Thursday, June 30, 2016

Google Keep + Geofence = Magical Alerts

Geofence for the win! 

Do you find yourself with so many things going on that you miss an occasional appointment or big idea? I know I defiantly do. Here is one technique I am deploying for the upcoming school year. I have used Google Keep for a while but this little trick will take my use to level 10. (There is no higher level than 10!)


The above image is from my personal Google Keep account. I started creating a list of things I need to do at Long. The one issue is I will forget some of these items unless I have some type of reminder.


To start adding a reminder I clicked on the Long note and this screen appears.
I then clicked on the little clock in the upper right corner.



Click Place.


Click Edit location.
I then typed in Long

 
Like magic this map appeared!
I clicked on Long.


I confirmed it was the correct location.
Then I hit save.



I now see a location at the bottom of the note.
So what does this really mean?


This example shows the alert that appears on my phone every time I enter the parking lot at CO.
A similar alert will pop when I pull into Long's parking lot.

That is the power of a geofence, it uses the GPS in your phone to locate where you are. When you hit the boundary of the place you are going it will generate an alert. Click the alert and it will open your note. This is one of those hacks that will keep focused on what I need to do.

What if...
  • You set one for the grocery store?
  • For home?
  • The gym?
  • Costco? (might be important... I seem to always pick up stuff not on the list.)






Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Put Your Labeled Stuff On A Tab

At the top of our blog we have these neat little tabs called pages. This post shows you how to maximize the impact these buttons can have on your readers.

Open your blog to the editing page.
1. Click Layout.
2. Click Add a Gadget.


1. Scroll down.
2. Click the plus symbol on the Pages option.



1. Click +Add external link.


1. Add a title. This illustration is using the blogging example from the previous post. A great idea might be to label all your homework posts as such. Read on for why this would be epic.
2. Click Save Link. There will be another save button on the next screen.


This button now appears at the top of a page.


If I click on the Blogging Resources button it automatically takes me to a new page displaying all the posts I want my readers to see. 

What if... this took me to every homework post I created? All a student would need to do is click once and they see everything that was assigned. A second way teachers are using this is to create a page/tab for specific projects or subjects. 

Label Your Stuff!


After a while you will have like a billion different posts on your blog and it will become difficult to find stuff. Sometimes they call it the scroll of death, you just keep scrolling to find something and slowly give up over time.

Preventing this is pretty easy with a few simple steps. This post will show you the first part and the post that follows will take this idea to another level.

Labels
On the far right side of the blogger post writing interface you find a few options.
1. Click the word Labels. Add a one word descriptor about the post you are writing. If you choose to pick two words make sure they are separated by a comma.
2. Click Done at the bottom.


This is an example of labels on a published post. They can be found at the very bottom of a post.


1. If I click on the label it will display every post tagged with that label on a new page.
2. The gray bar will be displayed at the top indicating what label is being shown.

Super easy to click a tag and email or post the link.


Monday, June 27, 2016

The written word is ok but this rules!


Adding a little pizazz to your posts are key to drawing people in. Easiest way is by adding images and video.

Images
Be mindful of what images you choose to use. Easiest way is to take a screenshot or use your phone to take interesting pictures.

Screenshot
1. Click the windows icon and type Snipping Tool.
2. Click Snipping Tool.

Click New.
Use the cross-hairs to capture the portion of the screen you want to use.

The screenshot is saved as an image. Just drag it into your blog post.




Video
Find the video you want to embed from YouTube. Make sure you have actually watched the whole video before you post it.

1. You can find the Share button right below the video window. Click Share.
2. Click Embed.
3. Copy the code.


Return to your blog post.
Click HTML in the upper left corner.


Paste the code in a blank spot within the post.
Click the Compose button in the upper left corner of the screen.

Below is the video posted.

Connecting your blog to email and Schoolwires


Now that you have a fancy new blog and Facebook page you need to make it super easy to find. The best way to do that is to add a link in your email signature and on your Schoolwires page.

Email
Copy the address of the blog.


Open your email.
1. Click the gear icon in the upper right corner.
2. Click Settings.

Scroll down to find the signature section.
Add your link.
Scroll down and save changes.

Anytime you send an email the link to your blog will be just a click away. This greatly increases the chance of people finding your blog on a consistent basis.


Schoolwires
Copy the address of the blog.

Open Schoolwires.
1. Type the title of your blog.
2. Highlight and click the link icon.

1. Click Web Address.
2. Past the address. Make sure you erase the http:// that you just pasted.
3. Click Insert Link.

Now anyone who visits your page they will have a direct link to your blog.

Connecting - Blog to Facebook


Some will only read what you write on the blog while others will only read what you post to Facebook. Is there a way to automatically update your classroom Facebook without having to copy and paste everything? You bet!

Log into your classroom Facebook page.
Open a new tab for your classroom blog.
Open a thrid tab and navigate to dlvr.it
Click Sign Up
Use your district email to create an account. This will make it easier to connect your accounts.


1. Add your blog address. I would recommending coping and pasting the exact address.
2. Click the plus icon.


Click Next: Confirm socials


Click the Facebook icon.

Click OK.



Select your classroom Facebook page.
Click Done.



Click Start posting.


Now anytime you publish a new blog post it will automatically be published on your classroom Facebook page.

Creating a school Facebook page.


Follow these steps to create a classroom Facebook page. It is very important to follow these steps exactly, in doing so you will be adhering to district policy.

Create a Facebook account using your school email address.
DO NOT use your personal email address.


Log in to Facebook.
On the far left side locate the Pages section.
Click Create Page.

Click Company, Organization or Institution

Fill in the information.
I would recommend naming your page the same as your blog.
Click Get Started.
The next few pages will ask you to fill in some important information.

How to create a new blog and then post from it.

Starting a new blog and posting.

Create A Blog
Log into your district Google account.
Navigate to blogger.com
Click New Blog.

1. Pick a title for your blog. This is kinda like the spine of a book. Read the title and you are pretty certain what the books is about. Make it clear and to the point.
2. Pick an address. This is what someone would type in to find your blog.
3. Choose a template. I would recommend simple. You can always adjust it later.
4. Click Create blog!


Create A Post
To create a new post click the pencil or the orange New post button.

1. Create a fun and informative title for your new post. 
2. The editing tools are similar to Word or Docs only slightly more limited.
3. The body of your post. It can help engage the reader if you add images and videos.

On the far right there are some tools that are very important.

1. The buttons at the top are how you will publish your post. You can always save your post and come back to it another time. 
2. Labels. Please use labels! If your post is explain some homework then label it as such. This will greatly help your readers.  An upcoming post will go into depth with labels. 

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