Wednesday, 26 August 2015

5 speedy keyboard shortcuts for Gmail

Last month we shared five keyboard shortcuts to help you save time in Google Calendar. This month, we’ve got five Gmail shortcuts that will help you quickly get through all those emails in your Inbox!

Enable keyboard shortcuts

Before trying out the shortcuts below, you first need to make sure keyboard shortcuts are enabled in Gmail.  To check:

1. Click the Settings (cog) button in the top right corner of Calendar.
2. Select Settings from the menu.
3. Scroll down until you find the Keyboard shortcuts section.
4. Make sure Keyboard shortcuts on is selected, then select Save.

Get speedy!

Here are five shortcuts to try out:

ActionShortcut key
Compose a new emailc
Send an emailCtrl + Enter
(Cmd + Enter on Mac)
Add a CC recipientCtrl + Shift + C
(Cmd + Shift + C on Mac)
Archive the selected conversatione
Mark a message as unreadShift + u

Once you’ve mastered these, be sure to check out this complete list (from Google) of keyboard shortcuts for Gmail.

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Three tools for teaching Australian history

This post is for Australian teachers and anyone wanting to explore the history of our wonderful country! Here are three great tools for teaching and learning of Australian history.

Trove - Digitised newspapers from the National Library of Australia

Trove is the National Library of Australia’s digital archive of content from libraries, museums, archives and other research organisations. Its repository includes books, photos, journals, music, maps, letters, websites and more. However, my favorite section is Digitised Newspapers and more. This archive has more than 177 million newspaper articles from 900 Australian newspapers. Issues currently date from 1803 to 1954, with the collection continually growing through the Australian Newspaper Digitisation Program.

Accessing old newspapers is a fantastic way for students to:
- Understand the way of life for people in a particular period of time.
- Analyse how media has changed over the last century.
- Analyse how factors such as pricing, employment, housing etc. changed between different time periods.
- Read first-hand accounts of significant historical events.

Where to find it
Trove’s digitised newspaper archive is available at You can browse by newspaper title, State and date, or find articles using the keyword search. The ‘On this day’ article that features on the homepage is also a great discussion starter!

ABC My Place

The My Place website is an accompaniment to the television series and book (both of the same name) produced by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. The website is an interactive experience where students explore the history of a single location in Australia (‘My Place’) via the lives of children who have lived there from 1788 to 2008. The content is based on the themes of lifestyle, technology and family & community. My Place is useful for comparing and contrasting changes in Australian life over the years - particularly around these key themes. It also serves as a starting place for investigating a specific period in time. The website can be used alongside, or independent of, the television series and book.

Where to find it
ABC My Place can be found at
Note: This site is Flash-based. A non-flash version is available here.
Be sure to also check out the My Place teacher’s site for more information and lots of ideas and activities for using this tool with primary and lower secondary students.

ABC Dust Echoes

Dust Echoes is another tool produced by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, featuring twelve animated dreamtime stories from Central Arnhem Land. This is an interactive way for students to learn about indigenous history, culture, customs and life. The meaning and origin of each story is also covered in the tool. Each story includes a study guide, quiz and the ability for students to ‘mash-up’ the story to create their own.

Where to find it
ABC Dust Echoes can be found at
Note: This site is flash based.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Explore nutrition with Google’s Nutrition Comparison tool

Is nutrition part of your lesson plans? If so, Google’s Nutrition Comparison tool can help! Your students can use this simple tool to quickly and easily compare the nutritional value of different foods. For example, you might want them to determine if a biscuit or a doughnut is a better choice for a snack.

Here's how to do it:

1. Open Google Search.

2. Type Compare biscuit and doughnut in the search box and press Enter.

A comparison table of the two foods will appear, showing the difference in calories between them.

From here, you can get your students to dig a lot deeper into the comparison by:

Using the drop-down field under the food image to change the type of that particular food (for example, ‘Doughnuts, with chocolate’ can be changed to ‘Doughnuts, with cream’). This is a good way for students to understand how different ingredients can change the nutritional value of foods.

Altering the ‘amount per’ field to different portion sizes (for example, 1 doughnut, medium). This is a useful lead-in to discussions on portion control!

Expanding the comparison table to show detailed information. Students can then compare factors like saturated fat, sugars, protein etc. and discuss the effect each has on the body. This information is particularly valuable in helping students understand why a specific food is a better choice - beyond one simply being ‘good’ and one ‘bad’.

This little-known Google tool is great for students of all ages. It can be used to compare all types of food and drink. We hope you find it useful in your classroom!

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