Thursday, September 18, 2014

Mouse Skills

When I first started working with children, learning to use a mouse was a challenge because students did not have computers at home. Now, many of my students have touch screen devices, and have no idea how to use this tool.

How to Hold the Mouse
Thumb and ring-finger rest on the sides of the mouse. Index and middle finger rest on top of the large buttons. Make sure that the wrist and arm are straight and in a comfortable position.

Below are some of my favorite resources for learning how to use a mouse properly.

  • My computer mouse: Educational song and video about the mouse. From British Council Learn English Kids site.
  • Click the Mouse: Kid friendly song that shares how a mouse works.


Mouse Movement
  • Spider  Move mouse around the screen to play a game of chase.
  • I See You!Eyes watch as cursor moves.

Click (Point and Select)
  • ABCya! Flappy Dragon: Students click to help the dragon fly through obstacles (similar to Flappy Bird).
  • ABCya! Make a House - Children's Activity  Build a house by clicking, selecting, dragging/dropping. 
  • Bubble Letters  Set up the game by choosing the letters on which to focus. Bubbles appear with the letters (lower and uppercase), voice says the letter and directs to pop, on pop says the sound.
  • Flower GardenClick, double click, drag/drop to create a virtual flower garden.
  • Hide n' Seek with Zoomer: Click to locate hiding cat in a small scene.
  • Mouse ConcentrationMouse matching game on author Jan Brett's site.
  • Mousercise: Series of simple computer mouse games that allow students to practice precision movement and clicking on screen objects. 
  • Tidy the Classroom: Students, click, double click, and drag/drop to straighten a classroom.

Drag and Drop
  • Feed the Monster:  Drag and drop food to feed the monster.
  • FireFlies: Catch fireflies, drop in jars, addition problem shows how many fireflies in total have been caught.
  • Mouse Practice MatchingDrag and drop to match colors.
  • As an extension of the drag and drop movement, also considering drawing tools, such as Microsoft Paint, Tux Paint, or Canvastic.

Double Click

Right Click

  • How to Use the Mouse: Video tutorial published by YPI EdTech.
  • Mouse Tutorial : Interactive tutorial from New Jersey's Burlington Country Library.
  • Mouse Tutorial  Step by step interactive tutorial on what a mouse is and how it can be used. Includes hyperlinks. From Rome Library.
  • Mouse Exercises: Designed for senior citizens, focuses on basic mouse skills. From

Monday, September 8, 2014

Google Apps: Simplified Sharing

Google is in the process of rolling out another new feature that will make quickly sharing a document a little bit easier.
To give access to your content to others, click the blue “Share” button (or select a file/folder in Drive and click the person icon), and you’ll see a new “Get shareable link” button and grey icon in the upper right corner of the pop-up window. With one click on “Get shareable link,” you’ll see your file’s link appear and that the icon turns from grey to green, meaning that the file is ready to be shared with view-only access.  
If you want anyone with the link to do more with your file, like leave comments and suggestions or make edits, just change “Can view” to “Can comment” or “Can edit” in the dropdown. And as always, if you only want certain people to be able to view, comment on, or edit your file, add their email addresses and we’ll send them a link that only they can access.

This will work well for teachers who want to post a link to a document or file to their wiki or website. This will also facilitate distributing a digital document to a small group (colleagues, students, families) via email.

To read more visit the Google Apps Updates feed.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

GTSD Tech Buzz

The September edition of the GTSD Tech Buzz has been sent via Genesis today. The Buzz is a short newsletter for district families that highlights technology, information, and media topics. This month is all about Google Apps for Education, school wikis, and library policies.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Video: Baby Got Class (Welcome back to school!)

GTSD Google Apps: Account Verification

Login Challenge
This summer Google made account verification a default security feature for almost all Google Apps customers. To the right is a sample screen capture of the verification pop-up box.

This should NOT impact students and staff logging in to their GTSD accounts.
K-12 EDU users will be asked to enter their usual login location when a suspicious login is detected. We will not attempt to verify the account by phone, and these users will not see the interstitial page that asks to verify their phone number.

While it was promised that K-12 EDU accounts would not be effected by this change, there were some hiccups during the initial roll out. If you or your students experience a request to verify identify using SMS or phone, please contact a member of the district Tech Team with the effected usernames.

To read more about this security update visit the Google Help page titled "Login Challenge for suspicious sign-ins."