Tech Tip Tuesday ... The Hat

"I'm first!"
"Pick me, Pick me!"
"I never get picked ... it's not fair!"
"My turn!"

If this sounds like your classroom, then you definitely need to check out The Hat. It's a simple but handy little utility that offers a fun and easy way to automatically determine a random order from a list of any amount of names. You can even use it to pick individual names for raffle and sweepstakes winners, etc. or pick pairs of names for deciding random partnerships, complete with cool animation and sound effects. 
To load on your computer, follow these simple (one-time) directions:
  1. Click Run, Run, Next
  2. UNCHECK the option to load the Harmony Hollow toolbar, click Next.

    Harmony Hollow Software Toolbar
  3. Accept the User Agreement (after you've read it, of course), click Next.
  4. Click Next, Install.
  5. Click Finish and you're all set!
Add your students' names by clicking the green button. You can even import them if you have them saved in a text file or copied to your clipboard.
The Hat
To select a student, click Shuffle and then Stop. The name at the top of the list is "it!"
You can save your lists to use again later. 


Tech Tip Tuesday ... PDF to Word

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PDF documents are fabulous - anyone with (free) Adobe Reader can view PDFs, whether they are on a Mac or a PC. PDFs are often smaller in size and better to upload to websites or send as email attachments. PDFs are typically not editable, which is often a good thing. From time to time though, we may find ourselves needing to edit a PDF. If you've ever been in this situation, you know that it's not the easiest thing in the world ... until now!

PDF to Word converter

You can now easily convert a PDF document into a Word document in just a couple of simple steps.
Save the PDF document somewhere on your computer.
  1. Browse to find your PDF document.
  2. Click Upload and Convert Button.
  3. When the conversion is complete, click the Right-Click Here link (just a regular click works fine!)
  4. Click Open to view the Word document now, or Save to save the Word document to access later.
  5. Edit away!

PDF to WordAnother great option is PDF to Word Converter. The only difference is that it emails the file to you. It took about 30 minutes for me to get the file, but if you're at a conference or away from your own computer and would prefer to get the documents later, give them a try!


Tech Tip Tuesday ... Jing

Jing is one of my all-time favorite applications that I've found. It also happens to be FREE, which is a wonderful thing!
Download it here!

I will confess that once upon a time, not so long ago, I needed a "picture" of something on my computer screen so I dug through my desk and found my trusty digital camera. I snapped a picture (okay, several pictures until I could get one without the flash!), uploaded it to my computer, and finally used Paint (yes, MS Paint) to crop it down. By the time I got the picture I wanted, I had already forgotten what I wanted to do with it! UGH ... Now with
Jing, I can quickly and easily take a screenshot of the entire screen or just a portion of it. 

Jing also takes videos of your screen. Just use your handy-dandy "Britney Spears" headset to narrate what you're doing on screen and you can create your own little video tutorials in no time!

Here are some of the things I do and things you may do too:
  • "Snag" a picture off a website to use in class
  • Use the video to record yourself creating a PowerPoint, PhotoStory, MovieMaker, or anything
  • Save graphics from PDF copies of CBAs to create additional activities
  • Create instructional videos for class, other teachers, or anyone
  • If your computer is "acting weird", JING it and send the video to me and I can help figure out what's going on =)
  • Just because Jing gives you the ability to snag images from just about anywhere, you must still follow copyright rules when using images.
  • Before you know it, you will start using "jing" as a verb!  Just JING it!
Do you already use Jing? Do you have any questions about it? Leave them in the comments below.


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