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Chrome Tools

The Basics - Defining Terms

Chromebooks vs. the Chrome Browser
Don't over think it. That's the secret. The Chrome Browser can be ran on any traditional computer running the Windows or Apple oprating system. A Chromebook is small laptop-like device that runs a modified version of the Chrome browser and nothing else. It's basically just Chrome with a keyboard attached. While powerful and easy to use, a Chromebook does have some limitations. 
  • Need Internet Access
  • No Java or Silverlight plugins
Chrome Apps, Drive Apps, Extensions
Agh! Chrome Apps? Drive Apps? Extensions?  It can all become quickly very confusing and honestly there is a lot of overlap between these terms. However, the descriptions below do a pretty good job describing their differences. Regardless of which one you are using they all
  1. Require you to be logged into Chrome meaning you must login to the computer or Chromebook under your individual account (no generic accounts for these).
  2. Can be downloaded through the Chrome App Store
  3. Require Internet access to operate
Chrome Apps
Apps that are accessible through the Apps button found in Chrome.  Often when clicked these take users to a related webpage which can be signed into using your Google Account.

Drive Apps
Similar to Chrome Apps, but these sites create resources which can then be found later in your Google Drive library.

Chrome Extensions
Web plugins which are added to Chrome's Omnibar (address bar) and provide additional features that work on any website.  

Chrome Gurus
The number and variety of Chrome tools continues to grow.  Two educators worth following for more Chrome resources are Alice Keeler (check out her posts on Chrome Apps) and JR Ginex-Orinion (check out his Chromando page).

Helpful Blog Posts


Natomas Charter School is currently in the possession of five Chromebook Carts consisting of two models - Samsung Series 303 (grey ones) and HP Chromebook 11s (white ones). If you would like to be added to the checkout calendars for the Chromebook carts please review the above orientation document and contact Joe Wood.

Great Places to Start with Chrome Tools
Chrome Apps 
Below are a few interesting ones worth checking out. More of these can be found in the Education section of the Chrome Store.

Ancient History Encyclopedia A Chrome app that takes users to the Ancient History Encyclopedia website.
Art Project A Chrome app that allows users to explore the Google Art Project site directly through the app.
Bio Digital Human Think of this tool as Google Earth for the human body. You can explore different tissue layers and organ systems.
Daum Equation EditorA handy Chrome app for easily creating equations that can be inserted as image files into any other application (Drive apps included).
Desmos Graphing Calculator A web-based graphing calculator which allows users to easily add and manipulate equations. An example of it being used in a conic sections project.
Geogebra A Chrome-based version of the popular mathematics software.  Files can be saved to Google Drive
Kindle Cloud Reader Read books from your Kindle on your Chrome device.
Padlet A Chrome app that links directly to the Padlet site where students can create and/or contribute to an interactive multimedia wall.
Plotly Chrome app that allows users to import data and it will generate graphs which can be adjusted/manipulated.
Snagit for ChromeAllows users to quickly and easily create screencasts. These are then saved to Drive or can be uploaded to YouTube.
TweetdeckHandy tool for managing your professional learning through Twitter. Use to follow specific hashtags (ex: #caedchat, #stem, #nwp, etc.)
3D Solar System  An interactive tool for exploring the solar system on any computer running the Chrome browser
Drive Apps
The line between Chrome and Drive apps is blurry, but basically these save products to your Google Drive folder if you link them to Google Drive. Geogebra and Desmos from the list above will also do this.  More of these can also be found in the Education section of the Chrome Store.

 Lucid Chart A web-based concept-mapping or diagramming application.
 Lucid Press A graphic design and layout software (think InDesign or even Pages) that allows users to create clean, professional-looking documents.
 Pixlr Editor Think PhotoShop, but on the web.  You can use this to edit, adjust, and resize photos.
 Video Not.es Take notes collaboratively while watching a video.

Chrome Extensions
Helpful tools that can be installed in your web browser and used on any corresponding website. More of these can also be found in the Education section of the Chrome Store.

AdBlock for YouTube Removes the ads that play before a YouTube video starts. QuietTube will also pull out the comments and side clutter.
Awesome Screenshot Capture and annotate screenshots. Handy when on a Chromebook or Windows machine.
Black Menu for Google Allows users to navigate between Google Tools (Drive, YouTube, Mail, etc.) from any webpage.
Boomerang for GmailUse to send emails at a later time or to automatically resend when the person does not respond or open th the email.
Cite This for Me Creates a citation (MLA/APA/Chicago) for the page which you are currently reading.
Quietube    Use to strip out the ads, related videos, and graphics from a particular YouTube page. This provides you link to a new page with just the video.
Save to Drive Saves an image or HTML copy of the current page to your Google Drive folder.
Speak It Highlight text and have this app read it to you.
Tab Cloud Save a series of tabs and easily bring them up on another computer.
Tab Scissors / Tab Glue Split Chrome into equally sized tabs and then glue them back together.
Typing Speed Monitor Monitors your online typing speed. Useful for student-collection of realworld typing data points.
Ultimate YouTube Downloader A powerful tool for downloading YouTube videos when you need them for offline access. Must be manually installed - See Joe Wood