Tech Tip Tuesday: Integrate Video Recording into Padlet

First, Padlet has a GREAT resource for a variety of templates and tips that can be found here: One of those resources that stood out to me is this one about integrating video/film into a Padlet board. FYI- we pay for the full premium version of Padlet, so no need to delete boards you created to make room for new ones. Plus, now you can take advantage of ALL of the Padlet features that are out there. The resource above will highlight what devices this works on and how to get started.

Hope this helps!

Tech Tip Tuesday: Track Student Schoology Progress

Did you know you can closely monitor the work your students are doing in Schoology? Obviously, you can see the documents they submit or the discussion posts they make. But, you can also see the last time they logged into Schoology, what they have completed in a folder of content, where they left off, and more.

First, check out the analytics button in the left navigation. There is a lot of useful information here, including when (timestamped) a student last accessed and logged into Schoology and how much time they spent in it. If you then click on a particular student’s name, you’ll get more information about assignments you have created and whether or not they interacted with them.

Another option is to click on the “student progress” button found at the top center of your material’s page. This will give you an overview (percentage-wise) of how much your students have completed in your class. If you go into a specific folder and then click on this button, it gives you a percentage according to that folder’s content. This is a GREAT way to track student completion, see who is left behind or not doing work, etc. You can then click on a student’s name in the list to get even more broken-down info about them and your course.

Finally, you can always see things from a particular student’s point of view and what they see. Simply click the “options” button under your course profile –> and click ‘view course as” then choose the student. You will now be seeing everything in your course from the student’s perspective.

Tech Tips Tuesday: Pin Tabs to Mac Dock

After working with many of you, I’ve noticed a trend… When you go to access an application on your Macbook, you go to Finder to open it. But there is an easier way!

For any apps, especially those that you find yourself using frequently, you can make them readily available with a single click on the Mac Dock. You can also add the “Applications” folder to your Mac doc too!

Here is how: On your dock, click the “Finder” icon, and then click “Applications” on the left. Now, you can drag the Applications folder directly on top of your Mac Dock now or find the specific Application within it that you want, and simply drag it down to the dock, and bam. It will stay there.

This will save you so much time, rather than jumping to finder, searching for applications, and then picking what you want.

Tech Tip Tuesday: Record Audio with Voice Memos

Record Audio in Mac OS with Voice Memos:

The Mac has a built-in, easy-to-use application for recording audio quickly and easily!

  1. Launch the Voice Memos application. (Open a new Finder window. Voice Memos can be located in the Applications folder.)
  2. Click the Record button. (Click Pause to pause your recording, and click Resume to continue.)
  3. When finished, click Done in the lower-right corner.
  4. Click the Play button to listen to your recording, or you can click the Edit button in the top-right corner to make changes to your recording.

Tech Tip Tuesday: Export Keynote Presentations to Other Types

Some of you use Keynote to build your presentations, and that is fine. Keynote is a great program to use and offers some really nice design elements that Google and Microsoft don’t have. Plus, although Microsoft is going away, Apple office features like Keynote and Pages aren’t. If you use Keynote to design your presentations but need to share it in another format, here is how:

Open the presentation –> choose file –> export to –> choose a type. In most cases, you will choose Powerpoint, even if we don’t have Microsoft. Afterwhich, you may be prompted to set a password for the file or export without one. Click next –> name the presentation –> choose a location to save –> then export.

Once the file is downloaded as a Powerpoint file, you can simply upload it to your Google Drive so that you can view it there.

Tech Tip Tuesday (Repost): Differentiate and Optimize Online Reading

With so many tools to help personalize and differentiate the classroom experience, combing through them all can be a hassle. Don’t fret! I’ve done most of the work and have pulled the ones I think are best and sharing them with you.

This week’s tool helps you share online articles/sites with students while decluttering the page and simplifying the site layout. Check out Mercury Reader! This is a Google Chrome extension, that you can install and activate whenever (this is a great one to share with students). This extension will remove unwanted banners and ads from an online article or webpage, allow the reader to edit the text size/font/color to optimal viewing (great for students with visual issues), and cleans up the page so it is easier to print, download, or attach to Schoology.

To get started: simply go to the Chrome Web Store here –> click to “add to chrome” –> allow the install of the extension to your Google account. A rocket ship icon will be added to the right of the URL box. Whenever you are on a page, click on that to activate!

Hope this helps!

Tech Tip Tuesday: Spot the Phishing Scams

As John has stated, phishing attempts are on the rise, especially during the holidays, as people with malicious intent try to steal your personal information and get their hands into your bank account.

Check out this quiz to find out if you can spot if you are being “phished”. Leave it to Google to have something about this.

Be sure to check out this phishing page by Cisco  to learn more about phishing and how to stay alert!

Hope this helps!

Tech Tip Tuesday: Turnitin and Schoology

This is a repost of an older tech tip.

If you haven’t already taken advantage of the Turnitin app within Schoology, here is a quick “how-to” to get started:

What is it? 

A plagiarism detection tool to ensure academic integrity. It will give you an overall summary of the originality score as well as percentages of what was pulled/taken from what site.

To get started, go create an assignment as you normally would by selecting “add materials”. DO NOT USE THE Turninit app in the left navigation of Schoology. From here select “add file/link/external tool” –> “external tool”.

In the window that opens, select Turnitin from the “tool provider” drop-down menu. Give the assignment a name/title, then check the grading box to open the submenu. From here you can set the point value, due date, and category. Once complete, scroll down and select “submit”.

Once the assignment is created, find it within the class stream and click on the title. The Turnitin LTI app will open. Click “settings” to modify anything on the Turnitin side. Make sure the “start date” and “due date” match what you set on the Schoology end. You can also establish a feedback release date if you would like. Next, make sure you enter your instructions. These are the instructions your students will see when they access this assignment.

A few extras . . . open the “optional settings” to be able to modify or allow for things such as late submissions, enable grammar checker, exclude resources, or allow students to view the similarity report. Once you are finished, click “submit” at the bottom. The Turnitin assignment will save. You can now go back to your main course screen and everything will be set for your students to begin submitting work. Make sure your assignment is “active” and allows submissions. Once students complete their submissions, you’ll be able to click on the assignment to open all student submissions and view the similarity reports for each.

Update: Please note that you CANNOT use the Google Drive Assignments feature with Turnitin. However, students CAN submit Google Docs to Turnitin!

Hope this helps!

Tech Tip Tuesday: Using Google Keep to Take Notes or Formulate a Paper

Google Keep is one of my FAVORITE apps. You can access it from the Google “Rubik’s Cube / Waffle Icon” or go to The web version lets you create sticky notes, that are automatically saved to your Google Keep account and accessible anywhere. These notes are good for reminders, homework, to-do lists, etc. But students can use this as a place to take notes when conducting research or formulating an essay / paper. Take it a step further and Google Keep is also an extension. You (and your students) can install the Keep extension which adds the ability to take notes ANYWHERE on the web. The notes are then saved automatically… back to your Google Keep account on the web. Plus, any note you take, anywhere on the web, also saves the link/web address (great for those works cited pages / annotated bibliographies). Just simply click on the extension wherever you are on the web, and a Google Keep popup will open, allowing you to type a note or information.

If you go back to your account every note you took will show there. Students and yourselves can color-code them or even label them (my personal favorite). Have your students create labels for “primary” and “secondary” resources then filter/tag each note they took with these labels. It’s like recreating the old “index card” essay sorting we used to do years ago.

One last piece… and this is the cherry on top. Google Keep is ALSO accessible from WITHIN a Google Doc. Open a Google Doc, and on the right-hand side you’ll see a little side pane with the Google Keep icon. Click that and all of your Keep notes will appear. You can then simply click and drag them onto the Google Doc. Perfect for students when writing essays/research papers.

And for your struggling learners or just because… Check out the Google Keep mobile app. When you take a note on the mobile app, you can actually take a voice note!

Hope this helps!

Tech Tip Tuesday: Mote for Personalized Audio Feedback

Mote lets you easily add voice comments and audio content to shared documents, assignments, emails and forms and is integrated into Google Docs, Slides, Sheets, Forms and Classroom – and Gmail – for easy recording and playback. You can also create voice notes for any website or application directly using the Chrome extension menu – simply click on the browser icon to access the ‘Motepad’ recorder. For help with Mote check this video out.

Basically, you can highlight text in a Google Doc, and instead of type your comment in, you can leave audio feedback for your students directly in the document which they can just click to play! The student do not even need to install the Mote extension either! However, installing it on their end would allow for one-click playback instead of 2. Not a huge difference, but something to think about. In Google Slides, Mote lets you drop audio files ANYWHERE on a Google Slide! Really cool for students to leave commentary about a topic, or use a target language to practice vocabulary!

Hope this helps!