2. Unsubscribe from a calendar by clicking on the cross. This will remove it from the list of calendars.
New Version of Google Calendar Other Calendars

Display or Hide Other Calendars

Finally, it is important to understand how events will be displayed based on how you responded to an invitation.

  1. Solid color indicates that you are attending
  2. Diagonal lines will show if you answer maybe to an invitation
  3. An outlined event is an event for which you did not respond yet
  4. An event will be crossed out if you declined its invitation.
New Version of Google Calendar Events

Events

Formatted Details

When you edit an event, you now have a access to much improved description box which lets you format text, add links and attach Google Docs.

New Version of Google Calendar Meeting Details

Formatting Meeting Details

The description panel now features regular formatting options like bold, italics, and underlined text together with organized and bullet point lists. What’s even more appreciated is that you will be able to use your favorite keyboard shortcuts such as:

Control/Command + B

to make text bold

Control/Command + I

to italicize your text

Control/Command + U

to underline your text

Control/Command + K

to turn your text into a link

I use the last one a hundred times a day.

Finally attachments are here! Click the paperclip icon to add attachments. That will open the Google Drive file picker from which you can add Google Docs files or upload a new files as needed.

View Multiple Calendars Side by Side

There is a new feature which will most certainly enhance collaboration within teams. In Day view, you can view two or more calendars from different people or places at the same time side by side.

New Version of Google Calendar Side by Side Daily View

View Calendars Side by Side

Improved Search Engine

To be noted as well, the updated search tool. The old one would only let you search for keywords in the name of your events. The new search engine now searches through all the details including event names, documents, and contact names. An option for advanced search is available with further criteria such as searching for what, who, where, without and specific dates.

New Version of Google Calendar Advanced Search

Advanced Search

Add Holidays to your New Version of Google Calendar

I wanted to conclude this how-to guide with a tip that works with both old version and the new version of Google Calendar. You can choose from a list of pre-published calendars to add dates related to national holidays, sports events, and others such as phases of the moon or week numbers.

New Version of Google Calendar Add Holidays, Sports and Moon Phases

Add Holidays, Sports and Moon Phases Calendars

To add a list of holidays to your Google Calendar, follow these steps:

  1. Click in the top right corner on Settings
  2. Click on Add Calendar
  3. Click on Browse Calendars of Interest
  4. Add a check mark to the calendar(s) you want to add

What is a your favorite feature in the new version of Google Calendar? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

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Clean Gmail Contacts https://tekiota.com/clean-gmail-contacts/ https://tekiota.com/clean-gmail-contacts/#respond Fri, 03 Nov 2017 03:16:03 +0000 https://tekiota.com/?p=1719

Let's have a look at how Gmail generates your list of contacts and how to clean Gmail contacts you will not be writing to anymore.

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You are composing an email and as you start to type the first few letters in the To: field, the email address of a long-gone colleague pops-up. Gmail simply autocompleted the field with an old email address. Let’s have a look at how Gmail generates your list of contacts and how to clean Gmail contacts you will not be writing to anymore.

Gmail Clean Contacts

Gmail Autocompleted Contacts

Gmail Autocomplete List of Contacts

Google’s Gmail is smart in many ways. When you start typing one character in the To: field of your new message, it suggests any email addresses which have a matching character within their name or address. It pulls these suggestions from 2 lists both found under Contacts: your My Contacts list and your Other Contacts list.

  • My Contacts

My Contacts is the list of email addresses which you added manually. Very few of us do this, so you may find when you visit your Google Contacts Manager page that the majority of your contacts were saved under Other Contacts.

  • Other Contacts

But if you forego this process and in order to keep your address book up to date, Google Mail dynamically creates a contact list based on the email addresses you have previously emailed. These contacts can be found under your Other Contacts list.

Clean Gmail Contacts List of Old Addresses

Here are the steps to clean up your Google Contacts:

  1. From Google Mail, click in the top left corner on Contacts.
  2. By default, you will browse My Contacts as indicated in bold in the left sidebar.
  3. Below My Contacts, click on the automatically created list: Other Contacts.
  4. Add a checkbox in front of any email address that are no longer valid or which you do not recognize and click More > Delete contact. It may pay off to also clean your My Contacts list.
  5. Bonus: if you want to keep contacts from the Other Contacts list permanently, move them to your My Contacts by adding a check mark in front of them and clicking on Add to My Contacts.

Happy cleaning!

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6 Growth Mindset Wallpapers for your Desktop https://tekiota.com/growth-mindset-wallpapers-desktop/ https://tekiota.com/growth-mindset-wallpapers-desktop/#comments Fri, 20 Oct 2017 07:19:11 +0000 https://tekiota.com/?p=1691

If your walls are covered with motivational posters already, why don’t you use your laptop to be reminded of some wonderful ideas. Be careful, those growth mindset wallpapers are guaranteed to inspire everyone! 1. There Are No Failures Be sure to express your intellectual wanderlust. Download. 2. It’s Not That I’m So Smart Because smart […]

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If your walls are covered with motivational posters already, why don’t you use your laptop to be reminded of some wonderful ideas. Be careful, those growth mindset wallpapers are guaranteed to inspire everyone!

1. There Are No Failures

Be sure to express your intellectual wanderlust. Download.

Growth Mindset Wallpaper - There Are No Failures Only Discoveries

There Are No Failures Only Discoveries

2. It’s Not That I’m So Smart

Because smart is not something you ARE, smart is something you BECOME. Download and learn from the smartest.

Growth Mindset Wallpaper - It's Not That I'm So Smart

Growth Mindset Wallpaper – It’s Not That I’m So Smart

3. It Takes Courage

Become the person you’ve always wanted to be. Download and apply now.

Growth Mindset Wallpaper - It Takes Courage to Become Who You Really Are

Growth Mindset Wallpaper – It Takes Courage to Become Who You Really Are

4. They Call Me A Genius

Did you really think he was born this way? No one is. Download and be reminded that a little effort is always needed.

Growth Mindset Wallpaper - They Call Me A Genius

Growth Mindset Wallpaper – They Call Me A Genius

5. You Are Right

Think about it. You are always right aren’t you? Download and switch to the can-do growth mindset.

Growth Mindset Wallpaper - Whether You Think You Can

Growth Mindset Wallpaper – Whether You Think You Can

6. Strive for Progress

Success is a journey, not a destination. Download to be reminded that it’s the journey that matters.

Growth Mindset Wallpaper - Strive for Progress Not Perfection

Growth Mindset Wallpaper – Strive for Progress Not Perfection

Install a Growth Mindset Wallpaper on your Desktop

Set up your Wallpaper On a Mac

  1. Click on Download, right click on the picture and select Save Image As and save the wallpaper in your Pictures folder.
  2. Right click on the saved image and select Set Desktop Picture

Set up your Wallpaper on Windows

  1. Click on Download, right click on the picture and select Save Image As and save the wallpaper in your Pictures folder.
  2. Right click on the saved image and select Set as desktop background

Growth Mindset Framework

To learn more about the growth mindset framework, check out Maria Popova’s article.

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The Ultimate Guide to a WordPress Website https://tekiota.com/ultimate-guide-wordpress-website/ https://tekiota.com/ultimate-guide-wordpress-website/#comments Fri, 13 Oct 2017 03:31:55 +0000 https://tekiota.com/?p=1619

WordPress powers 28% of all websites on the Internet and yet creating a website with WordPress requires no coding HTML skills. But this is not to say that the process is straight forward. As the Swiss army knife of web design, the WordPress dashboard can be difficult to navigate. It is sometimes easy to get […]

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WordPress powers 28% of all websites on the Internet and yet creating a website with WordPress requires no coding HTML skills. But this is not to say that the process is straight forward. As the Swiss army knife of web design, the WordPress dashboard can be difficult to navigate. It is sometimes easy to get lost in the flurry of options available and miss the big picture. I created this ultimate guide to a WordPress website so you can focus on the basics: write content, format it well, and add pictures into a nice looking gallery. We’ll also look at how to embed content, and add a menu to your site. This webpage explains all the basics of a WordPress site so be sure to bookmark it!

Here is a quick menu to navigate this how-to guide:

  1. Front End and Back End
  2. Navigate your WordPress Dashboard
  3. Write Content
  4. Format your Text
  5. Add a Nice Photo Gallery
  6. Embed Content from Other Sites
  7. Add a Navigation Menu
Ultimate Guide to WordPress Website

Ultimate Guide to WordPress Website

By the time you are done with this article, you will know all the fundamentals required to manage your WordPress site!

1. Front End and Back End

A key fact to understand is that your WordPress website has a public side (the front end) and a private admin dashboard (the back end). Therefore, I find it crucial to open the front and back ends in two separate tabs to remain productive (and sane). In a couple of steps:

  1. Login to your website, access the dashboard and edit a post. [BACK END]
  2. In the menu bar at the top of your Dashboard, right click on View Post and select Open Link in New Tab. [FRONT END]
Ultimate Guide to WordPress Website - Public Admin Sides

Keep public and admin sides in separate tabs

This very simple trick will give you a nice view of both sides so you can quickly edit an article and view the changes right away without having to rely on Preview.

2. Navigate your WordPress Dashboard

WordPress is the Swiss army knife of web design. It has been around for a long time and it can be used for many different purposes. This versatility brings about a bloated interface which can be rather confusing at a glance. To navigate your WordPress dashboard, I encourage you to focus only on these areas:

  1. Menu Bar
  2. Posts
  3. Appearance
Ultimate Guide to WordPress Website - Dashboard

WordPress Dashboard

1. MENU BAR

Ultimate Guide to WordPress - Menu Bar

Menu Bar

Pay attention to the menu bar at the top of your screen. Its options are contextual, meaning that they change based on the wider context, e.g.: from your Dashboard, you can easily access the public view of your site, from the public view of a post, you can quickly edit it.

2. POSTS

Ultimate Guide to WordPress - Posts

Posts

This is where you will write all of your content. So make it a habit of going there when you log in. Also under Posts, you can manage your Categories. Think of Categories as the structure of your website. It is with Categories that you will build and efficient navigation menu.

3. APPEARANCE

Ultimate Guide to WordPress - Appearance

Appearance

So much going on in this little menu. Under Appearance, you will find your themes so modify the look of your entire website, the menu, see below on how to add a navigation system to your site, and your widgets which control the content displayed in your sidebars.

But what about the other stuff?

  • Pages You only need a limited number of pages, e.g.: the About Me page, all the rest should be written into posts.
  • Media – You can upload and add photos to your articles with the Media button when writing a post.
  • Links, etc. – Really no need.

Another important interface to master is the one you will use to write articles, you will examine this next.

3. Write Content for your WordPress Website

If you want to write an article for your website, WordPress calls this step Add a New Post. Once again, it is important that you see through the busy interface and focus on the important These are the steps you want to pay attention to for your new post:

  1. Title
  2. Editor
  3. Publish
  4. Categories
  5. Tags
  6. Featured Image
Add New Post

Add New Post

1. TITLE

The title you write here will become the URL of your article. It will also be featured on the front page of your website as a link. Make sure you pick a clear title which explains very well what people will find when they click on it.

2. EDITOR

The editor is where you will write the content of your article. It is a basic editor but we will see below how you can format your text, add images, and embed elements from other websites.

3. PUBLISH

The publish panel on the right side toolbar is very important. First it allows you to save your work in progress which is very important especially if your Internet connection is unreliable. Don’t forget to click on Save Draft from time to time to avoid unpleasant surprises.

Second, you can click on Preview to open a separate tab and see a preview of your work. The preview is a mock-up and as such is different than the front end of your website we mentioned above.

Third, the Publish button is the final step you will click on when everything is ready to be posted on the web.

In the Publish panel you will also notice options for Status, Visibility and Publish. These are features which we will explore in a more advanced guide.

4. CATEGORIES

We will use categories to build a menu for your website (see below) so it is important that you think of categories as the skeleton for your website. Create categories for each of your site’s main theme, then select the appropriate category for your articles. it is best practice to only pick one category per article.

Ultimate How-To WordPress Guide - Categories

Categories

5. TAGS

Tags are less important and some websites omit them entirely. They may be useful though if you want to cross-reference your writings. You can select multiple tags for one article.

Ultimate How-To WordPress Guide - Tags

Tags

6. FEATURED IMAGE

This is a paramount piece of design that many writers forget! You should definitely add a nice featured image to your post. This image will be picked up to become the thumbnail for your article. When your post is listed on your site such as on your home page, visitors will be able to click on the image to access it. Without a featured image, you will be left with just the text description. With a featured image, your website will be more welcoming and easier to navigate.

Ultimate How-To WordPress Guide - Featured Image

Featured Image

4. Format your Text

Ultimate Guide to WordPress - Format Text

Format Text

By default the formatting bar of a WordPress post does not let you change the color of the text. In order to change the font color, add a horizontal line, add an indent or decrease an indent, you need to toggle the toolbar by clicking on the second to last icon from the right of the editor toolbar.

Another feature which you need to learn how to use is text styles. The original style for your text is paragraph, but when you have section headers, you should click on the dropdown and choose Headings 2 and further. These styles, very similar to the ones you can find in Google Docs, have implications with search engines. For this reason, you should not use Heading 1 which is reserved for the title of the post. Preformatted is typically use to showcase programming code, but you may be able to use it when you want to highlight a step.

5. Add a Nice Photo Gallery

When you click on the Add Media button above your post editor, you will be able to upload photos to add to your article. You can add photos one by one, or you can create a gallery with a collection of photos. The default gallery in WordPress is quite drab though, with a very simple table layout of photo thumbnails. But if you activate the jetPack plugin, you will be given access to much nicer design including photos in round bubbles, a mosaic of pictures, and when you click on an image, it will pop up in a large format and allow you to navigate back and forth using the arrow keys.

To enable nice photo galleries for your WordPress website, follow these steps:

  1. Go to WordPress.com and create a free account (you do not need to create a site).
  2. Go back to your own website, and under Plugins, install and activate the Jetpack plugin.
  3. Now that Jetpack is installed, click on its shortcut in the left sidebar (top left, under Dashboard) and click on Connect to WordPress
  4. Once Jetpack is connected successfully, click on jetpack > Settings and under Media, enable the option to Display images and galleries in gorgeous, full-screen browsing experience.

Next we will look at how to add a gallery:

  1. Write a new post or edit a post you already wrote.
  2. Click on Add Media above the post editor.
  3. Click on Create Gallery
  4. Select or upload your images. For a gallery, the more, the better. 8 or 9 images are a good starting point.
  5. Under Gallery Settings, click on the Type drop-down menu to choose between: thumbnail grid (old boring style), tiled mosaic (my favorite), square tiles, circles, and tiled columns.

Here are the different types of photo galleries available for your images with the Jetpack plugin activated and connected:

Ultimate Guide to WordPress Website - Photo Gallery Circles Ultimate Guide to WordPress Website - Photo Gallery Regular Thumbnail Grid Ultimate Guide to WordPress Website - Photo Gallery Square Tiles Ultimate Guide to WordPress Website - Photo Gallery Tiled Mosaic Ultimate Guide to WordPress Website - Photo Gallery Tiled Columns

 

NOTE ABOUT PHOTO LINKS

When you add a photo individually or as a gallery, you should select the option Link to Media File. This will create a quick and direct access to the original image. The other option will link to an individual post containing the photo, a rather confusing option in my opinion.

Ultimate Guide to WordPress Website - Link to Image

Check this option

6. Embed Content from Other Websites

Content created on other websites can easily be embedded into a post on WordPress. You can create a movie on YouTube, a presentation on Prezi or Google Slides, an interactive image on thinglink and then add it directly on your website. From the original website, you should see an option often called embed or share. Clicking on this option will present you with a code, such as the following for Google Slides:

<iframe src="https://docs....>...</iframe>

Here is a quick guide on how to add content from another website onto your site:

  1. Find and copy the embed/share code from the website of origin.
  2. Go to your WordPress post, and switch the Post Editor from Visual to Text
  3. Find where you want to place the content and paste the code
  4. Switch back from Text to Visual
  5. Click on Preview to see the embedded content

The embed code will often have options for width and height which you can play with in order to adjust the size of the content you are adding.

7. Create a Menu to Navigate your Site

The easiest way to create a menu for your website, is by using categories (see Category above). There are 4 layers to creating a navigation system:

  1. Create categories
  2. Create a menu
  3. Add the menu to your website
  4. Adding posts to categories

1. CREATE CATEGORIES

Here is how to create categories for your articles:

  1. Go to Posts > Categories
  2. Under Name, write the name for the category (e.g. Skills, Frameworks, Apps, Innovations are Tekiota’s categories)
  3. Click on Add New Category

When you add category X as a parent of category Y, category Y becomes a sub-category of category X. This will turn category X into a drop-down menu and make category Y an item in that drop-down menu.

Utlimate Guide to WordPress Website - Create Categories

Create Categories

2. CREATE A MENU

Here are the steps to create a menu for your WordPress website;

  1. Go to Appearance > Menus
  2. Under Menu Name, write MainMenu
  3. Click on Categories > View All
  4. Check all categories & subcategories and click on Select All and Add to Menu
  5. Organize the subcategories by dragging them under each category
  6. Click on Save Menu
Utlimate Guide to WordPress Website - Create a Menu

Create a Menu

3. ADD the MENU TO YOUR WEBSITE

And finally, to add the menu to your site, follow these instructions:

  1. Go to Menu Location
  2. If it says your theme does not support menu, choose a different theme
  3. Under Primary Menu, choose the menu you saved as MainMenu
  4. Click on Save Changes
Utlimate Guide to WordPress Website - Add Menu to Website

Add Menu to Website

4. ASSIGN CATEGORIES to EXISTING ARTICLES

  1. Go to Posts > All Posts
  2. Choose a post, click on  Quick Edit
  3. Check the category and subcategory and uncheck Uncategorized
  4. Click on Update
Ultimate Guide to WordPress Website - Assign Categories to Posts

Assign Categories to Posts

How-to Ultimate Guide

This concludes our ultimate guide on WordPress. It is a lengthy article but it contains all the information you need in one spot. Here is a quick video summary of all the skills we learned today:

We will detail more advanced practices in another article.

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Protect your Privacy with Adblock Plus https://tekiota.com/protect-your-privacy/ https://tekiota.com/protect-your-privacy/#respond Fri, 29 Sep 2017 03:01:02 +0000 https://tekiota.com/?p=1625

You’re stuffed with candy canes, you finished all your Christmas online shopping, and your bags are packed. Your browser seems to feel your impatience. An ad pops up on one of your most frequented websites: “Do you miss Chicago? Book your flight now.” It’s time to block your browser leaks and protect your privacy with an extension. […]

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You’re stuffed with candy canes, you finished all your Christmas online shopping, and your bags are packed. Your browser seems to feel your impatience. An ad pops up on one of your most frequented websites: “Do you miss Chicago? Book your flight now.” It’s time to block your browser leaks and protect your privacy with an extension.

Protect your Privacy

Grade 1 Andrea’s Letter to Santa

Who’s the tattletale? Part of your online trail is easily followed by files websites and advertisements leave on your computer. It is very easy to prevent obtrusive ads from being displayed even on Facebook and YouTube. My tool of choice for this task is Adblock Plus which you can install on your browser of choice: Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari (hopefully you are not using Internet Explorer anymore).

The add-on is developed by the open source community and free to use. You can also activate privacy and security features such as tracking and malware protection.

 STANDARD 4: promote and model digital citizenship and responsibility

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Classroom Timers to Bookmark https://tekiota.com/classroom-timers/ https://tekiota.com/classroom-timers/#respond Fri, 22 Sep 2017 01:45:36 +0000 https://tekiota.com/?p=68

Time management is an essential skill for a teacher. Here I list a few excellent classroom timers which I use almost daily.

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Previously I wrote about the use of timers as a classroom management tool in a 1-to-1 environment. Today I wanted to list a few excellent classroom timers. What should you do with this collection of time keepers? Bookmark your favorite classroom timer!

Egg Timer

Let’s start with e.ggtimer.com. This is a very simple and clean classroom timer which does one things very neatly: it counts down time.

Classroom Timers - Egg Timer

Egg Timer

I added the egg timer to my bookmarks bar because of a nice feature: each timer has a separate URL, a clean address which you can access directly. To get a 30 minute timer, I bookmark and visit e.ggtimer.com/30minutes.

I also very much appreciate the simple pop-up window and its accompanying non-obtrusive audio alert at the end of the countdown.

Google Timer

There is a neat another hidden feature of Google Search. The keyword “timer” will rapidly bring up an easy to use timer directly on top of your search results. You can adjust the duration of the countdown, choose to mute the alert, and display the timer full screen. Once the time elapses, you can reset the timer in one click.

Google Timer

Google Timer

Flip Clock

Fancy a traditional flip clock to measure the passing of time? FlipClock.js is here for you. Beautiful design and one of the only classroom timers available for download:

Flip Clock

Flip Clock

Smart Board Timer

If you are looking for an option to use with your interactive smart board, the kitchen timer shaped timerrr has a nice start button which you can press on with your whiteboard pen:

Classroom Timer - Countdown Timer

Kitchen Timer

Online Stopwatch

This is a rather old school timer as this website has been on for a very long time (no pun intended) but there is a reason for this. Although quite ugly, it is very easy to use. Click the green arrow to start a stop watch, or click the red arrow to begin a count down. Welcome to online stopwatch: www.online-stopwatch.com.

Classroom Timers - Online Stop Watch

Online Stop Watch

More Classroom Timers

If you are looking for more features in a timer, such as time elapsed, time remaining and an actual clock, you might want to consider other classroom timers. If you want to display multiple timers at once, the Online Egg Timer will do just that for you.

 

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The 7 Best Apps for Virtual Reality in the Classroom https://tekiota.com/best-classroom-virtual-reality-apps/ https://tekiota.com/best-classroom-virtual-reality-apps/#respond Fri, 15 Sep 2017 04:36:53 +0000 https://tekiota.com/?p=1560

Virtual Reality is an immersive experience which your students will never forget. Visit exotic destinations, manipulate the anatomy of extinct creatures, ride in a formula one, the scenarios are almost endless. Here are some of the best apps to discover virtual reality in the classroom. But first we need to explain the semantic difference between […]

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Virtual Reality is an immersive experience which your students will never forget. Visit exotic destinations, manipulate the anatomy of extinct creatures, ride in a formula one, the scenarios are almost endless. Here are some of the best apps to discover virtual reality in the classroom.

But first we need to explain the semantic difference between realities.

Virtual Reality vs Augmented Reality

Various concepts all end in reality:

Example of Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality (VR) is the most immersive as it lets you experience a complete different situation than the one you are currently in.  To discover this new 3D world, you will need to wear a headset which will project the new reality in front of your eyes. These range from very cheap like the Google Cardboard + smartphone combination to very expensive such as Oculus Rift, HTC vive, or Playstation VR. These latter VR devices also feature audio and tactile experiences. You can see the 3D display in the screenshot on the side, depicted as two separate screens for each of your eyes. VR is the most talked about and as such as become a catch phrase for other similar experiences.

Example of Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality (AR) begins with a natural view of the world around you, onto which a device adds (the augmentation part) other elements, typically computer generated. Augmented Reality can be experienced with most smart phones and does not require any specific head gear. An AR app will use the phone’s camera to project the real world and add objects in specific locations mapped for the purpose of the application. In the example in the image, a 3D character was superimposed onto the desk in our office. He is anchored in a specific spot so if I look away from that spot, I will not see him anymore on my phone.

Is your Phone Smart Enough for Virtual Reality?

If you want to use a virtual reality app on your phone, it will need three very specific sensors:

  1. a gyroscope, to check the tilt or twist of the device (horizontal orientation)
  2. an accelerometer, to detect the vertical orientation of your phone, and
  3. a compass to identify which direction is North.

Check Smartphone is VR CompatibleThe majority of phones on the market today will sport these features  but if you are unsure of this, use an app. EZE VR is an application to check the compatibility of an Android smartphone with virtual reality headsets by detecting if the smartphone has the necessary gyroscope and magnetic field sensors.

Once this initial check is done, you can dig into these other virtual reality apps.

Cardboard App

Google Cardboard Virtual Reality AppWhen Google came up with the cheapest virtual reality headset, one which could be made out of cardboard, they also released an homonymous app to showcase what virtual reality could look like. Manipulate ancient artifacts, examine dinosaur skeletons at the American Museum of Natural History or fly amongst seagulls are some of the adventures that await you and your students. For many of us, this was our first taste of VR, and I still strongly suggest you begin here with the Cardboard app (available for iPhones or Android).

Google Expeditions

Google Expeditions Virtual Reality AppOnce you are familiar with the basics of virtual reality and how to bring it into your classroom with cheap headsets like the Cardboard, the first app you can involve your students with is Google Expeditions. As its name suggest, the app will take all of you to explore together immersive, visual journeys across the universe, from the bottom of the ocean to the tallest mountain peaks and even into space aboard the International Space Station, One attractive feature of the app is that once your students join you on a virtual tour, you can point out specific parts of the panorama to them inside the app.  You can direct the group to focus by looking at the arrow when you are talking about something in particular. There are hundreds of panoramic tours and we started to curate the ultimate list of Google Expeditions per subject and per location.

Google Street View

Google Street View Virtual Reality AppAll the 360 photos taken by Google and users alike uploaded to Google Maps are available as VR panoramas in Google StreetView. So if you did not find a specific location in the list of Google Expeditions, you can still take your students on a tour using the Google Street View app. To get started, launch the app on your phone, search for a location, and tap it to launch its street view. Finally tap the Google Cardboard icon displayed in the upper right corner and insert your phone in a VR headset. Head over to the Google Street View website.

A special note: Street View will show you one static image at a time. Google Earth takes it one step further and lets you go anywhere in real time. But for this you will need either the HTC Vive or the Oculus Rift (see VR vs. AR section above).

Cardboard Camera

Virtual Reality Photo Camera AppThe Cardboard Camera app is an interesting proposition for your student. It will turn the viewer into a VR photographer. The Google Cardboard Camera app lets you take your own virtual reality photos with your smartphone for later viewing with a VR headset. The VR camera app will allow you to do take a 360 photo with a regular smartphone. If you ever taken a panorama photo with your photo, you already know the concept. It is worth nothing that you can also take photos from within the Street View app and directly upload them to Google Maps. The Cardboard Camera app is available from a quick search in the App Store and Play Store.

Within

Within Virtual Reality AppWithin was founded by award-winning filmmaker Chris Milk and renowned technologist Aaron Koblin with the goal of exploring and expanding the potential of immersive storytelling. Through the Within app, you will discover captivating immersive experiences from the world’s finest VR creators: from imaginary world to documentaries taking you further inside the news than ever before. The Within app is available for iPhone and Android.

VirtualSpeech

VirtualSpeech Virtual Reality AppVirtualSpeech offers an interesting proposition to your students: it will teach them public speaking using realistic VR scenarios. Introverts beware! If you want to know how it feels to step out in front of a large audience (think TED talk) or rehearse an interview in front of a smaller committee, put the headset on and open your eyes. The idea behind the app is to give you realistic conditions to practice your speech. This app is interesting as it offers an insight into what virtual reality can add to the learning experience. The app is available on the VirtualSpeech website for Androids, iPhones, and Oculus headsets.

Finally it is worth knowing that you can watch YouTube videos with a virtual reality headset. Put your phone in a Google Cardboard, open the YouTube app on your phone, search for #360Video to find the official virtual reality YouTube channel.

Did we miss and VR apps you love to use in the classroom? Let us know in the comments below!

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5 Pro Tips for the Perfect Inbox https://tekiota.com/5-pro-tips-for-the-perfect-inbox/ https://tekiota.com/5-pro-tips-for-the-perfect-inbox/#respond Fri, 01 Sep 2017 03:45:12 +0000 https://tekiota.com/?p=1511

Master your Gmail inbox with this very short training and never miss an important email anymore. Here are five pro tips for the perfect inbox. Watch the training video for an overview, and dive in with the details below when you are ready to conquer. Tip 1 Filter Important Emails GOAL – Keep important emails […]

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Master your Gmail inbox with this very short training and never miss an important email anymore. Here are five pro tips for the perfect inbox. Watch the training video for an overview, and dive in with the details below when you are ready to conquer.

Tip 1 Filter Important Emails

GOAL – Keep important emails at the top of your inbox, leave unimportant emails at the bottom

HOW-TO – Change your inbox type

  1. In Gmail, in the top right corner of the screen under your picture, click the cog wheel > Settings
  2. Click on the tab called Inbox
  3. Click on the Inbox type drop down and choose Important first
  4. Scroll down and click on Save Changes
5 Pro Tips for a Perfect Inbox - #1 Filter Important Emails

Filter Important Emails

The list of inbox types includes important first, unread first, starred first and priority inbox. I am showcasing my favorite option but your workflow may be different.

Tip 2 Enable Undo Send Email

GOAL – Fix your mistake, stupid! Retrieve an email you just sent

HOW-TO – Enable undo send

  1. Click the cog wheel > Settings
  2. Click on the tab called General
  3. Check the option to Enable Undo Send
  4. Choose the delay
  5. Scroll down and click on Save Changes

With this option enabled, instead of leaving your outbox right away, the message you just sent will hang around for 5-30 seconds while you make up your mind.

5 Pro Tips for the Perfect Inbox - 2 Undo Send Email 1

Enable Undo Send

This allows me to disguise my stupidity on a daily basis.

5 Pro Tips for the Perfect Inbox - 2 Undo Send Email 2

Control+Z that Stupid Email

Tip 3 Personalize your Email

GOAL – Increase the friendliness factor of your email

5 Pro Tips for the Perfect Inbox - Personalize your email

Personalize your email

HOW-TO Add a picture to your account

  1. Click the cog wheel > Settings
  2. Click on the tab called General
  3. Click on My Picture > Change Picture
  4. Crop the photo so only your head is in the frame
  5. Scroll down and click on Save Changes

Don’t take a selfie with your webcam at 10pm under fluorescent light. Go for a vacation photo where you are relaxed and possibly even smiling.

HOW-TO Add a signature

  1. Click the cog wheel > Settings
  2. Click on the tab called General
  3. Click on Signature
  4. Type in a brief signature
  5. Scroll down and click on Save Changes

Make your signature brief. Think more within the line of “name, position, school” then a summary of your resume. I’m not a huge fan of quotes either, but if that’s your style…

HOW-TO Respond with emojis

  1. Click on that little pacman at the bottom of your email
  2. Match it to your mood
5 Pro Tips for the Perfect Inbox - Show Emotions with Emojis

Show Emotions with Emojis

Research backs up the little yellow face. Emoticons will make you appear more competent and friendly, they create a happier workplace, and they correlate with real-life happiness (read more benefits on Buffer Social). What more do you need 😉 ?

Tip 4 Separate Personal and Professional Accounts

GOAL – Manage your personal and professional emails in one browser

HOW-TO – Set up multiple profiles in your web browser

  1. Click on Chrome > Settings
  2. Click on Manage People
  3. Create a profile for your work account and another one for your personal one
  4. To switch between work and personal accounts, click in the top right corner of your browser.
5 Pro Tips for the Perfect Inbox - Multiple Browser Profiles

5 Pro Tips for the Perfect Inbox – Multiple Browser Profiles

Google Chrome Help has more detailed instructions on how to add a profile.

I typically open each account into a different window and recently I have learned to put each account on a different desktop to avoid interferences. I also like to change themes between my accounts (Settings > Themes). This gives me instant visual clues on which account I am looking at.

Tip 5 Clean Up Your Contacts

GOAL – Take control over the auto-complete

HOW-TO – Clean up the wrong email addresses that pop-up with auto-complete

  1. Click on Mail
  2. Click on Contacts (in the top left corner under the logo, drop down from Mail)
  3. Click on Others in the left sidebar towards the bottom
  4. Check the box in front of the undesired email addresses (blank ones, old KAS emails, anybody you don’t recognize)
  5. Click on More > Delete Contacts
5 Pro Tips for the Perfect Inbox - Clean Up Your Contacts

Clean Up Your Contacts

The list of email addresses under Contacts > Others contains all the emails that get automatically collected when you respond to an email. You will want to clean that list. When I do my contacts spring clean up, I also take a little time to add missing information (names, phone numbers, place of work) to existing contacts.

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Master the Art of the Screenshot https://tekiota.com/master-the-art-of-the-screenshot/ https://tekiota.com/master-the-art-of-the-screenshot/#respond Fri, 28 Apr 2017 02:36:31 +0000 https://tekiota.com/?p=1488

Taking a screenshot on your computer is a skill you learn early on, alongside the shortcuts for copying and pasting. In lesson plans, emails, tutorials, and other documents, sharing a picture of your entire desktop or a small snapshot of a detail happens routinely. But have you truly mastered the art of the screenshot? The tip […]

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Taking a screenshot on your computer is a skill you learn early on, alongside the shortcuts for copying and pasting. In lesson plans, emails, tutorials, and other documents, sharing a picture of your entire desktop or a small snapshot of a detail happens routinely. But have you truly mastered the art of the screenshot? The tip of the hat this week goes to Tech Ambassador John Keisker for teaching an old dog a new trick. Learn how to take a screenshot and choose whether you want it as a file or in your clipboard.

Capture a Screenshot

On Windows and Mac, screenshot captures behave differently:

Windows Screenshots

Within the Windows operating systems, you take a screenshot by pressing the Print Screen key on your keyboard. This makes a copy of your entire desktop and places it in the clipboard, the temporary zone where copied information resides. Switch to the application of your choice and you can paste it with a swift combination of the Control + V keys.

Take a screenshot in Windows

Take a screenshot in Windows

Mac Screenshots

On a Mac, screenshots are more permanent as they become files saved on your desktop.

To capture the entire screen
Command + Shift + 3

Your will hear a shutter sound and your screenshot will be saved as an image file on your desktop.

Shortcut for a Desktop Screenshot on a Mac

Shortcut for a Desktop Screenshot on a Mac

To capture part of the screen
Command + Shift + 4

Your cursor will turn into a crosshair . Click and drag your mouse to make a selection around the area you would like to copy as an image. When you release the mouse button, you will hear a shutter sound and your partial screenshot will be saved as a picture file on your desktop.

Take a Partial Screenshot on a Mac

Take a Partial Screenshot on a Mac

Copy a Screenshot to the Clipboard on a Mac

As you understand, this is the default behavior on a Windows Machine, but not on a Mac. It takes a little extra time to go through the process of inserting a picture from an image file into a document. Instead, having a screenshot ready to be pasted directly can be a real time saver.

This week, John shared with us how to take a screenshot on your Apple computer and have it copied to the clipboard where it is waiting to be pasted. It is as simple as adding the control key to the above combinations:

Desktop screenshot to the clipboard
Command + Control + Shift + 3

Copy your Desktop Screenshot to the Clipboard on a Mac

Copy your desktop screenshot to the clipboard on a Mac, then paste it directly into a document

Partial screenshot to the clipboard
Command + Control + Shift + 4

Partial Screenshot to the Clipboard on a Mac

Copy a partial screenshot to the clipboard on a Mac, then paste it directly into a document

Using this keyboard combination, you could take screenshots of images on the Internet and paste them directly into your documents without any intermediary steps!

Save a Screenshot as a File in Windows

Of course there are times when being able to save a screenshot as a file is the preferred way to go. This tutorial wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t show you how to do this in Windows. If you want to save your screenshot directly as a file in Windows 10 (the only version for which this shortcut works), you need to click on the Windows key + Print Screen. This will save the screenshot as an image in the Pictures folder under Screenshots.

Shortcut Save a Screenshot as a File in Windows 10

Shortcut Save a Screenshot as a File in Windows 10

This new keyboard shortcut is just as useful as the copy paste without formatting we highlighted in a previous article. Thank you again John!

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Take Teaching to the Next Level https://tekiota.com/take-teaching-next-level/ https://tekiota.com/take-teaching-next-level/#respond Fri, 14 Apr 2017 02:53:49 +0000 https://tekiota.com/?p=1468

If you want to take teaching to the next level, you have to look beyond the walls of your classroom and collaborate on a global scale. Teachers must model collaboration to students so they in turn can use these skills in the digital world in which they are already immersed. We are happy to share the […]

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If you want to take teaching to the next level, you have to look beyond the walls of your classroom and collaborate on a global scale. Teachers must model collaboration to students so they in turn can use these skills in the digital world in which they are already immersed. We are happy to share the success story of a KAS teacher who was recognized for his teamwork across continents.

Collaborate and Share

Take Teaching to the Next Level

Take Teaching to the Next Level

In his seminal book, Thomas Friedman painted a picture of a world were people become more able to collaborate, compete and share with others of different cultures, educational backgrounds, and languages. Today, the world he depicted in 2005, is undoubtedly here. We cannot wait for our students to experience this world outside of our classrooms. It is up to us, educators, to focus on the skills that will allow them to navigate positively in those new waters. This is the reason collaboration and sharing are central pieces to any technology policy. ISTE exemplifies this.

A Framework for Global Collaborators

The ISTE standards are references because they provide solid guidance for our students. Standard #7 provides a framework to challenge our students to become global collaborator. It encourages us to teach them how to use digital tools to broaden their perspectives and enrich their learning by collaborating with others and working effectively in teams locally and globally. However, teaching this skillset in the digital world may not necessarily be self-evident to Generation X.

Leverage Technology to Collaborate Globally

Leverage Technology to Collaborate Globally

In Chapter 2 of Good to Great, Jim Collins identifies the best leaders as a group displaying a mix of determination and humility. Many of us have the humility (and sometimes shame) to acknowledge that we are not digital natives. It is important to understand that a digital native is a connected being. And so a misconception needs to be dispelled here. Teachers who are the most successful at integrating technology are so not because they master a piece of technology.  They realize their potential when they recognize technology as a connection tool. If you want to take teaching to the next level, you must actively seek out collaboration with other educators using technology.

Collaboration Across Continents

The key to be able to teach collaboration, is for teachers to model digital age work and learning and collaborate within their community and with other communities of connected educators.

There are many examples of KAS teachers collaborating with other schools. Lulu once took front stage with her mystery hangouts. This semester, travelling teddy bears are connecting our younger students in the elementary school. The tip of the hat today goes to TW for his sustained association with Annette Lang across the globe.

Connected learners leveraging AR

Connected learners leveraging AR

On February 19, 2015 Annette a teacher in Ohio, US sent a single tweet. She very simply wrote: @VictorBoulanger @biomedacademy we are looking for schools to connect with for collaborative projects! We a #gafe school.

I relayed her words to TW, who diligently responded. This story of connected classrooms which we highlighted in the past, now appears to be the founding stone to all the connections linking these educators and students across continents.

For the past two years, Annette and TW have had their students work collaboratively on a variety of projects which not only push the students to practice digital citizenship skills in a very real context, they have also been a major source of professional growth for the teachers involved.

Collaborate and connect your classroom

Collaborate and connect your classroom

Their teamwork was recently recognized by educational guru Vicky Davis, better known by her Internet monicker Cool Cat Teacher. In her 10-minute Teacher podcast, she interviewed TW as they discussed 5 ideas to connect your classroom. Do not miss it!

If you took your teaching to the next level, let us know in the comment section below.

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