Tips & Tricks

We all love tips and tricks that help us better use our favorite devices, sites, and apps.  On this page, I share my favorite Tues. Tech Tips. 

Scroll back over  the tech tips tab on the top menu to access incredible Twitter PLN tweeps and other awesome tools.


Auto Schedule and Resend Gmails
with Boomerang Add-On
Boomerang will allow you to schedule emails in advance and resend emails when the recipient doesn't open or respond.

Did you know that you could write an email and schedule it to send at a later date? 
You can also decide to "boomerang" your email and re-send it a few days later to everyone (or just to those who never opened your email). :)
How can you make this happen?
Gmail allows you to download an extension called "Boomerang" and schedule your items to send at a different time!
1. Download Boomerang here: the big red button on the right). 
2. Open your gmail.
3. Compose a new email. (Don't send yet)  
4. Look below the "send" button to find the "send later" button. Beside this button are options for boomeranging (re-sending) your message for specific reasons:
    a. if there is no reply
    b. if the email is not clicked to view
    c. if the email is not read
    d. regardless (you want to resend it as a reminder)
If you'd like to use this option, click the checkbox and select the circumstances for your resend.
6.Click "send later" to pick when you'd like the email to send.
​7. ​Sit back and enjoy the awesomeness.

Easy-Bib Add-on for Docs
Get citations for almost any source added to your Google Doc.

Did you know that there is an add-on in Google Docs for EasyBib(the app that cites your sources for you)?  
This means that your students can search for their book, film, or article and get the correct citation without ever leaving their document! It will even add it to their works cited page!
Here's how:
  1. Open a Google Doc
  2. Click on "Add-On" in the top menu
  3. Select "Get Add-Ons"
  4. Use the search bar to search for "EasyBib"
  5. Choose to download the Free Add-On 
  6. Allow your computer to access it 
  7. Go back to your Google Doc
  8. Click "Add-On" in the top menu
  9. Choose "Easy Bib" and then "Manage Bibliography"
  10. On the right hand column (it will pop up), you can search books, websites, and journals. Locate your choice and click add.  It will then give you a choice to add it to the document.
For more help, here's a two minute video training!

Voice Typing in Google
Speak your words instead of typing on your keyboard.

Did you know that you can SPEAK your words onto your Google Doc?
With voice typing, you can dictate to your computer and keep your hands free to enjoy your newest knitting project.
Here's how it works:
1. Open a Google Doc
2. Select "Tools" from the menu bar
3. Select "Voice Typing"
You'll see a microphone on your screen and you can touch it to activate it and to turn it off!

Removing Ads from YouTube Videos
Show your students YouTube content without the ads.

Click here to edit text

Did you know that you can play a Youtube video without the advertisements at the bottom of the video?!

If you're tired of those unpredictable ads popping up on your youtube videos in class, simply do the following:

1. Open your Youtube video
2. Copy the link
3. Open up
4. Paste the Youtube video link into the box provided.
5. Enjoy ad free video!

Force Users to Make a Copy of your Google Doc Before Editing

Did you know that you can force users to make a copy of your Google Docinstead of changing your original that you shared?

I'm sure we've all done it (or had students do it)-- written on a Google Doc that someone shared and accidentally changed their version because we forgot to make a copy. But now, we have the secret to making sure that doesn't happen again. 

1. Open the Google Doc that you wish to share.
2. Click on the web address in your browser window.  
3. At the end of the web address, it will have the word "edit." 
4.  Delete (just) the word "edit" and replace it with "copy"
5. Copy the entire link and share it via email.

When a user opens the link, it will force them to make a copy of your document and not allow them to make changes to your original! 

Here's a quick GIF that shows how that looks:

Switching Between Apps on Your MacBook

Did you know that there is a shortcut to switch between apps on your Macbook?
No longer do you have to minimize windows, move them to the side, etc. You can jump from Word to Safari to iBooks or any other apps you have running by just  using the COMMAND and TAB buttons.  
Try it!
1.  Hold the COMMAND button and press the TAB buttonquickly. 
     (Keep holding the Command button.)
2.  Use the arrows on your keyboard to move through the apps listed. 
Select from that list of items that pop up on your screen.
3.  When you've highlighted the app you want to open, simply take your hands off the keys. The app you selected will automatically open.
4. (Advanced level app-switching:  Use Command + Tab, arrow to the app you wish to select, and press Q to quit the app)
Here's a 45 sec. video that shows how it works:

Add a Jump-to Date and Pic to Your Google Calendar

Did you know that you can add features to your Google Calendar?  Want to be able to jump to a specific date instead of hitting the next button a million times or searching through the weeks?  
Want a picture as your calendar background

To add these features:
1. Open your calendar
2. Click the gear icon on the upper right-hand side
3. Scroll down and select Settings
4. On the top menu bar (the titles are in blue), click LABS
5. The 5th option down is the calendar image
     To add an image, copy and paste a link from a picture online.
6. The 7th option down is to add a jump-to-date bar .
7. Click enable
8.  Scroll to the bottom of the page and click SAVE

Remove the Background on Images

Did you find the perfect picture of an object (for your website page or to sell on eBay) and you hate the background of the picture?  
Did you know that you can remove the background easily?
1. Go to this website:
2.  Create an account (it's free) 
3. Drag (or upload) your picture in the provided box.
4. Wait for image to process-- 30secs to a minute
5. Select the image that you like best (there are options)
6. Then select if you want to download it as is, edit it to make it clearer, or even remove all background from the image.
7. Download

Exit Tickets

Did you know that you can assign an (already-designed) exit ticket with the click of a button?

Most teachers would love to know how their students feel at the end of a lesson (especially when covering a new concept).  Socrative's Exit Ticket is the (paperless) answer.

The Exit Ticket asks students:
1. How well did you understand the lesson? 
2. What did you learn today?
3. Answer your teacher's question.  (This is great for asking EQs or having students practice a concept from class)

Why are exit tickets important?
1. You can meet the needs of your students by knowing who is struggling and differentiate accordingly
2. For students, it's a non-embarrassing way to let the teacher know that you're not understanding the lesson (great for our ESOL students)
3. Can be continual reference and assessment of understanding of essential questions
4. Quick way to check-in (check the pulse of the room)
5. Administrators and other staff members could use the Exit Tickets at the end of meetings and utilize the last question a bit differently

Teachers can watch students answer live in real time.  Their answers are generated in a report that is kept forever! These could be very useful in parent-student-teacher conferences as well.

Here's how it works:
1. Teacher logins to Socrative.
2. Teacher picks Exit Ticket from the icons on the main page
3. Students take out their laptops, iPads, or phones and enter the room name
4. Students complete exit ticket (usually takes 3-4 minutes)
5. Teacher hits "finish" button

That's it!

Here's a short video I made to show exactly how to assign an exit ticket:

Add A Sticky Note to Any Web Page

With a Google Chrome Extension

Did you know that you can add a digital sticky note to almost any web page?  And even more importantly, that the sticky note will still be there when you come back weeks later?
With Note Anywhere, this crazy technology can be enabled with one click!
Here's how to download the Chrome extension:
2. In the search bar, type "Note AnyWhere"
3. Click "Allow"
4. Find the yellow sticky note on the top right-hand corner of your internet toolbar.
5.  Go to a website (not the Chrome App Store) so that you can test it out. (If using a website that is already open on your computer, you will need to refresh the page for the Note AnyWhere to work.)
6. Click on the yellow sticky note icon to place a sticky note on the page that you are viewing.
That's it!
Here's a quick one-minute how-to video that walks you through downloading the extension and using it the first time.