Use Voice Typing, It’s Easier & Quicker!!!

Using Voice Typing is a quick method to provide responses and answers. In my busy life, timesaving tips are so so important! I look for tools that allow me to add precious free time back into my schedule without losing quality. Tools such as voice typing come in handy to use for saving loads of time.

Today I discovered how well my iPad voice to text keyboard integrates with the YouTube Studio APP. I decided to use voice typing to quickly answer comments left by viewers of my YouTube Channel. As someone with small motor issues, this is sometimes a daunting task. My fingers don’t always function when trying to type.

During a spine issue flare-up, it isn’t unusual for me to lose some control of my fingers. It can be very frustrating when trying to type. Either my finger brushes over a key or lays heavy upon the keys causing multiple letters to type out. I’m thankful for voice typing! It supports me with typing despite the many challenges presented by my neuro-muscular spine condition.

The best part about typing by voice is the ability to quickly respond and answer a zillion questions in a short period.

Using Emoticons w/Drive Folders & Files

Quite by accident I discovered it is possible to add emoticons as  a visual support for Google Drive Folders and Files. Over the past year I shared a post about adding visuals to Google Calendar Event Titles by copying pasting emoticons from the following Twitter Symbols Website: These same emoticons will work as part of a Google Drive Folder or File Name. This may make it easier for a young child or student of exceptionality to independently navigate both folders and files.

Screen Shot 2017-10-22 at 9.30.07 AM

Adding Emoticons to Files or Folders

  1. Go to
    • Copy Emoticon
  2. Create a New File or Folder
  3. Paste Emoticon in the “Title Section”


Creating Drive File Icons

My background is in special education and I’m always looking for ways for supporting  students of exceptionalities. One of the challenges for both young students and those with exceptionalities is navigating files. Today I’m going to share an idea of mine which incorporates using images to assist the student with finding and opening a specific file. This idea could be used for assisting the student with locating directions, specific classroom projects, independent work and etc… It is really a very simple idea which may save a bit of time and frustration for both the student and adults assisting them.

My last post was about color coding backgrounds of files to make it easier for students to find a group of content specific papers. Now if one takes the color coded file and adds one more step locating files may become even easier.  This step involves adding a specific images to the files within a student’s Google Drive Folder. When a folder is first open the student will see the color documents with images. Now all they have to do is click on the image to quickly locate a document.

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NOTE: If you are looking to expediting the lesson even faster. Add a Document with the directions using a large font size. This will save time for the student by letting them avoid opening the document but still read the directions needed to complete the task on hand.

Insert an Image

Google Docs, Drawings, Slides & Sheets:

  • Open a Google Docs, Drawings, Slides, or Sheets
  • Using the Toolbar Locate Insert 
    • Click “Insert” opens dropdown list
    • Select “Image” pop-up window opens
    • Click “Search”
      • Enter Image Name +png
        • (PNG will provide a transparent background)
    • Click “Image”
      • Blue Checkmark & Box appears around image
    • Click Blue Select Button

Icon locator Drive.gif



Old SmartPhones Used as Student Classroom Support

Recently I upgraded my old iPhone 4 to a Samsung Galaxy 5 Smartphone. Instead of trading in the iPhone I decided to keep it as a digital tool to use with my students. The first time I placed the iPhone on a students desk it worked like a charm with redirecting the student to finding their place with copying notes from the SmartBoard.

This how it is done:

    • Photograph the Interactive WhiteBoard Screen onto a Google Slide
    • Type directions onto a Google Slide for student to follow
    • Create a slide with visual modifications
    • Place the iPhone in a corner of the students desk
    • iPhone screen first displays the full Interactive White Board Screen
    • Screen Shot 2015-09-26 at 4.28.06 PM
    • Isolate by pinching and expanding area the student has to copy
    • Screen Shot 2015-09-26 at 4.28.20 PM
    • Student naturally takes over and moves the screen into position for the next bubble per the teachers direction
  3. Walk Away and let student continue independently 

I find Google Slides to be one of the best GAfE Tools for delivering individualized instruction.

Here are the reasons why:

  1. Visual supports can be easily included
  2. Extra directions can be written into the note area under slides
    • Web links can be provided in note area
      1. Providing students with extra support for comprehension
  3. Directions can be isolated in one of two ways depending upon the activity
    • Each slide can present individualized directions
    • Student or Teaching Assistant can pinch and isolate specific areas on the slide

Use a Spreadsheet to Help Students Hone Sorting Skills

Yes! It’s important to understand the process of alphabetizing. If a student is struggling with alphabetizing it doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t know how to alphabetize. Putting items in order can sometimes prevent students from completing a main objective presented by multiple step directions. Why stress the student who struggles when there is another choice they can use to complete the task?

Google Sheets has become my new support tool to teach my students how to use. Instead of taking the time to alphabetize by hand have the student enter the data into a sheet. Then highlight the column and choose the data tool. In the data tool there are several different sort options. The student will pick the option which best represents their needs.

Next time you have a student struggling with sorting a list try this out. You may be surprised when the student completes all the tasks presented to them to be completed in a classroom lesson.

Alphabetize Google Sheets