These are the Tech Tips That Will Change Everything

I’m surprised by the folx out there who still say that “TikTok is for kids.” If you still think that, I’m about to change your mind with this little post about implementing tech tips I learned from TikTok into my school counseling practice. It has been transformational! I’ve learned quick hacks to speed up my lesson creations and make my lessons much more accessible to my students.

These are the 7 tech tips to change everything and make your life so much easier.

#1: Dyslexia Font

OpenDyslexic.Com offers an incredible typeface explicitly designed to combat some of the most common symptoms of Dyslexia. The best part is that it’s free, or you can make a small donation to their cause; it’s up to you. Once you download it, you can add the font right into your computer and use it in your word documents.

#2: Add Audio to Documents

@TeachingWithTech shared my new favorite Google Chrome Extension called “Reverb Record,” which allows you to open a Google Form and then open the Reverb Record extension to record, copy, and paste your voice in the form, enabling students to hear you reading the questions in a loop as many times as they want.

#3: Color Palettes Matter

Have you ever been in a presentation, and the content is excellent, but you can’t read it because the presenter decided to use a white background and a yellow font? I have, and I’ll tell you, it destroys the good work they’ve done. Using Color Safe, you’re able to find expert color palettes that make sense together. 

#4: Scan Easily

Did you know your phone has a scanner? True story. Go into the notes section in your iPhone and click on the camera icon, select “scan a document,” and then adjust the edges how you’d like them, click “save,” and email it as a PDF. Wham, bam, thank you, ma’am; no more waiting in line at the copier for you.  

#5: Record Videos Fast

Do you remember the old video recording software that required money, administrative approval, or a tech degree? I do, and it was awful! However, using Loom has changed everything and made recording my screen or myself a cinch. This free app has allowed me to “flip” my counseling lessons, which means that now students watch a video of my “lecture,” and then we use our time together to do activities. Loom has been a lifesaver since I am teaching in person and virtually this year. **They’ve indicated that they’ll soon be releasing closed captioning with the video creation software. I’m so excited!

#6: Open ALL of Your Tabs With a Single Click

This hack was the single biggest game-changer for me. I used to have a minimum of 40+ tabs open at once and would dread the decision between reopening those tabs each morning or risk leaving them up and wearing out my computer overnight. Now, I have options!

@Ms.Maglio on TikTok shared how she created a Google Folder that allowed her to open her tabs quickly. But @DapperDan12b, in the comments, suggested adjusting the settings (three little dots on the top right of your window) to add them all into your preferred list of pages, which then led me to find a fun little button in the settings called, “Continue where you left off.” I no longer have to debate turning off my computer because I know that when I turn it back on, all my tabs will automatically reopen…like magic.

#7: Free Interactive Slides Templates

Remember how I said that having all my tabs open was the ultimate game-changer? Well, let me tell you about Slides Mania, where you can find more than 43,000 slide templates for Google Slides and PowerPoint. Do you want to gamify your lesson? Done. Now you can create a lesson where students can “solve a mystery” or “find treasure” without spending hours planning the basic format. Do you want choice boards or manipulatives? They’ve got you. There are so many options that the possibilities boggle the mind. (Thanks to @teacherartist for sharing the idea with @jermiah.kim who made a quick little tutorial.)

Final Thoughts

Don’t be afraid to ask or do a little research. I’ll often find myself thinking, “there has to be a better way than this,” and sure enough, all I have to do is a little Google search and “Bam!” there it is waiting for me. Remember that you don’t need to have all the answers; you just have to be willing to seek them out. 

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