Organize Your Desktop Background!

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I wish I could take the credit for this awesome idea, but I actually stumbled upon it when I was on Pinterest searching for desktop wallpaper. If your desktop looks like mine, then you’re a cluttered mess. I usually know where everything is, but when you use three different computers like I do, you tend to forget what file is in which location. Plus, I feel like I am always working on various projects, taking screenshots, grabbing images, and saving files. I like to save files to the desktop because I can SEE it all right there. When I came across these desktop wallpaper organizers, I knew I had to make my own! So, here are some examples and then I will go through some steps to create your own. It takes about 10 minutes TOPS! For the example I am going to show you, I used Keynote to create the desktop wallpaper image.

This is what my desktop usually looks like (YIKES!)

This is what my desktop usually looks like (YIKES!)

 

This is what it looks like AFTER you organize your desktop!

This is what it looks like AFTER you organize your desktop!

So, here is where I got my great inspiration! Pinterest: Desktop Wallpaper Organizers. Most of those sites have free downloads for wallpaper organizers, but I think it’s fun to create your own and then you can create headings that work for you. These steps are for a Mac…

Steps:

1. In order to make a wallpaper that has the resolution you want for your particular computer screen, you need to find out the size of your display. To do this, go to the Apple and click on System Preferences. Click on Display. In order to see what your display is, click on the button that says SCALED and you will see which display your computer uses. Now, you know what size to make your wallpaper.

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2. Open Keynote. The first thing you will want to do is format your slide so that it is the same size as your display. This is over on the right hand side of your Keynote screen.

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3. Now the fun part begins! You can insert shapes, change the color, and move them around so that the layout fits your needs. Insert text at the top of each shape. You could also fill the shapes in with a background image and adjust the transparency, but to keep it simple and clean, I just chose solid colors.  As you insert the shapes, keep in mind that you don’t want to take the shapes all the way to the top of the slide or the bottom. Leave room for the menu at the top of your desktop as well as your dock.

4. Export your slide as an image and save it to your desktop!

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5. Now, either right-click or go to System Preferences>Desktop and Screen Saver and drag in your photo! Have fun arranging your desktop and stay organized! If you want to use my desktop wallpaper organizer, just drag the below image to your desktop (my display is 1920×1080)…maybe I’ll make some more to put on here that my friends could use! Stay tuned! 🙂

sample desktop organizer.001

Cheers!

April

Tools to Increase Collaboration and Engagement

Web 2.0

 

I really want to share with you 6 of my favorite Web 2.0 tools. These tools really change the face of education because they allow teachers to collaborate with students like never before. Additionally, these tools allow and foster collaboration among classmates. These tools increase the opportunities students have to truly participate, respond, and become deeply engaged in the lesson or topic. These tools are alike in many ways, but the main similarity is that they are all tools that allow for collaboration with the teacher and class. You can use each of these tools to do a quick assessment, get instant feedback, entrance/exit slips, and allow students to participate in their own way. If there is one tool you haven’t used…try one out and see how they can enhance your teaching and your students’ learning!


 

The links below have some informative information in using these awesome tools with your students.

SOCRATIVE *This awesome explanation from GCCISD Educational Technology

NEARPOD Nearpod Link to PDF

INFUSE LEARNING *This awesome explanation from GCCISD Educational Technology

KAHOOT *This awesome explanation from GCCISD Educational Technology

PADLET Padlet Link to PDF

POLL EVERYWHERE Poll Everywhere Link to PDF


 

Bring the “Alphabet Book” to Life!

Untitled designIf you’re looking for a sweet way to share student work, make a video book! This example is a basic Alphabet Book created by my first graders.:


For this project we used Kid Pix, but you could easily use any drawing app ( Doodle Buddy, Drawing Pad, Draw Free) on the iPad. The cool thing about using Kid Pix was that we were able to add the letter as an animation. Each student got to pick a letter and they were to illustrate their letter. Because their letter contained an animation, we exported their drawing as a movie. We used Airdrop to transfer their videos to the main computer and from there, we imported their video into one iMovie. Once all movies were added, I called each student over to record their voiceover. When it is finished, it creates an adorable keepsake with their sweet little voices and artwork. This same type of project could work for any “video book” you wanted to create. Happy creating! 🙂