This list of tech tips for teachers is perfect for learning new skills, making your teaching life less stressful and keeping you organized.
Over on my Instagram, I like to share tech tips that can be helpful for teachers. Whether you are teaching online or in-person, these ideas are a great way to up your tech teaching game!
Here is my current list of tech tips for teachers. I will keep this page updated as I learn new tools.
Google Drive Tech Tips
Organizing Google DriveRead More
Did you know you can make folders in your Google Drive? I never thought of it until I started getting overwhelmed with so many files. Here is how I did it:
1. Make your folders. Make as many as you need, then drag and drop all the files that go into that folder.
2. You can change the colour of the folders. I put mine in rainbow order. I like the way it looks, but you could do any colours you like.
3. The folders are automatically put in alphabetical order. You can change that though if you want to. I added Emojis to the names of my files to make them easier to identify. You could add numbers to the front of the folder name, and put them in the order that you want. I also put the names in capital letters- I just like the look of it.
If you want to see how I organized my Google Drive, make sure you check out my video tutorial on YouTube.
Google KeepRead More
I have a lot of to-do lists. I need to keep things in a list if I am ever going to remember to do them. I’ve been using Google Keep for all my lists for over a year now, and I love it. I can get to it from my computer, my phone, iPad, wherever I’m working! It stays synced so I’m never without all my to-do lists.
I made my own custom headers to make my lists stand out, and my I made a video tutorial to show you how you can make your own!
Google Sheets ChecklistsRead More
Did you know you can add checkboxes to Google Sheets? You can make attendance lists, track students data, keep a tally of permission slips and forms, make to-do lists. There are so many different things that you can do with this! I made this simple skill tracking form, and changed it to rainbow colour. You can change out the skills that you are tracking, and duplicate the Sheet for all the different topics or strains you are teaching.
I made a video tutorial to show you how to make your own checklist.
Force a CopyRead More
Want to learn how to force a copy of a Google Slide, Doc or Sheet? This is so useful if you want to give someone their own version without them accidentally editing your original file. Follow these easy steps to get it done:
1. Create your file and click the share buttons.
2. Change the settings to “Anyone with the Link” and copy the link.
3. Paste the link somewhere and take out the word edit, and replace it with the word copy.
The link is ready to share now! Just copy the whole thing and give it to the person you want to share it with.
Easily Make a New Doc, Sheet, Slide or MeetRead More
If you need to start a new Google Doc, Meet, Sheet or Slide, all you have to do is type these into your address bar:
sheet.newThis will automatically it up and you are ready to go! This has saved me so much time when I need to start a quick meeting or document.
Google Chrome Tech Tips
Personalize Google ChromeRead More
Did you know you can change the colour of your Chrome browser? It is so easy to do and adds a nice personal touch to your computer.
1. Open your Chrome browser, and go to the settings. Once there you change over to the appearance tab, and then click on “Themes”.
2. Browse through all the themes that are available, and you can see even more by clicking the “View All” button. Once you find one that you like or want to try out just click on it.
3. Now just “Add to Chrome” and it will automatically change over to that new theme.
4. Try it out, if you don’t like the way that one looks, just select a different one.
If you prefer to see a video of how this is done, check out this tutorial on my YouTube channel.
Tab Resize Chrome ExtensionRead More
Using Chrome Extensions can be a great way to personalize your Chrome experience. They are different tools that you can use to enhance your browser. One of my favourite extensions is called Tab Resize. It lets you quickly tile your tabs so that you can have more than one open at a time. I like having a Google Doc pulled up while I am taking notes and watching videos, and this extension makes it fast and easy to do.
1. Go to your extensions
3. Search for the Tab Resize extension, and Add it to Chrome (mine had already been added so my button looks different)
4. You can choose the layout you want to use for your tabs. I like that you can have more than 2 open at a time.
5. Try it out!
If you prefer to see a video to see how this is done, check out this tutorial on my YouTube channel.
Do you have a favourite Chrome Extension? I am always looking for new ones to try out, so please leave me a comment telling me which one you use!
Crafty Cursor Chrome ExtensionRead More
The Crafty Cursor Chrome Extension adds a highlighter circle around your cursor to help you point out important info on your screen. Use it when you are teaching in-person on your projector or use it virtually when you are sharing your screen.
Grammarly Chrome ExtensionRead More
I love using Chrome Extensions, and one that I have been using a whole lot is Grammarly. It’s so much better than just a regular spell check, and it catches all the little mistakes that I make when I write.
Bookmark BarRead More
A time-saving tip for working on your computer- use your bookmark bar! I save my most used websites to it so that I can find what I need quickly and easily. I take the names out so that it looks clean, and I can fit a lot more icons on it.
Website Tech Tips
Boom CardsRead More
I’ve been using Boom Cards in my classroom for years, and they are so perfect for distance learning as well. I love that they work on any device, and there is nothing to print!
They are digital, self-correcting task cards that will help you reinforce skills, you will find a deck to match any skill that you are working on.
If you want to learn more about how I use Boom Cards in my classroom, take a look at this blog post.
I use this graphic design website for just about everything! I make Instagram posts, the images for this post, personal items using the website. It is so easy to use, and there are so many ways to be creative with it.
The website is free to use, and if you sign up using my affiliate link, you will get a free credit to use one of the premium elements.
Professional PortfolioRead More
I shared how I made my Professional Portfolio in a blog post. I currently have it in a nice binder that I can bring with me to any interviews. Once I leave the interview though, I do not want to leave the big binder behind. It could get lost, it takes up a lot of room, I have to go back and get it. Instead, I upload my portfolio on my LinkedIn profile. Then when I am typing up my references to bring with me to my interview, I add a link to my profile. I make sure I let my interviewer know that they can find my portfolio there.
You could also upload your portfolio to your Google Drive, and use the share link to give a copy to your interviewees.
Pin a TabRead More
Have you ever accidentally closed an important tab? Like a Google Meet? I did that once, and since then I have gotten into the habit of pinning any important tabs that I am working in.
It’s easy to pin a tab- just right click on it and hit ‘pin’. When you are done, just right click on it again and hit ‘unpin’. So easy and will make sure you don’t ever X out of something that you need to keep open.
General Tech Tips
Instant InkRead More
Do you use a printer at home? I love being able to print whenever I need to and not have to worry about running out of ink. I signed up for HP Instant Ink a few years ago, and I still use it and love it!
Instant Ink is a subscription service. I pay a monthly fee, and I can print 300 pages per month. Whenever I am running low on ink, they send me replacement cartridges.
You can sign up for different plans depending on how much you print per month. When you first sign up, you can also get free months. A new HP printer that is Instant Ink compatible will usually have 3 months free, and if you use my code, you can get another month. Enter the code hwGTd when you sign up or click on this link.
I love listening to podcasts when I am working, driving or cleaning. My favourite has to be Armchair Expert, but I also listen to Imagined Life and By the Book.
Do you listen to podcasts? What are your favourites? Tell me them in the comments! Looking for a new podcast to listen to? I have my own that I use to talk about all things kindergarten-related. The Creative Kindergarten Podcast is available on different platforms!
Documenting student learning in a play-based program can be difficult. I find that there is so much learning going on, students are doing all these amazing things- but I don’t have the time to document all of it. I started using OneNote a few years ago, and I’ve never looked back. I have a designated documentation iPad in the classroom, and I can add to OneNote as soon as we see something awesome happening. I love that I can add pictures and use voice-to-text to add notes (it doesn’t work perfectly but it gets the job done). When it comes time to write report cards, just open it up and all the documentation is there! I can’t say enough about how easy it has made my life.
The OneNote notebook that I use is from Books and Bytes (this is not an ad for her- it’s just been a lifesaver in the classroom). It has sections for each of the four frames of The Ontario Kindergarten Program, and you can add all your students to it.
Name TracersRead More
I like to make individual name tracers for my students for the beginning of the year. I made a video tutorial to show you how you can make your own.
Easily make your own name practice center by laminating these sheets and having students use whiteboard markers to trace and write their name.
I also make a set of playdough mats for my students to use. This way they can practice writing their name in different ways. Again, I made a video tutorial to show you how to make them.
Keyboard ShortcutsRead More
Using keyboard shortcuts is a way to make you more productive and fast when working at your computer. I am always learning new ones, and I love how they make my life so much easier. Here are a few of the ones I use the most:
- CTRL+C (copy)
- CTRL+V (paste)
- CTRL+A (select all)
- CTRL+B (bold)
- CTRL+SHIFT+T (reopen the last tab you closed)
What are your favourite keyboard shortcuts? Let me know in the comments!
Print to PDFRead More
Do you ever just need to send a few pages of a PDF file to your students? Try Print to PDF! You can save just a few pages to a new PDF. This little trick has come in handy so many times.
Open the PDF that you need to extract a few pages from and hit print. In the printer options, choose the one that says ‘print to PDF’. Then choose which pages you would like to exract, and click ‘print’. A dialogue box will open up asking you to name the file. That’s it!
Do you have any favourite tech tips that I did not include? Let me know in the comments. I always love learning something new.