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Showing posts from March, 2014

Cell Merging in Tables within Google Docs

Update: Merging Cells directly in Google Docs is now possible - feature update Dec 2014.

On of the most requested features in Google Docs is the ability to merge tables. This is not directly possible at the moment, but it is possible in Slides, Sheets and Drawings. As you can insert Drawings into documents, you can insert tables with merged cells. Not the direct method we might like, but it does introduce you to one of the many funky things you can do with drawings.

Quick video demo below.


ClearOS 6.5 Gateway Build with internal DHCP + Cache and Content Filter

I've been using ClearOS for a while now and thought it might be useful to demonstrate how to build a gateway (link between your LAN and the internet) with internal DHCP and Content Filtering.

There are many tweaks to the configuration shown below - feel free to get in touch if you want to ask any questions.

New Samsung Chromebooks

I was lucky enough to get to use the new Samsung Chromebooks today - well sort of. The larger device was locked in engineering mode - so I could not do much with it. However, had a good play with the smaller of the two.

The 11" Chromebook is dark grey and feels quite sturdy - quite a lot more solid than the silver Series 3's we have. Keyboard is nice to use and the track pad feels responsive. There are a couple of USB ports, HDMI out and a microSD card slot. Both machines have Samsung's oct-core chip - 4 low power cores and 4 high power cores.

The screen is better than the Series 3 and similar to the Acer C720. Its a lot faster than the Series 3's and similar in speed to the Acer C720. Scrolling in G+ was smooth and 3D buildings in Google Earth worked well. Some picts below:




The larger 13" Chromebook was a lighter grey, comes with 4Gb RAM (the other has 2) and a full 1080p screen. If feels noticeably heavier and feels quite a bit heavier. As is was in engineering…

Guide on how to make custom link apps for the Chrome Webstore

This is a guide on how to make simple Webstore Apps that link to a site. This is useful if you want to push out links to members of your Google Apps domain. They will appear in as an installed app or you can pin them to the shelf on Chromebooks.


Manifest file - replace the bits in italics with your own stuff.
{
"manifest_version": 2,
"name": "WPS IT User Guide",
"description": "WPS IT User Guide",
"version": "1.1",
"icons": {
"128": "itguide.png"
},
"app": {
"urls": [
"http://wpsit.wheatleypark.org/"
],
"launch": {
"web_url": "http://wpsit.wheatleypark.org/"
}
},
"permissions": [
"unlimitedStorage",
"notifications"
]
}

Guide on how to record what's on your screen for WPS users

If you want to record what's on your screen and have a video automatically added to your Google Drive, you can now. The app you need is already deployed to all users at Wheatley Park - so staff and students can now easily record their own video guides.

You need to use the Snagit App with you can find in your Chrome Apps - make sure you are signed in to Chrome. If you are on an PC and want a microphone, ITSupport can lend you one. Chromebooks have a mic built in.

Brief Guide below:

Just a little note - you do need to enable the screen capture flag in Chrome to use this. I already had this enabled as I also use Screencastify. Snagit will prompt you to enable this - you will need to restart your browser or Chromebook. Now I've noticed enabling this flag causes a notably lag from login to your desktop on Chromebooks. Not so bad on my Pixel but slow on an HP11 I've tested.  So something to watch....
In terms of quality, it works great on a PC and my Pixel, but on the HP11 the a…

Brief look at the new Add-ins for Google Documents

You can now add 'Add-ins' to Google Documents. These add a wide range of functionality - everything from musical notation, bibliographies to faxing.

Just click on add-ins in the menu and add away. Brief demo below:

Simple Homework Site built using Sites, Forms, a few Scripts and Teacher Dashboard

We have built a simple homework site which is being tested at the moment by some staff. I was tasked with creating some system that could present set homeworks in a searchable form to parents and students while integrating with email and calendars.

I've used the Awesome Table Google Site Plugin to present filterable data from a Google Sheet on a site that parents and students can access. On another page of the site there is a form that teachers can use to submit homework. This feeds data into the public part of the site.

The Formmule script is used in the Sheet to collate the responses and create class email addresses and pulls off calendar id's via a vlookup function. The script then creates a calendar entry on the class calendar and sends the class an email.

To make this work I had to add the user 'homework' as a class teacher to each group. Our groups and calendars are made using Hapara Teacher Dashboard. So I simply added the homework user to the classes spreadshee…