Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Common Computer Keyboard Shortcuts

I've been asked more than once in the past few weeks about keyboard shortcuts. Those quick keystroke combinations that can make creating and editing documents a bit faster, especially when they take the place of multiple mouse clicks.

Some of you out there are keyboard shortcut ninjas. You know and use so many shortcuts that you barely ever touch your mouse!

I am not quite so skilled, but there are a few shortcuts I've learned over the years that I use often and that are universal to most of the programs I use. I've compiled a list of them below. For simplicity, I've listed only the Windows version of the key combinations, but if you are a Mac user, you can substitute the Command key for the Control (Ctrl) key.



Ctrl+B
Make selected text bold
Ctrl+I
Make selected text italic
Ctrl+U
Underline selected text
Ctrl+F
Find text on current web page or in current document, spreadsheet, or PDF
Ctrl+Z
Undo your last action (MY ALL TIME FAVORITE!)
Ctrl+C
Copy what's selected (text, graphic, table, etc.)
Ctrl+X
Cut what's selected (text, graphic, table, etc)
Ctrl+V
Paste what you last copied or cut (text, graphic, table, etc.) at the current location of the cursor
Ctrl+A
Select all contents of a document, spreadsheet, etc.
Ctrl+S
Saves the current document
Ctrl+P
Print the current document


How do you learn these keystroke combinations? By using them! Challenge yourself to try a couple each week. If you are new to keyboard shortcuts, it's helpful to know that you don't have to press both keys at exactly the same time. You can press Ctrl (or Command) first, then press the letter associated with the shortcut. Ideally, you press both keys with fingers of the same hand.

If you wish you knew a keystroke for a command you use often, check out the menus of the program you're using. I took the screenshot to the right in Google Docs on a Mac. You can see that keyboard shortcut combinations for common commands are listed right in the menu.

What is your favorite keyboard shortcut? Please share it, or any questions you have, in the comments below.




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All original work in this post by Sandy Kendell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Please see specifics on my re-use policy in the right-hand column of my blog before re-posting/re-using any of my blog content.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Protect, Deter, Recover: Data Risks in K12 Schools #SXSWedu

Protect, Deter, Recover: Data Risks in K12 Schools 
SXSWedu 2017 Panel

Hosted by Absolute: Empower K-12 staff, parents and community by learning best-practices for digital citizenship, including device safety and security, cyberbullying and Internet crime. Learn how to promote a healthy environment for students and faculty, including education on device safety and scenarios where they may be at risk; and how to work with local law enforcement to protect devices and data. Harold Reaves, Level V Certified in Homeland Security, shares best practices to protect student-assigned mobile devices and risks regarding social media and the Internet; and education consultant and former IT director can provide real-life scenarios, lessons and best-practices.


Empower (Educate) K12 Staff, Parents, and Community

Students don't think much about safety and security. Parents may think a lot about it but don't necessarily know what to do.

Communities expect we manage devices paid for by their tax money well. There's also an expectation that we protect students when we give them access to devices and send devices home with them. Helping parents have a role and responsibility in this is important.

Use your website and other communication tools to help educate parents with videos and other modes of information.

Show that your organization understands their responsibility by making it a community collaboration to help keep students safe.

Educating community members who are not tech savvy can trickle down and help everyone.


Digital Citizenship

Schools and districts often have curriculum for digital citizenship, but it is just as often not implemented because it's not tested.

Students are connected to devices 24/7. They rarely unplug.

Digital citizenship cannot be taught one time in drive-by lessons. It has to be continually taught, retaught, and revisited.

Do students know they should keep their devices out of sight when they aren't using them to protect them?


Work With Local Law Enforcement to Protect Devices and Data

When doing a big new tech rollout, get local law enforcement involved from the beginning. They can consult with you on how safe your site is where you are storing the devices. Also it's good to establish the communication with them ahead of time in case technology should disappear later.

Publicize to the community the security measures you have in place on district devices.  This lets them know you are being a good steward of the resources and also may help deter theft.


Protect Student-Assigned Mobile Devices

Teach students how to treat them properly: carry them, store them, etc.

Data Risks

Are we teaching data backup? What happens if a child drops and breaks their device. Teach good data stewardship.


Find Partners to Help You With Awareness Programs

Pro-active training strengthens the reputation of your program and builds public confidence. Districts can demonstrate they have taken measures.

Absolute has developed a curriculum for mobile device safety training.


What do you thing is the most common security issue facing students and teachers today?

Device security.

Putting out too much info on the internet. Lack of awareness of how this could endanger them.

Not thinking about how much personal information they are giving over to apps and extensions when they install them. (Think of all the access an extension might ask for when you install it in your browser. Do we ever even read that?)

Recommended video: Privacy is Dead; Get Over It


Online Resources

  • Common Sense Media
  • Digtal Citizenship Webquest
  • Tech Learning
  • Elements of Digital Citizenship
  • Edutopia
  • Microsoft Security and Safety Site
  • Raising a Digital Child


Absolute Resources


  • IDC White Paper
    Student Technology Analytics: How K12 Leaders Make the Case for Better Technology in the Classroom
  • Safe Schools Program
    Absolute Safe Schools Program Helps Promote Safe Digital Citizenship
  • www.absolute.com 







*********************************************************************************All original work in this post by Sandy Kendell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Please see specifics on my re-use policy in the right-hand column of my blog before re-posting/re-using any of my blog content.

Personalized Learning and the Tech to Make It Happen #SXSWedu

Personalized Learning and the Tech to Make It Happen
SXSWedu 2017 Panel


One of the most promising ideas in education right now is personalized learning—providing instruction that is meaningful and contextualized for every student. The rapid growth of edtech is making it easier to transform schools and classrooms into environments that support individualized learning, but success requires a thoughtful, strategic approach. Join education experts working with schools all over the country to pilot new technologies in support of personalized learning. Educators will learn how to replicate success happening in cities like Chicago and Boston and edtech practitioners will get real-world insights on the way technology is being used in today’s classrooms.


What does personalized learning mean?

It's an umbrella term for a variety of approaches to learning. It is the next phase of differentiation which brings in student voice and choice.

It's an opportunity for the highest achievers to take off and students who are struggling to move forward. To identify what each learner really needs.

Understanding students in terms of strengths, needs, and interests. Start with the child first instead of the curriculum. Just because I'm born in a certain year I don't necessarily need to be in a group of students my same age. Also understanding that learning is social. Go beyond the four walls of the school to connect.

It is not students sitting in front of individual computers with headphones all the time.


Where do schools start?

A team of teachers with a supportive principal that are going to pilot for the rest of the school. If they are successful, others will follow.

Find your WHY first. These are curriculum and student experience decisions.

It's a paradigm shift. No longer teaching to the middle. It's about getting to know kids and what they need.

One problem is schools and districts don't think about the plumbing first. Are 30 computers accessing WiFi going to crash the network? Are the computers older than the students? Technology funding needs to be a priority with built in refresh cycles. Make sure you know what your infrastructure is now and where it needs to go.

Don't forget student privacy policy. What will happen with the student data? Make sure it won't be sold.

You need a trusted adviser to assess what's going on.


It's not really the technology, it's the constructs around it. The vision.

McCormick Middle School in Boston had challenges with their technology. But teachers embraced working with an edtech product to understand exactly what they needed.  Their interest and passion has resulted in the district investing more in their school. They are moving along a continuum to get closer to student voice and choice and ownership of their learning. With more data, students were able to take on more ownership than they had when grades were the only means of assessment.


Is 100% student voice and choice crucial for personalized learning to happen?

Sometimes the pendulum swings too far. Developmental age is important in these decisions. Rigor and top quality work are still important. Teachers must still be mentors, coaches personal trainers.

We still need to set learning goals. Unfettered choice can leave students not knowing where to start or end.


What are some of the pitfalls?

It's hard to know what's going to change about your teaching before you begin using new tools, such as adaptive learning technologies. It's messy work.

It's more than the teacher. The school board, superintendent, assistant super of academics, principal, etc, need to access the data and use it to make decisions.

You can add too many tools to the menu. You have to refer to your why and keep a coherent strategy. What are you using tech and nontech and clean the closet of tools that aren't helping. SIMPLIFY.

We over-invest in the tool and the technology. Make sure you are investing heavily in professional learning.

There may be 1000s of edtech tools out there, but only a handful have shown to add value. Stop buying CRAP and look for robust tools. 

Schools need to be interested in and make use of research.

Paradigms for rapid-cycle trials and feedback on tools need to be used so developers can keep the tools relevant and make them stick.

A lot of the work is change in teacher philosophy and practice.

Test scores cannot be the end all be all of judging program/product efficacy.


What are some challenges?

Defining efficacy and going beyond the test.

Standards don't need to be relaxed for this to work.

There will probably be a backward slide in achievement in the beginning.


How should tech support personalized learning in schools?

It should allow you to scale personalized learning by bringing some part of the instructional process to where the student is.

It should drive human interaction. A deep assumption that there is a teacher or adult involved and there is high quality interaction with them. Data should be empowering the teacher to meet the needs of the students.


What are your favorite tools for personalized learning?


  • Lexia learning in elementrary grades.
  • Think Circa for writing.
  • SeeSaw
  • Padlet


What does tech infused personalized learning look like in practice?

A busy classroom with lots of things going on at the same time!

Teachers can know a kid is having a question/struggle before they even raise their hand.




*********************************************************************************All original work in this post by Sandy Kendell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Please see specifics on my re-use policy in the right-hand column of my blog before re-posting/re-using any of my blog content.
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