Tech of the Week

Chrome-based Replacements for Publisher

posted Sep 7, 2015, 8:30 PM by THS Webmaster   [ updated Sep 7, 2015, 8:31 PM ]

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Recently, there has been a rash of students needing to use Publisher to complete a brochure assignment. Since we only have a few computers that can still run Microsoft Office, and even fewer that actually have Publisher installed, the need for a replacement became quickly apparent.

So, I found two FREE options that I thought I'd share with you. The first we already all have access to, and the other is just a few clicks away. Both options give you web-based storage, the ability to collaborate with group members or friends, and both work very well on virtually ANY device, especially Chromebooks.

1. Google Slides

Did you know that you can change the size and shape of a Google Slide presentation to 8.5x11 (the size of a normal piece of paper)? Then, you just use the already-included options to add pictures, text boxes, lines, drawings, and whatever else you might want to add. Add a video and make your brochure interactive!

Here's how to change the shape:

  • Open a new blank presentation.
  • Click "File" then "Page Setup".
  • Then click "Custom" and make it 8.5 x 11.

2. LucidPress

This Chrome add-on is free and works through your browser as a web-based app. Using Chrome, simply go to THIS LINK, add the program to your browser and let the creativity flow. They even give you free brochure templates! 

This is what the developers have to say:

A web-based tool that helps you intuitively produce stunning print and digital newsletters, flyers, brochures, photo books and more.
Lucidpress enables anyone to create stunning content for print, mobile or web. 

PERFECT FOR PRINT: We've eliminated the frustration of traditional layout tools -- easily create flyers, brochures, newsletters, magazines, and photobooks. 

DYNAMIC FOR DIGITAL: Quickly create digital documents for viewing on a computer, tablet, or smartphone. Free yourself from the bounds of the printed page with scrolling areas, and enchant your audience with videos, galleries, and interactivity. 

- Newsletters 
- Brochures 
- Flyers 
- Reports 
- Posters 
- Presentations 

- Drag and drop text, images, image galleries, and video 
- Access content from Google Drive, Youtube, Dropbox, Flickr and Facebook 
- Publish digitally via a customized link 
- Print a PDF or export as PNG / JPG 
- Dedicated support team to address your questions 

- Real time collaboration 
- Unlimited number of simultaneous collaborators 
- Document presence and group chat 
- Object-specific commenting 

Scanners Have Become Obsolete Thanks to Google Drive

posted Sep 2, 2015, 9:03 AM by THS Webmaster   [ updated Sep 2, 2015, 9:05 AM ]

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You can now upload a pdf document or an image of text to Google Drive and thanks to Google's OCR (optical character recognition) technology it can convert those images into EDITABLE and SEARCHABLE Google Docs. As we move our way toward 1:1 and completely online texts, this technology is going to become absolutely necessary. The ability to change an image of text into editable text is new, and it was really only in the newest versions of Adobe Acrobat. Basically this means you can take a picture of some text and do whatever you want with it. Very exciting stuff!

Someone I know (ahem) used to scan pages from his text book and turn them into editable pdfs for students to use online to find information without spending time skimming through the text. But he couldn't continue because his trial period ran out and he didn't want to purchase an expensive piece of software for one job. This is another way to do that without having to spend money. Remember, everything is free with Google!

Check out this video that shows you how it works. They scan in a typed thesis and a (not-so-nicely) handwritten note and compare the results. Again, Google continues to amaze.

Canva - Online Graphic Design

posted Aug 19, 2015, 8:22 AM by THS Webmaster   [ updated Aug 19, 2015, 8:34 AM ]

This week, I'm showing you a great tool for designing signs, brochures, images, etc. It's free (except to use some copyrighted images) and very easy to use. CANVA

Here's a link to information about the site:


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