Tech Goodies In Focus – How to undo a sent email!

Tech Goodies In Focus – How to undo a sent email!

First, happy “day after Thanksgiving.”  I know I stated I wouldn’t send out a TGIF this week.  I guess I lied.  Hopefully you are OK with that bit of misinformation.

Let me spell out a scenario to you.  Can you relate to this?

You want to send out an email to three people:  Person A, Person B, and Person C.  And while it is the same message to all three people, you want to send out an email that is personalized.  You know, you want a header like “Dear Person ???,”.  You copy and paste the message, enter the email address of, and click send.  And right then you realize you didn’t change the header from “Dear Person A,” to “Dear Person B,”.  But you clicked send.  The email is gone.  You cannot click “Control+Z” (Control+Z is a keyboard shortcut to undo your last action) to undo this.  Darn it!

Has that ever happened to you?  We have a lot of ways to undo an action in Windows, but it isn’t easy to undo a sent email.  Of course… we have a solution!

1)  Go to your Gmail Settings. (Wheel -> Settings)

2)  Under the General Tab you have the setting Undo Send:.  Notice you can check Enable Undo Send (partially circled in blue below).  And you have the option of choosing how long you can undo your email (highlighted in yellow).  I set my cancellation period to 30 seconds.


How does this work?  Let’s say you send off an email that you want to undo.  A link will come up (boxed in red below)… click undo.  Easy!


Again, this link will show for however long you set your Send cancellation period.


Happy emailing!


Note… I did not send this at 8am on Friday, 11/24/2017, but I did set up Boomerang (TGIF 11/3/2017) to send it at that time.

TGIF – A image editing tool in Google Docs and Slides!

Tech Goodies In Focus – A image editing tool in Google Docs and Slides!
Photos are one way for students to bring the physical world into the digital world.  So let’s say one of our learning photographers wants to explain a circuit like this (no, it is not a bomb!).  If you must know, this circuit is an SR flip flop implemented with NAND gates.
What is your first reaction?  Of course, too much table and not enough circuit!  Now, there are many photo editing tools available to students through their Chromebooks.  Here is a great list of some powerful ones.  And sometimes the best tool is the one that you already have in front of you.  Google Slides allows the ability to easily edit photos and images.  Below I will show you how.
1)  First the photo needs to be in Docs or Slides.  You have choices about the source of the image.  And you can always drag and drop an image from your computer into Docs or Slides.
2)  So our image is now on a slide or in our document.  There are two ways to get to the image editing tools.
The first way is to select the image (by clicking it) and clicking the Image options… button.
The second way to get to the image editing tools are to right-mouse click the image and choose Image options… .  Notice there is also an option to Crop image (right above Image options…).  This image is sure in need of some cropping.
3)  Notice your options for images.  While pretty simplistic, sometimes that is all you need.
You can recolor the image to a specific color palette.
You can adjust the transparency of the image.
The image below has a transparency of 20%.
And the image below has a transparency of 80%.
You can adjust the brightness.
Here is an image where the brightness is set to -50%.
And here is the same image where the brightness is set to +50%.
And of course you can set the contrast.
Here is an image where the contrast is set to -50%.
And here is an image where the contrast is set to +50%.
My wife is a photographer.  And her goal is to always get the picture right in camera.  But that isn’t always possible.  She appreciates the sliders (in a different tool, yes, but sliders to adjust the picture never-the-less) to help get the pictures correct.  And we, including our students, have the same power of the sliders at our disposal.
*** And of course there is an issue… I am able to edit the image in Slides or Docs and then copy and paste that edited image in Docs or Slides.  Yet, when I copy and paste that same image into Gmail, the image is not edited!  Argh… I wish everything worked all of the time.  Maybe I am missing something.  I hope your experience of copying and pasting an edited image is more successful than mine.

TGIF – CheckMark

Tech Goodies in Focus – CheckMark
Hello staff,
I hope you will get to enjoy this long weekend.  And find a veteran to hug to say thank you.  Hopefully this veteran is someone you know.  But if you are the sort that is OK with hugging a stranger, then that is your prerogative.
It looks like the subject of this week’s TGIF is another feedback tool.  CheckMark is a Chrome extension that allows quick and easy feedback on student writing in Google Docs.  Yes, this only works in the Chrome browser.  You can get the extension here.
What does this extension do and how does it work?  When you are in a Google Doc and the extension is enabled (so the icon looks greenInline image 4 and not greyInline image 3), when you highlight a portion of text this box appears.
Inline image 1
Each button corresponds to a non-editable comment that is automatically created as you click the button.
  • Here is a demo of the tool in action.
  • Here is a list of the icons and their corresponding comments.  If this tool intrigues you then you might want a handy reference of the buttons and their comments.  I picture this list being printed out and taped (or super glued, or stapled) to the bottom of your computer monitor bezel for easy reference, as shown below.  Please don’t super glue or staple this list to your computer.
  • Inline image 2
And I understand the limitations of this tool.  I will not be using this tool with the current comments.  The comments don’t apply to science lab reports well enough.  I would love to see this tool have editable comments.  So I decided to ask the EdTechTeam.  Here was the short conversation.
Mr. Davis to EdTechTeam:  I love this tool and I am sharing it with my staff this week. Is there going to be a way to change the comments? I would love to modify this for my science classes.
EdTechTeam (by way of Chris Craft):  I can’t say too much but keep your eyes on my Twitter (@crafty184). There may or may not be a big announcement coming after the holidays. 😉
Chris Craft, I am watching.  And I have my fingers crossed for editable comments.  Really, I do.  See?  Disclaimer:  The image that follows are not my real fingers.
  Inline image 5
I can really see the potential in this tool for giving feedback to students without the teacher having to type the most common comments over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again.  (Reminder… copy and paste can be such a useful tool sometimes, as shown above).

Want to leave feedback?  Fill out this survey!  Your feedback is greatly appreciated and always anonymous unless you choose to identify yourself.  Thank you for your time.

TGIF – Boomerang

Email is a huge part of our professional lives.  How do we get some control over it?  What if you wanted to send an email later at a specified time?  What if you wanted a follow up reminder?  What if you wanted to be reminded if someone has not responded to your email?  What if you wanted a gauge to know if an email is written in such a way that it is respondable?

I sent this email at 11:40am today.  Do you know how I know that?  I scheduled that email to be sent at that time using a tool for Gmail called Boomerang.  Boomerang is a browser extension that works with the following browsers:

  • Firefox 38+
  • Chrome 5.0+
  • Safari 5.1+
  • Opera 15+
  • Edge 39+

It works with Gmail and G Suite (Google Apps, like our HUSD accounts) email.

Boomerang can help you with your email management.
  • You can send an email at a specified time (I have used this feature for this email and for emails about PD information in the past).
  • You can flag an email to deal with it later.
  • You can flag an email to get a reminder if someone has not responded in a set amount of time.
  • You can get a score to gauge if an email is written in such a way that it will generate a response.  Boomerang takes into account email properties like subject length, word count, question count, and reading level to generate the score.

There is a free account.  The free account lets you flag 10 emails a month.  I use this tool some and have never come close to that limit, but power users might run into that limit often.


Was this useful?  Was this a waste of time?  Would you like more information?  Would you like to never hear from me again?  Don’t hesitate to give me feedback.  I know your time is precious… and I hope to send out value-added content instead of dang-that-is-five-minutes-of-my-time-that-I-can-never-get-back content.

Happy Friday.

TGIF – Feedback in Google Docs

Hello teachers of Healdsburg High School,

Yep, you are receiving Davis spam for a second week in a row.  I want to talk about some ways to give feedback inside of Google.

1)  Of course, let’s start with comments.  I want to highlight the many ways there are to access comments. And I want to show how you can assign tasks within comments, which can be especially useful if your comments conversation is with more than one person.  You can also create a list of commonly used comments in Google Keep and just copy and paste from that list into your comments.  And remember, all of this also applies to students leaving comments for other students.

a. You can create a comment from the Comments box in the upper-right hand corner of your browser window.
Inline image 1
b. You can also see that the “add Comment” bubble pops up any time you select text.
Inline image 3
c. And who doesn’t love keyboard shortcuts?  The shortcut Ctrl+Alt+M will create a comment.
Inline image 4
 d.  You can create common comments in Google Keep and then copy and paste a comment text into a comment box (too many comments!).
First, open Google Keep within your document (Tools -> Keep Notebook)
Inline image 2
Now I can copy and paste from my list of Common Comments into my comment that I am adding to the document.
Inline image 1

2)  What about using the power of your voice (with inflections, pace, and everything else that comes with hearing the words being spoken) to give comments?  Of course there is a tool for that (  I have not used this yet, but I want to use this to give comments during my check-on-progress for my next lab report in Physics.

Here is a blog post (not from me) about Kaizena and two other tools for voice comments.

3)  Let’s say you are looking at the collaborative work from others and want to assign a comment to a specific person.  For instance, I am looking at a WASC document and I want to tag Ben Gunter in a comment.  Just type the + and then a list of contacts appears.  Choose the contact! And notice that you have a checkbox titled “Assign to <name>”.  Checking that box will assign that task to their Tasks list in Google.  Otherwise the person will just receive a notification that they have been tagged in a comment.
Inline image 4

Enjoy and happy Friday!

TGIF – Gyazo

I have started sending out weekly emails to my staff at Healdsburg High School concerning technology tools that I hear about.  Below is my first email.
First, TGIF is a play on Thank Goodness It’s Friday.  I am going to say that TGIF in this context means Technology Goodies In Focus.  I am trying to be witty.  Work with me here.

I would like to send out a weekly email to share some tech goodies I find on the internet.  And these emails will also live on our HHS Staff PSL page as a subpage of our Technology Resources page

Inline image 16
TGIF 10/20/2017 Gyazo
I saw this tool on the internet recently.  It allows you to create and share GIFs easily.  It is called Gyazo.  I used it to create this single GIF below and I was able to share it to you in less than a minute.  And while this tool also allows you to get screenshots easily, I don’t think it is any better than the snipping tool as far as screenshots go.

How to open the snipping tool:

a.  Type the Windows key (Inline image 14)

b.  Type “snip”.  See the highlighted Snipping Tool.
Inline image 15

Gyazo is really nice for GIFs.  See below.

Inline image 2
Let me show you how I did this (and I might use the tool to show you).
1)  I downloaded and installed the tool.
Inline image 3
2)  Notice the tool lives in your toolbar.  And when you right-mouse click on the icon you get options (like Capture GIF).
Inline image 13
3)  Notice a new page is opened with your browser.  Now you might want to think of sharing it.
Inline image 5
4)  Click Share.  I want to download and share the GIF.  A new window opens with the GIF playing.  I will right mouse click on the GIF and select Save Image As…
Inline image 6
5)  A File Save Dialog pops up.  Give it a file name and location and you are all set!
Inline image 7
6)  Now sharing this GIF in an email is as easy as dragging and dropping that GIF into the email.
Inline image 10
7)  By the way, I did copy and paste this email (along with GIFs) into a PSL Text Content block.  No problems!
Inline image 12