Useful Articles of the Week

I found a few articles from this week that I feel are relevant and useful.

10 Step Security Guide to Keeping your Computer Virus Free from Groovy Post. #5, I use WinPatrol and Malwarebytes (paid but free is good enough) instead. Oh and in #7, pay attention to what your mother-in-law does.

Back to School Tips for Students Using Microsoft OneNote also from Groovy Post.

iOS 10

Top 10 Secret Features in iOS 10 and How to Fix iOS 10’s Biggest Annoyances from Lifehacker.

How to Make a Meme with SnagIt from Techsmith. Camtasia 9 is coming out next week!




Computer Buying Guide

Windows 10 is getting an update this summer and there is macOS Sierra coming in the fall. However, buying a new computer can make your head spin – the choices include desktops, laptops, tablets, convertibles, all-in-ones, oh my! How do you know what computer to get? This workshop will present a computer buying guide to help you choose the right one and buy it without breaking the bank.

How to Get Started with Google Voice

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.

How To Create Your Knockout Online Portfolio

According to a recent Forbes article, 56 percent of all hiring managers are more impressed by a candidate’s online portfolio than any other personal branding tool. However, only 7 percent of job seekers have created an online portfolio.

This workshop and presentation will show you 3 steps to creating a knockout online portfolio:

1) Make your LinkedIn Profile 100% complete
2) Add content to SlideShare
3) Start a blog

And more!

Excel: use FORMULATEXT() to add notes to formulas



If you use Excel in your teaching, it is sometimes useful to spell out the formulas used in a cell. I found a neat way to show how you can accomplish it. The trick is use the FORMULATEXT() function. Here is how to do it.

  1. Go to cell E67.
  2. Go to the ribbon and click on FORMULAS. Then Function Library › Lookup & Reference. In the Reference field of the Function Dialog, point to cell B67 then click OK.
  3. In cell E67, the actual formula is displayed.

Bonus tip: Use the N function to add additional notes. You can do so by just adding +N plus the comment following the formula in the original cell (B67). So in B67, it looks like:

=T.DIST.RT(B65,B61)+N(“RT stands for ‘right tail”)

Then in E67, the actual formula and your comment are displayed. Use the N function to insert your comments at the end of the formulas.


Google Domains


Google recently emailed me with its new service called Google Domains. After reading through the feature set, I decided to transfer one my domains for a trial. So far, I liked it. My reasons:

  1. Low price ($12 per year), which includes the private registration for the WHOIS database.
  2. I use email forwarding, and I have had issues with other registrars’ email forwarding services. Despite tech support reps doing their best, I still had issues with emails not arriving (to my Gmail account). This is my primary reason for looking for another registrar.
  3. Speaking of Gmail, it makes sense for me to try Google’s domain services as they integrate with both Gmail and Google Sites, which I use. I am hoping that email forwarding issues will be gone for good.
  4. I also like the management tools provided with Google Domains. They are easy to navigate and understand.

If you use Google tools and are looking for a domain registrar, I now recommend it as my first choice.

Grammarly for Chrome


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: