Technology Training

Welcome

You are in the place where we will be collecting our computer support materials. Whether you have a general “How do I?” question, are looking for documentation, tutorials, or have a problem related to your computer system, this site provides you with the information and contacts to assist you.

If you would like individual support from a Helpdesk support specialist, please submit a ticket at support@esd401.org.


Supported Apps

Below is an ever changing list of recommended apps. It is a work in progress that I will continue to update as I find more apps.

Each iPad will have all of the apps of each grade-- so some apps may be used by multiple grades. I also tried my best to fit the apps where I thought appropriate, but they may fit in other places based on what you are teaching.

Many apps require in-app purchases that will be blocked. As we talked about at the meeting, we are working on the policy for paid apps and should have that soon.

Apps that will be installed on each iPad:

  • Reflex
  • Lexia
  • Seesaw (digital portfolio, very student friendly)
  • TypingAgent
  • Kahoot (game show type app that can use pictures, great for vocabulary or sight words)
  • Scratch Jr. (coding)
  • CodeSpark Academy (coding)
  • Lego Mindstorms

Kinder:

  • Kindergarten math and reading learning kids games
  • Sight words learning games and reading flash cards
  • Endless numbers
  • Endless reading
  • CyberChase Shape Quest
  • Todo math
  • Dinosaur Train
  • Geoboard
  • ABC Food

1st (many of the above I also recommend for 1st):

  • Vocabulary Spelling City
  • Geoboard, by the Math learning center
  • Math Champ Challenge (Common Core Standards)
  • DIY Sun Science
  • Kodable (coding)

2nd:

  • K-5 Splash Math learning games
  • Jumbled sentences 3 (a fun way to improve sentence writing)
  • Grammaropolis
  • Blue Apprentice Elementary Science Game
  • Planet Geo - Fun games of world geography for kids
  • Cyberchase 3D builder (geometry builder)

3rd:

  • Size Wise (math- ratios and proportions)
  • Fraction Mash (not sure if you do fractions in 3rd)
  • Cargo bot (math/coding/logic game)
  • Awesome eats
  • News-o-matic daily reading for kids
  • iNaturalist

Quick Tech Tips

Gmail

Unread first

Unread Messages First

Do you sometimes mark messages as "unread" so you can come back to them later but then they get buried under the avalanche of emails you get? I like to keep my unread messages on top so I can access them better. You'll find the instructions on how to do this below. Have a great weekend!

Choose your inbox layout
  1. Open Gmail.
  2. In the top right, click Settings Settings.
  3. Click Settings.
  4. Click the Inbox tab.
  5. In the "Inbox type" section, select Unread first.
Word of warning: if you have lots of unread emails from the past, you'll want to "read" them (or just archive them) otherwise this will make them rise to the top.

If you have a big number here you have a lot of "unread" (probably just ignored) emails. I can help you clean those up, just send me an email and I'll help.

Archive emails

Archive Emails
Did you know that Gmail treats deleting an email much differently than Outlook? Many people deleted emails in Outlook and would go back later to find the messages. In Gmail, deleted emails are automatically deleted after 30 days. For this reason, I suggest archiving any emails you EVER want to see/have again (record keeping for example).

I try to archive any messages that I am "done" with or have read so I keep my inbox clean(ish). See below how to archive, and how to find messages when you want to get them back.

Archive an email
  1. Open Gmail.
  2. Open the message or check the box to the left of it. To archive multiple emails, check the box next to all emails you want to archive.
  3. Near the top of the page, click Archive Archive.

Find or move messages you archived

The All Mail label is added to every message. If a message has been archived, you can find it by opening the All Mail label.

  1. Open Gmail.
  2. On the left side of the page, hover your mouse over the label list.
  3. At the bottom of the list, click More. You may need to scroll down to see it.
  4. Click All Mail.

Vacation responder

Vacation Responder

Do you have a training you will be out of school for and want to let people know you'll be gone? Based on the dates you will be gone, you can create an automated email response.

This can be really helpful if you'll be out for some time and won't be able to answer emails. Below are the instructions! Have a wonderful day.

Set up your Out of Office reply
  1. Open Gmail.
  2. In the top right, click Settings Settings.
  3. Click Settings.
  4. Scroll down to the "Vacation responder" section.
  5. Select Vacation responder on.
  6. Fill in the date range, subject, and message.
  7. Under your message, choose which people to send your vacation response to.
  8. At the bottom of the page, click Save Changes.

Note: If you have a Gmail signature, it will be shown at the bottom of your vacation response.

Turn off your vacation reply

When your vacation reply is on, you'll see a banner across the top of your inbox that shows the subject of your vacation response.

To turn off your vacation response, click End now.


Preview mode

Preview mode

Do you ever open an attachment from Gmail and you see a document surrounded by black bars? When you just click on the icon as seen below, it opens a "preview" of the document. The document will be surrounded by transparent black. Most often this is the full document, but sometimes formatting looks a little off due to it being a preview.




You can do several things in preview mode:
  • Save to your Google Drive
  • Open (if it is a Google Document)
  • Print (IT department is working on this for Chromebooks!)
  • Download
To exit preview mode, click the arrow located in the black space in the top left. Avoid clicking the traditional back button.


Themes

Themes

Getting bored of the standard white of Gmail? Dreaming of warm beaches? Today we have a fun little tip. You can change your Gmail theme/background to a style that works best for you. I chose a nice fall theme.

  1. On your computer, open Gmail.
  2. In the top right, click Settings Settings.
  3. Click Themes.
  4. Click a theme.
  5. Near the bottom, make changes to the theme by using the Text Background, Vignette, or Blur buttons.
  6. Click Save.

Calendar: Invite participants

Invite participants


Do you ever wonder how you get invited to district meetings? Wonder where those messages that show up that look like the image below come from? They are from a calendar invite. This is a GREAT way to invite parents to classroom events, or schedule meetings with your colleagues. Look below for the instructions on how to create an event and invite people.






  1. Open Google Calendar.
  2. In the top left corner, click Create.
  3. Add a title to the event, and any event details.
  4. If you have multiple calendars, choose the calendar where you want to add the event from the "Calendar" dropdown menu.
  5. At the top of the page, click Save.

Add people to your event

  1. Open an event, or create a new one.
  2. On the right, find the Add guests section.
  3. Start typing the name of the person and choose a result from your contacts. You can also type an email address to invite people who aren't in your contacts list.
  4. When you're done editing your event, click Save.

When you save your event, an email invitation will be sent to your guests.


Recurring events

Do you have recurring events that you'd like to add to your calendar? Maybe you want to add your PLC meetings to your calendar or maybe you have monthly meetings with a family.

In Google Calendar, you have some pretty advanced ways to add repeating events. I, for example, can create my Tech Team meeting for the second Wednesday morning of each month and invite participants.
Set up a new repeating event
  1. Open Google Calendar.
  2. In the top left corner, click Create.
  3. Add the event title, date, and time.
  4. Under the date and time, check the box next to Repeat.
  5. Choose how often you want the event to repeat, and when you want the repeating event to end.
  6. Click Done.
  7. When you're done creating your event, click Save at the top of the page.
A word of caution-- make sure to set an END date. If you invite people, the recurring event will go on their calendar too.

Event reminders



Do you ever have an important event that you need multiple reminders for? Google Calendar calls these "notifications" and allows you to set up to five(!) notifications for events. When I have something important coming up, I'll set one for a few days before and one for a few hours.

Change notifications for an individual event
  1. Open Google Calendar.
  2. Open the event.
  3. Click Edit event.
  4. In the Notifications section, choose how you'd like to be notified.
  5. Click on Add notification if you'd like to add more than one
  6. Click Save.

Add district calendars

Do you want to see school wide (or district wide) events layered on your calendar? I like to layer the school calendars with my personal calendar with each in different colors. This is a few steps to complete, but once you do it once, you'll never need to do this again.

To add district/school calendars, follow these steps:
Adding District or School Calendars to your Calendar:
  1. Go to Google Calendar
  2. On the left hand side, find Other calendars
  3. Click the arrow to the right of Other calendars
  4. Click Browse interesting calendars
  5. Near the top click on More
  6. Click Resources for esd401.org
  7. Click on the site you'd like (VVE for example)
  8. Click Subscribe next to the calendar you'd like
  9. Repeat for any other site calendars you would like
Bonus tip:
Colorize your calendars:
  1. Go to Google Calendar
  2. Locate the calendar you'd like to give a color on the left (hint: you may have to click the arrow to the left of "My calendars" or "Other calendars"
  3. Hover over the calendar you'd like to change and click the little arrow that appears to the right
  4. Choose a color
  5. All events in that calendar will now appear in that color

Google Docs

Email doc to Printshop

Here is a quick tip on sending documents from Google Docs to the Printshop for printing.

  1. Open the document you'd like to print in Google Docs
  2. Click in the top left on File
  3. Click on Email as attachment
  4. Ensure that it is a PDF is selected and put Lyle's email address into the To box
  5. Add any details about the printing that you'd like and send
  6. Google Docs will send a PDF copy that looks exactly like your document to Lyle
See the images below for visuals.


Revision history

Do you ever wish you could go back into time to a previous version of a document? Did you share a document with someone and they changed it (accidentally or otherwise)?

Another great reason to use Google Docs (slides or sheets too!) is called "revision history." With this tool, you are able to roll back any changes that have been made to your document(s). Additionally, you can SEE who made the change and what date/time the change was made.

Benefits:
  • No more "formal" rough drafts! Do you ever assign students to make a certain number of changes to their essay and then they have to make you a new copy? Now all of the drafts are embedded into the document. You can see the document as it changes over time rather than just the times it has been turned into you.
  • Group work? You can see which students (or colleagues) are making the most changes.
  • Made an accidental change and can't "undo"? Revision history will roll the changes back.
  • Do you make multiple versions of quizzes? With this tool, you won't need multiple versions of the file-- just one and you can make as many changes as you want.
The instructions are below!

See revision history for a file

  1. Open a document, spreadsheet, presentation, or drawing.
  2. Click File and then See revision history.
  3. Click a timestamp in the panel on the right to see a previous version of the file. You'll also see the people who edited the file below the timestamp, and the edits that each person made are shown in the color that appears next to their name.
  4. In the top right, use the arrows to scroll through the list of changes.
    • Note: Text that has been added will be highlighted in a different color. Text that has been deleted will be shown with a strikethrough.
  5. To revert to the version you're currently viewing, click Restore this revision.
  6. To return to the current version of your document, click the back arrow in the top left.

Reverting to a previous version of a document doesn't eliminate any versions, but it moves this previous version to the top of your revision history.

View your edits in more detail

Revisions are grouped into short time periods to make it easier for you to see the slight differences between previous document versions. If you want more information, click Show more detailed revisions in the lower right corner of the revision history panel.

Make a copy (Save-as)

In Google Docs, if you get a document shared with you and you want to make your own version of the file, you can make your own version of the file.

In Word you would have just used Save As-- but in Google, this is called "Make a Copy."

Make a copy of a file:
  • Open the file in Google Docs
  • Click File
  • Click Make a copy
  • Select your options and click Ok
  • Your new file will open and you are now the owner of the file

Alternatively, you can open the doc and click below and it will take you through the process: https://synergyse.com/shared?app=document&script=2004

Google Drive

Share using a link

One of the big benefits to using Google Drive (Docs/Slides/Sheets too) is the ability to share your file with others. By sharing a file you are always sharing the most recent version of the file. This means, if you are anything like me, and you send something out and then remember you forgot to change something, you don't have to re-send the file-- you just change the document and it changes automatically for everyone.

By sharing with a link anyone can open the document, even if they do not have a Google account.

To share a file with someone using a link

  1. Go to drive.google.com.
  2. Select the name of a file or folder.
  3. At the top, click Get shareable link .
  4. In the corner, make sure the switch is green and to the right. A file link will be copied to your clipboard.
  5. Paste the link in an email or anyplace you want to share it.
    • To change whether a person can view, comment, or edit the file, click Sharing settings.

To stop sharing a file:

  1. At the top, click Get shareable link .
  2. Next to "Link sharing on", click the switch.

Organize Shared with me folder

I like my digital files to be organized. One thing that drives me crazy about Google Drive is the "Shared with me" folder. In here, you'll find all sorts of files that have been shared with you OR shared with the entire district. There isn't a way to organize this folder other than by date, name, or opened by date.

The good news is that moving files OUT of this unorganized mess is easy. It is called "Add to My Drive" This has the added benefit of adding a LIVE version of this file to your drive so if any changes are made to the file, you still have access.

Add files to "My Drive"

To get the most current version of a file in the Drive folder on your desktop, add the file to "My Drive" in Google Drive on the web.

To add a file to "My Drive":

  1. Sign in to drive.google.com.
  2. On the left, click Shared with me.
  3. Click a file.
  4. At the top, or from the right-click menu, click Add to My Drive.
  5. Click Organize
  6. Choose the folder where you'd like the file to reside.




Google Trainings