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Showing posts from October, 2018

MeL Minute: Consumer Reports Comes to MeL.org

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From the MeL Team: By now many have heard the good news that MeL carriesConsumer Reports (part of MasterFILE complete). This well-loved resource is available on the eResources page under Popular eResources as well as in the alphabetical listing. You can also reach it by going into MasterFILE. Our subscription is the complete version of the magazine, includes the annual buying guide, and is not embargoed.
The experience available via MeL.org is NOT the subscription interface known as ConsumerReports.org that many Michigan libraries pay for, and are accustomed to. Our interface offers a basic, browse-only environment with a link to a searchable version of the complete magazine.  We do have plans to develop a more visual interface, with a built-in search feature, to improve the delivery of the Consumer Reports magazine content. Look for it in upcoming months. For those who may not be familiar, the ConsumerReports.org subscription provides richer information, and searching functionality apa…

Discovery Education Experience Days - FREE PD

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From REMC & Discovery Education -  REMC 12E Educators - check out that 2 of the sessions are right next door, Jan 31 in Kalamazoo, and Feb 20 in Jackson!! Learn what’s new with Discovery Education, including reading passages, lesson plans, digital interactives, virtual field trips, instructional strategies, VR, and more to share the world with your students and teachers.Rediscover the resources, strategies, and tools that help take your students anywhere – from the cities of China to the pen of a playwright. Whatever the topic, Discovery Education Streaming is the central hub for student engagement and achievement. The Discovery Education Experience (DEXP) is a one-day no-cost experience for educators to immerse themselves in all things DE. The target audience is inclusive of ALL educators (teachers, principals, curriculum, instructional technologists, and many more). Together, all will explore and learn about the resources Discovery Education has available for them! The day of in…

Google Mail - Enabling "Nudges"

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Nudges are a feature that utilize the AI to tag messages that may need action - either by you or by the person you sent it to.  Some people find it a bit creepy; others see it as an invasion of privacy (it's reading your email to know if it needs to nudge you).  It is an easy feature to turn on and/or off.

If you are a person that keeps a lot of email in your Inbox, however, it may be worth trying it out to not miss some that need a reply...

To turn nudges on or off, go to the email settings:


There are 2 options for nudges - reminders if you may have missed something, or reminders if someone hasn't replied:

If you have it turned on, emails the AI has tagged as needing a reply will be appended with a message that tells you when it was received, and asking if you want to Reply.  It will also be moved up into the Unread section if you have your inbox divided:

If you have it turned on, emails the AI has tagged as sent by you and requesting a response will be appended with a messa…

Google Mail - Snoozing Email

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You can now "snooze" your email out of your inbox.  This is convenient for when you want to "assign" a date or time to deal with the email other than the current moment, and do not want it cluttering up your inbox.

Using the snooze features is pretty easy to do  -

The clock icon is where you go to snooze an email.  It is found several places:

at the top when reading an email at the top of the list when one or more email are selected (checked on the left side)in the hover menu (if you have that turned on)

When you click the clock icon, you get the following options to pop-up in choosing when the email should return to your inbox:


If you choose "Pick date & time" a calendar will appear so you can pick a different day and/or time:

When a snoozed email hits that date/time, it will reappear in your inbox, along with a message on the right side of it indicating how long ago it was snoozed:

At any time you can access your snoozed mail using the quicklink in …

From MACUL - Partnership with Wonder Workshop

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From MACUL - this opportunity is open to MACUL members: According to the Bureau of Labor & Statistics, in 2018 the U.S. is expected to produce only 29% of the required number of graduates to fill the 1.4 million U.S. computer specialty job openings that are forecast. Future jobs outside of computer science are also going to require computational and problem-solving skills that are developed when kids learn to code. That’s why we’re excited to partner with Wonder Workshop to bring their Teach Wonder Professional Learning Program to MACUL members at a deep discount. (SCECHs are pending.) To take advantage of our program pricing you must first: Fill out the redemption code form,Choose which course,Then register with the code you received.Request your Redemption Code Now    Teach Wonder now offers two 12-hour online courses to support teachers as they integrate coding and robotics skills into everyday teaching and learning. Educators can dive into theory and practice new concepts with cre…

Competition - Google Science Fair

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The seventh Google Science Fair challenges students ages 13 to 18 to submit science projects that explore unanswered questions or tackle scientific hurdles that have yet to be overcome by December 12, 2018.

Check out the website for lots of ideas, how to get involved, and to learn about cool prizes!

MeL Minute: Britannica Chrome Extension

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From the MeL Team: Britannica School has been available in MeL for several years and now additional access is available with Britannica School Insights, a free Chrome browser extension. Support information literacy skill development and ensure your students can bring a trusted research companion along with them on their Web searches. Best suited for middle and high school students, Britannica School Insights brings fact-checked Britannica School content to the top of search engine results. When Britannica School has highly relevant results, the results will populate in the top right corner of your search page. Additional benefits include: Supporting digital literacy skills development by surfacing trusted resources in parallel with regular Web search results.Maximizing Britannica School usage with a free extension that supports student research.Surfacing unique relationships – like related events and people – and uncommon insights – like related topics and unknown facts – that encoura…

Google Mail - Send & Archive

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I am all about taking fewer clicks to do a task.  Likewise, working for a school district, I am all about archiving everything but the obvious junk mail - I can access it, but it isn't clogging up my inbox. 

Because of these facts, one of the Google Mail features I don't think I could survive without is the Send & Archive. The ability to - with ONE click - reply to an email and archive it saves me about 3 seconds per email...which adds up quickly!

 To enable Send & Archive, go to the settings (by clicking the Gear)-

Look under the General tab, about half way down to find the option to turn on this feature -

Once enabled, you will have an additional send button that is blue - this one will send your reply and archive the email out of your mailbox -

Google Mail - Hover Actions

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Today's topic - "cleaning up the inbox got easily with Hover Actions".  OR, if you prefer - "how to turn off those icons that keep showing up when my mouse moves over my email."

The Hover Actions put common actions a single click away from each email when viewing email in the list.  These are good solution, especially if you are not using the shortcuts for them

To use the Hover Actions, simply move the mouse over the email you want to interact with.  You will notice that some icons pop up on the left side in the window -

You can quickly do the following actions from this menu:

Archive the emailTrash the emailChange it from being read to unread, or from being unread to readSnooze the email

You can turn the Hover Actions on/off.  Go to your email Settings (found under the gear) -

Under General, about half way down the page the Hover Actions feature is listed.  Turn it off or on here -

From Screencastify - 50 Ways to Use in the Classroom

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Screencastify has released an eBook 50 Ways to Use Screencastify in the Classroom.  It is an outstanding resource for anyone looking to start OR wanting to expand the ways they use screencasting.  
One of the features I like best in the eBook is the quick notice that shows if the activity has a particular curricular focus, and if the teacher and/or student on screen - 
From the Screencastify team -  "Over the past year, the Screencastify team...has scoured the internet and talked to a ton of teachers in search of the best classroom screencasting ideas out there. This ebook is a collection of our favorite activities that can be implemented by any teacher. Regardless of what grade level or subject you teach, we hope you'll find plenty of inspiration."
Even if you don't use Screencastify, I think this can be an great resource for ideas.  I encourage you to check it out!

Competition - Write Michigan Short Story Competition

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It's time for the Write Michigan Short Story Contest! ELA Teachers - encourage your students to submit their short stories - 
From the Write Michigan website: One short story per authorMaximum story length: 3,000 wordsEntry fee: $10 for ages 18 and older (free for ages 17 and younger)Contest open to Michigan residents onlyComplete contest guidelines available in English and en EspaƱol Deadline is November 30!

Google Mail - Smart Compose

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One of the newest features in Google Mail is the Smart Compose.  It can be a little disconcerting if you choose to use it - it gets "smarter" over time, so in addition to suggesting phrases that are plain common (i.e. Thank you, Have a nice day) it will begin to pick up on phrases that are commonly used by you.  This is a feature that can be turned on or off. 

When it first appears in your mail, it is automatically on and you will see the pop-up window below which tells you it is on and also gives a link to turn it off -
When on, as you first start to use it it will pop in the suggestion in gray, and notify you that you need to use tab to accept the suggestion -

So, to accept it hit tab; to not accept it keep typing what you want.

After you use it awhile, it will simply pop in the suggestion (the tab reminder goes away) -

You can turn this feature on/off in your Mail settings - 
It is found under the General settings, and easily changed from on to off (or vice versa) -

#GoOpen & Collabrify Opportunity

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Wanted: Michigan K-12 educators working in a classroom setting to participate in the #GoOpen Michigan/Collabrify opportunity. Learn about #GoOpen Michigan and Collabrify, then create instructional resources.
Title: #GoOpen with OER Roadmaps Audience: K-12 Teachers and Staff that work in the classroom setting Content Areas: ALL
Participate in the following:

EduPaths Course Copyright in the Classroom  (verification form required)Participation in ONE of the one hour overview webinars of the #GoOpen Michigan Microsite and Collabrify RoadmapsOctober 24, 2018 4:00-5:00 pmNovember 8, 2018 3:30-4:30 pmNovember 13, 2018 4:00-5:00 pmProfessional Learning work session on December 1, 2018 from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. at Ingham ISD - registration here Full Participation in all three events will be awarded $200, with an opportunity to earn more.
Please read through the flyer for complete details and share with all of your educational staff and colleagues.
This is a time sensitive opportunity so please encour…

Google Mail - Undo Send Setting

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Did you know you can "undo" sending an email?  It used to be what was called a lab, but now it is a built in feature.  So for those times you forget an important piece of the email, and realize it right after you send it...OR those times you respond to an email with a bit more emotion than you probably should...this feature can help you out. 

How does it undo a sent mail?  It really doesn't - it actually puts the email in a queue to send, with a timer.  After that time is up, it is sent. Once that happens, there is no getting it back ;-)

The feature is automatically turned on in the updated Mail.  To change the length of time you can "undo" a message, first go to the Settings (found be clicking on the Gear in the upper right corner) -

Then look for Undo Send -

Click on the dropdown and set it to the time you prefer -

Once you set it, every time you send an email the following message will appear in the bottom left for the length of time you established in the …