How I find answers to tech problems: Google of course

As you know, I teach for the Department of Educational Technology at Boise State. When I’m not trying to create fun, innovative, and interactive ways of learning, I endeavor to solve problems. Yes, folks, taking on the role of teaching technology involves also taking on the role of chief troubleshooter.

And just how do I find answers to the myriad of problems that present themselves to me everyday? If the problem involves a specific software program, I open the program and start from there. If I still can’t figure it out, I consult the program’s Help menu. However, as many of you know, a program’s help menu is only as good as your search terms. And your search terms may not match the search terms of the program. That’s when I use Google search instead of the program’s Help menu.

One of the most amazing things about the Internet now is that it is so accessible and can answer just about any question you put out there. For instance, I was troubleshooting a problem with PowerPoint on linked and embedded audio files. I thought I knew the answer, but I wanted to check it out somewhere else, get someone else’s spin on it. Within seconds of entering “embed audio PPT” I had my answer. And I found out more that I didn’t know about. And I could send that info to my student.

But I realized there was more I needed to do. I needed to make sure my student knew that this is how an “expert” technology teacher learns too. In this way, I empower my student and help her grow toward being an “expert.” That’s an important part of what I do.

(To use Google Search effectively, you should know HOW to enter your searches. Go to the Basic Search information on Google to get started. Make sure you know how to format your searches, or you’ll waste a lot of your valuable time.)

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