Tuesday, January 19, 2021

My Favorite Chrome Extensions Right Now - And What They Do

It's a fairly regular occurrence that people watch one of my screencast videos and then ask me what all of the extensions are that appear in my Chrome browser. My students often comment on all the extensions that I have installed. To be honest, sometimes I install an extension just to try it out and then forget to uninstall it. But there I do have a handful of Chrome extensions that are my favorites and are in regular use right now. Here they are in no particular order. 

OneNote Web Clipper
I use OneNote for most my bookmarking activities these days. I particularly like using the OneNote web clipper to save entire articles without saving the related sidebar content or headers and footers from a webpage. Here's a little overview of how I use it.

StayFocusd (intentionally misspelled) lets me set time limits for accessing the websites that I'm prone to wasting time on (Facebook, Twitter, and CyclingTips). With StayFocusd installed in Chrome I can set a daily time limit for the sites I tend to waste time visiting. When I reach that time limit I'm blocked from visiting that site for 24 hours. A little countdown timer is shown when I do visit the sites on my list. I wrote a bit more about StayFocusd a couple of years ago when I went on a Facebook faste.

This is one that I just started using last week and I already love it. Mote lets me add voice comments to Google Classroom and Google Docs. It also makes it very easy to add audio recordings to Google Slides. I published a few videos about it on my YouTube channel. You can watch the one about using Mote in Google Slides right here.

Loom and Screencastify
I make the majority of my screencast videos on a Windows 10 computer with Screencast-o-matic's desktop recorder. But when I need to make a screencast on a Chromebook I use either Loom or Screencastify. I publish a comparison of the two here.

Nimbus Screenshot
When I need to create annotated screenshot on a Chromebook, Nimbus Screenshot is the tool that I use. I've been using it for years and it's always worked well. Here's a little overview of how it works.

How to Manage Chrome Extensions
I don't always remember to remove the extensions that I'm not using. I'm going to do it now that I'm thinking about it. From a security standpoint, it's a good idea to remove the extensions that you're not using on regular basis. Here's how to manage Chrome extensions.

How to Quickly Record Audio in Google Slides, Docs, and Classroom

Last week I wrote a short overview of a new Chrome extension called Mote. In that blog post I focused just on the aspect of Mote that lets you record audio in Google Slides. As a slew of people mentioned to me in emails over the weekend, Mote can be used for more than just adding audio to Google Slides. 

Mote is a Chrome extension that can be used to record audio to insert into Google Slides, into Google Documents, and into Google Classroom. In the following videos I provide demonstrations of how to use Mote in all three of those G Suite tools. 

Installing Mote & Using it Google Slides

In this video I demonstrate how to install Mote and how to activate it in your Google account. 

How to record audio in Google Docs.

How to record audio in Google Classroom.

Monday, January 18, 2021

How to Check and Edit the Accessibility of Word Documents

In my previous post I shared directions on how to assess and edit the accessibility of PowerPoint presentations. The tool that I featured in that post, Accessibility Checker, is also available to use in Microsoft Word. 

The accessibility checker that is built into Microsoft Word can be found under the "Review" tab in the desktop version of Word. The accessibility checker will identify any accessibility problems with your document including missing alt text, problems with headers, and problems related to font choices. 

This short video will show you how to use the accessibility checker in Word and how to add alt text to images in Word. 

How to Quickly Check and Improve the Accessibility of Your PowerPoint Slides

In this week's Practical Ed Tech Tip of the Week newsletter I talked about making virtual presentations accessible to those who rely on captioning. Many of us like to share our slides with students and or colleagues to either follow along or to have as reference material after a presentation. If you're sharing your PowerPoint slides, run Microsoft's built-in accessibility checker before sharing your slides. 

The accessibility checker is built right into PowerPoint. You'll find it under the "Review" tab in your PowerPoint editor. Here's my short video overview of how the accessibility checker in PowerPoint works. Additionally, the video following video shows you how to add and edit alt text for images and videos within your PowerPoint slides. 

Free Webinar This Thursday - Two Ed Tech Guys Take Question & Share Cool Stuff

Last spring, summer, and fall Rushton Hurley from Next Vista for Learning and I hosted a free webinar series called Two Ed Tech Guys Take Questions and Share Cool Stuff. This Thursday at 4pm ET we're hosting the first installment of 2021. You can register for free right here

Just like the title says, during the webinar we answer questions from anyone who attends as well as questions that have been sent to us in advance. You can email me or Rushton with your questions. In each episode we also share a couple of interesting apps, websites, or videos that we've found during the week. 

Watch our last episode of 2020 to get a sense of what our first episode of 2021 will be like.