Monday, April 17, 2017

Three Reasons Why I Love Office 365

I use G-Suite for almost everything I do. Docs, Slides, Sheets are my mainstays.
However, there are two heroes among the Microsoft Office 365 online offerings. OneNote and Sway, and one hero in the iOS and Android apps world, Office Lens. These products work on a variety of devices: iPad, Chromebook, PC, Mac, Android etc. And they are FREE!

To access OneNote and Sway:
Enter your D50 email and password
Access the Office 365 apps via the icon in the upper left corner of your screen.


I use Google Keep for most of my quick notes, but for keeping and organizing everything from meeting notes to user manuals, I use OneNote. I have used this product since the dark ages when cloud storage was just a dream. Check it out. You might find your next best friend - OneNote!

Office Lens

Office Lens is a great OCR app that turns images into editable text.
Available for iOS and Android devices. Go to the Apple Apps Store or Google Play to install to your device.
I use this app for many things, but I really like the Business Card setting. I haven't had a Rolodex in years. I want contact information at my fingertips on the go!


Want to step up your presentation game? Create interactive reports, presentations, personal stories, and more in this great app. Sway is free, dynamic and easy to use.

Thanks to Teachers.Tech for the video tutorials.
To subscribe to Teacher's Tech videos click the link below: 

Monday, April 10, 2017

How to Use Google Keep with Docs

We've already talked about Google Keep. My original post about Google Keep can be found here:

You already know that you can add notes, lists, photos, and audio to Google Keep. Google Keep notes are sync across all your devices, and you can access and share notes from anywhere. But there is something new with Google Keep that makes it even better as a useful tool! Now Google Keep has integrated with Google docs, so, you can create, view, and add your Google Keep notes within Google Docs.

 Insert Google Keep notes in Docs

  • To add Google Keep notes to your Google Docs, locate the tools menu in Docs. Next, select 'Keep Notepad' option to display the list of your Google Keep notes.

  • Google Keep will appear on the right side of the screen. All the notes and lists will be listed from the Google Keep.

  • In the right side panel of the note you want to insert, click the 3-dots menu icon. Click  Add to document.

    • Note: You can select and drag the note to document.

Save to Keep from Docs

  • Select text or image in your document and right-click on it. Click Save to Keep notepad.

  • Selected text or image will be added to Google Keep, and it will appear as a new note in the Google Keep panel.

I hope you enjoy this incredibly handy new feature!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Columns and Change Case in Google Docs

Today we are going to look at two new features in Google Docs.


This feature is really not so new as it was launched in the fall. In case you missed it,
Google Docs now has the ability to format the page into 1, 2 or 3 columns. This is great when it comes to using different styles of writing for various publications, such as newspapers, newsletters, and leaflets, etc.

Using the Columns Feature in Docs:

  • Select the Format option from the menu bar
  • Select the Columns feature
  • You can select a one (the default), two or three column layout
  • There is a "More options" feature which enables more control over spacing and lines between the columns.

Note: To enter the next column you need to use the Column break feature from the Insert menu.

Change Case (Capitalization)

There is a Google add-on that will allow you to change case, but as of March 28th, Google added this feature to Google Docs, so there is no longer any need to use the add-on.

Using the Capitalization feature in Docs and Slides:
  • Select the Format option from the menu bar
  • Select the Capitalization feature
  • You can select from the following:
    • lowercase, to make all the letters in your selection lowercase.
    • UPPERCASE, to capitalize all the letters in your selection.
    • Title Case, to capitalize the first letter of each word in your selection.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Office Products for Staff and Students

Happy Spring Break 2017!

I posted this last year at Spring Break, but I thought it would be a good time for a reminder!
Did you know that as a part of the District 50 Office 365 subscription you and your students can install full versions of familiar Office applications such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint to a home device? Our subscription plan allows you to install Office on up to 5 PCs or Macs and on other mobile devices, including Android, iPad, and Windows tablets.
Today we are going to walk through the process.
Note: My screenshots may look a bit different from your Office 365 as I’m using the “Cats” theme :)

Step 1: Log in

D50 Office 365 account.
Use your D50 email and password
In the upper left corner of the window, click on Office 365

Step 2: Install Office

This will bring up a wizard. Follow the steps as displayed.

When the install is complete, you will see this window:

Step 3: Log in to your Office Products

You only need to log into one product to receive maximum benefits from Office Onedrive - Access to files anywhere with an internet connection and 1TB cloud storage!

Always remember when logging into Microsoft products use your Work or School account!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Walking and Texting

Happy Monday!
Spring is in the air!
Just in case you needed a little reminder of why walking and texting don't mix:

Stay aware, and stay safe, my friends. 

Monday, March 13, 2017

Rotate Text in Google Sheets

It's been a long time coming!
Have you been frustrated by the fact that you could not rotate text in Google Sheets? I know I have... but Google has been busy making a lot of updates to their products that we've all been waiting for! Rotating text in Google Sheets is one of them.

Let's get started!

You will find the options to rotate text in the format menu.
You can also adjust text rotation by using the icon in the toolbar. Click on the range of cells you want to rotate, and choose the text rotate icon in the toolbar.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Google Extensions - Mercury Reader

Do you find the clutter on web pages an annoying distraction? Mercury Reader strips away all the fancy formatting and ads on web pages, rendering articles and stories in a plain, flat and readable manner.

Here is an example of a news article without Mercury Reader:

News article with Mercury Reader:


You can adjust typography and size settings, or choose the dark theme for more comfortable reading at clicking the gear icon in the upper-right corner of the webpage once it’s in the reading mode. 

There is a quick keyboard shortcut (Cmd + Esc for Mac users, Alt + ` for Windows users) to switch to the Reader on any article page.

Mercury Reader is a great tool for printing optimization of web articles. Once you are in the reading mode, simply right-click and choose print.

You can share articles through Facebook, Twitter, and Email.

Click the icon to toggle in and out of Mercury’s reading mode.