Sunday, September 13, 2015

Workflow Shortcuts for Apple and Google: Part II

Here is the second installment in a blog series by the #tt4t team designed to help you become more efficient as you work using your Mac and/or Google Apps for Ed. Many of the shortcuts being shared are ones that we are consistently using when working that help us increase productivity. If you haven’t done so already, check out our first set of shortcuts for Apple and Google here.


The following shortcuts are great when typing in any program on a Mac whether you are in Pages, Keynote, or even Google apps such as Gmail, Docs, or Slides.

Command B - Bold

Command U - Underline 
Command I - Italicize
Command K - Insert Link
Command F - Find

Screenshots on a Mac

A great way to capture parts or all of your screen is to take a screenshot. Once you have taken a screenshot note the images will go to your desktop by default.

Command Shift 3 - screenshot

Command Shift 4 - take a screenshot of part of your screen


In order to get full access to all of the great Gmail shortcuts you will need to first turn on the keyboard shortcuts in Settings.
1. Click on Settings  
2. Under the General tab find Keyboard Shortcuts 
3. Click Keyboard shortcuts on  

Z - undo previous action (the time provided to undo an action can be changed in settings)

E - archive selected messages
S - star or unstar messages
G, then I - go to inbox
G, then S - go to sent messages

Have a favorite shortcut you want to share? Leave us a comment.

Written by Jeffrey Bernadt (@jeffreybernadt), Jeanette Carlson (@mrsjcarlson), and Ann Feldmann (@annfeldmann1)

Friday, September 4, 2015

Step Up the SAMR Ladder with Google Apps

One framework we use for technology integration is the SAMR model by Reuben Puentedura found at This is a framework for technology integration that states as lessons move up the SAMR model, lessons move from enhancing to transforming lessons with technology. The four levels of technology integration in the SAMR model are Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition.  

  1. Google Docs
Take writing from substitution to modification by simply adding collaborators to the doc.  

IDEA:  Provide feedback AS students write.  Have every student’s doc open on your computer.  Move from tab to tab and watch them write.  Provide feedback as they write using the comment feature.  Open up each student's paper in a new tab. Move from tab to tab and provide feedback as they write.  Timely feedback doesn’t get more immediate than writing with your students!

  1. Google Slides
Move away from just using Slides as a presentation too to collaborative slideshows.   The collaborative work moves the task from substitution to modification.

IDEA:  Create and share one slideshow.  Set the share settings so anyone in your domain can edit. Each student is responsible for contributing a slide (or two) in the slide show.  Use the comment feature to provide feedback.  This is a great ice breaker activity and can be used in any curriculum area.    

  1. Google Drawing
    Use Google Drawings to create collaborative review games. Share and play these games with students across the globe and move from substitution to redefinition.

IDEA:  Students use Google drawing and create a review game.  To play the game, share the Google Drawing as view only to a shared Google Drive folder.  Students make a copy and “play” one another’s activity.  Share this activity with classrooms around the world.  Students are on the same doc reviewing together.

  1. Google Sheets
Crowd sourcing data with Google Spreadsheet moves right up the SAMR ladder.  Share and receive feedback from validators around the world and you have redefined a learning activity.

IDEA: Great a Google Spreadsheet and share the link wither several classrooms. Collect and record data on a shared Google Spreadsheet.  From this data, students create graphs interpreting the data and publish the results to the world.

Challenge yourself to move one of your lessons up the ladder. Share your thoughts and ideas in the comment section below.

Ann Feldmann