Two Happy Things

  1. I can’t believe I used an LCD projector for a year and didn’t know about monitor zooming.

    On your Mac, you head into Universal Access in System Preferences and turn it on. One keystroke scales things up and another scales ’em back down.

    So when you’re using the online version of your textbook up on the whiteboard and you want to direct focus to a particular problem, mash three buttons and you’ve got it larger.

  2. A post on to do lists has been in my draft pile near a year now. Suffice to say that kind of tool has been a big part of my recent workflow.

    I keep it on GoogleDocs so I can print a fresh one out whenever.

    But I just figured out today that if I click through to revisions, I can access any past to-do list. It’s like a journal! Clicking back to April, I see I left myself a note to suspend two particular students, which, I mean, what a blast to the past! Imagine ten years from now, clicking back through to the days when I had to pencil myself a reminder to buy toothpaste.

    You oughtta try it. Here’s my three column template. Just import it into GoogleDocs and let the good times roll.

I'm Dan and this is my blog. I'm a former high school math teacher and current head of teaching at Desmos. He / him. More here.


  1. Great tip on zooming.

    And, of course, you also know that I’m always up for anything productivity oriented so I’ve downloaded your three column list template.

  2. Another way to zoom on a mac…

    If using a mouse with a scroll wheel, hold the control button while you scroll up to zoom in. If you scroll down while holding the control button, you will zoom back out.

  3. @tanya M you beat me on the CTRL+ Scroll tip…I want to add to that though, check your system prefs for keyboard & mouse : Trackpad: Under Trackpad Gestures where you check zoom while holding control there is an options button…click on that and it will ask–When zoomed in, the screen image moves …make sure you have the radio button clicked for ONLY WHEN THE POINTER REACHES THE EDGE…otherwise your screen may be moving all around

  4. Funny. I was just about to write the post on zooming. There’s yet another way to do this on MacBooks: System Preferences >> Keyboard & Mouse >> Trackpad >> Trackpad Gestures. Just check off the box next to “Zoom while holding” and pick your poison from the dropdown. Now you’ve got a much easier way to zoom than mashing three keys at the same time.

    I just found out about this probably 4 weeks ago and had the perfect opportunity to use it in class the last 2 days. The week’s vocab list, in huge font even with the projector right next to the screen. So nice.

    You know that, in a Web browser, holding the option key and using two fingers on the trackpad actually act like the back and forward buttons?

  5. My classroom has the old-fashioned green chalk board…If I were to buy a DLP projector, would you recommend that I also buy a screen? Are there better ideas than a bulky, manual screen that I have to roll up?

  6. Nah don’t go for a screen. You want something you can write on and erase. I’m not sure on exact specs but I’d investigate shower walls.

    Someone recommended me shower walls for cheap whiteboard-esque material. You buy it cheap (I hear it’s cheap) on the square foot, have it cut to match your existing board (free), then bounce the projector off it and scribble on top.