“Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is most important.” —Bill Gates

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Mapping with Google Course


Google does it again! I just finished the Mapping with Google course. Awesome! This makes summer learning fun! Google courses are so well prepared. You don't want to miss any of them! It focused on Google Maps and Google Earth. This course was led by the product managers themselves. How good is that, huh?

If you registered, you received an invitation to access the preview of the new and improved Google Maps and to Google Maps Engine Lite. Eventually we'll all have this version.

What's new (or maybe just new to me)?

Google Maps

  • Getting step by step directions with estimated travel times for different travel options.
  • See ratings for businesses.
  • View traffic reports.
  • Easily drag the path to try alternative routes.
  • Switch between maps and earth view.
  • View images of interesting places on the bottom as a carrousel.
  • Cool explore features - natural like.

Here's a sneak preview:

Before:

After:


Google Maps Engine Lite

  • Create your own maps.
  • Add placemarks, layers, polygons, icons, labels, and share easily!
  • Customize your placemarks, the base map, the type of data displayed.
  • Create data sets with the help of layers and tables.
  • Import data from .xlsx, .csv or Google Drive files.

* Both options are great for use with students and for collaborative work! *

Google Earth

  • Keyboard shortcuts.
  • Layers.
  • Earth Gallery for more layers.
  • Adding placemarks with description, video, links, photos.
  • Organize places by adding folders.
  • Use the snapshot view, while editing a placemark.
  • Create a tour. Play, pause, and resume.
  • Share your tour via Google Drive or email.
  • Any .kmz files uploaded to Google Drive will open up in a map, and can be downloaded and opened up in Google Earth.
  • Show elevation profiles for a path.
  • Add historical imagery and street view to a tour.
  • Use the Tour Guide to learn more about places.

Have you explored Google Maps or Google Earth before? What are you waiting for to have the world at your fingertips? It's free and truly amazing!!

Cheers!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Mailbox Rules

The school year is over and now I am faced with 10,000+ messages on my school's email account. How can I accumulate that many? Well, that's me, I don't like to erase messages, until the end of the year, just in case I need them. The truth is that I have been able to save my day or someone else's by recovering a past email.


Hey, I did partially organize my mail throughout the year, otherwise, I'd have about 20,000 by now. I've been using mailbox rules. They are very useful for automatically applying an action to a specific type of message. What actions can there be?


Here's an image of what can be done in Apple's Mail application.



What I use the most is Move Message to a specific folder On My Mac and Delete Message.


Another rule I use, not quite for organizing, but to be alert, is Set Color to Message. That way I can "highlight" messages I receive from people I want to make sure I don't miss reading.


Let's see how this works in other mail services:

Gmail - The same idea here is called Filters. Go to Settings, then Filters, and it looks like this:

Microsoft Office 365 - Go to Options then Create an Inbox Rule.

Outlook/Hotmail - Go to the Gear, then More Mail Settings, Customizing Outlook, then Rules for Sorting New Messages.

For the deleting and archiving process I will use the different sorting features in my mail application to review messages in a more efficient and faster way. I'll organize by date to delete really old messages; I will sort by sender, to delete messages form people that are no longer in school; I will sort by subject to delete all the confirmation messages I received from Google Calendars, every time someone booked a computer lab or invited me to an event; and so on, and so on.

Wish me luck as I start my "spring" cleaning. Next stop...clean my computer desktop! Yikes!!


Cheers!