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Tech Tip Tuesday

  • Remember to Back-up Your Files!

    Check out these videos to see how a few small steps could help you save all of your work on your Windows or Mac device.

    How to Backup Your Stuff in Windows

    The BEST Backup Solution for MAC

    10 Apps & Extensions for School & Productivity all students need!

    Check out these 10 apps and extensions to help boost your productivity!

    Communication Tools

    Want to foster communication with students in your course?

    Check out these tips for communicating in Blackboard!


    Have you heard of Echo360 but are still unsure of what it is?

    Find out more about this invaluable tool by watching this introductory video.

    Then head over to the Echo360 Getting Started page to jumpstart your teaching experience!

    Top 12 To-Do Apps for 2020

    The end of the semester is approaching!
    Have a lot to get done but don’t know where to start?
    Check out the top 12 To-Do apps of 2020 and defeat your procrastination!

    Speed up Your Computer's Performance

    Is your computer slowing down?

    Check out these tips on how to speed up your computer’s performance on Windows 10 and for Mac.

    How to Speed Up Your Windows 10 Performance (Best Optimized Settings)

    6 Simple Tips to Speed up Your Mac

    10 Best Excel Tips

    Want some time-saving tips for working in Excel?

    Check out this week's tech tip from Teacher's Tech!

    Microsoft Teams

    Hearing more about Microsoft Teams?

    Check out this introductory video to walk you through how to use Teams to chat, meet, call, and collaborate with faculty and students.

     Splitting your Screen for Multitasking

    Want to view two documents side by side but only have one computer screen?

    Windows 10 enables you to "split" your computer screen so you can do exactly that.

    This can help with multitasking and save time spent switching between tabs or windows.


    Scanning is still a very popular process used for converting a hard copy to an electronic file. 

    Whether you are in an administrative position or an instructor you probably scan items.

    Also, students might need to scan an item to submit their work into Blackboard. Adobe Scan is a free app for your phone.

    It is really easy to use and you can make some minor changes with it as well. 

    Choose the correct file format to allow your images to look more professional without that fuzziness. 

    Sometimes it's better to save your images as a .png file rather than a .jpg file.

    Save Graphic images as .png files to retain the quality of your image. Photos are much better as a jpg file.

    The following short video explains this in more detail.

    How to use Find on a PC

    Whether you are searching within a web page, a word document, excel spreadsheet or other items electronically.

    By using the CTRL and F keys at the same time on your keyboard, you can find an item quickly.

    Google Duo is similar to Face-Time. It can be used on all mobile phones.

    This is perfect if you want to Face-time between an Android device and a Mac device.

    Use the Space bar to Scroll Up and Down A Page
    Tap on the space bar on a web page and it will allow you to quickly scroll down.

    If you want to go back up, hold Shift while you tap the space bar. This even works with Blackboard.

    Here are some good ideas to improve your text on presentations:

    11 Hacks To Make Text Over Images More Readable & Craft A Stunning Slide

    How to effectively manage Google Chrome Bookmarks.

    Using bookmarks for those websites you use every day can make your life easier.

    Also, if you have bookmarks in one browser you can import them into another browser.

    If you need a survey tool here are a few options you can have at no additional cost to your department:

    Google Forms - part of the UMES G suite
    Enterprise Surveys - part of the Blackboard suite, you can send a survey to anyone at UMES or even include an email list of people outside of UMES.
    Surveys - part of Tests, Surveys, and Pools from within a Blackboard course or organization.
    The Center for Instructional Technology and Online Learning can assist you either of these options.

     Google Forms:

    Did you know you can use Google Forms for Scheduling Appointments?

    Don't forget that everyone at UMES has a Google account.

    Simply use your UMES email address and password to log into Google.

    Here's how
    If you want to offer a grid selection there is a template in Google forms called "Find a Time".


    5 Most Annoying Problems in Presentation (& How to Avoid Them)

    There's not one or two, but five major problems with most of the presentations delivered each day. What are these? 
    #1 Presenters read the slides, word-by-word: *Blah* Most common and THE MOST annoying of all! *Blah* 
    #2 Full sentences on slides instead of bullet points: Bullets don't kill people. People with bad PowerPoint slides kill people. 
    #3 Text size is too small to read: Whom are those slides for? Sherlock Holmes? 
    #4 Slides hard to see due to the choice of colors: We thought the color wheel was yet another fun, human invention to play with! 
    #5 Use of complex diagrams and charts: Because life is hard. We'll make it harder. 

    Online Version

    Send a Screenshot We've all heard the saying "A picture paints a thousand words" by Arthur Brisbane.

    If you need help, add a screenshot to your help desk ticket or an email. It can save a lot of time troubleshooting something.

    Instructors, please encourage your students to include screenshots. Below is a link to a short video on how to use the snipping tool.

    Did you know that all employees and students can get Microsoft Office 365 applications?

    More details are available on the UMES Wiki at the following link

    Want to liven up your PowerPoint Presentations?

    Check out these ideas.

    Are you missing important emails because you are receiving too many?

    You can organize your inbox to set up rules so that specific emails go to a specific folder.
    Click on the links below to get more details about organizing your inbox. Instructors, please share the Gmail information with students so they are not missing your emails.

    Setting Rules for Outlook

    Setting Rules for Gmail

    MS PowerPoint 2016 now has a screen recording feature. You can use this to record your PowerPoint Presentations for your students.
    Check out this short tutorial.

    Keyboard Shortcuts

    Getting to know and use shortcut keys can save you a lot of time especially when using a laptop. Below are just a few and you can find more at this link.

    Windows Shortcut Keys

    ·         Windows Key + R: Opens the Run menu.

    ·         Windows Key + E: Opens Explorer.

    ·         Alt + Tab: Switch between open programs.

    ·         Windows Key + Up Arrow: Maximize current window.

    ·         Ctrl + Shift + Esc: Open Task Manager.

    ·         Windows Key + Break: Opens system properties.

    ·         Windows Key + F: Opens search for files and folders.

    ·         Windows Key + D: Hide/display the desktop.

    ·         Alt + Esc: Switch between programs in order they were opened.

    ·         Alt + Letter: Select menu item by underlined letter.

    ·         Ctrl + Esc: Open Start menu.

    ·         Ctrl + F4: Close active document (does not work with some applications).

    ·         Alt + F4: Quit active application or close current window.

    ·         Alt + Spacebar: Open menu for active program.

    ·         Ctrl + Left or Right Arrow: Move cursor forward or back one word.

    ·         Ctrl + Up or Down Arrow: Move cursor forward or back one paragraph.

    ·         F1: Open Help menu for active application.

    ·         Windows Key + M: Minimize all windows.

    ·         Shift + Windows Key + M: Restore windows that were minimized with previous keystroke.

    ·         Windows + F1: Open Windows Help and Support.

    ·         Windows + Tab: Open Task view.

    ·         Windows + Break: Open the System Properties dialog box.

    ·         Hold Right SHIFT key for eight seconds: Switch FilterKeys on and off.

    ·         Left Alt + Left Shift + Print Screen: Switch High Contrast on and off.

    ·         Left Alt + Left Shift + Num Lock: Switch Mouse keys on and off.

    ·         Press Shift five times: Switch Sticky keys on and off.

    ·         Hold Num Lock for five seconds: Switch Toggle keys on and off.

    Formatting of Copied Text

    Do you ever have Shading over fonts when you have copied and pasted text from one location to another?

    Do you struggle to remove this Shading? Whether it be Word, PowerPoint, Blackboard, or other programs, most of them have a button called Clear or Remove Formatting which will remove it.

    Printing from the Web

    Do your printouts from the web print the way you want them?
    When using Google Chrome select what you want to print and in the Print dialog box click the + on More Settings then select Selection only. This way only what you have selected will print.

    Fillable PDF Forms

    Do you want to be able to create fillable PDF forms but don't have the Pro version of Adobe Acrobat to be able to do it?

    Here's a video which explains how to access a free program which enables you to do this.

    Hide Dropped Students

    Is your grade book in blackboard looking messy because it still shows students who have dropped the course?

    In about two minutes you can hide them. Watch this short tutorial to see how.

    Track Number of Views

    When creating items in Blackboard always check the "Track Number of Views" checkbox.

    This will allow you to see which students are looking at different items.

    Even if you think you won't need this feature, it's best to turn it on.

    If it's off and you later turn it on the system can not backtrack.

    Sharing files with Students

    When sharing files in Blackboard with students, it is best to upload PDF files rather than Microsoft documents.

    This enables the student to open the file on many different devices. 

    Everyone at UMES Has a Google Drive

    Use your Google drive to store your Exported Zip files from the old Blackboard Server for courses you need for the upcoming Summer, Fall or Winter.

    The Google drive is a great way to save and share files.
    Did you know that everyone with a UMES email account has a Google Drive? 

    Simply log in with your UMES email address and password.

    Here's a link to a tutorial on how to use the Google Drive.

    Reordering Items in Blackboard

    If you would like to reorder items in your Course Content but your browser will not permit you to drag and drop them into place, try using the Keyboard Accessible Reordering button available towards the upper right of the page.

    Image shows the Keyboard Accessible Reordeing button