15 Mar 2016

5 Great MacBook Tools

Here are five ways to get started getting the most out of your Mac. Anyone can use these MacBook tools! Are you a 9th grade teacher looking for some new uses for student MacBooks? Or perhaps you are a 10th-12th grade teacher thinking ahead to next year? MacBooks can be used in a lot of productive and creative ways with your students.


1) Preview - Preview is a tool that is built into your MacBook. It allows you to take an image or PDF file and add shapes, text, drawings, highlights, and more. This is perfect for highlighting texts, editing pictures, or taking notes on a graphic organizer. Click here for more information and a student handout.


2) QuickTime - Wait, you mean that media player that pops up when I open videos? Yes, that QuickTime! It can be used to display an iPad to a classroom, screencast (record your screen) to create flipped lessons or sub plans, or simply record audio files to use in iBooks Author to turn your book into an audiobook!


3) iMovie - iMovie is free with new MacBooks and can be found in the Mac App Store. iMovie is your go-to video editing software for your MacBook. You can add videos, images, music, sound effects, and voice overs to your projects. For more detailed information and screencasts on how to use it, click here.


4) iBooks Author - iBooks Author is a free tool that you can get from the Mac App Store. It allows the creation of interactive e-books that can be used on iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks. These books can include hyperlinks, images, videos, interactive images that you can caption with hotspots, and even check-in quizzes. A few teachers have used this to create children’s books for elementary school students. And if you want, you can easily publish your final creation to the iBooks Store to sell. Now that’s an authentic audience!


5) Chrome - Technically, Chrome isn't a MacBook tool because you can use it anywhere! It’s easy to overlook, but the Chrome Internet browser is an incredibly powerful tool. It can definitely do more than simply access websites! You can use extensions, which are little pieces of software that increase your organization and productively immensely. Using Chrome, you can also sync your bookmarks across different devices if you are logged in with your Google Account. And of course, using Chrome is the recommended tool to interact with Google Drive and Canvas.


*Safe Exam Browser - Safe Exam Browser is a perfect solution for taking quizzes on the MacBook while using Canvas. It is a locked-down Internet browser that disables the dock, screenshots, copy/paste, and moving between applications. Students must complete their quiz before exiting this browser. Click here for more directions.

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