Technology Update #25

In this Issue

Welcome back! I hope everyone had a great winter break! In this issue of the Westside Technology.Update, we’re focusing on the Mac. Read on to hear about Ozobots, learn what happened to the Self-Service icon, and discover 5 Mac features you might not know about.

Thought of the Week

by Crystal Bolamperti

Ozobots presented a natural transition from my students utilizing Scratch visual programming to their firsthand experience with a robot. Initially, students viewed a brief video, Ozobot Imagination in Play, Next, students learned general tips about drawing codes with the markers (importance of line thickness, remove open space gaps between marker colors, no overlapping of marker colors, refraining from placing colors on a curve and keeping colors away from intersections by adding them further down a line).

Read more about how Crystal uses Ozobots by clicking here.

The Doctor Is In

Question: Since I’ve gotten back from winter break, I don’t see the Self-Service icon on my Mac’s Dock. Where did it go?


Self-Service didn’t disappear, it just got a makeover! Over the break, we’ve updated our Mobile Device Management server. The update has allowed us to, among other things, introduce new capabilities to Self-Service and update the look and feel of the app. Look for the icon below. When you click on it, you’ll be treated to a more modern looking application that is easier to navigate.

Showcase – Mac Features You Might Not Know About Part II

For this month’s showcase, I’m going to highlight a few Mac features you might not know about. If you haven’t checked out Part I from issue #20, you can find it here.

1) Smart Folders

Unlike regular folders, smart folders don’t actually hold the files inside of them. Instead, their contents change based on search criteria that you set. They are constantly updated which makes them a great way to find what you need!

To create a smart folder, click the smiley Mac icon (AKA the Finder) on your dock, then go to File and select ‘New Smart Folder’. You’ll then be able to enter the search criteria that you want to use for the folder. Once you’ve done that, hit Save.

2) Screen Hot Corners

Don’t ignore the corners of your screen! They are actually a powerful shortcut area! With Hot Corners, you can tell your mac to perform an action anytime you move your curser into a corner.

To set these up, click on the Apple menu and then open System Preferences. Select Desktop & ScreenSaver and then Screen Saver. On the bottom right, you will see a Hot Corners drop down menu. For each corner, select that action that you would like. You can do things like put the screen to sleep, start the screen saver, open up dashboard, reveal the desktop and more!

3) Virtual Desktops

Virtual desktops, also known as Spaces, allow you to expand your MacBook’s screen. I like to use it to group my open apps for easy access. For example, I have a ‘dashboard’ space that contains the Calendar, Trello and OneNote. Another space is for communication and has Messages, Mail and Slack.

To activate Spaces, swipe up on your trackpad with 3 fingers. You can then mouse to the top of the screen. Here, you’ll see a bar with the current space. Click the ‘+’ sign to make a new one. You can drag windows into a specific space. To move between spaces, you can either swipe with 3 fingers up, or swipe with 3 fingers side to side.

4) AirDrop

We often forget about one of the most convenient features that Apple has added in the recent past – AirDrop! AirDrop allows you to transfer files from one computer (or iPad/iPhone!) to another-eliminating the need to carry a flash drive around!

To AirDrop a file, click on the Finder (smiley mac icon in the dock) and then click on air drop. You will see an icon for nearby computers available to share files with. Drag the file onto the icon of the person you want to share with. It will then ask them to ‘Accept’ or ‘Decline’. That’s it! NOTE: if you don’t see the person you want to share with, make sure they have indicated that everyone can share with them. Sometimes, it is set to contacts only.

5) Virtually Sign Documents in Preview

Preview of MacOS is an incredibly simple, but powerful app. One great feature is the ability to add your signature to PDFs! You can either write your name out using the trackpad, or sign a blank piece of paper and let the camera scan it!

For both options, start by opening up the PDF you wish to sign. Click on the Toolbox icon, and then the signature icon.

You’ll then decide how to sign it. Select either Create Signature->Camera, or Create Signature->Click here to begin. Follow the prompts on the screen and you’ll have your signature added to the document!

Bonus! Once quick IOS tip!

This one comes curtesy of @davemark on Twitter and Jim Dalrymple of The Loop. Did you know you can rearrange items on the share sheet by dragging and dropping? You can!
• Bring up an iOS app, then bring up a share sheet. In the Safari app, bring up a web page, then tap the share icon (square with up arrow) to bring up the Safari share sheet.
• Press and hold an icon until it grows slightly, then slide to the left or right to move it to a new location.
View the video at:


As always, if you ever have any technology integration related questions, please let us know. We are happy to work with you to design lessons, develop workflows and even come into your classes and work with you and your students.