You know you are supposed to use a password manager. In my workshops, attendees often ask me how I manage my passwords, and my answer is to use LastPass. At first glance, it seems like password managers are a pain to set up. Good news: getting started with a password manager is easier than you think.
In this workshop, I will cover the basics of LastPass and what makes it my favorite.
Log in to LastPass
Save a Site
Create a Form Fill
Generate a Password
Share a Password
Secure Your LastPass Account
How to Use LastPass on Your Smartphone
Start off the new year by getting your job search organized! This workshop will show you how to create a job application journal in Google Docs, keep track of your interview appointments in Google Calendar, spice up your online presence, and create a more modern resume in Microsoft Word.
The more I use Windows 10, the more I am convinced that is the best version of Windows. It is still irksome, but I can work around the issues. One feature I am beginning to enjoy more is its Cortana virtual assistant feature. You can let her search your files and the web, do some calculations or look up your local weather forecast. It seems Microsoft is intent on adding more features as Windows 10 evolves.
Cortana is now integrated with my (second) favorite task list management application called Wunderlist. Wunderlist was a stand-alone application, but Microsoft bought its makers and now Wunderlist is listed as one of the available connected accounts in Windows 10.
I recommend you first create a Wunderlist account with your Hotmail/Outlook email account.
To begin, open Cortana and say or type in something like “Add wine to my Christmas shopping list.” This will prompt Cortana to create a list and show Wunderlist as an available app. Click on Connect to do more to link to Wunderlist.
Then authorize Cortana to access your Wunderlist account. After getting connected, Connect to do more will be replaced by Do more in Wunderlist.
I also recommend you download the Wunderlist desktop app (either the Windows 10 app or standalone app) from the Wunderlist website. Once everything is set up, you can go to this page to learn how to manage lists and tasks.
Note that this feature is relatively new, so it is only available on Windows 10, iOS, Android, and in English within the United States. Microsoft will surely expand the availability soon.
A tip just in time for Christmas and the new (school) year!
Google Drive got some useful improvements this week. It added spelling correction while typing in the search words and natural language processing (NLP).
NLP basically means you can search like you talk. You can say something like “open my project paper from last week” and Drive will search for the files that fit these criteria. Cool thing is that Drive will learn your queries, so search gets better over time.
It’s a big surprising that it took a while to get spelling check in the search. Drive will now autocorrect misspelled words and suggest corrections. You have seen this at work; Google search itself has this capability, and now you can use it within Drive.
I like Dropbox a lot, but Drive and, now with Windows 10, OneDrive are becoming my favorites.
Scenario: Your students don’t check their emails. Or, they are new to Blackboard Learn and have not figured out how to send course emails. They do check their phones and texts. Dilemma: You don’t want to share your personal phone number with the students, but do want a way to reach out. Solution: Google Voice. It lets you text from a different number but yet receive their replies to your phone.
Wolfram|Alpha is a useful tool in teaching mathematics or doing research. It can do math computations as well as answer factual questions like, “what is the population of Chicago?” The company introduced two add-ons for Google Drive to harness the power of W|A within Google Docs and Google Sheets. Here at the links to get them installed:
Wolfram|Alpha for Docs
Wolram|Alpha for Sheets
Once installed, in a Doc or a Sheet, go to the menu bar › Add-ons › Wolfram|Alpha for Docs or Sheets › Open Wolfram|Alpha Sidebar.
From here, you can use Wolfram|Alpha as you would do on the website. The neat thing is you can copy and paste the results from the sidebar into the document you are working on.
If you use both Google Drive and Wolfram|Alpha (and if you don’t, I recommend you do), these are two invaluable tools combined in one place.
If you are looking into improving your slide creations and presentation skills, Prezi offers regular webinars on these topics. I do not alway use Prezi, but the concepts mentioned in the webinars are applicable in presentations. I recommend you watch them to learn more about compelling storytelling.
Grammarly for Chrome is a free browser extension that enables grammar checking wherever your browse on the web. Whenever you compose a new comment in your LMS, tweet, email, blog post, or anything else online, this browser extension will check your text for spelling and grammatical errors. Anytime you are writing in a comment field, Grammarly flags potential mistakes (see the graphic above) and allows you to review them one by one (by hovering your mouse over the text) or all at once (by opening a pop-up window).
The extension is available via the Chrome Web Store. It is free to use, but the premium version adds the following features:
- 150 critical grammar and spelling checks
- 100+ additional advanced grammar and spelling checks
- Vocabulary enhancement suggestions
- Genre specific writing style checks (academic, technical, creative, and other styles of writing)
- Plagiarism checker that looks through more than 8 billion (!) web pages
I use Grammarly to spell check all my blog posts. 🙂
Grammarly for Chrome
UPDATE: Nick from Grammarly contacted me and suggested that I post a link to Grammarly reviews. Here it is: http://www.grammarly.com/reviews.
One issue with public speaking with a presentation is that it tends to lean towards speaking TO the audience rather than speaking WITH the audience. Google just introduced a nifty feature called Slides Q&A.
With Q&A, the presenters now can insert a link into the Slides presentation, and the participants can submit questions from the smartphones or laptops while they view the slides in real-time. Additionally, the audience can vote on which question they want the presenter to answer the most. This adds an element of interaction with the audience. I know of no other presentation software that does this.
Watch the video below to see the feature in action.
Google also introduced a new laser pointer option on the web.
For information on how to implement Q&A, here is the link to the help article.