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98 Tech Problems From the Classroom -- And How Students Can Solve Them

98 Tech Problems From the Classroom -- And How Students Can Solve Them

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Published by Kali Delamagente
Running a tech lab can be frightening. What if there’s a problem you don’t know how to answer? What if the computers break? What if they all break at once?
Several years ago, in an effort to create a practical strategy for technology success, I started tracking how often I got the same tech questions from students. Soon, I extended it to parents who, in a well-intentioned effort to help with school work, often got stuck on a techie issue. Some spent hours on a problem that could have been solved in minutes--if only they knew how to do that.

Turns out, 70% of the time, it was the same 98 problems.
I’m going to share these with you. You’ll find them inquiry-driven and student-centered, authentic solutions to organic conversations. If you’re a new tech teacher, make sure you know them because you’ll be asked for these answers over and over throughout the school year—in fact, you’ll be expected to know them. After all, you’re the tech expert.

If you’re a veteran teacher integrating technology into units of inquiry and/or Common Core State Standards, these tips will be invaluable. You are usually on your own in the classroom, without tech experts to assist. Keep this ebook handy and you’ll have more time to devote to classroom projects.

Whoever you are, you’ll want to teach your students these practical strategies for fixing their biggest show stoppers.
Running a tech lab can be frightening. What if there’s a problem you don’t know how to answer? What if the computers break? What if they all break at once?
Several years ago, in an effort to create a practical strategy for technology success, I started tracking how often I got the same tech questions from students. Soon, I extended it to parents who, in a well-intentioned effort to help with school work, often got stuck on a techie issue. Some spent hours on a problem that could have been solved in minutes--if only they knew how to do that.

Turns out, 70% of the time, it was the same 98 problems.
I’m going to share these with you. You’ll find them inquiry-driven and student-centered, authentic solutions to organic conversations. If you’re a new tech teacher, make sure you know them because you’ll be asked for these answers over and over throughout the school year—in fact, you’ll be expected to know them. After all, you’re the tech expert.

If you’re a veteran teacher integrating technology into units of inquiry and/or Common Core State Standards, these tips will be invaluable. You are usually on your own in the classroom, without tech experts to assist. Keep this ebook handy and you’ll have more time to devote to classroom projects.

Whoever you are, you’ll want to teach your students these practical strategies for fixing their biggest show stoppers.

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Published by: Kali Delamagente on Jun 29, 2012
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Sections

  • Tech Tip #1: the Insert Key
  • Tech Tip #2: The PrintScreen Key
  • Tech Tip #3: Turn an Address into a Link
  • Tech Tip #4: Zoom In and Out
  • Tech Tip #5: Where Did the Taskbar Go?
  • Tech Tip #6: The (Horrid Annoying) Drawing Canvas
  • Tech Tip #7: Transparent Backgrounds
  • Tech Tip #8: Print a Selection off a Web Page
  • Tech Tip #9: Quickly Hide Your Screen
  • Tech Tip #10: How to Undelete
  • Tech Tip #11: How to Show the Entire Drop Down Menu
  • Tech Tip #12: Wrap Text Around a Picture
  • Tech Tip #13: The Powerful Right Mouse Button
  • Tech Tip #14: Desktop Icons Disappear?
  • Tech Tip #15: Save Early Save Often
  • Tech Tip #16: What’s Today’s Date—Part I
  • Tech Tip #17: No Excuse for Spelling Errors
  • Tech Tip #18: How to Activate a Link in Word
  • Tech Tip #19: Ten Best Word Tips
  • Tech Tip #20: How to Add a Link to Word
  • Tech Tip #21: How to Make a Small Webpage Window Big
  • Tech Tip #22: Quick Exit from 97% of Programs
  • Tech Tip #23: I Deleted a File By Accident
  • Tech Tip #24: Open A New Word Doc Without the Program
  • Tech Tip #25: My Keyboard Doesn’t Work
  • Tech Tip #26: My Mouse Doesn’t Work
  • Tech Tip #27: My Taskbar Disappeared
  • Tech Tip #28: 3 Ways to Fix a No-Sound Problem–For Free
  • Tech Tip #29: I Can’t Find My File
  • Tech Tip #30: Menu Command is Greyed Out
  • Tech Tip #31: What’s Today’s Date—Part II
  • Tech Tip #32: My Taskbar Moved to the Side
  • Tech Tip #33: My Desktop Icons are Messed Up
  • Tech Tip #34: My Program Froze
  • Tech Tip #35: My Program Closed Down
  • Tech Tip #36: The Internet Toolbar Disappeared
  • Tech Tip #37: My MS Word Toolbar Disappeared
  • Tech Tip #38: My Desktop Icons Changed
  • Tech Tip #39: My Computer Won’t Turn Off
  • Tech Tip #40: Where Did Windows Explorer Go?
  • Tech Tip #41: Repair Your Computer With System Restore
  • Tech Tip #42: How to (Re)Set Your Homepage
  • Tech Tip #43: Back Up Often
  • Tech Tip #44: Clean Your Computer Weekly
  • Tech Tip #45: Your Screen Upside Down?
  • Tech Tip #46: Easiest Way to Explain Right and Left to (Little) Kids
  • Tech Tip #47: Tool Tips
  • Tech Tip #48: Quickly Switch Between Windows
  • Tech Tip #49: The Fifteen Second Slideshow
  • Tech Tip #50: The Easiest Way to Outline
  • Tech Tip #51: Copy From Google Images
  • Tech Tip #52: Roll Your Computer Back to a Problem-Free Date
  • Tech Tip #53: How to Pin Any Program to the Start Menu
  • Tech Tip #54: How to Auto Forward a PowerPoint Slideshow
  • Tech Tip #55: Find a Lost Shortcut
  • Tech Tip #56: Force a New Page
  • Tech Tip #57: How to Create a Chart Really Fast
  • Tech Tip #58: Show all Tools on Toolbars
  • Tech Tip #59: Shortkey for the Copyright Symbol
  • Tech Tip #60: How to Add Shortcuts to the Desktop
  • Tech Tip #61: Email from Word (Or PowerPoint or Excel)
  • Tech Tip #62: Don’t Like Double Space Between Paragraphs?
  • Tech Tip #63: Reset Default Font
  • Tech Tip #64: Google Street View
  • Tech Tip #65: Zoom In/Out of Websites
  • Tech Tip #66: How to Add Accents and more
  • Tech Tip #67: Check History in Your Browser
  • Tech Tip #68: Make Desktop Icons Big or Little
  • Tech Tip #69: Save Energy While Searching
  • Tech Tip #70: Visit Foreign Language Google Search
  • Tech Tip #71: How to Move Pics Around in Documents
  • Tech Tip #72: Alt+??? Brings up which Menu Command?
  • Tech Tip #73: The Gadgets Menu Bar
  • Tech Tip #74: What’s My IP Address
  • Tech Tip #75: Laptop Frozen? Here’s What You Do
  • Tech Tip #76: Laptop Frozen? Here’s Another Solution
  • Tech Tip #77: Use BCC to Hide Email Addresses
  • Tech Tip #78: Saving Your File so Everyone Can Read it
  • Tech Tip #79: My Internet Stopped Working
  • Tech Tip #80: I Have Office 2010. Parents with 2003 Can’t Read My Stuff
  • Tech Tip #81: My Pic’s a BMP and the Program Needs a JPG
  • Tech Tip #82: How Do I Use a ‘Read Only’ Doc?
  • Tech Tip #83: How to Find the Follow-up Folder in Outlook
  • Tech Tip #84: Browser Problem? Switch Browsers
  • Tech Tip #85: Back up Your Computer
  • Tech Tip #86: Image Your Computer
  • Tech Tip #87: 20 Techie Problems Every Student Can Fix
  • Tech Tip #88: Use Keyboard Shortcuts With Students
  • Tech Tip #89: Don’t Be Afraid of Mulligans
  • Tech Tip #90: Doc Saved Over? No Problem
  • Tech Tip #91: Rollback Windows Updates
  • Tech Tip #92: Auto-fill for Internet Addresses
  • Tech Tip #93: Shortkey for Find
  • Tech Tip #94: Find the Programs You Use Quickly
  • Tech Tip #95: Open a Program Maximized
  • Tech Tip #96: How to Add Zip to Your Slow Computer
  • Tech Tip #97: Speed up MS Office with Quick Access Toolbar
  • Tech Tip #98: The Internet Button

98 Tech Problems From the Classroom

and How Students Can Solve Them

By Ask a Tech Teacher

98 Tech Problems From the Classroom And How Students Can Solve Them By Ask a Tech Teacher

First Edition 2012 Part of the Structured Learning Technology for the Classroom series Visit the companion website at http://askatechteacher.com for more resources to teach technology to Kindergarten-Eighth Grade

ALL MATERIAL IN THIS BOOK IS PROTECTED BY THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAWS OF THE USA. No part of this work can be reproduced or used in any form or by any means—graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping, Web distribution or information storage and retrieval systems—without the prior written permission of the publisher For permission to use material from this text or product, contact us by email at: info@structuredlearning.net http://structuredlearning.net ISBN 978-0-9845881-5-2 Printed in the United States of America

98 Tech Problems From the Classroom And How Students Can Solve Them
Running a tech lab can be frightening. What if there’s a problem you don’t know how to answer? What if the computers break? What if they all break at once? Several years ago, in an effort to create a practical strategy for technology success, I started tracking how often I got the same tech questions from students. Soon, I extended it to parents who, in a well-intentioned effort to help with school work, often got stuck on a techie issue. Some spent hours on a problem that could have been solved in minutes--if only they knew how to do that. Turns out, 70% of the time, it was the same 98 problems.

Whoever you are. If you’re a new tech teacher. make sure you know them because you’ll be asked for these answers over and over throughout the school year—in fact. After all. Keep this ebook handy and you’ll have more time to devote to classroom projects. these tips will be invaluable. . you’ll be expected to know them. you’ll want to teach your students these practical strategies for fixing their biggest show stoppers. You’ll find them inquiry-driven and student-centered.I’m going to share these with you. without tech experts to assist. If you’re a veteran teacher integrating technology into units of inquiry and/or Common Core State Standards. authentic solutions to organic conversations. You are usually on your own in the classroom. you’re the tech expert.

Jacqui Murray is the editor of a technology curriculum for K-sixth grade. homeschoolers. and anyone serious about finding the best way to maneuver the minefields of technology in education. website reviews and more. IMS tech expert. Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers.About the Authors Ask a Tech Teacher is a well-regarded resource blog run by a group of technology teachers. creator of two technology training books for middle school. She is webmaster for six blogs. and a weekly contributor to Write Anything. advice. . Its newsletters and website articles are read by thousands every day. and three ebooks on technology in education. an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer. a columnist for Examiner. pedagogical conversation.com. It offers oodles of free lesson plans.000 people every month and her technology articles have appeared in hundreds of online newspapers and magazines. Cisco guest blogger. including teachers. Her popular technology blog Ask a Tech Teacher is visited by more than 60.

Here’s how to use each card: How to use this book .These are 98 quick solutions to common problems you’ll run into as your students use technology in the classroom.

click the tech tip title for additional helpful information. Categories: Email Excel General Hardware Images Internet Keyboard Keyboard shortcuts Mouse MS Office MS Word PowerPoint Security Software Windows Each problem is listed with its solution and a link to its location in Ask a Tech Teacher. . Note: These tips are presented for PCs. Please adapt answers to Macs. Why? Because some tips include how-to images that don’t show well in ereaders.If you see ‘More’ in Category of Problem.

I’m losing all my work as I edit. they don’t know how to stop its annoying typeover. it covers up everything that comes after. You are probably in ‘typeover’. It toggles between ‘insert’ and ‘typeover’. How do I fix that? A: Push the insert key. I hear they’re doing away with this key on upcoming keyboards. No one knows what it does and when users errantly push it.Tech Tip #1: the Insert Key Q: When I type. Keyboard. They might as well. Windows .

open a new MS Word document. It can be pasted into docs. or Edit-paste) and a copy of your screen will appear as a picture. after pushing PrintScreen (and putting a screen shot onto your clipboard). even adults don’t get it. A: I have to teach this as a full-blown lesson in class because it is so counter-intuitive.Tech Tip #2: The PrintScreen Key Q: I want to take a screen shot so I push ‘PrintScreen’ (or PrtScn) and nothing happens. emails. Paste (Ctrl+P or right click+paste.   When you push PrintScreen. Just don’t forget to paste! Keyboard. you must tell the computer where to put it. Windows . it saves a copy of your screen to the clipboard. cards--wherever you’d like. or use the icon on the toolbar. For example. Then.

here’s what you do:   Copy the address located at the top of the screen (right click on it and select copy). How do they do that? A: When you want to send a website address to people. internet .Tech Tip #3: Turn an Address into a Link Q: I get emails from friends with links to websites. or the paste tool on the top toolbar). That activates the link. You’re almost done–now push the space bar once or push enter after the address. Email. You’ll know you succeeded because it turns blue with an underline. MS Word. edit-paste. Return to your email or MS Word doc (it’s probably on the taskbar at the bottom of your screen) and paste the address into the message part of the email (using right-click paste.

also considered a dash). What do I do? A: Hold down the Ctrl key and push + (next to the backspace key). hold Ctrl and push the – (the minus sign next to the number zero. That zooms in. keyboard shortcuts . Internet. I can’t read it.Tech Tip #4: Zoom In and Out Q: My internet browser screen is so small. To zoom out. And I can’t find the zoom command.

Windows . Now. you can access open programs on the taskbar and/or new programs from the start menu. How do I access other programs without closing down the one I’m working on? A: Push the Flying Windows key (it’s between Ctrl and Alt). That brings up the start menu as well as exposing the taskbar.Tech Tip #5: Where Did the Taskbar Go? Q: Some programs hide the taskbar when they open (especially young children software like KidPix).

On the Tools menu. and then click the General tab. Note: This feature was turned off for Word 2007. annoying and useless. MS Word 2003 . a drawing canvas appears around it. It gets in the way–everything has to wrap around it and it leaves too much white space. To turn the drawing canvas off: 1. It’s designed to allow you to place multiple shapes that are moved and resized as one. 2.Tech Tip #6: The (Horrid Annoying) Drawing Canvas Q: When I try to insert a text box or object into Word 2003. A: My solution: Get rid of it. Most of us are only interested in inserting one text box or image. even when I resize it. Clear ‘Automatically create drawing canvas when inserting AutoShapes’ check box. so it is cumbersome. click Options.

How do I make it see-through? A: Two ways to fix that problem:   Select the picture. use the picture toolbar pen. If that doesn’t work. Images. I hope it covers your case. Probably 85-90%. so it covers everything behind it. select the picture and then press CTRL +T.Tech Tip #7: Transparent Backgrounds Q: When I insert a picture. keyboard shortcuts . the background isn’t transparent. These don’t work in all cases.

In Print Range area.Tech Tip #8: Print a Selection off a Web Page Q: I only want to print part of the webpage. Now. Other than using PrintKey 2000 or Jing (they’re not on some of the computers I use at work or friends’ houses). keyboard shortcuts . Internet. only the selected portion of the Web page will print. how do I quickly print just a selection? A: You might also simply want to save paper. then OK. not the entire thing. click Selection. Here’s how:    Highlight the desired text Press Ctrl+P The Print dialog box appears.

Windows .Tech Tip #9: Quickly Hide Your Screen Q: I’m updating grades on my computer at school. It’ll hide the window that’s on your screen by bringing up the one behind it. as in. Sometimes. but it’s useful for teachers also. This trick is often used by office personnel to hide the fact that they’re surfing the Net at work or job hunting. Use it as a verb.” Keyboard shortcuts. What’s the fastest way to hide the screen? A: Press “Alt+tab” on your keyboard (or Command-Tab on a Mac). students come in for help and I don’t want them to see what I’m doing. “I had to Alt+tab when my boyfriend dropped by.

Suddenly. before you can scream Stop! It’s gone. Click to awaken. my whole paragraph/sentence/document (fill in your disaster) disappeared.Tech Tip #10: How to Undelete Q: I was typing and wanted to make a change (add formatting. How do I get it back? A: Two ideas:  Push Ctrl+Z to undo your last steps. etc. One moment you have a two-page memo to your Admin. then. edit. You may not even realize you deleted. your file is deleted. Keyboard shortcuts . Note: This Undelete tip doesn’t apply to deleted files or folders.). so go back in time one step at a time until it comes back  If the entire program disappeared. like when for some reason known only to God. it might be sleeping on the taskbar.

If you see a double arrow at the bottom. How do I see all of them? A: How often has some good hearted soul who’s trying to help you with something techie said. You could click the double arrow to reveal them or do the following:   Go to the menu command ‘Tools’ and select ‘Customize’ (toward bottom of list) Select the ‘Options’ tab. Excel. ‘Menu commands’ are the words at the top of your program. Now click on…’ And they rattle of a choice that you don’t see on your drop down menu. that means choices are hidden because you don’t use them often. it shows only some choices. check ‘always show full menus’ MS Office 2003. ‘Select the menu command Edit (or whichever it might be). you’re stuck.Tech Tip #11: How to Show the Entire Drop Down Menu Q: When I click a drop down menu in Office 2003 (Word. they drop down a bunch of choices and you make your selection. PowerPoint). Here’s what happened. Right there. More . Publisher. When you click on them.

but it goes under/above it. There’s a big white space I can’t type in. Here’s what you do:     select the image select the ‘Pictures’ tab at top of screen select ‘wrap text’ from ribbon select ‘tight’ from drop down menu Text now flows around the picture MS Word. What do I do? A: I get this from students a lot. images. More .Tech Tip #12: Wrap Text Around a Picture Q: I want my text to wrap around the picture I inserted.

or you’ve done it before and can’t remember how you did it. If you’re trying to do something that you know should be easy. The left one is for normal stuff. but the right one is for the most common activities performed from wherever you are–on the desktop. It’ll drop down a menu of the most commonly-used choices.Tech Tip #13: The Powerful Right Mouse Button Q: I need a faster way to access menus. and you’ll love it. in a program. whatever. try the right mouse click. Is there one? A: Yes. Chances are it’ll include what you want to do. PC’s have a mouse with both a left and a right button. Mouse .

More . What do I do? A: This is a question I get from parents more often than you’d think.Tech Tip #14: Desktop Icons Disappear? Q: My desktop icons disappeared for no known reason. Windows. 3. check it Desktop icons reappear. The next. lined up like little soldiers. Right clock on the desktop Select View Make sure ‘Show Desktop Icons’ is checked If not. Here’s what works 80% of the time: 1. they’re gone. all those image shortcuts to programs are there. 2. One moment. 4.

keyboard shortcuts. Then keep working. desktop.Tech Tip #15: Save Early Save Often Q: My computer crashes often. Here’s what you do. so what’s the deal? Do you save every ten minutes? Have you ever lost your work because… it just disappeared--maybe a power surge. you think it is easy. push Ctrl+S (hold Ctrl down while you push S). but hours of work evaporated. maybe you pressed the wrong button.  Save the file wherever you normally save your work immediately when you create it (My Documents. What’s a good rule to follow so I don’t lose my work? A: Saving is easier than you think. Who knows. General. etc. I know.)  Every ten minutes. More .

Tech Tip #16: What’s Today’s Date—Part I
Q: I never remember the date. Is there a shortcut for people like me?
A: Push Shift+Alt+D. That puts the current date into any Word document (use Ctrl+; in Excel). Be aware: This shortkey updates the date every time you open the document. For example, you might use it and the date shows as April 21, 2013. When you re-open the same document five days later, it’ll read April 26, 2013. If you want the date to memorialize the document, skip the shortkey.

Keyboard shortcuts, MS Word

Tech Tip #17: No Excuse for Spelling Errors
Q: What are those red and green squiggly lines in my document?
A: When you see a red squiggly line in a Word doc–or lots of other docs too, even online–it indicates a possible spelling error. I’ve found that most times, it’s accurate. Right click on the word and you’ll get a list of suggestions. Click on the correct spelling and it will replace your misspelled word. If you’re too far off, it won’t work. If you’re sure you’ve spelled the word correctly, add it to the dictionary. Then it won’t come up as an error in the future. Green squiggly lines indicate a grammar error. I’ve found as often as not, they are wrong, so use best judgment. When you right click on word, if you don’t like the suggestion, ignore it. BTW, neither shows up on the printed doc.

MS Office, Internet

Tech Tip #18: How to Activate a Link in Word
Q: I see an underlined blue phrase on my Word document. I’m told that’s a link to a website. How do I make it work?
A: Activating a link in MS Word is simple.
 

Hover over the word or phrase Push Ctrl+click to activate

Mousing over a word or phrase displays its tool tips. In this case, it’ll tell you to Ctrl+click to visit the website. Click to find out how to add a link yourself.

Word, internet, keyboard shortcut

Tech Tip #19: Ten Best Word Tips
Here are the most popular tips from my blog, Ask a Tech Teacher. Click the linked ones for more detail. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. How to Undelete–push Ctrl+Z How to Show the Entire Drop Down Menu If your screen freezes, check your workspace for a dialog box that needs to be handled Turn an Address into a Link--push space bar after adding internet address to activate The (Horrid Annoying) Drawing Canvas–get rid of it What’s Today’s Date–use keyboard shortcut Shift+Alt+D in MS Word Menu command is grayed out–push escape four times. This works 90% of the time Show all tools on Standard and Formatting toolbars–click double arrow at end of toolbar; select Show buttons on two rows (MS Office 2003) 9. How to Open A New Word Doc Without the Program–right click on desktop; select ‘new’ 10. Typing over your text, rather than in front of it? Push insert key

MS Word, keyboard shortcuts

push enter The word turns blue with a line under it.Tech Tip #20: How to Add a Link to Word Q: I want to link something in my Word doc (or email) to a website. keyboard shortcuts . MS Word. showing it is a link To use it. but this is quick and easy. Ctrl+click on the link There are sophisticated options that go along with adding links. press Ctrl+V. How do I do that? A: Follow these easy steps:        Go to the website you want to link to Copy the address from the address bar (Ctrl+c or Edit-copy from the menus) Return to your Word doc or email (it’s waiting on the taskbar at the bottom of screen) Highlight the words you want to link to the website Press Ctrl+K.

It barely fills half the screen.Tech Tip #21: How to Make a Small Webpage Window Big Q: When I open the internet (or a document). What’s the quickest way to make it bigger? A: There are two easy solutions. here’s a better way: Double click the blue title bar at the top of the document. That takes care of it without aiming at the tiny spot. one faster than the other   Click the maximize box in the upper right corner of the document. MS Office. internet . If you have youngers whose fine motor skills aren’t quite there and aiming/clicking that tiny box is a challenge. the window is small.

What do I do? A: Try the old standby from Windows’ earliest days–Alt+F4. There’s no File-exit. Windows . Keyboard shortcuts. It works on almost all programs. I use it in my lab all the time.Tech Tip #22: Quick Exit from 97% of Programs Q: My child has a program on the computer and I can’t figure out how to get out of it. no menu.

There are programs for undeleting from external drives. select ‘restore’ ‘Restoring’ sends it back where it was before you deleted it. Windows . Here’s what you do:    find the recycle bin on your desktop right-click. If you deleted it from a flash drive.Tech Tip #23: I Deleted a File By Accident Q: I deleted a file! I need it back! What do I do? A. it’s gone. but they cost money. select Open find your file.

More . That’s what it does–opens a new Word doc for you without opening the program first. Right click on the desktop and pick New Word Doc. Word. but what if you didn’t? No problem. You might have pinned it to the start menu (see Tech Tip #53: How to Pin Any Program to the Start Menu). These things happen and always at the worst time. Snazzy.Tech Tip #24: Open A New Word Doc Without the Program Q: I can’t find the Word icon that opens MS Word. What do I do? A: You look on your desktop and the Word icon that usually opens Word disappeared.

continue down this list. What do I do? A: The first culprit to investigate is the keyboard. Maybe the cord that connects keyboard and computer is loose or fell out. Sometimes the stuff in the boot-up sequence that makes the keyboard work gets lost. but all I get is a cursor that blinks… and blinks… but goes nowhere. Hardware . Is something preventing you from typing? Maybe a dialogue box wants an answer? If light isn’t on. Check plugs. turn the keyboard over and see what falls out. Sometimes they get food between them and get stuck. Do you eat at your keyboard? Doesn’t everyone? I say this next solution hesitantly: Bang on the keys. Try these solutions:     Is keyboard power light on? If so.Tech Tip #25: My Keyboard Doesn’t Work Q: I need to type a lesson plan. If that doesn’t work. Reboot. Restarting allows it to re-establish itself. check your screen.

Do you need to replace them? If it’s wireless. Is it plugged in? Check the batteries (if it’s wireless). A reboot might get the mouse driver back where the system can find it. they get lost sometimes. Before you buy a new mouse. Mouse. This is a universal cure for stuff that goes awry on a computer. make sure the hub is in proximity to the mouse and keyboard Reboot the computer. plug a spare in–see if it works. but try a few things first:      Check the plugs. Do I need a new one? A: Maybe. There are so many drivers and commands in the operational sequence. hardware .Tech Tip #26: My Mouse Doesn’t Work Q: My mouse stopped working.

right click on it and select Properties. It might have disappeared because it’s set to Autohide. That brings up the Start button. What do I do? A: Push the flying windows (located between Ctrl and Alt on bottom left keyboard). Go to the Taskbar tab Make sure the box that says Autohide isn’t checked. If taskbar doesn’t appear when you hover. If a double headed arrow appears. Here’s how to fix that:    Hover over the area where the taskbar lives. Windows . click and drag up to bring your toolbar back from the edge.Tech Tip #27: My Taskbar Disappeared Q: My taskbar disappeared. hover over the extreme bottom edge of the screen. If it appears.

Are speakers broken? Plug in a set of speakers that you know work. you can check the sound card by plugging headphones you know work into the port. try these easy fixes:    Are headphones plugged in? Is the volume turned up? Are speakers plugged in? Is sound muted? Check the collection of icons in the lower right corner of your monitor. If they don’t work. Hardware . you have isolated the problem to the sound card. Do I need a new sound card? A: Before you invest money. Does that fix it? If the sound still doesn’t work.Tech Tip #28: 3 Ways to Fix a No-Sound Problem–For Free Q: I can’t get any sound out of my computer.

say MS Word Select File>Open.Tech Tip #29: I Can’t Find My File Q: I saved my document. Open it and re-save it in a spot you’ll remember. Excel. it won’t find files on your flash drive if it isn’t plugged in or an external folder such as Box. Check to see if your document shows up there. MS Office programs–Word. Type the file name in Search o Search only covers locations attached to your computer. but I can’t find it. but don’t remember where:    Open the program you created it in. How do I find it? A: There are a couple of ways to search for a document you saved. Publisher.net MS Office. More . For example. PowerPoint–and some other software show recently created documents in the task panel. Not there? Try this: o Click the Start Button.

your software program isn’t broken or corrupted. What do I do? A: Rest assured. it means it’s not available for that choice. MS Office . When I pushed it. Here’s the solution: Push escape four times. but the tool I needed was greyed out.Tech Tip #30: Menu Command is Greyed Out Q: I pushed the menu command I wanted (in MS Office 2003) and got the drop-down list. nothing happened. That’ll get you out of whatever you’re in that is preventing the command from activating. Can’t say that about much else in my techie life. This trick always works. If it’s still greyed out.

Ctrl+. MS Office. Help! A: There are lots of ways:    Hover over the clock and it tells you the date Push Shift+Alt+D in Word. And. in Excel Start typing the date in a Word doc and Word finishes it for you That’s probably more than you wanted to know about today’s date. I can’t remember where to find it on my computer. Windows .Tech Tip #31: What’s Today’s Date—Part II Q: I can never remember today’s date.

Click on the bar and drag it back to the bottom.Tech Tip #32: My Taskbar Moved to the Side Q: The taskbar at the bottom of my screen moved. How do I move it back? A: It’s easy to move—and intended to move. I like it at the bottom. Windows . right click on the taskbar and click ‘lock taskbar’. If you want to prevent it from being moved (maybe you have precocious children).

Windows. Refusing to allow them to play doesn’t work and asking them to undo their play at the end of their time doesn’t either.Tech Tip #33: My Desktop Icons are Messed Up Q: I have several kids/students who share a computer. What’s the best way to handle this? A: I’ve tried everything. The best solution is to teach all students how to organize their desktop:   Right click on the desktop Select ‘sort by’ and type This can be part of their start-up maintenance when they begin class. they love moving icons around on the desktop—even creating the first letter of their name in icons! It’s cute. More . but makes it difficult for the next student to find the shortcut they need. Kids being kids.

90% of the time. I can’t save my work or anything else. If you’re one of the ten percenters. but not often (I’m assuming you take care of your computer–defrag.Tech Tip #34: My Program Froze Q: I’m writing a very (very) important paper and the screen froze. You might have to answer its question first. don’t download with abandon. Click your program on the taskbar. You might have gotten out of it by accident. Push escape four times. Software . update occasionally). I hope you saved early and often (every ten minutes). your computer is back to normal. Before you declare a computer-ate-my-homework sort of catastrophe. You might be in something you don’t even know. try this:    Check for an open dialogue box and close it. What do I do? A: Programs do freeze for no reason.

Tech Tip #35: My Program Closed Down
Q: I was working on my program (writing in Word or making a slideshow in PowerPoint) and it disappeared. Did I lose my work?
A: Before you arrive at that conclusion, try these two steps:
 

Check taskbar. If your program is blinking at you, click to maximize. All should be OK. If the program is closed, re-open the same program. If it’s Word, PowerPoint, Publisher or Excel, a panel shows up on the left prompting you to select one of the auto-saved documents. Pick yours. The program automatically saves every two to ten minutes. You’ve lost some, but not much of your work

From now on, save early, save often. Every ten minutes.

Software

Tech Tip #36: The Internet Toolbar Disappeared
Q: My internet toolbar disappeared. All I see at the top of the screen is more of the page I’m on. No tools. What do I do?
A: Push F11. You can hide or unhide the internet toolbar with F11. It’s that simple.

Internet

Tech Tip #37: My MS Word Toolbar Disappeared
Q: My formatting tools disappeared from the top of MS Word (2003). What do I do?
A: They do disappear at times, for no good reason. Here’s the simple fix:
 

Right-click in the toolbar area at the top. Make sure Format and Standard are checked. That’s where 99% of your tools live.

This is true in all MS Office 2003 software

MS Office

Tech Tip #38: My Desktop Icons Changed
Q: My desktop icons (those little pictures that allow you to open a program) changed. The ones I usually have are gone and some I’ve never seen before are there. What happened?
A: I get this question a lot. Push the start button and check who the log in is. That’s the name at the top of the right-hand side of the start menu. It should have your log-in name. Any other, log out and log in as yourself and the world will tilt back to normal. This happens constantly in my lab because each grade level has a separate log-in. Students being students often forget to log out. I teach even the youngers how to solve this problem. Truth be known, lots of teachers have this problem, also. They’re used to sitting down at a computer shared only with themselves. When tech comes and does something on it–say, fixes a problem– and they don’t log out, my teachers are lost

Windows

Still doesn’t work? Pull out the battery.Tech Tip #39: My Computer Won’t Turn Off Q: I’m pushing the power button on my laptop (or desktop. What do I do? A: Push the power button and hold it in for a count of ten. but this is more common with laptops). If that doesn’t work (there’s always that one that breaks all the rules). and it won’t turn off. Hardware . hold it for a count of twenty.

If you’re looking for DOS. Where did it go? A: Right click on the start button and select ‘Explore’.Tech Tip #40: Where Did Windows Explorer Go? Q: I have Windows 7 and I can’t find Explorer anymore. I still miss DOS… Windows . type ‘command prompt’ into the search field and it’ll pop up.

Tech Tip #41: Repair Your Computer With System Restore Q: My computer no longer runs right. More . Here’s what you do:    Type ‘system restore’ into the search bar at the bottom of the start menu Select ‘system restore’ from the list Follow the directions That’s it. Windows. Suddenly. spyware or their ilk. through no fault of yours. It doesn’t affect any data files created at any time. It’s painless. things don’t work right. just system files that may have been corrupted or affected unintentionally by malware. What can I do? A: Sometimes you download a program or your child mistakenly pushes a button that allows malware on your computer.

Internet—Options Click General. Run Spybot and Adaware and an anti-virus program. click Use Current Now make sure your firewall is working. security. In IE. Internet. More . go to the Tools icon (a gear-looking picture). In Firefox. How do I fix that? A: Here’s what you do:    Go to the page you want as your homepage. go to Tools–Options. Something got through that shouldn’t have and you don’t want it to happen again–or have a worse outcome than your homepage changing.Tech Tip #42: How to (Re)Set Your Homepage Q: My homepage got hijacked! It no longer opens up to what it used to.

Tech Tip #43: Back Up Often Q: How often should I back up my project? How about my whole hard drive? A: I teach students to save early. Ten minutes or ten hours. You decide what you can tolerate losing. BTW. when they’re working on a project. I save each project I’m working on and then save-as to a back-up location. save often. a lot of people skip the back-up process. Don’t! MS Office. you’re the one who has to start over. security . As for the entire computer. Or three. After all. I hate losing work. if the computer loses your work. Me. once a week is good.

Maybe Mac does too. Make sure your firewall is working. Here’s what I do:    Don’t download from music or video sites. More . Run Ad-aware once a week to keep malware and spyware off your computer. They have the greatest amount of malware statistically because the Bad Guys know we-all like getting free music and videos.Tech Tip #44: Clean Your Computer Weekly Q: I’m afraid of getting slammed with viruses. Leave it active. What do I do? A: If you take reasonable precautions. the chances of being hit are minimized. Keep your antivirus software active. malware. Windows comes with a built-in one. Security. It’s under Control Panel-Administrative Tools Every week: o o o defrag your computer. Run Spybot or a similar antispyware program. all that bad stuff that comes with visiting the internet.

you’re going to wonder why I’d post this tip. it’ll turn the screen upside down. If you’ve never faced that off-kilter screen. That’s when a different pesky prodigy told me how to fix it: Ctrl+Alt+(up arrow) I use it at least once a month now. you’re going to bless me. Windows. They know if they push Ctrl+Alt+(down arrow). How do I fix that? A: If you ever needed this. The first time it happened.Tech Tip #45: Your Screen Upside Down? Q: My screen is sideways 90 degrees. keyboard shortcuts . I run a tech lab and there are always those pesky prodigies who want to outsmart me. I was at a loss.

Tech Tip #46: Easiest Way to Explain Right and Left to (Little) Kids Q: Kindergartners don’t always understand the difference between left/right. Mouse . A: There are two times kids get confused about right and left when I’m teaching:   right mouse button clicking in front of a spot (to edit. to use the tab key.” Always works. to format–stuff like that) I’ve found an easy way to clarify: “Right click with your mouse” Student promptly clicks with their left mouse button. And. They remember it. “The other right. they don’t feel stupid (which they aren’t).

but there are so many and—to me—they’re just a bunch of pictures. the internet. Photoshop. Is there an easy way to figure this out? A: To determine what a tool does on the toolbar or 2007/10’s ribbon. hover your mouse over the tool (place the mouse above it without clicking). and more. More . This works in any program with a toolbar or ribbon–MS Office. mouse. Software.Tech Tip #47: Tool Tips Q: I’m supposed to find a tool on the toolbar. A tool tip appears with what it’s for.

Tech Tip #48: Quickly Switch Between Windows Q: I know how to copy-paste between Word and Excel. Is there an easier way? A: Oh yes. but here’s the problem: I have three Word docs open. Use Alt+tab. Much easier. If you’re toggling between two windows. It takes a lot of time to click down to the taskbar. Windows. That takes you to the last window you visited. I use it a lot for report cards. I don’t want to close the other two because I’ll need them soon. this is the perfect solution. keyboard shortcuts . bring up the Word group and find the correct doc.

Say OK Windows. images. It turned into a wonderful experience. select Computer in the right column Select the folder with the pictures you want displayed as a slideshow Select Slideshow from the toolbar If Slideshow doesn’t show up on the toolbar. More . do the following:   Right-click on the folder with the pictures you want displayed as a slideshow Select the last tab–Customize. select Pictures from the drop-down menu. Here’s all you do:    Go to the Start button. I ran out of time to prepare slideshows for Open House so I offloaded the work onto the students.Tech Tip #49: The Fifteen Second Slideshow Q: What’s an easy way to display Kindergartners’ work digitally that involves students in preparation? A: Last year.

Tech Tip #50: The Easiest Way to Outline Q: My fifth graders are learning to outline. Is there an easy way to tie that into technology? A: Outlining can’t be easier than doing it in Word. push Shift+tab That’s it–three keys: 1) bullet list or numbered list 2) tab to indent 3) Shift+tab to exdent Word. Type your item Push enter to add another number or bullet To create a subpoint. Your first bullet or number appears on the screen. push tab To push a subpoint up a level. More . Here’s what you do:      Select the Numbered List or the Bullet List in MS Word. keyboard shortcuts.

Tech Tip #51: Copy From Google Images Q: How do I get images from Google (or Bing) images into my MS Office software? A: Here’s how:   Right-click on the picture. select copy Return to your MS Office document. images. Internet . right lick and select paste MS Office.

only the bad stuff. It’ll turn your computer back to an earlier date. It won’t affect documents.Tech Tip #52: Roll Your Computer Back to a Problem-Free Date Q: Something happened and now my computer isn’t working right. All you have to do is type ‘restore’ in the search box (on the start menu) and follow instructions. It’s saved me several times. What do I do? A: These days. Windows . before you did the download or the install. it’s not hard to fix this. I downloaded a program/music/video (or installed new software) and it hasn’t worked right since.

Click through All-programs to wherever it is. This will attach it to your Start button. Is there a way to add it to my start menu so I can find it more easily? A: Absolutely.–wherever it is you must go to find it). but it’s not on my desktop. but don’t open the program. Instead. right click on the icon that would normally open the program and select ‘pin to start menu’ from the drop down menu. Much easier! Windows .Tech Tip #53: How to Pin Any Program to the Start Menu Q: There’s a program I use all the time. I have to click through All-Programs-(etc.

PowerPoint . I’ve had students mistakenly put five minutes on a slide instead of five seconds and we would sit waiting forever if I didn’t mouse click) Set the timer to serve the needs of the slide. Auto-forward isn’t difficult:     Go to Transition on the menu bar Go to Timing on the right side Leave ‘on mouse click’ selected (in case you as the teacher need to move it forward automatically. How do we do that? A: Presentations are a great skill to teach students. A good default of 5-10 seconds. This will require students to practice before presenting so they can put the correct time in. We want the slideshow to go automatically without requiring them to click the mouse or push the space bar. I applaud you.Tech Tip #54: How to Auto Forward a PowerPoint Slideshow Q: My students are learning PowerPoint presentations.

The shortcut shows up. How do I open the program? A: Click the ‘Start button’. the start menu or in ‘all programs’. Windows. software .Tech Tip #55: Find a Lost Shortcut Q: I can’t find the shortcut for a program I want to open. It’s not on the desktop. then type in the name of the program where it says ‘start search’.

Tech Tip #56: Force a New Page Q: I’m teaching students to create a book report with a cover page. keyboard shortcuts . students can type the book report without me there to help–even on classroom computers. That way. MS Word. What’s the easiest way to get a cover on the first page and the report on the second? A: Students as young as 2nd grade can learn to force a new page with Ctrl+enter. I have them create the cover page during one class and push Ctrl+enter for a new page.

try this easy and fun intro to Excel (Click the link. scroll down to Dec. When students have gone through the basics and feel like that scary interface (with the blank boxes and letters and numbers) isn’t so scary. That’s it–a simple chart. Collect class data (for step-by-step. Excel. More . to create an Excel gingerbread house). go to Jan. Highlight the labels and data and push F11. 24th on my 3rd grade wiki. 9th 2010. you’re ready to create a chart.Tech Tip #57: How to Create a Chart Really Fast Q: What’s the easiest way to introduce Excel charts? A: Before making charts.).

when you direct them to a tool–like Bold or Italics– it’ll always show up (rather than having to click the chevron at the right end of the toolbar). Have students bubble that selection. MS Office . This is listed as ‘Show standard and formatting toolbars on two rows’. your toolbars are nicely set up for new learners. This is where you went to show the full drop-down menu. Now. That way. In this same dialogue box is an opportunity to have all toolbars show when students open the program. Customize. Where did the menus go? A: Go to Tools.Tech Tip #58: Show all Tools on Toolbars Q: When I direct students to the menu bar (Office 2003) some of the menu choices aren’t there.

This not only works in Office. I could not get this to work until someone pointed out that you must use the keypad. ©. huh? MS Office. but lots of other places. Use the keypad with the num lock on–don’t use the number row. Cool. keyboard shortcut . Hold down the Alt key and press 0169. Duh. like my WordPress blog.Tech Tip #59: Shortkey for the Copyright Symbol Q: How do you create the copyright symbol in Word? A: It’s easier than you think.

They’ll feel empowered and they’ll add shortcuts you didn’t consider. If you have fourth grade or up students. software . or 2. Windows. let them do this themselves. right click the icon on ‘all programs’ (click start button. click the icon on the start button and drag and drop it to the desktop. This is a great tool for students so they can easily access the programs they use most often. then select ‘desktop (create shortcut)’ That’s it.Tech Tip #60: How to Add Shortcuts to the Desktop Q: How do I create a shortcut on my desktop so I can find programs easier? A: There are two ways to do that: 1. select ‘all programs’ at the bottom) and select ‘send to’.

A: Click the email tool on the Word toolbar. Email. She couldn’t print a document (server problems) and wanted to email it to herself to print at home. MS Office .Tech Tip #61: Email from Word (Or PowerPoint or Excel) Q: I was helping one of the faculty at my school. She started going online to her Yahoo account and I stopped her. There was a quicker method. It automatically opens your email program.

What was Bill Gates thinking? Don’t as many people start a paragraph with a tab indent as a double space between paragraphs? Now I have to fix it every time I open a Word doc. and click the little dot in the lower right corner  Change ‘after’ spacing to 0. MS Office . Set ‘before’ and ‘after’ to 0–not 10. What do I do? A: I don’t like that either. At the bottom of the dialog box. ‘Paragraph. but I don’t like that. Here’s how to do it (in Word 2010):  Go to Page Layout>Paragraph>Spacing. To make this the default:  Go to ‘Home’ tab.Tech Tip #62: Don’t Like Double Space Between Paragraphs? Q: Word 2010 came with space between paragraphs as a default. click ‘set as default’ Now the world spins a bit nicer.

Tech Tip #63: Reset Default Font Q: How do I change MS Office 2007 or 2010′s default font and spacing? A: Here’s how you fix that:       Type a couple of paragraphs in any document Highlight what you typed and right click. More . Right click. it’s TNR 12 Click the Default button on the lower left to approve that this is how you’d like a future documents to be formatted. make sure Before and After show 0 pts. select font Change the font to what you prefer. it will have this revised formatting. MS Word. In my case. The next time you open an MS Word document. Click Default That’s it. select Paragraph and Line Spacing.

 Google Earth takes you there. Travel the street by double clicking the other cameras on the street. enter. The camera icons show where Street View is available. Here’s how to use it:  Open Google Earth. thanks to Street View.  Find your house.Tech Tip #64: Google Street View Q: I can’t find enough detail about a particular geographic area we’re studying in class. What do you think? Internet. software . Type the address into Fly-to.  Double click the camera located by your needed location to go there. Select Street View in the sidebar. They even cover hiking trails. Students can walk down the street they just read about or see their home on the internet.  Google Street View has more locations every month. Any suggestions? A: That’s much easier than it used to be.

How do I zoom into a browser window? A: There are a few ways. ‘Zoom’ and either ‘Zoom in’ or ‘Zoom out’ To return to the original setting. Ctrl. One direction zooms in. hold down Ctrl and hit the number zero. There are two other ways:   Ctrl+ (the plus sign next to backspace) will zoom in. Select ‘View’.Tech Tip #65: Zoom In/Out of Websites Q: I can’t read the internet page.will zoom out Go to the menu bar. Take a moment while I get a cup of coffee and try it… OK–how’d it go? Internet . but here’s the simplest: hold down “Ctrl” key and move your “mouse scroll wheel”. the other zooms out.

Tech Tip #66: How to Add Accents and more Q: I teach Spanish and need a quick way to add accents to words. It’s for accent marks. MS Office. but there’s an easier way. More . You probably always wondered what that key was to the left of the ’1′. Use the Ctrl key + the accent. under the tilde. Here is a table (inset). Can you help? A: You can go through the symbols library. Windows.

You know your children. hold the Control key (Ctrl) and push H. Internet. Watch their answer. Sometimes it happens by accident. More . Windows.Tech Tip #67: Check History in Your Browser Q: How do I see where my kids/students have gone online? A: Go to what’s called ‘history’--a list of all the websites whoever logged in under a particular user name went. Ask them about it. If you find they went somewhere they shouldn’t. Select the time frame you’re interested in That’s it. You’ll know if they are telling the truth. Their body language will tell you as much as their words. don’t over-react. That brings up a sidebar with the sites they’ve visited. Here’s how you do it:   In Firefox or IE.

like many other tips I share. when my students figured it out and made my desktop icons HUGE or tiny. How wonderful. Here’s how to fix that:    Highlight all desktop icons by clicking and dragging a box around them Push Ctrl and roll the mouse wheel.Tech Tip #68: Make Desktop Icons Big or Little Q: The desktop icons are tiny on my desktop. I no longer have to squint at icons too small for my eyes. Windows . so I don’t know how to undo it. I don’t know how it happened. It enlarges or delarges for you That’s it. Please help! A: This solution I learned in self-defense.

” Roberson et al. it’s black which has saved 2.com. A: Go to Blackle.420 Watt hours as 2010.Tech Tip #69: Save Energy While Searching Q: Can I go green and still browse endlessly? I confess–I’m addicted.440. 2002 Internet. Blackle was created by Heap Media to remind us all of the need to take small steps in our everyday lives to save energy. but I want to do what’s right. More . Instead of a white background. Blackle saves energy because the screen is predominantly black.165. “…a given monitor requires more power to display a white (or light) screen than a black (or dark) screen.

co.co Then add the country extension you would like to visit.jp.jp …I get this. so if I type: www. type: www.google. More . For example.Tech Tip #70: Visit Foreign Language Google Search Q: English isn’t my first language. How do I go to Google in other languages? A: To visit the foreign language Google search engines. Internet. Japan is .google.

Tech Tip #71: How to Move Pics Around in Documents
Q: I put a picture in my document, but it won’t move. How do I fix that?
A: Word’s default for putting a picture on a page is ‘inline’–it treats it as text. Like words on a document, it can’t be easily moved. Here’s how to fix that:
   

click on the picture Select ‘Picture Tools’ at the top center of the screen Select ‘wrap text’ from the ribbon Select ‘tight’ to have words to wrap around it.

Now drag and drop it anywhere you’d like. It’s that simple.

MS Word

Tech Tip #72: Alt+??? Brings up which Menu Command?
Q: I always forget the keyboard shortcuts for the menu commands. Can you give me a list?
A: I’ll do one better. In MS Office 2007/10, push the Alt key and it tells you what number or letter is associated with which menu command. To activate the shortcut, push Alt+the exposed letter or number. For example, for Review, push Alt+R. That’s it. Simple, hunh.

MS Office, More

Tech Tip #73: The Gadgets Menu Bar
Q: I’ve heard Win 7 has fun gadgets I can install on the desktop, but I don’t know how to find them.
A: Right-click on the desktop, select ‘gadgets’, and the choices appear. Select one or more for your desktop from this list or go online for more.

Windows, More

Tech Tip #74: What’s My IP Address
Q: I need my computer’s IP address, but I don’t know where to find it. Help!
A: Go to: My IP Address.com . I keep mine on my iGoogle homepage so it’s right there.

Security, General

wait ten seconds and put it back and start up again. What do I do? A: To fix a recalcitrant laptop.Tech Tip #75: Laptop Frozen? Here’s What You Do Q: My laptop is frozen. Half the time. General. I can’t even turn it off. security . that’ll fix it. remove the battery.

General.Tech Tip #76: Laptop Frozen? Here’s Another Solution Q: My laptop won’t turn off. What do I do? A: Do a hard reboot. Hold the power button in ten seconds. security . until the laptop turns off. and reboot.

com. How do I do that? A: Put email addresses under the BCC field.Tech Tip #77: Use BCC to Hide Email Addresses Q: I want to send an email to a list of people. Security. but don’t want to expose their email addresses. but all of your bcc emails will go out as planned. It doesn’t matter what you put. put no-reply@yourdomain. It’ll bounce back to you as undeliverable. In the ‘to’ field. email .

you do it directly from the program. Now. This is a nice feature. but that’s changed in MS Office. Here’s what you do:    Click ‘save as’ for your document Drop down the ‘save as type’ and select ‘pdf’ Save No more purchasing a separate program or downloading a free pdf creator. I know–us old schoolers are used to ‘printing to’ to create a PDF. What do I do? A: MS Office 2007 and 2010 makes that easy. You now have the option of ‘saving’ as a PDF.Tech Tip #78: Saving Your File so Everyone Can Read it Q: I need to make my Word document readable by colleagues that don’t have MS Word. More . if you have MS Office. MS Office.

Tech Tip #79: My Internet Stopped Working
Q: My internet stopped for no reason. I’m in the middle of something important. What can I do?
A: Do what the pros do–unplug it, wait ten seconds and plug it in again. Half the time, this is all it takes. The same applies to a printer that stops for no known reason–turn it off, wait ten seconds and turn it back on. It’s something about tasks being shuffled out of the way and needing to re-establish their order. All I know is it works often enough, it’s my first line of defense to problem-solving this particular problem.

General, internet

Tech Tip #80: I Have Office 2010. Parents with 2003 Can’t Read My Stuff
Q: My school updated to Office 2010 (or 2007) and many parents are still on 2003. What can I do so they can read my stuff?
A: When you save the doc, go to File-save as, and select file type 97-2003 Now, anyone with MS Office 2003 can read your document.

MS Office, More

Tech Tip #81: My Pic’s a BMP and the Program Needs a JPG
Q: My picture file is a .bmp and I need a .jpg. What do I do?
A: Blogs and wikis and other online sites won’t accept .bmp image files. I no longer even save pictures in that format because so much of what I do is collaborative, which means online. If you have an image you want to use, but it’s in this .bmp format, here’s what you do:
 

Open it in MS Paint (which comes FREE with Windows) or Photoshop save-as a .jpg.

That’s it. Problem over.

Images

Tech Tip #82: How Do I Use a ‘Read Only’ Doc?
Q: The file I’m trying to edit say’s ‘read only’. What do I do?
A: A ‘read only’ document is so that you can’t edit the author’s original work. Save it as a different name, say, ‘revised’, and then you can edit it. There might be an amber bar at the top of the document asking you to do just that.

Security, Software

It’s back!” This explanation stops a sentence short: I created the folder as instructed and couldn’t find it. one of the standard ones. I got this great answer from PC Magazine. I tried three times before I realized that Search folders are collected at the bottom of the folder list. as long as you know where to look. As with many of my tips.Tech Tip #83: How to Find the Follow-up Folder in Outlook Q: I had to reformat my computer and lost the ‘For Follow Up’ folder in Outlook. More . You can also open this feature by pressing the unlikely key combination Ctrl+Shift+P. To re-create it. How do I bring this back? A: This isn’t important until it happens to you. Email. Now you won’t have to go through that. I had no idea how to solve this or if I could—until I had to. The folder is a search folder. “This is an easy one. Highlight Mail flagged for follow up and click OK. choose File | New | Search Folder.

All I know is my start page didn’t work and now it does because I switched to Google Chrome. Firefox refused to load half my RSS feeds.Tech Tip #84: Browser Problem? Switch Browsers Q: My browser doesn’t bring up stuff on my start page? What do I do? A: The quick answer is. another week. opened my start page and all is fine since. Sometimes you load programs/system or operating files on your computer that conflict with your current browser. Everything that had been working fine suddenly doesn’t. One day. I did a really adventurous move and downloaded a browser I’ve never before used--Google Chrome. I have used Firefox for years with iGoogle as my start page with all my favorite widgets loaded for a quick overview of my world every time I went on the internet. Internet . I waited a week. switch browsers. or what in the internet world changed. and nothing changed. That just happened to me. I tried my start page on Internet Explorer with the same result. I have no idea what Mozilla and IE did to change things.

A note: This is the same location you’ll go to restore from back-up if you have a problem. it takes a while. Security. Go to Control Panel Select ‘Backup and Restore Select ‘Backup Now’ From there. You can work on your computer while it’s backing up. Be forewarned: If you have a lot of data. What’s the easiest way? A: Use Windows Backup. Windows .Tech Tip #85: Back up Your Computer Q: I’ve had some virus problems and it reminds me that I need to back-up my computer. it’ll just be slower. select a drive with sufficient space and start. Here’s what you do:     Click the start button.

saved in a secure back-up area. Is there any way to make that process easier? A: Yes. Here’s what you do:   Click the start button. Go to Control Panel. copy the image back to the computer. Select ‘Backup and Restore’ On the left sidebar. Mine is on a terabyte external drive. I’m good. When you reformat. Windows.Tech Tip #86: Image Your Computer Q: I hate reformatting. I lose the personalizations I’ve added. Be forewarned: If you have a lot of data. it’ll just be slower. More . it takes a while. Create an image--a picture of your hard drive. including programs and extras. Follow directions. select the option ‘create a system image’. Even if my two internal drives explode. You can work on your computer while it’s backing up. and the extra programs (like Jing).

right-click—restore Can’t exit a program Why: Can’t find the X or Quit tool. I’m going to tell you how to solve them. and then they teach their parents. then why it generally occurs and the most common solution: Deleted a file Why? By accident or changed my mind What to do: Open Recycle Bin.Tech Tip #87: 20 Techie Problems Every Student Can Fix Out of these 98 problems. there are about twenty that cause eighty percent of the tech stoppages. I’ll list the problem. This happens with young children’s programs and those pesky internet ads that marketers don’t want you to be able to exit . fourth and fifth graders. It’s easier than you think. I routinely teach them to third. Trust me.

was deleted by accident or became inactive What to do: Right-click on desktop—select ‘New’—“Word Document” Keyboard doesn’t work Why: Lost the connection What to do: First check to be sure it actually isn’t working by pushing the ‘Num Lock’ on the right side.What to do: Alt+F4 works 95% of the time. the problem is something other than the keyboard. If it doesn’t. Try that. re-plug cord into computer and reboot Mouse doesn’t work Why: Lost the connection . Does the ‘Num Lock’ light go on/off? If it does. Can’t find Word Why: Shortcut moved.

What to do: Move it around to see if the cursor moves. re-plug cord into computer and reboot Start button is gone Why: Task bar disappeared What to do: Push Windows button in the lower right corner of the keyboard No sound Why: Mute is on. Volume is down. A restart gets things back to normal. plug headphones in. headphones are unplugged What to do: Unmute the sound or turn it up from the lower right corner of the screen. the computer simply gets confused and drops actions out of the queue which means they stop working. reboot Do you notice how often I say reboot? Sometimes. If it doesn’t. .

when you find it. resave in a location you will remember Menu command grayed out Why: You’re in another command What to do: Push escape 3 times. moved What to do: Push Start button—Start search. take note of where it is. This gets you out of wherever you were and makes the command you’d like to use available What’s today’s date? Why: You forgot! . Better yet.Can’t find a file Why: Saved wrong.

start to type the date and it will prompt you with the current date. drag the top border up to expose it Taskbar moved Why: Student interference What to do: Click on an open part of the taskbar and drag it to the bottom of screen (or wherever you prefer it) Desktop icons messed up . If it’s been hidden.What to do: Hover over the clock in the lower right corner. Another way to enter the date if you’re in Word is with the shortkey Shift+Alt+D Taskbar gone Why: Student interference What to do: Push the Windows button on the keyboard (between Ctrl and Alt on the left side). if you’re in Word.

) Computer frozen Why: Mouse frozen. etc. dialogue box open What to do: Check solutions in this list. If nothing works. the program may be blinking on the taskbar because it accidentally fell asleep down there. Click the program on taskbar to reactivate .Why: Student interference. reboot Program frozen Why: Dialog box open. Or. you added more icons and now everything’s confused What to do: Right click on screen—select ‘Sort by’ and select the method you’d like the icons arranged (name. type. keyboard frozen. not selected on taskbar What to do: Find an open dialogue box asking for input and clear it.

This will either bring you to log-in or to desktop Program closed down Why: Ooops What to do: Is it open on the taskbar? If so—click on it.I erased my document/text Why: Ooops What to do: Ctrl+Z Screen says “Ctrl-Alt-Del” Why: You rebooted What to do: Hold down Ct+Alt—push Delete. if not. reopen program—see if the right sidebar shows that it saved a back-up and select that to open .

Tool bar missing at top of internet Why: Pushing F11 key What to do: Push F11 key Toolbar missing in MS Office (2003) Why: Closed by accident What to do: Right click in toolbar area. More . select missing toolbar General.

Click here for more. To create the second one: Type : ) and Word automatically switches it to a smiley face Adjust font sizes and parts placement to get different arrows and faces.. I start in kindergarten with easy ones–like Alt+F4 to exit a program–and build each year. Soon.> and Word automatically switches it to an arrow 2. my students stop trying. Keyboard shortcuts. Throw in a few quirky ones and you’ve won their hearts and minds. Two favorites are –> and . What do I do? A: After twelve years of teaching K-8.Tech Tip #88: Use Keyboard Shortcuts With Students Q: When tech gets difficult. students are proud to show off their shortkeys--their techi-ness. More . 1. I know kids will try harder if it’s fun. My students love them. To create the first one: Type . The challenge for us teachers: How do we make a multi-step skill that they may rarely use ‘fun’? The answer is keyboard shortcuts–aka shortkeys.

General.Tech Tip #89: Don’t Be Afraid of Mulligans Q: Some kids just don’t get computers. but product is nowhere near class requirements. Some students don’t perform well under pressure. The ones that do–I have plenty of time for. Their effort deserves a good grade. What can I do? A: Don’t be afraid to give do-overs. Most students only need a few sessions and then I never see them again for help. I’ve had countless students take advantage of this and discover they could do it. Some are so sure they’re no good at technology. Try it. how do you have time? Truth: Not that many kids take advantage of my offer. that becomes the reality. Go ahead. I bet you have the same experience. That’s OK. In fact. Offer students a do-over after school. More . The question I usually get when I mention this to teachers is. their confidence is so improved. There are lots of reasons why they don’t and I’m not here to judge. they often come in during lunch to assist other students.

Every time I do this. I just found out about this recently. Select the latest version that’s not today.Tech Tip #90: Doc Saved Over? No Problem Q: My youngers constantly save a blank document over their files. Bring the file up in Windows Explorer. How? Instead of ‘open’. they use the menu command ‘save-as’ and lose all their work. Right click on it and select ‘Restore previous version’. MS Office . I’m a hero for ten minutes. Is there any way to retrieve the file? A: Absolutely.

Select the updates that have to do with your problem. To remove an update. Windows. What do I do? A: I used to turn off the automatic updates. all program.Tech Tip #91: Rollback Windows Updates Q: Windows automatically updated and now Outlook freezes. see installed updates Click this link. select ‘view updates’ The screen prompts. Here’s how you do it:     Go to start button. In this case. Windows Updates. I go into the updates list and uninstall the ones that have to do with whatever I’m having problems with. any about Outlook Select ‘uninstall‘ (this choice appears next to ‘organize‘ when you select an update) That’s it. More . if I have a problem (like above). restore your computer to an earlier date that worked. but then I missed some critical ones. If things don’t go back to normal. Now.

say ‘google’ or ‘spellingcity’. What a time saver! Internet . A. there is. Get the main part of the address in. In fact. then press Ctrl+enter and the browser will auto-fill the rest.Tech Tip #92: Auto-fill for Internet Addresses Q: Is there a faster way to type internet addresses? All that h-t-t-p stuff–I keep making typos.

It’s been around for. well. forever. 90% of folks don’t. but I’d forgotten about it until an efriend reminded me.Tech Tip #93: Shortkey for Find Q: Is there a shortkey for searching a website? A: Ctrl+F. Internet. According to an article I read. More . don’t feel bad. If you didn’t know about Ctrl+F. Keyboard shortcuts.

Windows. What’s a good way to organize programs I use all the time? A: Pin them to the Start Menu. Keyboard shortcuts . The programs below the line are the ones you used recently. all you have to do is push the Start button (in the lower left corner) and you’ll see all your favorite programs. Now. It’s lost in the desktop clutter. That puts it above the line on the Start Menu (when you push the Start button).   Find the icon for the program. It also works for websites if you have one you go to all the time (like Ask a Tech Teacher). Right click and get a drop-down list of favorite choices.Tech Tip #94: Find the Programs You Use Quickly Q: I can’t find the program I want. Select “Pin to Start Menu”.

Tech Tip #95: Open a Program Maximized Q: How do I open the internet maximized on my screen. More . Windows. General. clicking that tiny square in the upper right corner is often one step too many. For younger students. A: Here’s how you program a site–or most programs–to open maximized rather than that annoying small size that makes it difficult to maneuver:    Right click on the program icon Select Properties>Shortcuts Select the dropdown menu by Run and choose Normal window That’s it.

Here are the first few: 1. Windows. If you don’t have those two free programs. Run malware programs like Spybot and Adaware. Run defrag. Control Panel. get them from Download. Go to Start button.com 3. Uninstall unnecessary programs. More . type ‘defrag’ into the search bar. Programs and Features. on the Start button. Can you help? A: There are several fixes. I’d recommend them every month as a routine. Uninstall those pesky toolbars and other programs that get on your computer when your virtual back is turned.Tech Tip #96: How to Add Zip to Your Slow Computer Q: I have a netbook which is incredibly slow at starting. 2. These are starter steps. This puts your ducks back in a row. To open it (and find it). Security.

More . Toward the bottom is a choice to have the QA toolbar above or below the ribbon. Check off those you want to appear on the toolbar. I choose below. Earlier versions don’t include the Quick Access toolbar.Tech Tip #97: Speed up MS Office with Quick Access Toolbar Q: I tend to do the same actions over and over in MS Office. print. If you click the drop down arrow. etc. you get the most popular actions–new. Here’s the customized part: If there are tools you use frequently you wish were included (for example. First. How do I create a customized tool bar with my favorite tools? A: This one is going to improve the quality of your tech life immediately. you need Office 2007 or 2010. I use strike through a lot). you’ll wish you’d known it months ago. It’s so simple. open. MS Office. select ‘customize’ and go find it in the endless list. save.

If it's not that.Tech Tip #98: The Internet Button Q: My internet stopped working on my laptop. What do I do? A: Make sure the laptop button that allows internet connection is on. but mine won't connect. it gets much more complicated fast. More often than not. Internet . I'll cross my fingers for you. Everyone else's in the house works. that's the problem for teachers at my school.

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