The Elementary Tech Conference is Coming!

New laptops, new year, why not come and learn new strategies and techniques for connecting content, technology and 21st Century Skills with your new Dell? This year only, full day participants will receive a stipend for attendance! Sign up is now available on ERO. Conference attendance is limited to 300 participants.

(http://ero.henrico.k12.va.us and search the SRN Number for: 20142921301)

Are you an Expert Educators and want to convey your knowledge of 21st century skills and instruction? We need you! We are in need of teacher experts to present. Click the link below to submit a lesson proposal.

Submit a Lesson Proposal!

Stay tuned by visiting: http://tinyurl.com/TechyBunch

We hope to hear from you soon!

Summer is so Close…

While the year is winding down this final week, I find myself reflecting on this year and looking towards the next. This was my first year as an ITRT and it couldn’t have been better, and that is all thanks to you. A huge thank you goes out to all the teachers, administrators and other ITRTs that made this year a success.

I’m looking forward to the new adventure of leaving the Mac behind and moving towards the new Windows platform. It’s going to be exciting learning the new tools that will increase the level of our students’ 21st century skills.

If you’re anything like me as a classroom teacher, I know you’ll be working on projects here and there over the summer. If you need anything I’m still here. There are many ways for us to stay connected over the summer break.

Twitter
Facebook
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Blog

I hope you all have a relaxing break. You deserve it!

Ditching Word for Google Drive


This year I really started using Google Drive in earnest. About two months ago I realized that I hadn’t even opened Word or Pages for over a month. So I thought about whether I really need these programs. Two of the biggest draws for me to use Google Drive were:

1. I’m constantly working on documents with my colleagues. Google Drive makes it easy to create a document and then share that document out to other people. We are then all able to get on the same document and see the changes in real time. No need for emailing files.

2. All changes are saved automatically. I no longer have to worry if my battery dies, or my computer crashes and all my work is lost. All my documents are saved in my Google Drive. I can even access these files from any computer with my login.

I thought about these points and I figured Google Drive will meet all of my needs and I’m going to use it as my primary productivity suite. There was just one little issue holding me back. What happens if I don’t have internet access do I not have access to my files? The answer is no!

You can enable offline access for your Google Drive. With offline access your are able to view and edit your files. The moment you get internet access again it will automatically update. This even works if you’re in the middle of typing a document and the internet cuts out.

You will need to setup this feature for all computers that you want offline access to your Google Drive. This feature will only work in the Chrome web browser, not Safari or Firefox. Click here for directions on how to set up offline access.

Using Google Drive has changed how I work. It’s great having the automatic saving. It doesn’t matter if I’m using a Mac or PC, I know I will be able to open, edit, and save my files. Click here for more information about offline access. If you need help setting it up, check out my calendar and set up a time for us to work together.

Transferring Files from Mac to Dell

There are a few different ways to transfer files from your Mac to the new Dell. Everyone has their preference as to which way is “the best.” In this post I’ll detailed 5 different ways to transfer your files. Choose the way that is best for you. If you need help with any of these please contact me. I’m here to help.

The first thing you will need to do before you transfer your files, is determine how big your files are. Click on the file or folder one time. Now click File > Get Info

Here are the different file sizes from smallest to largest:
KB > MB > GB > TB

Ways to Transfer Your Files


Flash Drive
Flash Drives work on both a Mac and Dell. This would be the best option for you if the size of your files is relatively small. The price of flash drives have come down dramatically. I just checked Walmart’s website and I found a 32GB flash drive for $20.48.

Just connect the flash drive and drag the files you want to the drive. Now connect it to the Dell and drag the files to the Desktop, super easy!


External Hard Drive
External Hard drives work on both a Mac and a Dell. When buying one make sure it is compatible with Windows and Mac. This is a great option for those of you that have a lot of files. Another quick search on Walmart’s website showed a 500GB external hard drive for $51.99.

Just connect the external hard drive, drag the files you want to the drive. Now connect it to the Dell and drag the files to the Desktop.


Dropbox
Dropbox is useful to have not only for transferring files but to backup important documents. When you create a free account with dropbox a program is installed on your computer that creates a folder called “Dropbox.” Anything placed in this folder is automatically uploaded to Dropbox.com. The really cool thing about Dropbox is that if you install the program on another computer the files appears on that computer as well automatically.

The basic free account starts with only 2GB. The space can be increased by performing a variety of tasks, with no cost to you. Click Here for a free Dropbox account.


Google Drive
Google Drive is by far my favorite way to transfer and backup files. All HCPS employees have a Google Drive account with 30GB of space. That’s 15 times larger than the standard Dropbox account. Just go to http://drive.google.com to get started. Make sure you sign in with your Henrico account and not your personal gmail account.

Google drive is similar to Dropbox in the sense that you can download the program and it will create a folder on your computer called “Google Drive.” Anything placed in this folder is automatically uploaded to Google Drive online. The really cool thing about Google Drive is that if you install the program on another computer the files appears on that computer as well automatically.

Google Drive has many other features including creating and editing documents. Any Google document does not count towards your 30GB space.


Box
Box works similar to Dropbox. The biggest difference is that Box is offering 50GB of space. I know I didn’t believe it at first when Tyler Hart told me. Go to Box today and sign up.


These are five great ways to backup and transfer your documents. Remember I along with the rest of the ITRT team are to help you through this process. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you need anything.

So What Do I Do with My Pictures?

The tips for the Dell migration continue. Today’s guest blog post comes from Ryan Stein.

One of the most frequent questions about the migration process has been “What is going to happen with my photos? Are they going to my Dell?” The answer is YES!

This migration does provide you with a great opportunity to organize your photos and delete ones you don’t need anymore. I recommend putting your personal photos on a thumb drive and uploading them on your personal computer at home. The more pictures on your new Dell, the slower it will be. Therefore, start fresh and just bring the pictures that are essential for your daily instruction to your new school computer.

How to get your pictures onto your Dell??? There are several ways to do it, but I’ll tell you the easiest and most efficient.

1 – Open your iPhoto on your Mac
2 – Organize your pictures in Albums. This will help you delete the “old” ones.
3 – Once you have created all you Albums in iPhoto, plug in your thumb drive
4 – Drag your Albums onto your thumb drive
5 – Insert your thumb drive into you Dell
6 – On your dell, click Computer > Libraries > Pictures >, My Photos > and then drag your Albums from your thumb drive into this area.

Boom goes the dynamite! That’s it : – )

If you are looking for online sharing options, I recommend Picasa, Comemories, Mixbook, Flipsnack, and Shutterfly.

I Use This On a Mac……Now What?

With the arrival date of the new Dells closing in, I hope you’re feeling better about the transition. The ITRTs have been working hard to make this transition as easy for you as possible. I have provided you with some “how to” documents to migrate your files over. Today’s post by Tyler Hart, shows you which applications you’ll be using with new Dell. mac to dellI know one of the biggest worries teachers are having in our Dell Migration is “What programs and applications am I going to be using now?” Many of the applications teachers use are online, so this doesn’t affect anything. If you can get on the internet, you’re good to go! That being said, there are many programs that are on the Macs, that teachers (and students!) love to use. “Will we have these programs? If we don’t have that program, what do I do now?!” NO WORRIES! Tyler Hart has created a document to walk you through the most commonly used programs on our Macs, and what will be the corresponding program to use on the new Dell. Click the Link Below to Access. Don’t see a program you’re looking for? Let me know, and I will find the alternative and update the document!

I use this… Now I will use this

Transferring iTunes from Mac to Dell

This is post #2 on preparing for the switch to Dell. If you missed the last post about backing up your bookmarks, go check it out. You’ll find that it’s an easy process and not as complicated as you thought it might be.

Today we’re going to talk about transferring your iTunes library from your Mac to your new Dell. When you follow these steps your whole library of music will be on your Dell. Depending on how much music you have in your iTunes library will determine how long this process will take. If you have a lot of music the process of transferring your library could take a while.

Click here for directions on how to transfer your iTunes Library.

Backing up Your Bookmarks

Let’s talk about backing up your bookmarks. (Exciting stuff!) This way when we get the new Dells all of our favorite websites are there waiting for us.

For this process we will be doing everything through Google Chrome. Those of you that use Google Chrome this should be easy. If you currently use Safari or Firefox we’ll have to go though a couple more steps, but still easy!.

Now the question is why are we using Chrome? We are using it because Chrome is on both the Mac and the Dell. After we complete this process you’ll be able to sign into your google account on your Dell and all your bookmarks will be there. Super easy. So let’s get started.

Click on the statement that is true for you.

I use Safari.

I use Firefox.

I use Chrome.

Once you’ve completed the steps you’re good to go. All that is left is for you to get the new Dell. If you have any questions feel free to ask.

Preparing for the Transfer

This week I’m going to start a series of posts to prepare you for the switch from Mac to Dell. We’ll start off simple and work our way up to the harder stuff. I’ll make 2 posts a week, so in a little over 2 weeks you have all the information you need to make the switch. This is what I have planned in the series:

  • Backing up your Bookmarks
  • Ditching Word for Google Drive
  • How to Convert Pages, Keynote, and Numbers into Word, PowerPoint, and Excel
  • Storing all of your Files in the Cloud to Transfer Files Easily Between Computers
  • How to get your Files on the New Dell

If there is something that I am leaving out please let me know. We can take our time backing up and transferring our files to make sure we’re doing it right. Teachers will have both the old Macs and the new Dells until the end of September.