Friday, June 22, 2007

When you teach, you learn

It never fails that when I teach a workshop, I wind up learning something new. Such is the case with the latest session I conducted Wednesday for the Jacksonville State University Inservice Center.

Thanks to Haylee Black for putting me on to a neat trick for opening multiple pages at once when you open your browser. After the workshop, she was sharing what she had learned with her husband when they stumbled upon this ability. She shared it with me in an e-mail, so I got busy researching it.

You probably know how to change your homepage. You probably also know how to open a new tab so that you can go back and forth between multiple websites. Suppose, however, that there are several sites you use every day and you would like all of them to come up at once (on separate tabs) when you open your browser. There is a way for this to happen:
  1. Open your browser.
  2. Create a new tab for each site that you want to open automatically.
  3. Go to Tools>Internet Options (or on Firefox, Tools>Options).
  4. Click the "General" tab in Explorer (or "Main" tab in Firefox).
  5. Click "Use Current" in Explorer (or "Use Current Pages" in Firefox)
  6. Click "Apply" and "OK" in Explorer (or simply "OK" in Firefox)
  7. To test it, close your browser and reopen it (or simply click the "Home" icon).
How would a teacher use this? Think about the sites you pull up every day on your computer:
  1. Your school webpage
  2. Your search engine (Google, Yahoo, etc.)
  3. Renaissance Learning (If you use the web version)
  4. STI Classroom
With this trick, you could have all 4 of those sites come up, in different tabs, each time you open your browser. Of course, you could have different computers configured to open different tabs. The computer you use for yourself might open STI Classroom but not Renaissance Learning while one for student use would have no need for STI Classroom but a huge need for Renaissance Learning.

When I teach, I always wind up learning. Isn't this a neat profession?
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