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December 12, 2020

10 Best Tech Tips for 2021

This past year has been unprecedented in so many ways! Educators have taken on emergency distance learning and ramped up their tech skills in a very short time frame. For those looking to keep the tech integration momentum going strong, we’ve curated our top 10 tech tips to kick your online classroom up a notch in the new year! 

  • Teaching during Covid-19 
  • Social-Emotional Learning  
  • Culturally Responsive Teaching 
  • Teacher Self-Care 
  • Tech Tools 

1. Ad-Free YouTube Hack

Sharing YouTube videos can be a pain when all the ads popping up in and around the frame become a distraction for students. Try this secret hack to remove those pesky ads from your YouTube video page: Insert “ _popup” after the word “watch” in YouTube URL. When students open the link, ads are gone and only the video player is visible on screen!

2. Mote Extension for Timesaving Audio Feedback 

Provide quick and easy audio feedback to students with the Mote extension for your Google Chrome browser! Mote works seamlessly with the Docs, Slides, Sheets, and Classroom apps to save you time and improve engagement with learners. 

3. Annotate PDFs with Kami 

Kami has quickly become a favorite tool for online educators! Students can markup pdf documents and annotate with various tools. Just install the extension or access via the web page to transform your existing documents into interactive learning experiences.

4. Setup Two Monitors for Easier Distance Teaching and Learning

Many teachers have found using two monitors to deliver online learning is a lifesaver! You can see all of your students in grid or gallery view AND present from slides or a document camera at the same time. Check out this easy method for setting up your virtual teaching station. 

5. Chrome Bookmark Bar Hack for Better Organization

This tip from our teacher community was called out as an absolute gamechanger! If you are looking for a way to quickly call up frequently used websites for your teaching day, try saving them in a folder on your bookmark bar. 

6. Keyboard Shortcut to Reopen a Closed Tab

google-img

Have you ever closed a tab by accident and instantly regretted it? Yeah, me too! Well there’s an easy keyboard shortcut to reopen tabs that were previously closed. Just click Control + Shift + T (or Command + Shift + T on a Mac) and watch that lost tab reappear! You’ll wonder how you ever lived without this trick. 

7. Blooket for Game-Based Learning

If you are looking for a fun review game that feels new and exciting, then check out Blooket! Just like Kahoot and Quizziz, you can create a quiz-style game with your own set of questions (or borrow from their library of choices). Blooket goes a step further to allow you to choose the game mode that suits your needs like Tower of Doom, Cafe, Factory, or Battle Royale. Students love the friendly competition with classmates as well as earning tokens to unlock new Blooks (or avatars)! 

8. Remove Video Backgrounds with Unscreen\

Make your own gifs and personalized stickers with this handy tool. Just upload a short video clip and Unscreen removes the background. This allows you to add fun colors, images and graphics behind your video or leave it transparent. Think of all the possibilities! 

9. Wheel of Names Replaces Popsicle Sticks

This simple student name picker is a handy tool to have for your virtual classroom. Just add your student names and spin the wheel. The name picker helps make taking turns a snap! What I love about Wheel of Names is that you can save your wheels, customize the size or color, and even add images. There are so many potential uses in other content areas like math, art, literacy or phy. ed! 

10. More Presentation Themes with Slidesgo

slidesgo-img

Boost your slide decks with the professional templates available on Slidesgo. If you are tired of the theme options offered through Slides or Powerpoint, head over to Slidesgo.com to see some beautifully designed slide decks and infographics. They even have a lesson and digital notebook templates that you can download.

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