Thursday, January 21, 2016

Printing from Chrome OS just got easier

One of the main drawbacks of Chrome OS is the lack of a solid printing option. Even though I am running a paperless class now, I still have to print gradebooks, letters of rec, and other reports. So in able to do this I have to make sure my work printer is on and run Google Cloud Printing through it, basically turning it into a printer server. It works. Everytime it works. The problem lies within Windows. I turned on my laptop to print out something and I had to sit and wait about 20 minutes for it to load an update and restart...20 minutes wasted time.

So how has it improved? Today I found an app for Chrome OS called HP Print for Chrome. This makes printing fast and simple. All you need to do is locate the IP address for the printer and type it in. It doesn't have to be a cloud ready printer or anything like that. I use 2 HP printers, they are different models and this app works for both of them. If you don't have an HP printer, then you are out of luck until that printer manufacturer decides to make an app too. I think this is better than waiting on Google to move their Cloud Printing out of beta.

As of today, my Windows laptop is turning off and I don't see a reason why I will be turning it on for the rest of the year. And this really strengthens my case for our school to adapt a Chrome OS devices as our next computer.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Chrome OS to the rescue...again

Been awhile since I posted something, so I will share a quick story of how Chrome OS saved a teacher's day. A teacher came in and told me he had a problem. Turns out he left laptop at home and had no device for the day. On top of that, he had a PowerPoint Presentation planned for his classes that day. I told him I could loan him an extra Chromebook from my class set. Since attendance is web-based now, he could take roll.

As far as his PowerPoint, last year he moved his documents to Google Drive after his laptop crashed. I told him you could get to them anywhere so he did it. Since he had his PowerPoint on his drive, we hooked the Chromebook up to his projector and ran the presentation like normal. The slides in the PowerPoint were off centered, so we did a quick conversion to Google Slides and it looked perfect. After school, he came up to me and said everything worked perfectly and thanks for the help. But without him moving his documents to Google Drive none of this would have worked.

I have been trying for 2 years now to have our staff move to Google Drive and this is another example why. Heck, it's a great example to move away from old Windows based laptops to Chrome OS devices for the school.