Chromebooks and Chrome Web Store

Since our 9th and 10th grade AJHS students will have Chromebooks as their One-to-One devices and Chromebook carts will be dedicated to the elementary schools, it’s important to learn about the Chromebooks, experience them, and the Chrome Web Store.

How are Chromebooks different?

Chromebooks have a web based management council. This means they:

  • update themselves;
  • boot up in 6-8 seconds (and over time that speeds up);
  • cannot have software installed on them;
  • can install apps and extensions through the Chrome Web Store (including a plethora of Educational Apps);
  • can do most anything online via the Chrome browser;
  • and, start up by logging onto the computer with your Google password, then straight into Chrome.

What do we need to know about the Chromebook hardware?

There are different types of Chromebooks. The one we are using in our district is the Samsung. They are light (2.42 pounds) and have a battery life of approximately 6.5 hours.

We also need to be aware that the screens are known to break easily if they are picked up by the screen (top) instead of the keyboard (base). Therefore, it’s important that we model and expect everyone to pick them up by the base and keep them in cases.

Chromebook Shortcuts:

Here’s a list of shortcuts for the Chromebook. There are some that you will want to specifically teach the students such as:

Chromebook Shortcuts

Screenshots can be added to an email or a Google Doc by inserting an image. Likewise, the image can be uploaded to other applications such as a blog post, etc.

To right click, press Alt + click or place two fingers on the mousepad and click.

Getting to the Chrome Web Store:

Using the Chrome Web Store is how you add educational apps and extensions to your Chrome browser. This means that it will be on every Chrome browser you log into, regardless of device.

There are many ways to get to the Chrome Web Store. Here are a few of them:

  1. Google “Chrome Web Store” then click on the link.
  2. Open a new tab in Chrome, and click on Store icon.
  3. If you are using the Chromebook, the Store icon will appear at the bottom of the screen, you can click it. store
  4. Go to the Chrome Web Store sampling of Educational Apps, then select one of the hyperlinks to take you to the Chrome Web Store.sampling of ed apps
  5. Visit the complete list of Educational Apps.

Installing from the Chrome Web Store:

Select the app or extension to install, then click “Add to Chrome”. add to chrome

Launching the App:

There are two easy ways to launch the app.

  1. Once installed, you can click “Launch App.” launch app
  2. Or, add a new tab (CTRL T) and it will appear in the icons. Then click the app icon to launch (see example below).

chrome apps

Launching extensions:

Extensions are installed onto the toolbar (EG the Diigo extension for Chrome).

Some suggested apps for high school students:

  • 3D Tin — Create beautiful 3D Models in fun and interactive environment
  • Audiotool — Powerful online music production studio. Apply sound effects and record your own voice and instruments.
  • BioDigital Human — The BioDigital Human is a 3D platform that simplifies the understanding of anatomy, disease and treatments. Explore the body in 3D!
  • Biteslide — Biteslide is the easy and engaging way to make school projects more creative.
  • ChemReference: Periodic Table — Periodic Table at your fingertips
  • Desmos Graphing Calculator — Graph multiple functions in vivid color and watch them update as you type
  • Diigo — Collaborative research platform with social bookmarking, web annotation, tagging, and group-based collaboration
  • EasyBib — Research management platform where students learn to avoid plagiarism, organize notes, and analyze work
  • Empower3000 — Learning solutions that accelerate reading comprehension, vocabulary, writing and test performance
  • Geogebra —  Geometry, algebra, calculus, and statistics with thousands of free interactive worksheets in more than 50 languages
  • Glogster EDU — Collaborate to express creativity through creation of posters with videos, graphics, sounds
  • GoAnimate — Create animations with characters, camera, import music, sound effects, record dialogues and more
  • IE for Google Chrome — Internet Explorer for Chrome
  • InstraGrok — It’s a research engine that lets you learn about any topic. A graphical concept map shows you how important ideas connect.
  • Khan Academy — With over 3,100 videos from math to physics, finance, and history get to learn what you want, when you want
  • Little Alchemy — Start with four basic elements, then mix and match them to create more and more awesome things.
  • Lucid Chart — Collaborate real time on flowcharts, venn diagrams, mind maps, and other diagrams
  • Maps: Google Maps — Find local business information, directions, and street-level imagery around the world with Google Maps.
  • MindMeister — Mind mapping app that raises student achievement through brainstorming and real-time collaboration
  • OpenClass — Learning platform though which you can deliver all types of content
  • Pixlr Editor — Photo editor with layers, adjustment tools, and filters that lets you manipulate entire images or individual pixels
  • Pixton Comic Maker EDU — Create comics with characters, speech bubbles, background, images, voice-over and more
  • PowToon Edu — PowToon lets you create awesome presentations and animated videos
  • RSS: Feedly — Feedly is a news reader for creative minds. Seamless migration from Google Reader.
  • Shakespeare’s Monologues — Provides quick access from Chrome’s New Tab page to the Shakespeare’s Monologues site. Search and/or browse for monologues.
  • Slide Rocket — Create, collaborate and share amazing presentations.
  • Study Blue — Make flashcards and store class notes. Study online for effective, productive learning.
  • Stupeflix — Turn photos, videos, text and music into beautiful videos that tell meaningful stories.
  • SumoPaint — Tune photos, create drawings, browse and remix images from others – it’s a fun way to share inspiration.
  • Typing Club — Practice typing skills and track performance through an admin interface
  • Vernier Data Share — Using low-cost sensors and interfaces, students collect data in real-time for data analysis
  • WeVideo — Professional level video editor for students and teachers to collaborate, create and share video stories

This list was originally generated by Chrome’s Apps Pack for Education.

Concluding Thoughts:

Finding tools for your students to use is an important part of One-to-One. Thinking through how they will use those tools for learning is the other important part of One-to-One. Will the tool be used for memorization (DOK 1)? Skills/application (DOK 2)? Strategic thinking (DOK 3)? Or, extended thinking (DOK 4)? Will it be used as a paper and pencil substitution or will it be used to transform learning?

  • What Chrome apps or extensions would you add to this list?
  • What other hardware thoughts or questions should be shared?
  • Do you have other thoughts or questions about Chromebooks and the Chrome Web Store?
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18 thoughts on “Chromebooks and Chrome Web Store

  1. Hi Tracy,
    Thanks so much for your information. Our district is just starting out with Chromebooks (not One-to_One yet). We are excited and nervous at the same time as it involves a new learning curve (especially coming from a MAC user!).

    Thanks for the tip about “Modeling” proper usage. I hadn’t realized that the screens were that sensitive – My elementary students try to be careful – but knowing this up front will make me be more diligent in setting rules in place.

    I’m excited about all the apps – I noticed you put them into categories – I think I would add Spelling/Vocabulary City to the Elementary grouping as well. We used the website last year with great success. Totally, looking forward to exploring the other apps you suggested!!!

    As always, thanks for your information. It is complete and thoughtful!

    Best,
    Nancy

    • Hi Nancy,

      Thanks so much for commenting. Yes, there’s always a learning curve when something new is introduced. Chromebooks are well worth the cost for what they offer, and are less than buying a set up books for students, and are up-to-date with current information per say. So, it’s a good shift.

      As you start to work with them and experience them, I would love to hear what specific pieces you needed to learn to do differently on them… and the tips you have to offer.

      Your suggestion of Spelling/Vocabulary City is one that our elementary teachers should think about also. Thanks for mentioning that!

      Looking forward to learning with you!

      Kind regards,
      Tracy

  2. Pingback: Quick chromebook and chrome store overview and ...

  3. There is a new Chrome app that I would recommend for students. It is called 3DView and it is free 3D models viewing and sharing App.
    3DView has some simple geometry manipulation, measurement and file sharing capabilities that can inspire and help students to learn geometry and design. It’s also integrated with Chrome and instantly opens all 3D models from websites like thingiverse.com.

    Here is a Chrome Webstore Link: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/3dview/hhngciknjebkeffhafnaodkfidcdlcao

    • Hi Dmitry,

      Thanks for sharing your app with us! It looks fabulous. Are there tutorials you’d recommend for learning how to use it? I like letting my teachers know where they can go for help, or where they can send their students for help.

      Kind regards,
      Tracy Watanabe

  4. Tracy,

    I’ve been working with the high school online classes this year. My previous background is with Microsoft and Linux platforms so I’ve had to relearn a few things. I wish that I’d taken a look at this blog earlier this year so that I’d been able to use the apps and tips. I will be using Geogebra, Desmos, and Khan Academy to assist me in re-teaching students missed math skills. My experience in computer drafting and modeling has also caused 3D Tin to catch my eye.

    Thanks!

    Steve J

  5. Hi Tracy,
    Since I retired from AJ high school 3 years ago, I’ve been working as a substitute teacher at all the grade levels. It’s been very helpful to have this resource to work with. We were just starting with the Chromebooks when I retired. It is great to see how well they have been integrated in the system.

  6. I am utterly unfamiliar with the chromebook, despite its prolific status on our campuses. Overall, I approach this sort of technology the same way I approach the iPad; it is an excellent supplement for teaching, but only if it is used as a dedicated teaching device. Sure, the methods can be fun and similar to games, but if the end take away is ‘it’s just a game’ then there is ultimately not a lot of benefit to using them. That said, I feel that most apps can be used to approach any of the DOK levels with some creative thinking on our part.

    In perusing the chrome store, I came across and ESL app called ABCDog. It contains short stories containing words that begin with the letters of the alphabet. From a sped language point of view, this app looks really awesome for vocabulary acquisition, answering wh-questions, beginning storytelling, etc. I’m excited to use it.

    I don’t have any real concerns about hardware at this time, but I do have a question about chrome store and searching. Is there a better way to search by category than what they’ve got up right now? It seems like you get to just browse through things and find them on your own – very time consuming!

    • Great insight Victoria!

      Sounds like ABCDog is a great find! I look forward to following up with you after you’ve used it with students for a while.

      Also, yes, I too found it tedious to scroll through the Store. If I have a specific purpose in mind, I tend to type it into the search box in the Chrome Web Store and have found some great finds that way. I also have found fabulous apps through other Tech Integration Specialists — for example, “60 Chrome Apps and Extensions in 60 minutes” by Stacy Behmer.

      I hope this helps!

      Kind regards,
      Tracy

  7. Hi Tracy,

    I think technology offers a great tool to be used to access and gain practical experience in all levels of the DOK. I do think sometimes technology is used as an avenue to throw at students to keep them busy and have them build artifacts with no exact correlation to a DOK. I think technology is here to stay and students should be taught to use it to gain insight into unknown areas of knowledge and to learn how to use it to explore and propose answers to questions that they will face in the future.

    There are no extensions that I know of that could or should be added. I have not had my students use extension or many apps this year as only 2 classes have the chrome books available to them.

    I think that it is important that people know that yes those Samsung Chromebooks are fast at booting up, but yes they do break easy and one drop and they are in many pieces.

    I think the Chromebook store will continue to add great apps in the future and I look forward to utilizing apps as the one to one trickles up through the high school grades.

    Thank you for posting this as it will be a resource for myself and for my students in the near future.

    Tomas Navarro

    • Hi Tomas,

      Good points, and you are right, the tech really needs to be part of DOK 3 and 4 for deeper learning.

      For your class, have you tried typing in “anatomy” into the search of the Chrome Web Store? There were a couple that popped up that are free. I also tried “human body” and “body.” — If you find one that you would recommend to others, please come back here to share. Chances are, there’s another teacher who would benefit from your insight.

      Kind regards,
      Tracy

  8. Hi Tracy!

    My first exposure to the Chromebooks was when you came and spoke with us about them at SMES. This course was basically what you presented then. I can see that these are going to be a huge asset to our students’ learning. Their fragility does concern me, though. I have no recommendations for apps, since I haven’t had any experience with this. I conduct quarterly PBL’s and I’m excited for the apps that will enhance students’ research efforts and their projects. Specifically, I intend to integrate Diigo for collaboration, InstaGrok and Khan Academy for research, and Biteslide, Slide Rocket, and Stupeflix for presentations. These will take their research and projects to higher levels of strategic and extended thinking (DOK 3 and DOK 4). I’m curious to see what Empower 3000 offers for writing. I have already introduced Typing Club to all my classes on the net books, and will continue with it next year, since every student needs to learn keyboarding skills. One question I have is, will printing ever be available for the Chromebooks? I look forward to this addition to our arsenal of learning tools…what will they think of next?

  9. Hello!
    Thank you for sharing this useful information about chromebooks. The apps are going to be so exciting for the kids. Using new tools for educational purposes is an effective way to promote learning. Laptops and netbooks seem to be helping students prepare for junior high and high school. I’m eager to explore the many options for using chromebooks and apps.
    Melissa Clark

  10. One question I have about Chromebooks and Chrome Web Store is, How will teachers be able to monitor what apps students can download or use? Also, will Chromebooks be accessible for students to do assignments or projects at home? I am very eager to see how the students respond to this new, exciting tool!
    Thank you
    Melissa Clark

    • Hi Melissa,

      Good question! It depends — at the HS level, it will be by the student. Our content filters will still work and Gaggle will flag us if something comes up on or off campus. For the elementary and Junior High Chromebooks, it’s a little different process. This post here explains it. Basically, it says that the teacher controls which apps are loaded onto the Chromebooks.

      Hope that helps!
      Tracy

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