Research by Reading Level

#cotlf #edtech #edchat If you ‘d like to have your students research a topic online but know that some will struggle with reading the information they find, teach your students to search by reading level. Google will actually let you filter your results by reading level if you use their “Advanced” search function. To do so, look on the left side of your page of search results and click on “More search tools” (you may need to scroll to see it). Then click on “Reading Level” and you will be able to see your search results broken down by level.

You can also search through a search engine called Twurdy, which is powered by Bing and also allows you to search by reading level. It takes a little longer to get back the search results, but they are then color coded by level of difficulty.

Outlook Mail Merge

#cotlf #edtech If you’d like to send the same email to a group of people but want something more personalized than a group email blast, use Mail Merge in Outlook. Simply go to your list of contacts in Outlook and select all the people you’d like to email (see our post: “Get ctrl of your items!”) From the home menu, select “Mail Merge” in the “Actions” section. Click “OK” in the dialog box that appears, and a new Word document will open. Type your email message as always, but if you want to personalize it (i.e. Dear “Name”), click on “Insert Merge Field” in the “Mailings” menu and select the field you want (i.e. First_Name). When you’re done, click on “Finish & Merge” and select “Send Email Messages…”. You’ll need to input the subject for the email, then click “OK” and they’re on their way!

Use this to send notifications to parents, students, or anyone else you feel deserves a personal message from you and save yourself the time and hassle of writing numerous individual emails!

Get “Ctrl” of Your Items!

#cotlf #edchat #schools Tired of moving files from folder to folder one at a time? If you’ve ever wanted to select multiple items at the same time but haven’t been able to, try using the ctrl or shift keys. If you hold down the ctrl key on the keyboard while clicking on items, you’ll see that you’re able to select more than one at a time. If you accidentally click on one you didn’t want, there’s no need to start over either! Just keep holding that ctrl key and click on the item again to deselect it.

If the items you want are all in a row, you can hold the shift key instead and simply click on the first and last item in the list. This will select both those items as well as everything in between automatically. Want them all, but not that one in the middle? Start with the shift key trick, then while they’re all selected, use the ctrl key & deselect it by clicking on the unwanted item.

You’ll find that this not only works on files, but most everywhere else. Want to delete several emails from your inbox? It’ll work in Outlook too. Inserting multiple pictures into a document? Yup, you guessed it, use shift or ctrl!

Event Reminders

#edtech #cotlf Set up calendar events in Outlook to remind you of upcoming appointments 5 minutes to 2 weeks in advance. Create a new appointment and set the reminder time in the “Options” section of the “Appointment” menu.

This is a great way to make sure you’re never late for an appointment again. Outlook will sound a chime at the correct reminder time and pop up a window reminding you of your upcoming appointment. You’ll never have to worry about being distracted and getting to a meeting late! If you need a reminder to find that great video on YouTube for an upcoming lesson, schedule the lesson as an appointment and set the reminder as needed.  If you want to remember to prepare copies for a meeting, you can do the same!  It’s also handy for birthdays – give yourself 1-2 weeks to find and mail that birthday card; never wish anyone a belated birthday again! Appointment reminders are invaluable.