We all know how busy educators are. Wouldn't it be nice if you had your own personal assistant on your laptop? Many people use siri on their phone and this tutorial is similar to Siri. Since a majority of our teachers have a macbook, you might find this tip worthwhile.
Instead of typing that next email or document, how about using dictation? You will need to be a fairly quiet space to do this. Dictation does not work well in noisy settings. Here is a quick tutorial, perhaps you would like to give it a try.
Setting up Enhanced Dictation
- Open System Preferences, select Dictation & Speech. Turn on Dictation and set up your options.
- Check the Use Enhanced Dictation box. This will download a file so you can dictate without an internet connection.
- Choose the keyboard shortcut you will use to signal that you’re ready to start dictating. The default is pressing the function Fn key twice, which I find convenient and I can remember it. You will find the Fn key on the lower left of the keyboard.
- Choose your preferred microphone from the pop-up menu below the microphone icon. Normally, you use the internal microphone but it works very well to use earbuds that came with your phone, that little bar on the cord is a mic and does a nice job of filtering out background noise.
- Open mail, or a word processor or any place you normally type
- Press the keyboard shortcut (Fn Fn twice) for starting dictation. Or choose Edit > Start Dictation.
- When your Mac is listening, it displays a microphone.
- Speak the words that you want your Mac to type. Use dictation commands to add punctuation, formatting, and more. In other words say comma, person, new paragraph, etc.
- To stop dictating, click Done below the microphone icon, or press Fn.
Dictation learns the characteristics of your voice and adapts to it. The more you use it, the better it gets! I use dictation to write part of this tutorial and it worked! SO, it isn't perfect, I do need to change use to used, but I will try enunciating clearly to see if it improves.
- Read and interact with text in a flexible environment
- Compatible with PDF, Word, and PowerPoint documents and web pages
- Import from Dropbox, iCloud Drive, Box, email, and more
- Import content from webpage or send to LiquidText directly from Safari
- Workspace area for writing notes and pulling out excerpts
- Organize and group excerpts and notes
- Tap comments and excerpts to find original source
- Pinch document to compare different sections
- Collapse text to see annotated parts side-by-side
- Collapse text to view search term(s) side-by-side
- Scroll to navigate through pages
- Scrollbar shows where highlights, comments, excerpts, and search results are located
- Highlight text, images, comments, excerpts, and notes
- Add margin notes/comments to text, images, notes, and excerpts
- Comment on two or more selections simultaneously
- Export file as notes only, highlights only, notes and highlights, or entire document with annotations
- Export as LiquidText file, PDF, or RTF (supported by most word processors)
- Send files by email or to Dropbox, iCloud, Box, and more
A resource from Cyndi Danner Kuhn
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Check out these flashcards on steroids! Academic studies have proven the efficiency of spaced repitition.
https://www.grammarly.com Free and Paid versions
A Better Way to Write
Here is a shout out to Cyndi Danner Kuhn for sending this review of Grammarly! Thank you, Cyndi!
Grammarly makes you a better writer by finding and correcting up to 10× more mistakes than your word processor.
It works in a variety of ways from your browser (Safari & Chrome). You can upload your paper, or copy and paste the text, although there are size limit on papers, so you might have to upgrade to premium. Grammarly works on almost every web page to check your spelling, grammar, tone of voice, and more! While typing a blog post or composing a tweet, Grammarly s checking my English. Clicking on the Grammarly icon shows not only spelling errors but grammatical errors passive voice, punctuation and more… much more! Grammarly not only tells me for example, that I have passive voice but gives me the option of a tutorial to learn what it is. Clicking on the error, or suggestion makes the changes in my blog post or tweet for me or even in my Canvas course site!Grammarly is an online grammar and spelling checker that improves communication by helping users find and correct writing mistakes. It’s easy to use: Copy and paste any English text into Grammarly’s online text editor or install Grammarly’s free browser extension for Chrome and Safari. Grammarly’s algorithms flag potential issues in the text and suggest context-specific corrections for grammar, spelling, and vocabulary. Grammarly explains the reasoning behind each correction, so you can make an informed decision about whether, and how, to correct an issue.
No-hassle, money-back guarantee:
If you’re not fully satisfied with Grammarly within 7 days, we’ll refund 100% of your purchase price!
Adobe released Slate for the iPad last spring and it is FREE.
Take documents and bring them to life!
Adobe Slate is a fun and easy way to turn any document – a lesson, newsletter, book report or presentation – into a stunning visual story, in just minutes. Slate elevates your content and allows you to look like a professional designer.
Just type or talk to add text and use your favorite photos. Yes you can dictate to your Mac too. (System Preference > Spec/Dictation > turn on dictation/enhanced dictation). To activate dictation in any program, hit the fn key twice, a mic icon will come up and just start talking, it will begin typing. REALLY! Check this out! Dawn, my assistant, and I tried it out and were quite excited by this tool! We discussed the value this would add in a classroom. If you have a student that has difficulty writing, he/she could use this tool to get their thoughts out easily. #lovetechnology
Choose a theme and gorgeous fonts will match, magazine-style designs and motion automatically transforms your story – guaranteeing a marvelous read on any device.
Each Slate story you publish is simply a link. No unrelated content, no random ads — just your story. You can share it via text message, email, social media or embed it where you want on your own website. Anyone can view your Slate and it will look great, whether they're using a phone, and iPad, a tablet, or computer.
Find out more on the Slate website.
Principal Jennifer Bessolo has been using Slate for her weekly staff newsletter. Reach out to her if you would like to see some examples.
Many of you are experiencing our new Apple operating system El Capitan. If you are wanting to learn more about the new system, here are some tutorials to help.
Download the video user guide here: http://bit.ly/ElCapitanGuide
OSX 10.11 aka El Capitan is the latest operating system for Macs. In this tutorial you will discover its main features including split screen mode, new spotlight features, Apple Mail runs better than ever in full screen mode, and a lot more.
Skip to A Section by Clicking the Time Code
Apple Mail Changes 00:50
Photos New Features 03:38
Split Screen Mode: 07:57
Safari Features: 11:58
Additional Features: 17:24
Many educators have been impressed with the ease of use of Google for the classroom. Google has become wildly popular in classrooms across the nation, yet there are some things we, as educators, need to assist our students with as they use Google tools. I have curated some of my favorite articles and a Google Cheat Sheet tool created by Kasey Bell to assist you as you utilize Google in the classroom.
GOOGLE HAS AMAZING TOOLS FOR FINDING SCHOOL-WORTHY SOURCES. TOO BAD MOST KIDS DON’T KNOW THEY EXIST http://www.eschoolnews.com/2015/11/23/how-search-google-592/
If you can Google it, Why teach it? http://www.eschoolnews.com/2015/06/12/google-why-teach-581/
Teach Your Students the Right Way to Google http://www.eschoolnews.com/2014/11/24/google-like-pro-678/
I love to be organized, but it does not always come easy for me. Here is a great organizational tool I use daily to keep all my websites categorized and organized. Symbaloo is a visual social bookmarking tool that saves me time and keeps me organized. I have created several symbaloo webmixes such as: great educator websites, school district sites, dissertation resources, and professional learning (I recently started creating a webmix for the conferences and meetings I attend). In the past, I have collected tools at meetings only to forget where I put them. Now, I add them in my symbaloo while I am attending the meeting and Viola! I have the resources at my fingertips!
Symbaloos are also searchable. Educators can search for symbaloos that are already created and full of great resources, saving precious time. Some educators create symbaloos for their classroom so students can quickly find sites with one click! Symbaloo is also available as a mobile device app and is great for iPad users.
Here is an informational Symbaloo tutorial specifically for educators: