Chromebook and Classroom Power-Tools


Google Chrome browser, installed on PC or Mac, when logged in with MUSD login, syncs all Bookmarks, Apps, and Extensions, as though its a Chromebook. So sign in, and sign out.


Take a screenshot

On a Chromebook, Hit Ctrl & F6 (to save an image of your full screen; your screenshot saves locally on Chromebook's local storage. Click  search key, type "files" and hit enter. Drag the top listed file, titled "screenshot...." either onto your drive, or onto any inserted flash drive. Capture what looks important, whether to exemplify student work or capture sensitive moments.

Save to your Drive

When working with a Chromebook, always direct everything you save to your Drive, and away from your Chromebook's local storage. Even if after saving you have to click the 

 search key, type "files", hit enter, and manually drag &drop from the right to the left that which you you saved locally, into your Drive, it works out better in the end to do this



One-Finger Tap:
like left click; place cursor & lightly tap or click w/ one finger.

Two-Finger Tap: Exposes a right-click menu.  Place cursor & tap 2 finger tips at once. 

Two-Finger Scrolling:

Touch two fingers to the touch-pad and slide both fingers up, down, left, or right as 1 motion, to scroll the page or doc  currently  open.


Drag and Drop
 Click down on the item you want to move, with one finger.  With a second finger, move the item.  Release both fingers to drop item at its new location. dragDrag finger moving.
clicked finger not.

The chromebook touchpad is "light touch", responds to a light tap same as if you click it, and requires a click to drag & drop files.


Save to your Drive

When working with a Chromebook, always direct everything you save to your Drive, not local storage. Any time after saving, you can click the search key, type "files", hit enter, and manually drag/drop what you saved on your Chromebook to your Drive- it is worth the effort.

Search Key  

click the magnifying glass on left and start typing want you want to open, search, or find; as soon as what is desired pops up, tap enter.



Web Shortcuts 

Switch to next tab: Ctrl & Tab
Switch to previous tab:

Open a New Tab (start typing):

Full Screen on/off :
F5 (

Full / Partial window size:

Switch windows:
or F6 ()
Back / Forward page:
Alt & → / Alt &

Caps lock on / off: Search key & Alt

To see all shortcuts: 

Shift , Ctrl , Alt & ? keys. Once the overlay appears on the lower half of your screen, hold down either shift, ctrl, or alt, and see what keys the shortcuts map to on the virtual keyboard. Tap the Esc key to get out, then try out some shortcuts.

Record Live Audio

on a Chromebook- (click), PLEASE turn the middle volume bar down to half volume, click , click& then record your audio.

Click button when finished, click to decide if you like it; If not, click & try again.

When you're happy with your recording, tap the "click here to save>>" button at the bottom & click Download as MP3 (or WAV).  Right (two-fingered) click on the black playback screen, select "save as", title it, and save it to Drive.

 Play Audio in Drive

While on a Chromebook, click  search key, type "files" & hit enter. Select "Drive" from the left column, allow it a moment, find the audio or video file uploaded to your Drive, and double-click it to play it with the native Chromebook media player. .wav and .mp3 audio files work best. All video formats work. Students can even record narration or create background audio timed to a presentation to play it back in sequence to that presentation.


Reboot, when all else fails.

Turn off then on the Chromebook, even in front of students. Turn it off by holding down the upper right hand power button (its lit) on the keyboard for 7 seconds, then, once the light turns off, press that same button to start up, and log on again! This whole process takes less than half a minute, and often solves many strange problems effectively!



These tools, 'Chrome Apps', below, are web-based and accessible through a URL address, While logged into Chrome browser or any Chromebook, click the blue links below to install them AS Chrome Apps to increase usability, allow auto-login, and sync items in your Drive.



For students' non-fiction comprehension, Newsela publishes current news articles at 5 reading levels grades 3-12 daily, adapting to every reading level of each student by adjusting the text complexity.


Pixlr Image Editing 

Click above to install the Chrome App

Photoshop lite, online & free. Pixlr loads and saves on PC or Drive. You can adjust, edit, transform, and distort your images easily using layers within a solid web-app environment. Works perfectly for basic image editing functionality.


LucidPress for Education

Click the above link for MUSD auto-login.
 A legitimate drag & drop Publisher alternative. Link textbox content on different parts of the page, create 3 column brochures, collaborate online, and publish. Create print newsletters, flyers, pamphlets, photo books, and more.  musd google. That last link will also auto-login a student,  Click to install LucidChart and connect where it loads & saves to your Drive.


Typing Club

Click above, skip login, & start lessons.
To login, click here, & connect your MUSD
account by clicking this button below.
Learn word processing without looking at 
the keys- a legitimate typing class, K-2 students have shown ability to master the early lessons, while later lessons focus on WPM speed. All MUSD teachers can view classes, create competition, and set benchmarks based on the continuum.



Click above to see or begin a Canvas.
To login, click here use your MUSD account by account by clicking this button below.
An organized, living place for digital resources to be collected, showcased, updated, and shared, Edcanvas is an easy way for you to create, carry out, and share a lesson plan. It includes a simple way to manage your students as a class to create, view, record audio or even edit collaboratively live, on a shared canvas.


LucidChart for Education

Click above to log in via MUSD account.
A Flexible mind-mapping graphic organizer tool, LucidChart has excellent templates to choose from.  Flow charts, diagrams, and organizers, teachers can share with students any pre-made or original templates, connect easily to Drive, and auto-save all work into the LucidChart folder created within Drive.


Click above to install the Chrome App 

and click here to connect to Google Drive. 

Import pre-recorded video clips with images and text overlays, record audio clips, cut, arrange, and piece video, audio, photos and text together within a moviemaker-like, easy-to-navigate webapp- fully connected to Drive.

A simple Autocad-like image-design tool- is a tool for students to design without physical constraints. A simple web-interface and real 3D environment allows students to learn tools of the modern world, when teachers can create projects and tasks involving virtual 3D design. Try the lego builder too, or, as a simpler alternative, try 3DTin.


Twisted Wave

A fully-featured, browser-based audio editor.  Click above, skip login, & start a project.  When you click login, click the title above, connect Drive by clicking 

-selecting your account, and allowing access.  From there, record live, load, play, process, arange, and edit audio files from your local storage or Drive.  Apply effects, save in one of many supported file formats, and export back the audio file to your PC or Drive.  Great for music and audio listening, editing, and reviewing.


QuestBase Quizbuilder

For teachers to create and proctor quality assessments, click above and Sign Up Free.  This non-Google tool picks up where Forms leaves off.  Create online or printed quizzes, tests, exams, surveys; embed image, audio, or video (15megs or less each) to play within created questions on most devices- even iPad and Android.  Shows results to user immediately after submitting.  Click to see a silly demo quiz.  Free, robust, functional.


Extensions are apps that work with, or add functionality to, other apps or even work directly within the Browser itself.   Once installed, they allow cross-functionality for multiple academic tools.


The above link allows installation.
Annotate and share your webpage screenshot. Capture part or all of any webpage, crop it, annotate it with rectangles, circles, arrows, lines, and text, erase parts of it, copy and paste it directly to a Doc (Word or Google), save it locally or to your Drive.  Even open it from Drive with Pixlr for full editing.

Google Drive Save

Click the above link to allow installation

Accept, allow, and grant access to your Drive. From then on, a click on the upper right hand icon or right click on any image or file will save that web content directly to your Google Drive. This extension adds a right (two-finger tap) click context menu to save hyperlinks and media files, plus a browser action to save the entire current page within a folder.



The above link allows installation... 
Listening to your Chromebook as it clearly speaks the words you're typing or reviewing is a powerful strategy for everyone's ELA toolbox. Highlight any text and click the top right button to hear that text spoken.  Pause and adjust volume, Right-click (two-finger tap) to adjust voice speed, ethnicity, & gender.  Speakit uses 50+ languages. 

Docs Research

Promote and foster student use of "Research" extension, an integrated information retrieval system within Google Docs. Create or open a Doc and click Research off the top left Tools menu to embed the tool on the right column.  

Type in the search box, select web, image, scholarly, quotes, dictionary, or ALL, and search without leaving your Doc-in-progress. Drag images to your Doc on the left, click links to open resources as tabs, and click "cite" to provide MLA, APA, or Chicago citations and footnotes at the page-bottoms of your doc.



The above link allows installation... 
Checks "already written" passages.
Copy a selection of text that needs checking, click the top right button, paste copied text into the empty text box within the popup window, & click  Go! Spell check(F2). 
Below that appears your text with misspelled words in red text. Click Options button for custom settings.
Toggle between original text and Spell-Checker window either with the 
Alt & Tab shortcut, or F6() key


Little Alchemy lite

The above link skips login & start lessons immediately.  Drag any of the four basic elements on top of each other to experiment with reactions, while creating new compounds with which to drag and combine.  Even consider keeping a catalog to record  each separate reaction meticulously and to consider practical uses of emerging items.

Prepared Draw Activity

Use Google Draw, or embed one within a Document to annotate an activity worksheet.   

Create a Google Drawing. Select a base to annotate (jpeg, photo, scan of worksheet or a simple screenshot all work well), use either insert-->image to upload or use Research to drag an image from right onto your Drawing.

Now that your selected image is part of your Google Drawing, create the work space over it- insert well-placed textboxes for student data entry, images, shapes, any annotations. Format them, move each selected object to the desired position using the arrow & shift-arrow keys, align, order your layers top to bottom, & prepare it for student completion of tasks.  

When activity/worksheet is ready, decide if you want students to edit it as a stand-alone Google Drawing. If so, skip to Finally below.

Optionally, use the Web Clipboard to copy your Drawing Activity and embed it within another Google Doc, even contained in the cell of a table within a Doc, even allow students to write text on the same screen space, or assign students to drag and drop assigned images or info from the far-right Research column onto to the Doc at left. Within your Drawing, Select all (ctrl-a), click Edit, select "Web Clipboard", and click "copy shape to web clipboard". Now, within your Doc. Click Edit from the top toolbar, select "Web Clipboard", arrow over to preview the shapes you've clipped, and finally click the one you want embedded within your Doc to paste it over, possibly contained within a Docs Table.  

Finally, Share viewing rights to your Drawing Have students double-click to edit the Drawing and immediately save a copy. Students edit their copy double-clicking on the pre-made text boxes and typing information in these fields as instructed to do. Allowing students right-column Research opens up learning opportunities too.