Number 1 - The Snipping Tool
I thought this was something that everyone knew about but every time I mention it there's always at least one amazed person. It's really simple - just search for it on your Windows computer (it'll already be installed) and pin it to your taskbar!
The snipping tool can take still screenshots of an open window, rectangular areas, a free-form area, or the entire screen. You can also edit the screenshot before saving it or copying it, or doing whatever you want with it! It's how I created most of the images on this post and all of the PowerPoint snapshots for the lesson resources.
Number 2 - Autodraw
This is a seriously clever website that recognises what your rough sketches are meant to be and suggests images that you can use instead.The icons are copyright-free so you can use them almost however you want.
Even if you don't need to draw anything, try it. If nothing else, the suggestions get highly entertaining as you move down the list!
Number 3 - Office 365 Equation Writer
This is something that I use often with my Surface Pro because I can write straight onto my screen. I believe it also works well if you have a writing tablet too.
The 'Math Input Control' is a bit clunky to use and sometimes it's just quicker to write what you mean! Generally I've found this works quite well but it struggles with some of the letters and symbols depending on how you form them. It's one of those things that I just adapt what I do to get the most use out of it.
Number 4 - QR Code Generator
I found a blog earlier this week written in 2012 claiming that QR codes are completely pointless and will be a piece of technology that never takes off. I couldn't help but laugh a little bit because I use them a lot and I know plenty of others that do too.
QR codes convert a website address into a
black and white square code that your phone camera can read and then take you to that link. It saves typing in a long link by hand and removes area for error. I often them for answers in lessons and for marketing, to name a couple of uses.
Number 5 - PowerPoint Master Slide
Anyone who has edited a PixiMaths PowerPoint will have encountered the master slide. It's a great way to keep the design of a slideshow consistent throughout without copying and pasting, or background elements getting in the way.
I have mine set up to include an automatic date too, so that's one less thing I need to remember! For more information on how to edit and use the master slide, I made a video last year that might help.
So these are 5 little things that make my planning and teaching easier day-to-day. What have I missed? Please comment below or on Twitter!