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Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Want a personal DJ on your iPhone?

If you want your own personal DJ, try asking Siri, "Play something I like."

Siri learns your taste in music and plays something similar.

I tried this at least 20 times and each time it started with a band or singer that I listen to.

There are two screenshots of my phone below.




Rock on!
Brad

Monday, July 30, 2018

In need of "text" to fill a Google Doc or other document? Try blindtextgenerator.com

If you are in need of "fill" text in a Google Doc or other documents, try using blindtextgenerator. The site generates "fill" or "dummy" text in the following options:

  • Lorem ipsum 
  • Cicero 
  • Cicero (en) 
  • Li Europan lingues 
  • Li Europan lingues (en) 
  • Far far away 
  • Werther 
  • Kafka 
  • Pangram 
  • a-z A-Z 123 
You can also set the number of words, characters, as well as paragraphs. There are also advanced options that allow you to choose a different font family, font style. weight, etc.

Embedded below is a GIF followed by a 1 minute and 11 second YouTube tutorial.



Take care,
Brad

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Presenter View in Google Slides plus how to see all your notes while presenting

If you would like to present a Google Slides presentation and want your notes available to you while presenting try the following:

  • Select Present (in Google Slides)
  • Presenter View
  • You will then want to extend your display so the presentation will be seen on the other display - but not on your computer
  • On your computer, you will see the notes available to you and can forward the presentation as you go along
  • You can also use Audience Q&A for your audience to be able to ask questions (unique web address specific to your presentation)
    • You can toggle this option off
Embedded below is a GIF followed by a 2 minute and 10 second YouTube tutorial.



Take care,
Brad

Saturday, July 28, 2018

What Feedly looks like as an app

Yesterday I blogged about using Feedly on a browser. Today I am sharing what the app looks like. It is a simple app to use. One item to point out (in the video) is to check out the settings gear and adjust how the articles are viewed.

Embedded below is a 1 minute and 42 second YouTube tutorial.


Take care,
Brad

Friday, July 27, 2018

Feedly - a site to follow what interests you

If you would follow a number of sites and would like to have access to their recent content in one website, try using Feedly.

In Feedly, you can follow the sites that matter to you and have the ability to bookmark links to read later.

Feedly is very user-friendly and simple to use.

Just select add content, type in the site and create or add to a topic.

Embedded below is a GIF followed by a 2 minute and 28 second YouTube tutorial.



Take care,
Brad

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Google Docs will have an improved Grammar Checker

Google Docs has had a grammar checker; however, it needed an upgrade. 

On the 24th of July, Google announced that a new grammar suggestions tool is going to be added to Google Docs. The new grammar suggestions tool will automatically underline possible grammar mistakes and will alert the user with a notification in the top right corner of their screen of what is viewed as improperly written with a correction included. The user has the option to accept the correction or ignore it. If the correction is accepted, the fix will automatically be applied. Google Docs will also alert the user when the "document looks good" after all grammar mistakes are ignored or corrected. Click here for the post on Google's Blog.

The new grammar suggestions tool in Google Docs will initially be available only to those who apply for the Early Adopter Program.

If you would like to have your grammar checked on your messages, documents, and social media posts are clear and mistake free, check out my post on the Grammarly extension by clicking here.

Embedded below is a GIF created by Google on their blog of what the checker will look like.


Take care,
Brad

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Want to visually represent data in a Google Sheet? Try a sparkline

If you would like to visually represent data in a spreadsheet - try using a sparkline. In the example below (GIF and 1 minute and 5-second video), you will see 2 sparklines representing homers hit between 1901-2017 and 2000-2017.



Take care,
Brad

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

How to have an RSS feed load in Google Sheets

If you would like to have an RSS feed in a Google Sheet, try the following:

  • Open a Google Sheet
  • In A1 paste in the URL feed of the RSS feed
  • in A2  put this formula in
  • =importfeed(A1,"Items Title",False,10)
This would put in the last 10 stories from the Feed. If you wanted to have more stories populate, change the 10 to a higher number.

To have direct links to the stories, do the following:
  • In the same sheet type the following in B2
  • =Importfeed(A1,"items url",False,10)
This is a great way to quickly see the latest feeds quickly and easily.

Embedded below is a GIF followed by a 1 minute and 43 second YouTube tutorial.



Take care,
Brad

Monday, July 23, 2018

How to make sure 360 videos show in Google Cardboard (Example Old Faithful)

Yesterday's post dealt with how to find 360-degree videos on YouTube and how to create a playlist and share with others.

Today's post is very simple - how to make sure 360 videos show in Google Cardboard.

Once you find your 360° video make sure to look in the bottom of your device and look for the image that looks like, well, Google Cardboard (see image below).


Embedded below is a 1 minute and 20 second YouTube tutorial.


Take care,
Brad

Sunday, July 22, 2018

How to find 360 degree videos on YouTube. Plus how to create a playlist and share with others.

If you would like to quickly find 360° videos on YouTube, follow these instructions:

  • search for term (example Ocean)
  • on the right side select the filter (three lines)
  • under features select 360°
  • you will then have your videos
If you would like to create a playlist to share:
  • select the three lines with a plus (under the video - 2nd from right)
  • create a new playlist (choose privacy) and create
To share the playlist:
  • select the three lines (upper left)
  • scroll down to library
  • select playlist
  • select edit
  • you will then see options for sharing 
Embedded below is a GIF followed by a 2 minute and 6 second YouTube tutorial.



Take care,
Brad

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Wikispaces - How to export your data

With Wikispaces shutting down the end of July 2018, you want to be sure you have exported your data.

In order o export your data select the settings gear - exports/backups - choose content (I chose HTML) and file type (ZIP) -  export

You will receive an email when the export is ready to go. When I downloaded the file and opened the ZIP file, it is important to know that there are now style customizations (so it will look different).

Wikispaces created a nice set of directions to follow (in their support center) - http://helpcenter.wikispaces.com/customer/en/portal/articles/2920537-classroom-and-free-wikis

Embedded below is a 1 minute and 17 second YouTube tutorial I created.


Take care,
Brad

Friday, July 20, 2018

LIVE Photos on iPhone (Bounce and Loop)

Live Photos brings your photos to life by creating a moving image. When taking pictures on an iPhone Live Photos is on by default, to take it off select the yellow concentric circles at the top middle on your screen.

When you see your photo (see the Live watermark on top left of photo), make sure you touch the photo until there is a black background. When you see the black background take your finger and swipe up, you will then see the options for Loop and Bounce.

Embedded below is a 1 minute and 5 second YouTube video.

Take care,
Brad

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Want to see text in a song, story, poem, etc. put into emojis?

Tony Vincent shared a tweet regarding entering text into Emojitranslate  The site will replace some words with emojis (pictures) and allow you to copy and paste where you would like to.

This would be a great idea for the beginning of the year get to know you activities, writing poems/stories and see what they look like with emojis, as well as paste song lyrics and see how they look with emojis in them.

Below is an example of what the above blog post looks like using emojitranslate.

Tony Vincent shared a tweet regarding ➡️🚪 text into Emojitranslate The site will replace some words with emojis (🖼️) ➕ allow ➡️👤 to copy ➕ paste where ➡️👤 would like to. This would be a great 💡 for the 🆕 of the year get 💡 ➡️👤 activities, ✍️ poems/stories ➕ 👀 what they 👀 like with emojis, as well as paste song lyrics ➕ 👀 how they 👀 with emojis in ➡️👥. Embedded below is a GIF followed by a 4️⃣7️⃣ 🥈 YouTube tutorial.



Take care, 😀
Brad

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

A look into Google Classroom Beta updates

Google Classroom has made available a few updates prior to the start of the 2018 school year. If you would like to see these updates please click on the link below.

A few items to point out:
  1.  Classroom now has a section called "classwork" that will now appear at the top of your Google Classroom page. The Classwork section is where you'll place assignments and reference resources for your students. Teachers can organize materials according to a unit of study or topic. This is a great feature for organization!
  2. ** Not available yet** I am pretty excited about this one! The second update is the option to create and post Google Forms quizzes directly within Google Classroom. When you select "Create" in the new Classwork section you'll now see an option to make a quiz.  Teachers will be able to lock them into the quiz until they submit their final responses (if using school managed Chromebooks). 
  3. Settings for editing the class description, class code, and controls over student postings will be found in one menu (select the gear).
  4. The classwork section is streamlined and easier for students to see and post on postings.
  5. There are also new themes available as well.
Embedded below is a 2 minute 17 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,
Brad

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Want a keyboard that is like a personal editor? Try Grammarly! The keyboard will check grammar, spelling, and punctuation on your phone.

If you would like to have grammar, spelling, and punctuation checked before hitting send, try the Grammarly keyboard app.

If you use the Grammarly extension in Chrome you will notice how similar it is. The keyboard is a nice little personal editor checking your posts, messages, etc.

Embedded below is a 2 minute and 30 second YouTube tutorial.


Take care,
Brad

Monday, July 16, 2018

Settings in Gboard including how to change the theme

If you use Gboard as a keyboard on your iPhone you can easily go into settings and add different languages, keyboard settings, search settings, as well as choose your own Theme for the background of your keyboard.

  • select the globe in messages
  • choose settings gear
  • you will then see all the options in Gboard
    • This is also available if you go directly into the app on your phone
  • The biggest one I think is the ability to choose a theme or add your own personal picture
Embedded below is a 1 minute and 33 second YouTube tutorial. Click here for a post I created about Gboard (July 15, 2018).


Take care,
Brad

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Want to easily send GIFs, photos, and search Google all in a keyboard within messages on your iPhone? Try the Gboard app.

The ability to easily send GIFs, photos, and search Google all on a keyboard within messages on your iPhone is a great feature.  The Gboard app for your iPhone is very easy to set up and use.


  • Simply add the app.
  • Open the app on your phone
  • Enable full access
  • Select Keyboards
  • Allow full access
  • Open messages
  • Select the Globe (bottom of messages)
  • Select Gboard
  • Now search and send info, maps, GIFs, and more

Embedded below is a 2 minute and 3 second YouTube tutorial I created.


As always, any questions let me know!
Brad



Saturday, July 14, 2018

How to remove unused apps but keep all docs and data on an iPhone.

If you have an iPhone you can easily Offload those unused apps, but keep all documents and data. When you reinstall the app (if still available in the app store), all data will be restored.

The process is a fairly easy one:

  • Select settings
  • iTunes & App Store
  • Scroll down to the bottom and select Offload Unused Apps
Embedded below is a 26 second YouTube tutorial.


Take care,
Brad

Friday, July 13, 2018

Ready to publish your Google Site? Here are a few tips to make sure your site can be viewed.

When you have created your Google Site and are ready to publish it, remember these few steps:

  • Select Publish
  • Name your site
  • Depending on your audience, take a look at Who Can View My Site and make any necessary adjustments
  • Select Publish
  • Select View
  • Copy your site's web address (URL)
  • Open an incognito window (Ctrl + Shift + n) and paste your link 
    • This will show you what your site looks like for all others viewing your site
    • This is especially important if you have embedded any documents to make sure they work
Embedded below is a GIF followed by a 1 minute and 20 second YouTube tutorial I created.



Take care,
Brad

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Want to magnify the fine print with your iPhone?

If you or someone you know would like to enlarge the fine print on a menu or any piece of paper, try using the magnifier option on your iPhone.

To enable this feature:

  • Settings
  • General
  • Accessibility
  • Magnifier
  • Toggle on
When you would like to use the magnifier, triple click on the Home Button 3 times.

Embedded below is a GIF followed by a 55 second YouTube tutorial.



Take care,
Brad

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

How to change the notifications in Checker Plus for Gmail (so only see notification of new email)

If you really like the Checker Plus for Gmail Extension (it is a huge time saver); however, you want to adjust the information seen in the notifications it is quite simple.

  • Select the extension and then the options menu (three dots)
  • Select the options gear
    • This will open up all options and can adjust a number of settings
  • Scroll down to display and adjust from sender, subject, message to what you would like (new email)
Embedded below is a 1 minute and 26 second YouTube tutorial. To see my post about Checker Plus click here.



Take care,
Brad

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Want distraction free reading? Try the Mercury Reader Extension.

If you would like to have distraction-free reading (maybe you use Readability in the oast) - try the extension Mercury Reader.

With this extension, you can also easily send the article to your Kindle.

Embedded below is a 41 second YouTube tutorial.



Take care,
Brad

Monday, July 9, 2018

Enable text with 3D Touch (iOS)

If you want to easily go back into the body of your text and edit or delete some text, simply press firmly on your keypad and then you can move your finger around the body of your text.

To see how this is accomplished, take a look at the 24 second YouTube video below.


Take care,
Brad

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Use a Google Sheet to easily create QR codes for specific websites

If you would like a Google Sheet to easily create QR codes for specific websites, try using Tammy Worcester's QR Code Auto Generator (this link will show you a template of what the site looks).

Embedded below is a GIF followed by a second YouTube tutorial.





Take care,
Brad

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Want to split data into columns in a Google Sheet? Try Data - Split text to columns

Ever receive a set of data in a Google Sheet and it is all in one column?

In order to separate the data into 2 columns try selecting the column > Data > Split Text to Columns and choose your separator (I chose space)

Embedded below is a GIF followed by a 36 second YouTube tutorial.



Take care,
Brad

Friday, July 6, 2018

Have a list of data that is not using proper capitalization? Use the proper function.

If you have ever received a bunch of data (names) that has not been properly capitalized it can be very frustrating.

A simple selection is to place the data in an Excel spreadsheet or Google Sheet and use the proper function.

To see how to use the proper function take a look at the embedded 51 second YouTube tutorial below.



Take care,
Brad

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Want to create engaging social images in seconds? Try Pablo

Pablo is a great site and extension that allows you to add engaging images in just seconds and share easily with social media.

Pablo allows you to search through over 600,000 images as well as upload your own. You can edit your text as well as search through numerous inspirational quotes.

Embedded below is a 2 minute and 22 second YouTube tutorial.


Take care,
Brad

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

How to embed Remind directly in your Google Site

If you use Remind to post your communications with families, a nice feature is that you could also embed all those communications directly in a new Google Site. This is great for a number of reasons:
  1. Anyone accessing your site could easily find the homework/posts
    1. Great for grandparents, aunts, uncles, babysitters, etc. who are not a member of Remind but may need to access this information
  2. If you work in a district where you have to post your homework in your site, this is great because it will automatically update without you having to go into your Google Site.
A few quick pointers:
  • Access the embed Widget by selecting your name in the upper left of the Remind website
    • Select Account > Widgets > Choose Class > Show Advanced Settings > Select Wix (where they have Google Sites is the old Google Sites) > Copy Widget Code
  • Go to your Google Site > Embed > Embed Code > Paste Code > Insert
  • Publish Site
  • Copy URL and test in Incognito Mode (Ctrl Shif n) 
    • This will show you what it looks like for anyone who accesses your site
Embedded below is a 2 minute and 12 second YouTube tutorial. In September of 2017, I also posted how to embed your homework as a Google Doc.


Take care,
Brad

Monday, July 2, 2018

Wakelet app - what it looks like and how to use it

Wakelet is an amazing site that allows you to share articles, videos, images, tweets, etc. with one link. If you would like an introduction to the site please click here for a very short blog post.

A great way to make the most out of this site is to use the Google Chrome Extension (click here for post) and the app on iOS and Google Play. The example you see below is the iOS app on an iPhone 6S.

The app allows you to save Tweets, images, videos, etc from your phone directly to Wakelet.

Embedded below is a 2 minute and 6 second YouTube tutorial.


Take care,
Brad

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Easily save websites using the Wakelet Extension in Google Chrome

Wakelet is an amazing site that allows you to create collections (Wakes).

Basically, Wakelet is a site to share articles, videos, images, tweets, etc. with one link. To make it even easier to use, try the Wakelet Google Chrome Extension.

When you are on a site that you would like to add to a Wake (collection), simply select the extension and then save to a collection or create a new one. That's it!

Embedded below is a GIF followed by a 1 minute and 5 second YouTube tutorial I created.




Take care,
Brad