Friday, September 13, 2013

Questions of the Week

As we wind down with Week 2 of school, the dust is starting to settle. Students are getting more used to their schedules and routines, teachers are learning their students' names, and school buses are arriving on time with new students and new routes. 

Cara and I have been to a couple of different buildings, but have been quite busy with the high school. Freshman have received their Chromebooks and some upper classmen taking Freshman classes have been trickling in to get theirs as well. We have been continuing to work on our website to build a resource for teachers as well. Check back regularly for updates: Technology Coaching and be sure to subscribe to use your email address to subscribe to our blog.

Down in the Tech Training office in the HS Library, we often get questions from people who are stuck in the middle of a process or procedure using technology. Perhaps they have 'Googled' the problem or asked a colleague; perhaps they have spent way too much time trying to figure it out on their own; or perhaps they are stuck and their first instinct is to call Dara, or Cara or Sarah.

Regardless of what brings you in, we are happy to try and help. Remember what you tell your students about questions: If you have that question, chances are other students have the same question. We think the same thing goes for teachers.

Here are some of the questions and answers we have fielded this week:

Q: How do you put a hyperlink in a Google Spreadsheet?
A: Use the formula for hyperlinks, similarly to how you use a formula to add the numbers in a column. Type =hyperlink(web address; text). The "web address" is the URL or link. The "text" is what you want the cell to actually display. For example, if you wanted to link Google to your spreadsheet, but you wanted the cell to say "search here", this is what the formula would look like:

=hyperlink(; search here)

Q: How do I update Java on my MacBook? I have installed it a couple of times, but nothing gets fixed.
A: This question has come up several times in regards to Infinite Campus. First, we need a vocabulary lesson: download means to bring something from the cloud, or the internet, onto your computer. Install means to place that downloaded thing into place for use. Very crude, non-techie definitions, I know.

On a PC, generally the install happens somewhat automatically after the download is complete. On a Mac, they are two separate things: first you download something and then you install it. In Safari, you will find your downloaded items here under the little arrow in the top right corner of your screen:

If you click the arrow and then click the downloaded file, then you will be able to follow the prompts to install the download.

Q: What do I do if a Special Education student requires technology to be more successful?
A: Fill out a referral form for an Assistive Technology referral. Follow this link to the form and use File-> Make a Copy to create a copy for you to fill out for your student. Referral forms should be sent to PSC for approval from Chris McMasters.

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