Thursday, August 6, 2015

Screen Shots: How to capture your iPad/iPhone Screen with the touch of a button (or two)

Screen Shots:  You can snap a quick ‘picture’ of your iPad/iPhone screen by pressing the home button (big round button on the case) and the on/off switch at the same time. The screen will flash and the photo you snapped will appear in your PHOTOS, usually in the album called CAMERA ROLL.   

This is a useful trick for capturing a quick screen shot of something your student was working on in the lesson.  For example: make a quick screen shot of the ‘high score’ screen in an app like PianoMaestro, FlashNoteDerby, etc.  

My students like to get a screen shot of their completed worksheet from the SproutBeat app, which is a cool app with lots of neat music theory worksheets.  I snap a Screen Shot and then email it to the student or their parent.  (Note: I can also print directly from that app if I have my AirPrint printer ‘on’ at that moment.) 

Quick tip: Using iPhone CAMERA to 'read the fine print'

Quick Tip:  Can’t see the ‘fine print’ at the bottom of a page, a footnote, or an ingredient list on a food label?  Use your ‘camera’ on your mobile device to ‘zoom in’ on the fine print to view it larger on the screen.  You don’t even need to snap a photo.  Just zoom in and view through the mobile screen.  (I use this a lot in grocery stores to read labels!)

AirDrop: How to quickly transfer a large video from your iPad/iPhone to your student's iPad/iPhone

Need a quick and easy way to transfer a large video to a student after a lesson?  Instead of emailing (which isn’t possible for videos over about 54 seconds long), dropping it into DropBox or GoogleDrive,  or uploading to YouTube as an unlisted video, why not use AirDrop!?    AirDrop allows to you drop virtually anything from your iPad or iPhone onto someone else’s iPad or iPhone, as long as they are within about 20 feet of you.  

How?  On your iPhone or iPad, swipe up from the bottom center to open the controls (opaque grey screen).  Turn on the bluetooth connection (squiggly thing) on the top row in the middle.  It will turn WHITE when it’s on.  Then tap on AirDrop near the bottom.  Another window will open asking if you'd like to make yourself discoverable.  You can choose CONTACTS ONLY or EVERYONE.  If the person you’re planning to share the video with is in your CONTACTS, then choose CONTACTS.  Otherwise, choose EVERYONE.   Have the other person go through the same procedure.   Then go to your PHOTOS and choose the video you’d like to share with your student, select it from the video album and click on the little box with the up arrow shooting out of it (found in the lower left corner).  That’s the universal sign for ‘share’ on an apple device.  From there, click on AirDrop (which will now be in the center of the screen) and it will light up in blue.  You will see a list of all of the people within approx. 20 feet who also have AirDrop “on” within their device.  Choose the person with whom you’d like to share your file.  That person will receive a notice on their screen saying that you’d like to share a file with them.  They can decline or accept.  If they accept, the file goes into their device.  A copy is still on YOUR DEVICE, so you can either keep it or delete it if you no longer need it.   

When you’re finished AirDropping a file, be sure to swipe up from the center of the bottom and turn off AirDrop and then turn off your BlueTooth.

I have found that this is a convenient way to transfer a video to the parents of a young student after a lesson.  Then I don't have to share the video through DropBox or GoogleDrive.   When I have uploaded unlisted videos to YouTube, the students don't always use them, but they will use them if the video is on their mobile device or on mom/dad's mobile device!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Facebook Tech Tip!

Tech tip of the day... Did you know you have an 'OTHER' inbox on Facebook?   That's where facebook sends all of the messages that come from people who are NOT your facebook friends.  To check the 'other' inbox, from a computer browser (or browser on mobile device, but NOT THE FACEBOOK APP on a mobile device), click on the messages button on the top of the screen and then click on OTHER when the box opens.  You'll be amazed at what's there ;)  (photos attached for examples!)

The middle thing is your INBOX! 

Notice here on the left that you have an INBOX and OTHER INBOX. 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

To capture a portion of your screen as an image file, simply type SHIFT COMMAND 4 and a little sign that looks like a CODA SIGN appears. Click anywhere at the edge of what you want to 'capture' and then hold the mouse button and drag to the other side of the object. The image file you just captured saved to your computer. Mine save automatically to my desktop but you might have your default set as the documents folder or something similar. You can then drag and drop that image file into an email to send to a student, friend, etc, or can drag it to iPhoto for editing.
If you'd like to capture the entire screen, type COMMAND SHIFT 3.

A colleague asked me if there's a way to capture a specific application window.  YES! There is!!!!   Type SHIFT COMMAND 4 and then tap the spacebar.  The window turns an odd opaque color and a little camera appears.  Move the camera over the window you'd like to capture. Then click the mouse.  Voila!  You captured an application window. 

"MAC" computer tip of the week smile emoticon :
If you have a "MAC" computer, did you know that you can have it read everything to you? I frequently have my MAC read articles or books to me while I am cooking or cleaning the kitchen!
How can you set up the same thing? Open SYSTEM PREFERENCES. (Go to the apple at the upper left, scroll down to SYSTEM PREF.)
Choose the voice you would like to hear. (Mine is set on "ALEX.")
Select a 'speaking rate.' If you need to read something quickly, listen at the fastest speed. (ha - I almost typed 'tempo.' LOL)
Check the box that says "speak selected text when the key is pressed." You can click on 'CHANGE KEY' to set up which shortcut key you'd like to use to tell the computer to speak to you. I use a combination of three keys - SHIFT COMMAND S
You can set up any key or keys you like.
While you are in DICTATION AND SPEECH, you can also set up DICTATION in a similar way, and then you can dictate what you'd like the computer to 'type' for you. (Some of you may do this on your mobile devices already.) You can use 'dictation' wherever you'd normally type text.

You can also speak the punctuation. So, you can say something like this: "Hello Jane comma how are you question mark" and it will appear like this: "Hello Jane,  how are you?"

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Showing appreciation for TEACHERS ?

Want to show your appreciation for the teachers who work with your children? A lot of parents send massive amounts of food to school. Please consider giving things other than food this year. Your child's teachers are spending a lot of their own $$ to buy supplies for their classroom and for the students who cannot afford them. Judging by posts in several professional teacher groups online, many teachers are spending upwards of $1000 a year (some WAY more than this) of their own money on classroom supplies. How about sending in gift cards for Target, Barnes and Noble, Staples, etc, so that the teachers can buy what they need for their classroom, rather than sending in cakes and cookies, some of which don't ever get eaten? If you are a parent, please consider this. None of us need more of the sugary stuff, but we DO need pencils, markers, etc, in our classrooms.  Thank you!