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.
Last December, Google announced the addition of reminders to Google Calendar. At that time, the reminders were only available on mobile apps. This week, the reminders come to the web version of GCal.
According to the post on Gmail blog, here is what you get:
Reminders stick around – If a reminder isn’t completed, it will appear at the top of your calendar until you mark it done.
Reminders work across Google – Reminders you create in Inbox, Keep, and the Google app will also show in Google Calendar.
Reminders sync with mobile – Reminders created in mobile show up on the web and vice versa. So you can stay on track from just about anywhere.
I am especially intrigued by the integration of Keep. I gotta go check it out.
I stumbled across a list of best USB headsets compiled by Skype. Having a good headset is obviously crucial to successful online sessions, so I recommend you take the time to look through the list. MakeUseOf.com also has a list of inexpensive recommended headsets. See the links below!
What are the best USB headsets and webcams to use with Skype? | Skype.com
On a Budget? 5 Gaming Headsets You Can Get for Under $25 | Mashable.com
Instant messaging may be dying, but Skype is still going strong. I have used a number of IM clients over the years, but it seems the only one standing is Skype. It is still useful to reach people in a number of ways.
- Skype integrates with Microsoft’s Hotmail or Outlook.com email websites. Even if you don’t have the Skype client installed (for example, you are on a public computer), you can communicate with other Skype users.
- If you have a webcam or smartphone, you can make free video calls. This could be useful if you need to reach someone outside the country. Skype lets you get a group of friends together at the same on the video call. Caution: video call quality may vary.
- Speaking of smartphones, the Skype app is available on iOS and Google Play, so you can make calls on the go.
- The new feature that just rolled out is Skype Translator. According to Skype blog, “through voice-to-voice translation, all of our Skype for Windows customers can now speak in seven languages: Chinese Mandarin, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish.” Awesome! You will need to update your copy of Skype and enable Skype Translator in the app itself. The blog explains how to turn it on.
Check out Skype’s features here!
Now that I finally have a smartphone, I thought it was time for me to start using a to-do list app. I have never been able to organize any to-do lists effectively, but here was my chance to find one and stick with it. I looked at Wunderlist and Todoist as both have received great reviews.
The problem with me was that, although both are simple and powerful, I still had to learn their ways of things in order for me to use the app fully. I just didn’t have the inclination to learn something; all I wanted to do was be able to create the lists on the fly and have them available anywhere.
Then I heard about Simplenote. It’s available for the web, desktop and any mobile devices. All it is, a virtual notepad. It syncs with all devices and has a search feature. It’s free too! It is the kind of the to-do list manager I was looking for. I make a list, do the tasks, then delete the list. Simple as that.
It helps that the same people who developed WordPress are behind Simplenote.