Thursday, May 24, 2012

Thing One - Keyboard Shortcuts

Five Things I Love about Keyboard Shortcuts:

1. Increased Processing Speed - It took me 5.8 seconds to highlight the title using the mouse and change the font style to bold using the icon on the drawing tool bar.   Typing CTRL -B followed by the same letters took 1.3 seconds.  4.5 seconds per change in font style adds up over the course of a school year.

2. Decreased Distractions -  As an ADD teacher, every time my eyes leave the screen increases the risk of jumping to another task.  By keeping my hands on the keys and eyes on the screen, I can complete tasks more rapidly.

3. Saving Documents as a Pavlovian Response - What do I do at the end of every paragraph?  Hit CTRL-S.  I've trained myself to do it without thinking about it.  I no longer live in fear of losing a mostly completed document when I kick a plug out under my desk.  Recreating a document takes 15-20 minutes that I would prefer to be using to create new materials.

4.  Formatting While Creating - Thanks to fun combinations like CTRL- C and CTRL - V, I can format checklists and tables while typing.  I love doing this because I create documents in 75% of the time when I format in-line rather than coming back to it later.

5.  The Simple Pleasures of an Easily Amused Teacher - Having a rough day?  Write a line.  Highlight the line.  Hit CTRL- F3 repeatedly. The increase in morale I get from watching "Go Rebels!" morph through all the capitalization possibilities is amazing.

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