logoThis site is home to Ramapo Indian Hills High School District Instructional Technology and Staff Development. Here you will be able to find resources and tools to help you become more comfortable using technology with your students and implementing innovative methods in your classroom. Use this website for numerous resources, coaching appointments, newsletters, and workshop materials. I am committed to showcasing some of the great work our staff is already doing while helping to make the technology integration in the classroom both seamless and virtually invisible.


Tech Tip Tuesday: Manually Update Chrome Extensions

Every now and then, your Chrome extensions will need to be updated. For the most part, it should happen naturally. But sometimes, you just need to do it yourself if you want it to roll out faster. No matter which extensions you use (extensions are those little app logos to the right of your URL bar), this can be Screencastify, bitmoji, polleverywhere, google keep, etc, this is how you can update them.

How to Manually Update Your Chrome Extensions

  1. Open up your Chrome settings menu (the three dots in the top right-hand corner of your browser) or paste chrome://extensions into your address bar
  2. Scroll down to More Tools -> Extensions
  3. Enable Developer Mode in the top right
  4. Once you do that, click the Update button that appears

This may take a bit, but once it is set you will see a popup message at the bottom say update complete. I always recommend closing your browser and opening it up new. This will help extensions or other updates fully take effect. After that, if there is an extension that updated or that you know had an update, click on it to see the change!

Hope this helps!

Tech Tip Tuesday: Bring Back Closed Chrome Tabs

We have all done it. You are working tirelessly only to accidentally close a tab you need, 5 tabs you need, or worse yet…. you close chrome altogether! No sweat, here is how you can bring any or all of those tabs back.

There is a shortcut to reopen closed tabs. Simply hit COMMAND + SHIFT + T on Mac to reopen it. Or, click the more options button (3 dots) in the upper right corner (sometimes it says “update” in red) –> click History –> then click on the most recent tab(s) you closed to open them or if your closed all of them, simply follow that step above, and if it says recently closed.

You can also go days back by click history, then history again, and sorting through the previous days to find a tab you needed!

Thats it! Hope that helps!

Tech Tip Tuesday: Improved Google Slides Presenter View

Google has updated their presenter toolbar in Google Slides with a better look and more intuitive controls. To open presenter view,  in the top right corner, next to “Present,” click the Down arrow . Click Presenter view.

Now when presenting, you will be able to select the previous or next slide, select any slide from the picker, or access the three-dot more options menu, which will open options for opening speaker notes, auto play, caption preferences, and more!

The toolbar has also been condensed so that it doesn’t take up as much screen real-estate and block your slide!

Pro tip: You can also use a personal phone or iPad with the Google Slides app as your presenter tool. This lets you control the slide presentation from the device as well as see the presenter notes without screen sharing them to your students over Zoom.

Hope this helps!

Sending Adobe Forms to Multiple People

When using Adobe to send forms for signatures, you set a form up to be emailed to multiple people, and in order. To do this. Utilize the Fill and Send tool within Adobe. Click “request signatures’, and a window will open that looks like this:

Screen Shot 2021-03-15 at 7.59.08 AM.png

At the bottom left it says “more options”. Click that. Then this will open…

Screen Shot 2021-03-15 at 8.00.15 AM.png

At the top enter the names/emails you want. Then above the “enter recipient,” it says “complete in order”. Turn that to on, so that those people get the email in order. You can also click and drag each person to rearrange the order. Note that to the left of the person’s name shows a pen icon. This is the signature icon. If you need the person to actually sign a specific line, use this. If not, you can click that dropdown to select the approval icon which does NOT require a signature.

Remember, as the original sender, you will get the final copy sent to you at the end.

Hope this helps!

New Zoom Updates!

Zoom has quietly rolled out a few new updates to their platform. Here is a quick rundown of what they have updated!

  1. Rearrange Gallery View- With this, you can now switch to gallery view, then click on any person’s picture and move them wherever you want in the gallery. Just click–> hold –> drag. Nice for taking attendance or keeping track of certain students when presenting.
  2. Blurred Backgrounds- You can now pick a blurred background as an option when adjust or editing the virtual background/video settings.
  3. Shared Content Designation- When sharing, a notification will appear telling you (the host) the you are sharing your screen and notify you when participants can see it on their end.
  4. Play Videos Directly- When sharing, you can now select advanced, and then choose video. This will turn on the video enhancements, share audio, and then open your finder to select a video to show from your hard drive.

Hope this helps!

Tech Tip Tuesday: NEW Google Meet Update

Google Meet has recently updated to include a new feature that lets you check your audio and video settings prior to joining a meeting. How many times have you joined a meeting only to figure out you cannot hear yourself or others, or your camer doesn’t look right? This feature now takes the guess work out and lets you go through a quick series of checks to make sure everything is up and running smoothly. Plus, you can also adjust which camera and/or which microphone you are using.

This feature is available after clicking a Google Meet link to join, under your camera is a button. Click on “Check your audio and video” to open up the feature. From there a few settings can be adjust and Google walks you through to make sure everything is set! You can even record a short clip and play it back to make sure everything looks and sounds good to you.

Hope this helps!

Tech Tip Tuesday: NEW Google Doc Update Helps Students Create Citations

As always, Google keeps updating. A Google Doc update has included a new built-in citations tool, allows you and your students an easier way to enter information and have Google generate a citation for you.

First you need to go open your Google Doc and click Tools –> Citations. A sidebar will open. Select a style for the citation (MLA, APA, Chicago) then click Add Citation Source. Click the type you want to enter, then add any information you have into the boxes/fields that follow. Once you are done, click Add Citation Source, and it becomes saved in this citations tools. You can grab it at any time! You can always come back here to edit it as well.

To add it to your document, all you need to do is click where in the document you want it to go, open the citation tool, select the citation you want, then click CITE! You can also follow these steps to add a bibliography.

Hope this helps!

Tech Tip Tuesday: Remove Ads and Comments From Youtube Videos

Recently, I have had quite a few people ask me if there is a way to remove the comments, ads, and bonus videos from appearing when showing a Youtube video. If you are just showing a video, maximizing the screen temporarily removes the added videos, but then auto plays and upcoming video or shows a video stream at the bottom. Obviously, when sharing the link, there will be no way around the end-user/student from seeing the comments and added videos since they can view the video in either max screen or regular Youtube view.

There are a few options however… You could install a Google Chrome extension like this oneL: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/adblock-%E2%80%94-best-ad-blocker/gighmmpiobklfepjocnamgkkbiglidom that might do the trick. However, usually a premium version is needed at some point.

But easier is this little trick! (Note: It might not work for everyone but it is worth a shot). All you need to do is put a hyphen between the “t” and the “u” in youtube and hit enter.  You are sent to a full screen version of the video with no sidebar and no ads. You could even post or send this link to students and they would get the same (most likely).

Here’s an example: Take this trailer for Into the Wild (awesome soundtrack by Eddie Vedder but I digress)… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZG1FzyB8DI

Simply place the hyphen between the “t” and ‘u” in Youtube like this: https://www.yout-ube.com/watch?v=XZG1FzyB8DI

Then copy and paste this link, share it out, or even just hit enter to watch it without ads, comments, etc. Also, when the video is done, it won’t play another random video in line. Instead, it may repeat the same video.

Hope this helps!

Tech Tip Tuesday: Organize Your Google Apps Button (Rubik’s Cube/ Waffle Buttone)

Ever click your Google Apps Launcher button and have to scroll down to access the specific app you want? Well guess what? You can easily rearrange the apps however you want! In the past, Google made you install an extra extension to do this (most of us didn’t and just let it be). But now you don’t have to. More recent updates let you simply do this… just open your Google Apps Launcher button (I still prefer to call it the Google Rubik’s Cube)…

…press and hold on any app icon, then drag and move it to the location of your choice.

That’s it! Simple as that! Now go ahead and clean up your app order and put your favorites at the top.

Hope this helps!

Tech Tip Tuesday: Create NEW GSuite Files the FAST Way

Todays tip is another short but sweet one. As you know, there are many ways to accomplish the same task or access the same app/tool within Google. When it comes to creating documents (docs, sheets, forms, slides, etc) this is no different.

You can use the plus sign in Google Drive to create a new file or while in a document already, you can click FILE to start a new one, or you can type in docs.google.com (or forms.google.com, or slides.google.com, etc) then click create. Or, you can even click the GSuite apps button (rubik’s cube) and access the file type there).

But there is even one easier and/or quicker way… Simply type in a new tab URL doc.new! That’s it. You can even do sheet.new, form.new, slide.new, site.new, etc! So next time you go to create a new document on the fly simply type in ___.new in a new tab and you are all set!