Technology to help teachers do what they do best

GoogleBlog - Mon, 06/27/2016 - 11:00
This week our Google for Education team will be joining thousands of educators at the annual ISTE conference. Follow along on their blog and Twitter for the latest news and updates. -Ed.
Great teachers inspire us, listen to us and learn from us; they bring the most mundane subjects to life. Technology can help great teachers do what they do best—stimulating minds and fostering skills in the next generation—and make learning even more rewarding for students. So we’re excited by the updates and improvements to our tools for the classroom we’re announcing this week at the ISTE conference, one of the largest education technology gatherings in the world.

Expeditions for all
Since we launched the Expeditions Pioneer Program last September, more than a million students from 11 countries have taken one of our 200+ virtual reality trips—from the Great Barrier Reef, to the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu. Today, we’re making Expeditions available to everyone. To get started, all teachers need to do is download the Expeditions app onto a set of devices and choose where in the world they want to take their class. The app is available today for Android and will be available for iPhones and iPads soon.

While Expeditions can be used with many of the devices schools or students already have, Best Buy Education will also be making Expeditions kits available for schools to purchase. These kits will contain everything teachers need to bring their classes on amazing Expeditions: a tablet, virtual reality viewers and a router to connect them all.
Google Cast for Education
Sharing information on the classroom’s big screen helps students learn from one another. But today, students have to physically connect their computers to the projector to share their screens with the class. To open classroom collaboration and bring projecting into the 21st century, we’re announcing Google Cast for Education, a free Chrome app that lets students and teachers share their screens wirelessly from everywhere in the classroom, no new hardware required. Cast for Education carries video and audio across complex school networks, has built-in controls for teachers, and is integrated with Google Classroom.

Quizzes in Google Forms
Getting feedback helps students learn and teachers teach. But grading tests and quizzes is time-consuming; teachers often have to take time away from other tasks to do it, and if it’s not done promptly, everyone misses out on the opportunity to learn from the things students got wrong. Starting today, Quizzes in Google Forms will grade multiple choice and checkbox questions automatically—so teachers can spend less time grading work and more time teaching.

Teachers can set correct answers in Forms and even add review materials in the form of explanations, supplemental websites, or review videos—so students can get quick, informative feedback on how to improve. Plus, teachers can get an instant snapshot on what their students understand, so they know which lessons need more explanation or what to teach next.
Creative apps on Chromebooks
Teachers tell us educational apps on Chromebooks help them improve skills like problem-solving, teamwork, communication and creativity. In collaboration with teachers at EdTechTeacher, we’re announcing a collection of creative apps on Chromebooks that schools can now purchase at a discount: Explain Everything, Soundtrap, and WeVideo. These apps let students demonstrate their understanding of curriculum in their own way by creating unique animations, music, and videos.

Students use creative apps at Muller Road Middle School in South Carolina
As technology becomes an integral component of our classrooms, we also want it to be so easy to use that it fades into background, allowing teachers to spend their time doing what they love: engaging and inspiring students.

Posted by Bram Bout, Director, Google for Education Bram Bout Director Google for Education
Categories: Technology

How do I email someone a Web page in Windows 10?

AskDaveTaylor - Mon, 06/27/2016 - 10:05

Since it’s so super easy to email someone a URL (copy from the address bar, paste into an email message) I’ll assume that you’re talking about literally emailing someone the contents of a specific Web page so that they can read the article without having to actually go to the site themselves. That’s surprisingly tricky to do because even the Google Chrome extensions available seem to be focused on making it easier to mail the URL not the page itself.

Fortunately there’s a trick you can use that creates a new document on your computer in PDF format that contains the actual content of the page in question, and it’s all related to the print feature in Chrome.

The trick is to know that when you request a printout, you can actually redirect the print job directly to a PDF file!

To start, here’s the Bing News home page. Pretty typical news, photos, and appearance:

Now you could share the screen capture if you want to use the Snipping tool that’s included with Win10, but instead, let’s create that PDF so that we also have the content that’s not current displayed in the window.

You print by choosing the Print… option from the main menu, which is accessible from the three-horizontal-lines button on the top right:

Choose “Print” from this Chrome menu and you’ll have a nice preview of what’d be sent to the printer:

Very attractive, and you can see that there’s a lot more news than what’s shown in the main Chrome window!

But we don’t want to print it, so click on the link on the lower left “Print using system dialog…“.

That pops up yet another print window, but a smaller one:

Look closely at the above and notice which option I’ve chosen as the output printer: “Microsoft Print to PDF“.

That’s really the secret. Now click on the “Print” button to proceed and a standard file selection window pops up:

Give your Web page a mnemonic name like “bing-news”, it’ll automatically append “.pdf” to the filename, click “Save” and you’re done. It’ll save the entire page as a PDF and now you can open it in a program like Adobe Reader to double check or simply email someone and add it as an attachment. Even in Google Mail!

So it’s not the fastest and easiest, it’s not a single click feature, but it’s a really good way to send a Web page to someone else in a form that they’ll be able to read directly without having to click on links, worry about the connection speed, etc.

The post How do I email someone a Web page in Windows 10? appeared first on Ask Dave Taylor.

Categories: Technology

Is eBay’s Update Personal Info Email a Scam?

AskDaveTaylor - Sat, 06/25/2016 - 10:23

You’re spot on to be skeptical and suspicious of every email that shows up in your inbox. While there are companies that send legitimate messages to you inviting you to click to log in, check your account status, verify your email address, whatever, there are also lots of scammers and spammers out there. They’ll send you bogus messages called phishing email that will look legit but take you to a fake Web page so that they can collect your account information. Not good.

Which makes it even that much more surprising that the major online companies are still sending out emails with login links and buttons, actually. You’d think that they’d just stop so that there wasn’t the continual question of whether the message you received was real or not.

But eBay does indeed send out these sort of messages! Let’s have a look…

It certainly seems plausible and looks legitimate. It includes my name twice and doesn’t have any misspellings or other indications that it might be a scam. But there’s that huge “Protect your account” button. Hmmm…

Fortunately if you move your cursor over the button, it’ll show where it’d take you:

Yeesh, quite the URL! But it’s the very first part you want to study closely:…

That’s clearly an domain, but you have to be careful: it’s a redirect that lets eBay track who clicks on the email, and it’s later in the URL that the target page is specified “”. Again, legit.

So this time, I’m going to click on it.

Here you want to look very closely at the URL in the address bar. “” is definitely okay.

I’m running Google Chrome, so there’s another thing I can do: Click on the certificate owner’s name (in this case “eBay, Inc. [US]”). This pops up a menu with more info about the security certificate:

If this were a different name, even a plausible sounding name like “Account Verification Dept.” or “User Security LLC” I’d immediately leave the page. Companies like eBay, Amazon, and Dell should have their own company names on their security certificates, no questions asked.

In this case, it is legit, a valid email sent from eBay that encourages you to update your personal information. But stay skeptical and suspicious. It’s a smart way to approach the online world!

The post Is eBay’s Update Personal Info Email a Scam? appeared first on Ask Dave Taylor.

Categories: Technology

Getting started with Audacity audio editor?

AskDaveTaylor - Fri, 06/24/2016 - 09:48

When you go to open Audacity on your Mac are you seeing a pop-up window warning you that it’s software downloaded from the Internet? If so, that’s your iMac system doing its job, protecting you from malware. To fix it, go to System Preferences from the Apple menu (top left of your screen), choose Security & Privacy then allow the launch of Audacity on the lower portion of the “General” area. Should be straightforward.

While you’re in System Preferences, pop over to Sound and double check that you haven’t muted your output and that it’s your desired output device (probably “built in” if you’re using an iMac with built-in speakers). Also check that you haven’t turned the volume down to zero. Test it by going to YouTube and trying to watch a video: Do you hear anything?

In terms of getting started with Audacity, it’s definitely a program that requires a bit of study to get the hang of, even the most basic functionality. It’s a classic sort of hacker program, written for geeks and without any shiny interface or “basics” interface for people who just want a basic audio editor. However, if you can stick it out, it’s a great program: I even used it to edit the hours and hours of audio when I recorded and edited the Audible audio book edition of my book Twitter Power 3.0!

Let’s have a really quick look! To start, here’s Audacity when I’ve loaded in an MP3 audio file:

It’s complicated, no question. There are a lot of things to pay attention to on this screen, but the most important is to ensure that the output device is one where you can hear the output. Let’s look at that a bit closer:

The microphone icon shows the input — important if you’re recording! — along with whether you’re recording mono (one channel) or stereo (two channel). More important than that, however, is output, the tiny speaker icon. Notice here that I have mine defaulting to “Built-in Output”. Unfortunately, that’s not what I need because I’m using headphones on this particular computer.

The firs step is therefore to click on that choice and bring up the menu of options then pick the correct output device. You can test it by simply pressing the space bar to play a snippet of the audio. In my case it’d be Ella Fitzgerald’s wonderful recording of The Girl from Ipanema by the great Antonio Carlos Jobim. I might just have to listen to the whole song, actually.

Categories: Technology

Be who you are. Love who you love. #prideforeveryone

GoogleBlog - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 18:30
Everyone has the fundamental right to express who they are, yet all too often we bear witness to hatred and violence directed at people who peacefully and lovingly pursue happiness. The mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, earlier this month is a horrifying example.

Google’s mission has always been to make information universally accessible. And within that mission lies the belief that the more knowledge we have, the more tolerant, inclusive and respectful the world ultimately will be.

Pride is a time when those who have access to vibrant LGBTQ communities take to the streets to celebrate the freedom to live and love. Yet there are still multitudes of lesbian, gay, bi, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people in the U.S. and around the world who are lonely and ostracized—who cannot participate in Pride due to strict anti-LGBTQ laws or social stigma.

To bridge this gap, we've created #prideforeveryone—a virtual reality Pride experience that anyone can access. For the past several weeks, Googlers from 25 countries have been marching in their local Pride parades to document the truly global face of the LGBTQ community in 360 degrees. This VR montage, available via YouTube 360 and Google Cardboard, is the result.

Google has a long track record of leadership in LGBTQ rights, including taking a stand against discrimination in sports at the Sochi Olympic games, becoming one of the first companies to provide full coverage of transgender employee healthcare, and standing up for same-sex and domestic partner rights and benefits in places around the world where they may not otherwise exist.

Even in the U.S., where we’ve achieved greater levels of equality, only 52 percent of the LGBTQ population have ever participated in a parade. Transgender people face legislation that effectively dehumanizes them. In Orlando, the LGBTQ community bore the brunt of the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. This is simply wrong.

With #prideforeveryone, we stand prouder than ever in our embrace of the LGBTQ community. As always, we invite others to stand with us.
A 360 camera is anchored on a moving float in the São Paulo Pride parade. The trans flag and a crowd of more than 2 million people can be seen in the background.

Posted by Arjan Dijk, VP Growth Marketing and Executive Sponsor of Gayglers Arjan Dijk VP Growth Marketing and Executive Sponsor of Gayglers
Categories: Technology

Celebrating and advancing entrepreneurship around the world

GoogleBlog - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 11:00
All around the world, entrepreneurs are creating thriving businesses. In London, Josh Babarinde created Cracked It, a social enterprise that trains at-risk youth to repair cracked smartphone screens, giving them an alternative to crime. In Seoul, Yeram Kwon is transforming the CPR training experience with improved, smarter manikins through HeartiSense. And in Israel, Oded Ben-Dov created Sesame Enable, the first touch-free smartphone designed for people who have limited or no use of their hands due to disabilities.

As a company created by two graduate students in a garage, we know just how powerful an entrepreneur with an idea can be. We also know there’s more that companies, governments, and communities can do to help those entrepreneurs succeed. That’s why we created Google for Entrepreneurs nearly four years ago—to support startup communities around the world and connect entrepreneurs to resources and to each other.

This week, we’re excited to participate in and sponsor the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, hosted by President Barack Obama and the U.S. government, building upon summits previously hosted by the governments of Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, Morocco, and Kenya. The summit showcases entrepreneurs and investors from around the world who are creating new opportunities for investment, partnership, and collaboration. Our CEO Sundar Pichai is speaking at Friday’s closing session, and a number of other Google leaders will be there to discuss the state of entrepreneurship around the world and ways that we can all support startups and encourage innovation.

Helping entrepreneurs succeed also means building and investing resources in the communities where they live and work. That’s why Google for Entrepreneurs partners with more than 50 organizations worldwide, and runs six Campus spaces—in London, Tel Aviv, Seoul, Madrid, Warsaw, and São Paulo—where local entrepreneurs can work and learn. Altogether, we work with entrepreneurs in 125 countries, who have raised more than $1 billion in funding and created 5,000+ new jobs.

Our support of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit is another way we hope to help entrepreneurs build and create the technology that will shape our future. To the 1,500 attendees joining from around the world, we warmly welcome you to Silicon Valley and hope to meet you! If you’re attending the Summit, please stop by the Google for Entrepreneurs lounge, where you can sign up for 1:1 mentorship from dozens of Googlers and industry experts, explore product demos, and more. We’re also hosting an interactive portal experience to connect attendees from the event to entrepreneurs around the world at Campus London, Campus Seoul, Centraal in Mexico, and in Iraq and Afghanistan. And for those that can’t join us in person, you can catch the action via live stream.

Posted by Mary Grove, Director, Google for Entrepreneurs Mary Grove Director Google for Entrepreneurs
Categories: Technology

Delete Individual SMS Texts in iMessage on iPhone?

AskDaveTaylor - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 10:43

A few generations of iOS ago, the interface to text messaging, formerly iMessage now known as just Messages, had an easy and obvious edit button that let you pick and delete individual messages from a discussion with just a tap or two. Unfortunately, that has gone away and so it’s a bit trickier to figure out how to accomplish the same task.

Well, “gone away” might be the wrong way to phrase it because it’s more accurately described as “moved to a less obvious location”, as you’ll see in a second when I demonstrate how to delete one or more specific messages.

To start, let’s use the scenario of you are buying a birthday present and want to remove all traces of it from your phone to avoid curious eyes — and fingers! — finding out in advance.

Amazon, however, has the nasty habit of sending you updates as your order proceeds through its supply chain. Messages like these:

The problem is that the “Helper Ultra-thin Magsafe 2 T type 85W 20v 4.25A AC Adapt…” is a surprise for my daughter and I don’t want her knowing that I have ordered it for her!

You would think that perhaps tapping on “Details” on the top right is the way to delete an individual message, since it’s quickly obvious that there’s no secret “swipe left” or “swipe right” capability. But no, that shows information about the sender, not the messages:

Okay, so now what?

The solution turns out to be to double-tap on the message you want to delete. It pops up the copy/speak bar:

Still doesn’t seem useful, but trust me.

And tap on the “More…” option.

Hey! Look! There’s what we want!

That’s the solution: Copy -> More… then you can select individual text messages by tapping on the adjacent circle, then tap on the trashcan on the lower left to remove the selected messages. Or go for it and tap on “Delete All” on the top left and you’ll remove every single text message.

Choose “Delete Message” and *poof* the questionable text message vanishes from your iPhone, without a trace:

So that’s the trick. Why this feature’s been moved behind the “More…” link I cannot say.

Handy tip: If you have computers and other iOS devices also logged in to iMessage / Messages through iCloud then it’s entirely possible that the message you want to delete could show up and remain on those systems even after you delete it on your iPhone. You’ve been warned!

The post Delete Individual SMS Texts in iMessage on iPhone? appeared first on Ask Dave Taylor.

Categories: Technology

Post a Password-Protected WordPress post?

AskDaveTaylor - Wed, 06/22/2016 - 10:22

There are two ways you can post password-protected content within the context of WordPress, actually. The more straightforward approach would be to actually create a password-protected PDF document, but then the problem is that every single time anyone opens that file, they’ll have to enter the password. That’s going to become quite a pain and people will likely complain, so that’s not a great solution.

The other solution is to use the WordPress “password protected” post option, and that’s going to be a much better solution because once parishioners have downloaded the document, they can open it as many times as they want without ever having to enter another password again. Further, as new people join the congregation, they too will be able to go back to the protected post and download the document if they simply know the post password.

And the best thing? It’s easy to set up and you can link to as many documents as you want or even post information that’s not for the general public without any specific documents linked. All safely protected behind whatever password you specify.

To create a password protected WordPress post, go to WordPress and create a new post as usual. But on the right side, look for this scheduling information area:

The field that you want to change is “Visibility“. Click on the “Edit” adjacent to where it says “Public” and you’ll see that there are actually three options:

You want to choose “Password protected“, so click on that option:

Here you can see where to specify the desired password. Simply click on the text input field and type in whatever word or phrase you’d like:

Click “OK” and when you’re ready, publish as usual.

That’s it.

Now the post on the blog will look like this:

That’s the home page. Click on it and you can go to the individual post page, as always, and here you’ll find a password entry box:

Enter the password properly and you’re in! The post is shown as you wrote it:

So there ya go. Pay attention to the fact that the title of the post will be shown to everyone, so make sure that the confidential or private information is in the body of the post, not the title!

The post Post a Password-Protected WordPress post? appeared first on Ask Dave Taylor.

Categories: Technology

Add a home button to my Microsoft Edge browser?

AskDaveTaylor - Tue, 06/21/2016 - 11:42

The development team at Microsoft would be very happy to know you’re enthused about its Edge browser, and with good cause, it’s a very well designed program with a nice, austere interface and clean design that really shows just how tired and old Internet Explorer has become by this point in its lifecycle.

However, you’re right, one of the default settings in Microsoft Edge is to not have a home button, which can make navigation a bit tricky if you’re used to being able to reorient yourself and start your Web journey over with the click of a button or tap of a spot on the screen.

Fortunately it’s easy to restore your Home button in Edge and even specify where you should go — or not go! — when you click on the Home button itself.

Let’s have a look, starting with Edge on the Bing home page…

Look closely and you’ll see the left and right arrow buttons, and the “circular” arrow to refresh the page, all on the top left, but no home button. Not good.

To fix it, click (or tap!) on the ellipses button (“. . .”) on the top right. A menu pops up:

This is one easy place to make the text on a given page larger or smaller through “Zoom”, but to fix the home button problem, click (or tap) on the “Settings” choice at the bottom of the menu.

A new menu opens up:

Lots of options and note in particular the lower portion of this menu where you can fine-tune what happens when you open up a new window or tab. Options include your Start page, a new tab page, a specific page or set of pages, or, off the pop-up menu, choices like “Top sites and suggested content.”

Still not what you want, however. Remember these options and scroll downward on the menu with your mouse, trackpad, finger, or left elbow. Okay, just kidding about the elbow as an option!

That’s what we seek: “View advanced settings“, the grey button. Tap/click on it to bring up quite a few additional preferences and settings for the Microsoft Edge browser.

And there it is, first option on the advanced settings: “Show the home button“. As you can see, it’s off, so it’s no wonder I don’t have a home button on the navigational bar in Edge!

A swipe/click and it’s enabled, at which point you can then choose the URL of what you’d like as your home page:

Want Bing as your default home page destination? Easy enough, just paste that URL into the box.

And the home button has reappeared in the meantime too:

Not too bad to get set up, and now you can back up and figure out what you want to have happen with new tabs and blank windows too, customizing your Microsoft Edge experience as desired!

The post Add a home button to my Microsoft Edge browser? appeared first on Ask Dave Taylor.

Categories: Technology

Wed, 12/31/1969 - 19:00

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