This post was created for AJHS’s In-Service on August 13th, 2015.
Please click on the link below that best describes your experience and comfort level with Chromebooks and the Chrome Web Store:
- I’m brand new to Chromebooks and the Chrome Web Store and would like an introduction to what they are.
- I know what Chromebooks are and some of their features, but have not experienced having students install apps (or add-ons) or extensions, and would like to focus my time being introduced to them.
- I’m comfortable with the Chromebooks, the Chrome Web Store and having students install apps and extensions. I’d like to focus on some new extensions and apps that I haven’t seen before.
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 their 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.
Here’s a list of shortcuts for the Chromebook. There are some that you will want to specifically teach the students such as:
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.
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:
- Google “Chrome Web Store” then click on the link.
- Open a new tab in Chrome, and click on Store icon.
- If you are using the Chromebook, the Store icon will appear at the bottom of the screen, you can click it.
- Go to the Chrome Web Store sampling of Educational Apps, then select one of the hyperlinks to take you to the Chrome Web Store.
5. Visit the complete list of Educational Apps.
How will the teachers know which apps to ask students to install on their devices?
Teachers do not need Chromebooks to try out the apps–they just need to be logged into Google Apps, and have their Chrome browser open. Then, they can add apps and extensions to their Chrome browser from the Chrome Web Store.
→NOTE: Some apps require a fee which we are currently not opting for.
Installing from the Chrome Web Store:
Launching the App:
There are two easy ways to launch the app.
- Once installed, you can click “Launch App.”
- Or, add a new tab (CTRL T) and it will appear in the icons. Then click the app icon to launch (see example below).
Extensions are installed onto the toolbar (EG the Diigo extension for Chrome).
Google has a new feature called Add-Ons, which can be installed on Google Docs and Google Spreadsheets. While Add-Ons don’t require going to the Chrome Web Store, I thought it was valuable to share how to make the all powerful Google Docs and Google Sheets a little more robust.
For example, Doctopus (great for management of assignments and projects) and Kaizena (which used to be called Google Voice, allows you to leave voice comments on documents) can now be added through Add-Ons.
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
More apps and extensions:
Finding tools for your students to use is an important part of technology integration. How will they will use those tools for learning? 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 (or take off the list)?
- What other hardware thoughts or questions should be shared?
- Do you have other thoughts or questions about Chromebooks and the Chrome Web Store?