Monday, June 18, 2018

Tools I Use: Mercury Reader

Apps/Extensions I use Everyday: Mercury Reader

One extension that I use everyday is the  Mercury Reader.

I love this extension because it makes reading articles on my Chromebook easier. It clears up the web page so I am not distracted by all of the advertisements and links that pages are often peppered with.

It also allows me to set the text size with out having to mess with my Chromebooks browser settings so I don't have to readjust the screen when ever I want to read an article.

What it does:

How to do it:

Once you install Mercury Reader extension you simply have to:

Find an article:

Select the Mercury Reader extension

The extension creates an easy to read and print version of the article. With options to adjust text size, typography, and theme.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Hovercam + Chromebook = Awesome

Scanning With Your Chromebook

Scanning images, evidence, student work, etc.

    As I visit different schools around the district I always see teachers trying to get non digital items, into their Google drive. I want to share something I recently discovered that might make that so much easier. If you or some one in your school has a Hovercam (Document camera) than you can hook it directly to your chrome book without needing to install any software. 

You will need to use a chrome camera app, which there are plenty to choose from. I will recommend Hovercam for Chrome which is available in the Chrome Web store. It has video and photo features, as well as some annotation tools. 

Hovercam for Chrome User Interface.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Google Alerts -Have Searches Come to You.

Google Alerts:

Set google to search for you and email you results

Searching is something you probably do everyday.  Google has a feature that can help you with topics you search repeatedly.

  Google Alerts will do an on going search for you and email you links an summaries of the most updated results.

Here are the steps to setup an alert:

Go to the alerts page, Google Alerts type your topic into the search box.

 Choose the filters to narrow the search to meet your needs.

Once you have created your alert you can choose how you want often you want it to be delivered.

First click the gear:

Then check the Digest box for the options drop down menu:

I usually choose at most weekly, I prefer to get the searches in batches to limit the amount of email I receive.

Hope you find this useful.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Chromebooks Love It When They Get Their Updates

How To Keep Your Chromebook Up To Date.

As I work with people on the new Chromebooks I noticed that a lot of people do not ever completely shut down their Chromebooks. 

They tell me they do this so that they don't have to type their username and password every day. 

While I can see how this is slightly more convenient the problem is:
Chromebooks do all of their system updating during the initial startup. 

So if you are not shut do completely ever your Chromebook never gets updated.

Chromebooks try to communicate to their human caregivers that updates are available by showing the symbol shown below. This arrow symbol is located in the bottom, right-hand corner near the clock.

Your Chromebook will love you for taking the time to give it a little TLC.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Split Your Screen On a Chromebook

Use the ALT + [ or ], to dock windows to the side of the screen so you can have two visible at one time.

This is useful for when you are writing a document and you want to quote something from an article. I also find it helpful when making online assessment items based on assessments that were made in docs or word.

Give it a try and let me know what other situations you find it useful for.

Thank you,

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Breaking News: Google Docs Have Column Option!

For years I have been asked, "Why can't I make columns in Google Docs the same way I can in Word?"

I did not have an answer, until now. I was editing a document and I noticed Google has added columns to the format menu. I am not sure when this was added. but 

I made this diagram of a Google Doc showing the path to adding columns to your page.

Thank you for reading.
Steven Lucey

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Oh No! Where Did My Spellcheck Go?

 "I am working in Google Docs and spellcheck is no longer working. I spell things wrong on purpose but when I run the spell checker it says, 'no suggestions.' What is wrong?"

Google's spell check seems to adapt based on your spellings. If you misspell several words when you start typing it decides you don't care about spelling, shifts to a less aggressive spell correcting protocol so that it won't hurt your feelings. 

The program also seems to believe you would never paste a large chunk of text into your document that was full of errors.

So, if you paste or duplicate a document it trusts you are happy with the spelling and turns off spell check.

If this happens here is the first thing you should check:

If spelling is not working then select English(United States) and prepare your ego for a hit. It should start pointing out your horrible spelling skills right away.

Thank you for reading.
Steven Lucey