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A "Byte of Information" to Satisfy Your Appetite for Technology...Google Tone and iPad Airdrop!

posted Jun 16, 2015, 8:33 AM by Christine Lion-Bailey   [ updated Jun 23, 2015, 10:07 AM ]

June 16, 2015

Do you sometimes wish that you had a magic wand so that you could wave it over your students’ devices and automatically open whatever web page, video, image, etc that you want them to access at the moment?  Well do I have good news for you...it might not be an actual magic wand, but it is a close second!  May I present you with this week’s Byte of Information to satisfy your hunger for new technology uses in the classroom…Google Tone (and Airdrop for iPad users)!

Chrome:  Google Tone

Google Tone is an extension that uses the microphone and speakers of your device to share a URL (website) with other nearby devices that are also connected with Tone.  Tone can be used to send any type of URL out to the other devices in your classroom, including webpages, images, YouTube videos, search results, etc.  

To get “Tone” on your device, please visit the Chrome Web Store and search for “Tone”.  Google Tone will appear under the list of “Extensions”.  Click the blue “Add to Chrome” button on the right.  When prompted, click “Add”.  Congratulations, you have just added the “Tone” extension to your Chrome and you will now notice a small blue megaphone icon at the top right of your Chrome browser window.

To send a URL through Tone to the other devices in your room, simply follow the steps below:

1.  Make sure that you are logged into Chrome (When you send the “Tone” out, it will notify the recipients that the “Tone” was sent by you.  This is a good control feature so that if students start to send out “Tones”, you are able to identify who is sending them.).

2.  Open the URL that you would like to share with the other devices in the room (webpages, images, YouTube videos, search results, etc.).

3.  Adjust the volume on your device so that it is loud enough for every device in the room to hear the “Tone” that will be sent out.  If your volume is not loud enough, or if there is a tremendous amount of noise in the room, Tone might not work efficiently.

4.  Click the blue megaphone icon at the top right of the Chrome browser window.  

5.  A “Tone” sound will come from your device.  Any  devices which are logged into Chrome, and within earshot of your device, will receive the “Tone” and the URL that you are sharing will open on their screen.

Tone is a great way to share URLs quickly with students during a lesson.  Rather than directing them somewhere to click on a link or asking them to search for a web page, you can now just send out a Tone and open the URL for them.  I have installed Tone on all students accounts, so every student’s Chrome should have Tone available and ready for use.  You can also use Tone to share URLs with other teachers, perhaps a co-teacher, during a planning meeting, or during lunch.  Keep in mind that you must adjust the volume on your device so that the other devices can “hear” the Tone.  I hope that this new Google feature proves helpful in your classroom.

iPad:  Airdrop

If you are using iPads in your classroom, you can accomplish the same outcome by using Airdrop.  Airdrop allows you to communicate with the iPads in your room in a similar fashion (without the tone).  Simply open the URL that you would like to share with your students, or colleagues, and on the top right of the screen, click on the share button (looks like a box with an arrow pointing up).  When the menu appears, select “Airdrop” and then choose the iPad(s) with which you would like to share the URL (iPads will identify themselves as the grade level-# so please make sure you know with which iPads you are sharing).  Once you click on the iPad(s) with which you are sharing, a message will appear on their screen asking them to accept the “Airdrop” with an image of what they will be accepting.  Once they accept it, the page will open on their device.  If you are having trouble viewing the iPads in your room, make sure that your Airdrop, as well as the iPads in the room, are all set to Airdrop- Everyone.  You can check this setting by swiping up on the bottom of the screen and at the bottom of your control center there is an Airdrop menu- select Everyone on that menu. Happy Tech-ing!