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Kain Young

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Create with Chrome: 6 Ways to Encourage Student Creativity

By In the Classroom

Are your students creating with Chrome?

Guest Post: John Sowash

Consuming information is much easier than creating. That’s why watching TV is so much easier than writing a script for a TV show.

A recent report by GoGuardian suggests that most classroom Chromebook usage is focused on learning games, flashcards, and watching videos. While these activities aren’t inherently bad, they aren’t terribly inspiring or creative and don’t help students develop important 21st-century skills.  

The act of creating something is one of the most powerful ways to internalize learning. That’s why teachers are so smart – we are creating things all the time!

Here are six ways that you can encourage student creativity with Chromebooks.

Tell a Story or Teach a Lesson

Video is the dominant form of communication today. Few students are motivated by the idea of writing a paper or creating a poster board project, but would be excited to create a video.

Here are three ways you can create with video in your classroom outstanding video tools that you can with a Chromebook

1. Screencast Tutorial

A screencast is a video that displays activity on your computer screen. Screencasting is a great way for students to share a presentation or demonstrate a math skill.

Screencastify is my favorite tool for recording screencasts on a Chromebook. It’s free to use!

2. Stop Motion Animation 

Stop motion is one of the simplest forms of video. This is an example that my students created using nothing more than a white-board and a camera.

ClapMotion is a free Chrome App specifically designed for creating stop-motion videos. Just point your webcam and clap your hands to take a picture!

3. Video Stories

 Everyone loves a good story. Capturing a story on video makes it easy to share. Storytelling with video requires excellent writing skills, editorial decisions, collaboration, and a good dose of problem solving. These projects take longer to develop, but result in rich learning.

WeVideo is the most full-featured tool for creating professional looking video projects. They have a free version you can use today.

For younger students I recommend Adobe Spark; Spark videos are super easy to create and share. The example below was created by my kids.

Design Something to Share

I was in middle school when my family got our first home computer (Gateway 3000). I spent hours using various “desktop publishing” tools like MS Publisher and Printmaster Gold. Doing graphic design with Google Drive is pretty limited (if we are being honest). Here are some Chromebook compatible tools that will help fill the void.

Thomas Jefferson

4. Trading Cards

I grew up collecting baseball cards. Kids “these days” collect Pokemon cards. Everyone loves collecting and trading cards, why not make your own?

Ask students to create a “deck” of the five most important figures of the Civil War, or the most powerful Greek Gods, or the most important scientists of the 19th century. The decision making process of selecting the individuals and their contribution is the value of this assignment.

Canva is a great tool for projects like this. I recommend using the “announcement” template which is what I used to create this trading card of Thomas Jefferson.

5. Infographic 

The intersection of data and design is an interesting space. Asking students to collect data create a visually engaging display to showcase the data requires all kinds of important math, analytical, and creative skills. Infographics engage both the left and right side of your brain.

Piktochart is a tool for creating infographics. Like this one created by Sarah from Hovr.

6. 3D Designs

You CAN create and model in 3D on a Chromebook! Even if you don’t have a 3D printer, you can still challenge your students to create a 3D model to solve a real-world problem.

Reading Hatchet by Gary Paulsen? Have your students use a tool like Lego Builder to design a structure to survive the cold winter months.

Teaching Geometry? Have your students build a sculpture using Tinkercad. You can even send it to a 3D printer to bring your art to life!

Don’t just use the Chromebooks in your classroom to consume information, use them to create! Hopefully these six ideas have sparked your imagination and given you some inspiration for what you can do in your classroom. 

If you have Chromebooks in your classroom I think you will enjoy my free online course “Developing your Chromebook Classroom.” It’s full of practical ideas and suggestions for teaching with Chromebooks.

 

John Sowash

John Sowash is an experienced classroom teacher, former school administrator, author of The Chromebook Classroom. You can connect with John via his blog (electriceducator.com) or Twitter (@jrsowash).

 

USB printing Chromebook

How to Print From Chromebook via USB

By How-To

The Benefits and a Step-by-Step Guide

One of the Chromebook’s many innovations is its approach to printing. Instead of a direct connection to a printer, the default option for the Chromebook is to use Google Cloud Print. With Google Cloud Print, you can print from any device sharing the same network allowing you to print from anywhere, as long as you have an internet connection.

While this represents a significant advance in printing technology, with the goal of making print tasks more convenient, there are occasional problems. Most often, this is an issue with the Google Cloud Print servers, which can lead to substantial delays. This is simply an inconvenience for casual tasks, but if you are using a Chromebook for urgent business or regular personal printing, the issue is highly problematic.

In these circumstances, it’s crucial to have a backup process in place. Fortunately, there is now functionality to print to compatible printers using a good old-fashioned USB cable. It may not be the future, but it certainly is reliable!

We are going to take a look at the three key benefits of printing via USB, and a simple step-by-step guide to show you how to print from Chromebook via USB.

The Benefits of Printing via USB

Reliability

As discussed above, one of the issues experienced by Google Cloud Print users is the failure of network servers, making printing temporarily impossible. For time-critical tasks, that kind of ambiguity is unacceptable. USB printing is reliable, every time.

Ease-of-use

The beauty of printing via USB is that it’s completely straightforward. Simply plug in and you’re all set! Although Google Cloud Print is intuitive and user-friendly, there’s nothing easier than utilizing a USB cable.

Confidentiality

If you share a printing network with other people, whether in a personal or business setting, there is a risk of confidential documents that are printed, falling into the wrong hands. With USB printing, you are the only person connected to the printer at any one time, which gives you full control of what is printed, and immediate collection of documents.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Printing From Chromebook via USB

Step 1: Check Your Resources: Equipment, Cables, and Consumables

Before you begin setting up the printer, check that you have everything you need close to hand. As well as the printer and your Chromebook, ensure you have power cords and a USB cable with the correct connection for your printer. Most printers are still supplied with an appropriate USB cable, so always keep it stored safely! In addition, ensure that you have enough paper and spare cartridges just in case.

Step 2: Download the Extension

HP took the lead in offering Chromebook users an extension to allow USB printing. Other printer manufacturers have since followed, although not all printers are supported. Simply head over to the Chrome web store and search for your printer manufacturer. Download and install the relevant extension on your Chromebook. You may need to restart Chrome; if this is required, you’ll be given a message on-screen.

Step 3: Connect Your Printer

Once you’ve downloaded the relevant Chrome extension, it’s time to get printing! Plug the USB cable into your printer (usually at the back), then connect the other end to one of your computer’s USB ports. Switch the printer on and allow it to boot before trying to print anything (how would you like it if you were woken up first thing in the morning and required a ton of things to do!)

Step 4: Select Your Document

Go to your Google Drive, find the document you want to print, open it, and double-check it’s ready for printing.

Step 5: Open Google Cloud Print

Although we are bypassing the wireless network capabilities of Google Cloud Print, we still need it to help us perform any print tasks. From the File menu, select Print. A new window will appear titled “Select a destination”, allowing you to choose the settings you require for this printing task.

Step 6: Select Your Local Printer

The new window contains three sub-sections; Recent Destinations, Local Destinations, and Google Cloud Print.

Under Local Destinations > the printer you have connected via USB should be listed > select this printer.

Step 7: Press Print

The final step is to press the Print button at the bottom of the window. Your printer should begin working immediately and deliver the requested document. If not, there could be a connection or setting issue so try checking your cables again, ensuring the printer is powered on and you’ve selected the right printer in the window option.

As you can see, this is a straightforward process that negates the complexities that can sometimes arise with Google Cloud Print.  

laptop colors

How to Invert Colors on the Chromebook

By Chromebook, How-To

For people with a visual impairment, a high-contrast display can make help to make on-screen navigation easier and on a Chromebook, a high-contrast screen can be created by inverting the display’s color scheme. In this post, we’ll explore the benefits of a high-contrast display, and present a straightforward step-by-step process to set it up.

The Benefits of Inverting Colors on The Chromebook

Helpful for people with visual impairment

A white or light background with dark objects and text can be difficult for visually-impaired people to see, as the contrast is relatively subtle. When colors on a screen are inverted, it creates a more substantial contrast between objects, text, and the background. This makes the screen much easier to navigate, providing visually-impaired people with a working environment more appropriate for their needs.

Reduces glare

A high-contrast screen can also be helpful for people without a visual impairment. There are some conditions, such as migraines, that can be exacerbated by glare from a predominantly white screen. By inverting the display’s colors, switching the dominant color palette from light to dark, the amount of glare is reduced, which can provide relief to people experiencing symptoms of these conditions.

Less strain on the eyes

Extensive use of a screen can cause strain on the eyes. Making an occasional switch to a high contrast palette can alleviate some of the burden on your eyes, particularly if you are spending a long time in front of a display. Over the long term, this may help to prevent associated medical conditions and reduce the amount of stress placed on your eyes.

How To Invert Colors on the Chromebook: Step by Step

Step 1: Finding Your Account Status Area

At the bottom right of your screen, you’ll find the status area, which contains some basic information such as the time and a network connection indicator. It will also have your Google account picture displayed. Click on that picture, and a new window will appear. This has the access to the settings you need.

Step 2: Navigate to Advanced Settings

In the new window, find and click on the gear pictogram which is the “Settings Tab”. In this menu, scroll to the bottom of the window and click the linked text entitled: “Show Advanced Settings”

Step 3: Enable High Contrast Mode

Within the advanced settings menu, scroll down to ‘Accessibility’ and click the checkbox marked ‘Use high contrast mode’. This should prompt the Chromebook to immediately invert the screen colors. If not, you may be required to complete the next step.

The Process Shortcut:

If you’ve forgotten again, here it is in short format:

Click Google Account Picture > Click Settings Gear > Advanced Settings > Accessibility > High Contrast Mode

Step 4: Exit The Settings Screen

If you are happy with the contrast and color settings, close the window by selecting the ‘X’ at the top of the screen. If your Chromebook has not yet inverted the screen colors, it will do so at this stage.

Bonus 1-Step Method!

Some Chromebook users have inadvertently set their display to an inverted color scheme, causing a frantic search for answers! You may be interested to discover that the high-contrast mode can be toggled with a simple shortcut:

Ctrl + Search + H

If your Chromebook does not have a search button, follow the comprehensive step-by-step guide above. This accessibility is one of many reasons to love the Chromebook!

laptop news

Chromebook’s 2018 Forecast

By Chromebook, News

The Latest Chromebook News For 2018

We are keeping you up to date on the latest Chromebook news for 2018 to make sure you don’t miss a thing and get access to the latest innovations. These are 2018’s hottest news stories about the Chromebook including exciting developments expected.

Google Assistant Is Coming To All Chromebooks

Google Assistant, the company’s answer to Siri and Alexa, has so far been exclusive to their own high-end Pixelbook. However, eagle-eyed code experts have recently noticed an interesting development.

Developers reviewing the newest iteration of the ChromeOS build spotted an option for any manufacturer to enable Google Assistant. It is set to ‘off’ by default, but in the future, it will be up to manufacturers to decide how Google Assistant will integrate with their machines and the method of activation. This is likely to be either a keyboard shortcut, dedicated button, or by the Chromebook listening for specific keywords.

It’s certainly encouraging that the technology premiered on Google’s flagship Pixelbook is set to make its way to the entire Chromebook family. With the popularity of competitive assistant services continuing to grow, it’s an exciting decision from Google.

Source: Engadget

Dell’s $300 Chromebook Packed With High-End Features

Chromebooks in the $300 bracket are usually great for everyday tasks but lack the premium attributes found in more expensive machines. Dell is set to shake things up, with a feature-packed Chromebook coming in under $300.

Amongst the features expected in the new 5000-series Chromebooks are:

  • Touchscreens
  • Full conversion from laptop to tablet
  • Stylus support
  • A Micro SD slot
  • USB-C charging and data transfer
  • And a USB-A port.

Instead of dual-core processors that are common in less expensive Chromebooks, Dell has opted for quad-core Intel Celeron processors; providing lightning-fast speed usually reserved for upper-tier machines.

One of the most innovative features of the 5000-series Chromebooks is its chassis. Dell has designed a reinforced casing that can withstand a drop of up to 48 inches, or 30 inches onto steel. It’s a quality we didn’t know we needed, but it’s certainly useful. Even the most accident-prone Chromebook users will be confident in the safety of their machine!

Source: BGR

Microsoft Office Apps for Android Now Available on Chromebook

Has loyalty to Microsoft Office put you off buying a Chromebook? You’re not alone! A lack of compatibility with the popular suite has been a stumbling block for many since the Chromebook’s introduction.

However, the tides have turned, and some Chromebooks will now have the ability to utilize Microsoft Office apps for Android. Newer machines have the ability to download and run Android apps from Google Play store, which opens up the Chromebook to a wealth of new opportunities. Office apps can be used for free with a Microsoft account (which is also free), although people using a machine with a screen larger than 10 inches will need to purchase an Office 365 subscription.

If you are using an older Chromebook without the capability to run apps from the Google Play store, there’s still a way to access, edit, and create new Office documents. Simply head over to the browser-based Office Online for scaled-back yet useful functionality.

Source: NY Times

HP Releasing Two New Chromebook Models to release two new Chromebook models

There hasn’t been a great deal of Chromebook news from HP recently, but the wait is finally over! The company has just announced two new models for the education market; the Chromebook 11 G6 EE and Chromebook 14 G5, coming in at 11.6” and 14” respectively.

The 11 G6 EE is aimed at younger users, with its fun orange accents and rugged, reinforced chassis. Older students and educators are the focus of the 14 G5, which has an elegant grey color scheme and backlit keyboard. Both models boast Intel Celeron Apollo Lake processors with Intel HD Graphics 500, optional touchscreens, 180˚ fold-flat hinges, up to 8GB RAM, and eMMC storage up to 64GB.

Source: Engaged

Are Split Screen Android Apps Coming To Chromebook?

While this hasn’t been officially announced, users playing around with the Canary version of ChromeOS have been able to successfully demonstrate the Android split screen feature using the Dev Channel for version 64 in a feature called “Split View in Tablet Mode”. Although it’s unlikely to be an official feature until ChromeOS 65 or even 66, it’s encouraging to see an innovative Android capability becoming native to the Chromebook.

Source: Digital Trends

It’s an exciting time for Chromebooks innovation and the latest news show some of the integrations and new options we can expect to see in the near future! Now, where are our hoverboards?!?

Chromebook Docking Stations: What They Do and How to Pick One

By Accessories

Ports, Portability and Charging — Problems Solved

Isn’t the whole point of a Chromebook that you can take your work anywhere — including all the peripherals you rely on? That’s where docking stations for Chromebooks come in.

No outlets? No problem.  Short on USB ports? A docking station has you covered. Whether you’re using your Chromebook for education, business or personal use, chances are you’ll need to connect something to it at some point.   And with thumb drives, webcam set-ups, SD cards, your mouse, a keyboard and dual monitor set-ups — you’re going to run out of USB ports, guaranteed.

Here’s a run-down of what works, and how:

Types of Docking Stations for Chromebook

  1. Replicators – These allow you to focus purely on adding extra ports to your Chromebook and are a slimline version if you only want an extra port for your mouse or external hard drive.
  2. Desk Docks – These are usually all-inclusive options that provide everything you need and allow you to physically “dock” your Chromebook for charging.
  3. Portable Stations – These are more mobile and are travel friendly, offering a slimline alternative but with a few restrictive features.

Let’s look at three types of docking stations to complement your Chromebook as well as some things to consider before buying.

1. Wavlink USB 3.1 Universal Docking Station

The “Wavlink USB 3.1 Type C Display Universal Docking Station” with power delivery is a popular docking station for Chromebooks. It has 4K video support as well as an HDMI port, two USB 3.0 ports and a USB-C downstream port. It also offers high-speed connectivity that allows you to transfer data up to 10Gbps and a Gigabit Ethernet port providing up to 1000Mbps network speeds.

For business use, this docking station comes with a power port that is compatible with the Chromebook Pixel, meaning you can sync and charge your laptop at once, getting more done in less time.  It’s an easily portable model with a shockproof pad and aluminum foldable cover making it sturdy and long-lasting.

Compatibility: Your device should have a USB C Gen2 port and be VEST ALT Mode compatible. Always check your specific model before ordering.

2. Plugable UD-CA1 USB-C Docking Station

The “Plugable UD-CA1 is a universal USB 3.1 Type-C docking station” and also comes with delivery options and a 4K capable HDMI display output. It boasts audio input/output, ethernet port and 5 USB ports to easily cover your peripherals or other devices, and it allows you to charge at the same time, maintaining battery life.

Compatibility: You need to have a standard USD-IF for charging, and video output requires “VESA DisplayPort Alternate mode over Type-C” (“Alt mode”). Note, the Chromebook Pixel 2015 is not compatible with this dock. Always check your specific model before ordering.

3. Plugable UD-ULTCDL USB-C Triple Display Docking Station

Plugable UD-ULTCDL USB-C Triple Display Docking Station
Another Plugable entry is their flagship “Triple Display Docking Station,” intended for power users. When attached to a system that is compatible, it has the following features: 2 HMDI slots (including one with 4K capabilities), DVI/VGA output, USB-C port with Power Delivery functionality, USB-C port on the front (no power delivery on this one), 4x USB 3.0 (Type-A) ports and headphone and microphone jacks. It also has a Gigabit ethernet slot and thanks to the Alt Mode Connection, the docking station can use the host GPU, so the connected monitor will have the same performance as if it were attached to the Chromebook directly.

Compatibility: To use the HDMI function, ensure that your Chromebook supports “Alt Mode” and always check your specific model before ordering.

Things to Consider Before Buying a Docking Station for the Chromebook

Investing in technology can be scary, but here are some of the things to consider before you do:

  • First and foremost, compatibility. None of the other functions matter if they aren’t compatible with your Chromebook!
  • Your usage. Are you looking to plug a device in, use a different or dual screen or play games? What you are going to use your Chromebook for heavily influences the type you should buy. For example, looking at screen output you want to consider a 4K HMDI port on the station so that you can get clear quality.
  • Nearby outlets. If you are someone who travels a lot, you’ll need to make sure you purchase a docking station with power charging built in. Otherwise, the extra drain of devices on your Chromebook is going to suck the battery life unnecessarily.

Docking stations are a viable way to turn your Chromebook into a desktop — getting the best of both worlds with a system you love.

 

 

 

 

Which is the best coding text editor for ChromeOS? Caret vs. Zed

By Apps, Reviews

If you’re going to code on your Chromebook, you need a web-based text editor designed for programmers with features such as syntax highlighting, tabs or split-view and advanced search functionality. ChromeOS doesn’t have a good text editor built in, so I went looking for the best ChromeOS text editor for developers.

Two options quickly rose to the top – Caret and Zed. I spent a good amount of time testing each one. Let’s see how they compare.

What to look for in a coding text editor

First, it has to work in ChromeOS without installing Linux or going into Developer Mode.

Second, it has to keep working offline.

Third, it needs to display multiple files at once. Tabs or split-view depending on your preference.

It also needs to be highly customizable or hackable, it’s nice to have the ability to configure your code editor exactly the way you want.

The Contestants

Both of the best text editors share some great features. They’re both free and open source. They have themes, so you can change the color scheme easily. Both editors have multiple cursors that let you update text in multiple places at once. The config files for both editors are editable, so you can tweak the settings to your taste. Beyond that, each one has a different feature set.

Caret - coding text editor for Chromebook

Caret

Caret is based on Ace and inspired by Sublime, which you might recognize from other platforms.

Here are the features that make Caret special.

  • It can save to remote storage (indirectly, see FAQ)
  • The “go to anywhere” feature, taken from Sublime, lets you jump to any file.
  • Fuzzy search via the command palette
  • Project browsing
  • Extensible with plugins (experimental / beta)
  • The familiar vim bindings made Caret easy to work in.
  • Tabs make it easy to find the files you were working on.
  • Caret is an actively-developed open source project. The creators resolved the last pull requests just four months ago.

Cons

Caret’s lack of split screen was disappointing.

Zed - coding text editor for Chromeos

Zed

Zed is intended to be a little simpler, but it still has some killer features.

These features made Zed stand out.

  • Code completion and snippets.
  • Linting for some languages (JavaScript, CoffeeScript, JSON, Lua, CSS).
  • Split-view editing, with up to 3 screens, lets you compare and switch between files quickly.
  • Zed is smart – it persists state between sessions.
  • Zed gives you the ability to edit files on any remote server using zedrem (Zed remote editing utility).
  • Minimalist UI design
  • The autosave feature means no need to manually save your files.
  • Zed has Dropbox and Github file support

Cons

  • Zed doesn’t have tabs.
  • The project hasn’t been worked on in a while, last commit was in May 2015.

Check out my top Chromebook picks for Devs

Conclusions – Caret or Zed?

If you like Sublime, you’ll like Caret. Zed is preferred by people who like vim/emacs. Some people see Zed’s minimalist UI design as a con, but as I’m partial to vim this looks great to me.

They’re both great ChromeOS text editors for coding. Which one you choose is going to come down to personal preference. The vim-like interface and split-screen option were the killer features for me, so I’m going with Zed.

Best Wireless Headset for Chromebook

By Accessories, Reviews

Ready to ditch the mess of wires and cords when using your Chromebook? You’re not alone.

Wireless headsets are no longer new technology. At this point, they’re so well established that many of Apple’s products don’t even have an option for wired headphones at all.

Now, the issue isn’t finding an affordable wireless headset – it’s finding the right one for your preferences and needs.

Here’s Chromebook HQ’s definitive guide for finding the best wireless or Bluetooth headset for surfing the web on your computer.

Disclosure: Please note that the links included in this post are affiliate links. Chromebook HQ earns a commission if you choose to make a purchase after clicking on the link. We choose to include products that best suit the needs of Chromebook users, and they’re recommended because they are quality products – not based on commission earned. Please only purchase a product if you feel that it suits your needs or will help achieve your goals.

How to Choose a Wireless Headset for Your Chromebook

The benefits of a wireless headset are straightforward. But most people don’t realize how practical they are until they try one out for the first time. If you plan on accessorizing your Chromebook, a good wireless headset is certainly a worthwhile investment.

Imagine this: You’re in the middle of an informal, last minute session on Google Hangouts. They’ve called just as you were getting your coffee ready. It’s been a minute, and it looks like you’ll be on the phone for at least another 10 minutes.

With a wired headset, you’d have two options. First, you’d have to put the call on hold while you took off your headset to finish making your coffee. Option #2? You’d ruin a perfectly good (and much needed) cuppa because you couldn’t get away.

With a wireless headset, you can get up, walk away from your computer, make your coffee, and not miss a beat.

What to Look For

There are a few things to look for in a wireless headset.

Comfort is paramount. There’s little point in wearing a headset that doesn’t sit right or just plain doesn’t fit. You should be able to wear your headset comfortably for longer periods of time without constantly needing to re-adjust or remove it.

Look for headsets that offer:

  • Padding for comfort
  • Easy to adjust bands
  • Moveable microphones

Audio quality is also an important factor. You’re looking for both high quality audio and noise cancellation to avoid interference.  You’ll also want to look for a high-quality microphone.

Finally, look out for long battery life. Anything under 5 hours isn’t acceptable anymore. Look for a minimum of 8 hours of battery life, but don’t forget about finding a long standby battery life.

Product Reviews

Mpow Bluetooth Headphones

Pros:

  • Good sound quality
  • Comfortable ear pads
  • Long battery life with wired option
  • Foldable design for transport

Cons:

  • Not noise cancelling
  • Microphone only functions in wireless mode
  • Feels muggy after long wear; should take them off every few hours

The Mpow Headphones offer solid sound quality, including passive noise isolating. They don’t have active noise cancellation, which would drown out dogs barking and phones ringing, but they do stop the sound from leaking out.

Comfort is also a factor. The earpieces include a cushion that is less like an airplane seat and more like human skin. While that sounds strange, its more akin to have headphones give you a cuddle, which should provide more prolonged comfort because it feels less artificial.

This model also provides a reasonable battery life. A single charge provides 13 hours of music time and 15 hours of talking time. But there’s no need to worry if they’re about to die before an important call, you can use them in wired mode, which doesn’t require battery-use.

Logitech H800 Wireless Headset

Pros:

  • On-ear controls
  • Sculpted ear piece and headband for extra comfort
  • Foldable design
  • Noise-cancelling boom mic

Cons:

  • 6-hour rechargeable battery may not be long-lasting enough for some users
  • Functionality depends on device
  • Only connects to a single wireless device at a time

Logitech presents a wireless headset designed to match all your devices – not just your Chromebook.

Designed for long-term use, these headphones offer plenty of padding, including the headband and the ear cups.

These Bluetooth headphones also offer stereo audio complemented by a built-in equalizer and laser-tuned drivers. The sound going out is also great – it’s one of the few headsets in this range that offer a noise-cancelling mic. So, they’re ideal for anyone who anticipates being interrupted.

The mic also swivels easily, so you can adjust it mid-call.

The difference here is in the battery life – it’s only 6 hours. You can charge them up while you’re wearing them, but that doesn’t quite support the goal of going wireless.

SENSO Bluetooth Headphones

Pros:

  • Sporty design allows for use at the office and at the gym
  • 8-hour battery life; 240 hours stand-by
  • Noise suppression features
  • 1 year warranty

Cons:

  • No extra mic features
  • Not noise cancelling
  • Not ideal for those who dislike earbuds
  • Gel around the earpiece may not be comfortable

These SENSO Bluetooth Headphones are a pair designed for home, office, and active use. Unlike many headphones, which are too clunky for exercise, these earbuds are light and flexible enough to transfer them from your desk to the gym.

The Senseo model offers 8 hours of battery time, which is a happy medium considering they don’t have a clunky battery. If you’re a heavy user, there’s no reason to worry. You can have a fully charged battery in under 2 hours.

This pair doesn’t offer noise cancelling technology, but they do provide noise reduction, which should mute some of the more obnoxious noises found in a home office.

In terms of comfort, the ear pieces are covered in gel to support longer use. They also come with 3 sets of ear tips, which should accommodate most people’s ears. Though, you do run the risk of finding one of the sizes uncomfortable.

LEOPHILE EEL Wireless Neckband Headphones

Pros:

  • Waterproof
  • Neckband keeps them in place
  • 10-hour battery life
  • Function to use Google Now (or Siri)
  • Waterproof

Cons:

  • Tight fit for security but some may find it uncomfortable

These LEOPHILE Headphones are tiny, but they pack a punch. They include both high quality audio speakers and a built-in microphone in a set of headphones that can also be bunched up and put in your pocket without damage.

The model offers a 10-hour talk time with a range of 33 feet. However, the standby time is up to 300 hours, which is 12 days.

These headphones are sturdy, which is helpful for those who need headphones that can stand up to weather, washing machines, and less-than-careful transports.

They’re waterproof to the max – they can even be worn surfing or in the shower. While you shouldn’t go surfing with your Chromebook, it’s still a nice feature to have in a pair of headphones

TREBLAB J1 Bluetooth Earbuds

Pros:

  • HD sound
  • 9-hour battery life
  • Water-resistant and sweat proof
  • In-ear voice prompts
  • Multiple-device connectivity

Cons:

  • No adjustable options for band or earbuds
  • Metal earbud housing may be uncomfortable

TREBLAB offers a pair of Bluetooth earbuds for anyone who doesn’t feel the need to buy into a name brand.

This pair offers passive noise cancellation technology on the speakers and the microphone.

There’s no option for adjusting them and the earbud is housed in a metal casing, creating a potentially uncomfortable long-wear experience. Though, they do come with six types of earbud tips.

However, they do offer other features that set them apart from other models. The multi-device connection is ideal for remaining connected to your Chromebook and your phone. There are also in-ear voice prompts that some customers might find useful.

Conclusion

There’s plenty of options available depending on your personal preferences and whether you want an over-ear or earbud experience.

For us, there’s a clear winner in our list: the LEOPHILE EEL set.

They’ve got a great battery life and are very lightweight while also being durable. This is important because it means that we can enjoy the sound quality they offer longer – without waiting for them to break.

best games for chromebook

Incremental Games I’m Hooked On This Week

By Games

Incremental games are my favorite browser games. They are entertaining, low commitment and you can have the game running while you are doing other things. Best of all they work great on Chromebooks.

You might be asking, what the heck are incremental games, and why are they good to play on a Chromebook? Or you might even be saying, I thought you couldn’t play games on a Chromebook.

Chromebooks can be used to play browser games. Also known as web, online or HTML5 games. This kind of game can be played in basically any browser, and that’s exactly what Chrome OS has.

Incremental games (aka, idle games) are browser-based games where you accumulate things, like objects or currency. They’re called incremental because you watch the numbers get bigger. They’re fun because as you play, you discover how the game works and how to accumulate things faster with less work. Some of them even involve advanced math.

Idle Games I’m Playing This Week

#1: SpacePlan

This is one of the newer incremental games on the scene. It has simple, yet well designed graphics and great audio effects. 

It has an interesting and immersive sci-fi story with an actual ending, and it has potatoes in space. You can finish this one relatively quickly compared to other incremental games.

new incremental game

http://jhollands.co.uk/spaceplan/

#2: Cookie Clicker

This is one of the original and most popular clicker games. The concept is pretty simple – click to make cookies, lots of cookies. Funny, creepy grandmas help you along the way.

I’ve had this game running for several months now, and it’s still fun to check in on it now and then.

Clicker idle game

http://orteil.dashnet.org/cookieclicker/

#3: Clicker Heroes

This RPG-themed idle game has lots of heroes, boss levels, and cool monsters with great effects when you hit and kill them. This one is my favorite of the lot for its graphics style.

Clicker game

http://www.kongregate.com/games/playsaurus/clicker-heroes

#4: Kittens Game

You start off gathering catnip and gradually add different resources that help you level up. There’s lots to discover in this game, tons of resources and a well designed skill tree. It’s a good text-based incremental game that starts off easy and gets very complex over time.

incremental game

http://bloodrizer.ru/games/kittens

#5: Realm Grinder

Realm Grinder is interesting because the game plays differently depending on choices you make as you go which lends itself to being replayed again and again. Lots of strategy and calculations are needed to succeed in this game.

incremental idle game

http://www.kongregate.com/games/divinegames/realm-grinder

What do you think of incremental games? Do you have a favorite? Let me know in the comments.