I’ve been using shortcuts in Google Documents for years to save time editing student papers. However, I do a lot of work online outside of the Google environment. Thanks to Marisa Thompson, who posted a blog about saving time with ProKeys, I now have a Chrome Extension that makes it possible to create keyboard shortcuts to save time in other online environments beyond Google.

If you are using a learning management system, like Schoology, with your students or you spend a ton of time responding to emails, ProKeys is worth checking out. Teachers can create snippets, which are letter/number combinations, that when typed in combination with a “hotkey” (e.g., shift+spacebar) it will automatically paste a larger piece of text that you’ve connected with that snippet.

For example, my students regularly engage in online discussions. They know they are supposed to use each other’s names when posting replies. When they fail to use their classmate’s name, I leave a comment reminding them of this expectation for online engagement. With Prokeys I create a snippet with the code “cn,” then when I type that letter combination and hit the hotkey, the comment “Always begin with the student’s name when you are responding to his/her ideas. Thank you!” will pop up.

In addition to creating banks of comments to use with students online, teachers can create email templates to avoid retyping the same email to multiple people.

To see this in action, check out my quick video tutorial!

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