Do you use (or want to use) Dropbox, Google Drive, or OneDrive? Do you want to know what you can do with them and how to pick the right one for you? Then this workshop is for you!
It will cover:
3. Everyday use
5. How to get the most of each service
6. How to choose the best service for you
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.
I am a big fan of Google tools. There are Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, Sites and a lot more. I became a Google Certified Educator because I use those tools extensively and wanted to learn to maximize the productivity. It can be intimidating to learn all of them at once.
Google released a Chrome extension called G Suite Training that offers useful tips while you actually use the tools.
Once you install the extension, you will see a new training menu in your Google Apps. You can tell by looking at the question mark with a Google-colored circle around it. Hit the links below to start learning G Suite!
G Suite Training | Chrome Web Store via G Suite Training
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.
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:
- Low price ($12 per year), which includes the private registration for the WHOIS database.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
I mentioned Google Keep a while back, and since then Google had a few new features. With Keep’s Chrome extension, you can easily save and add notes to links. It also adds link previews, duplicate check and autocomplete when adding food items. The web site also got a refresh that aligns with Google’s Material Design guidelines.
The autocomplete feature works with food related entries. This obviously helps with grocery shopping but I am hoping Google will add more categories. Duplicate check looks to see if an item you are trying to add had already been marked off as complete.
When you add a link to a note, you will see a small preview popup underneath that shows you the page title, domain and a picture.
I find Google Keep is quick and easy to manage. It now complements my Evernote notebooks.
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.
Google Drive recently added selective sync to its desktop clients. I am focusing more on GDrive than on Dropbox lately, but one feature missing was the ability to selectively sync the data. It was sync all or nothing. It is a problem if I have lots of data and I want to sync data with my smartphone, whose storage space is at a premium.
Starting version 1.29, we can now choose to selectively sync. To get to this option, open the client and go Preferences.
The default setting is to sync everything, so you will need to enable the selective sync option if you wish to use it. From there, you can check the folders you want synchronized.
For more information, read the Help article here.