Tech Tip: Using your Google Chrome 'Shelf'
Just like an Apple or Windows computer, Chromebook has a taskbar (or “shelf”) at the bottom of the screen. This allows easy access to frequently used apps. But did you know that you can also pin individual websites there as well?
To get started, go to a website and click the 3 vertical lines in the upper right corner. Then click on More Tools>Create Shortcut. It will confirm if you’d like to create the shortcut as well as naming your shortcut. You can also check the box to open the site in its own window. When you’re finished, click “Create” and the shortcut will appear on your “shelf” at the bottom of the screen.
Tech Tip: Syncing Your Google Chrome User
What Does It Mean to “Sync” Your Google Chrome User?
Did you know when you sign into the Chrome browser (or a Chromebook), all of your “preferences” are synced to your gmail user account? For instance, your bookmarks, preferences, extensions, browsing history and other settings will update when you sign in. When you log out of one device and into another, your synced items will be there just as you left off. Just be sure you log out of Chrome (or a Chromebook) when you’re finished using a public device, such as a library or mobile lab device!
For more information, click here or call the Tech Department at 937-297-1513 ext. 3.
Tech Tip: Chrome Extensions
What is A Chrome Extension?
Extensions are small software programs that customize the browsing experience. They enable users to tailor the Chrome browser functionality to individual needs or preferences.
Examples of the type of functionality that a Google Chrome extension can add to Chrome includes:
- Blocking ads from being displayed
- Optimizing memory usage so Chrome runs more efficiently
- Adding to do lists or notes to Chrome
- Password management
- Making it easier to copy text from a site
- Protect your privacy and making web browsing more secure
As you can see, extensions offer a wide range of extra functionality so you can perform tasks easier or get more out of the web sites you visit.
Most extensions will also add small icons to the right of the address field in the browser. These icons can be clicked on or right-clicked to access the functionality of the extension.
The best place to install get a Chrome extension is from Google's Chrome Web Store. While this site is called a store, the vast majority of extensions listed here are for free.
Tech Tip: Make Your Own Chromebook Profile
Did you know you can have multiple people use Chrome on the same device, each with his or her own settings, bookmarks and themes? Or if you have different accounts, like work and personal, you can use Chrome profiles to keep your bookmarks, extensions and settings separate. Here’s how!
Add a person or profile:
On your computer, open the Chrome browser.
At the top right near the three vertical dots, click the Profile icon.
Click Manage people.
Click Add person.
Choose a name and a photo.
Click Save. A new window will open and ask you to turn on sync.
(Optional) Turn sync on in Chrome with a Google Account for the new profile. Their bookmarks, history, passwords, and other settings will automatically sync.
Switch to another person or profile:
On your computer, open Chrome.
At the top right, click the Profile icon.
Choose the person or profile you want to switch to.
Using a Chromebook? You can use multiple accounts at the same time on your Chromebook.
Tech Tip: Popular Keyboard Shortcuts for the Chromebook
Just like Mac or Windows, Chromebooks have their own keyboard shortcuts which can speed up productivity.
Here are five of our favorites:
- Copy/Paste: (highlight text or image first) Ctrl + C to copy, then Ctrl + V to paste
- Take a screenshot: Press Ctrl +
- Turn Caps Lock on or off: Press Alt + Search (magnifying glass)
- Sign out of your Google Account: Press Ctrl + Shift + q (twice)
- Open the Keyboard Shortcuts help window for more tips: Press Ctrl + Alt + ?
Tech Tips: Training with Google’s 'Applied Digital Skills'
Want to learn more about using Google apps? Google’s Applied Digital Skills is a free collection of video hosted, activity-based training for both student and adult learners.
A broad curriculum integrates digital skills with topics such as finance, history, creative writing and research. The content consists of interactive activities like digital publishing, code scripting, presentation formatting, communication, planning an event and much more!
Check out Google’s Applied Digital Skills program to try out some of these great lessons.
Tech Tip: Keeping Kids Engaged During Break
The holiday break will be here before we know it, and if you’re looking for a fun way to keep your kids engaged here are a few ways to keep your kids inspired: Scratch is a free programming language and online community where children can program interactive media such as stories, games, and animation while learning to think creatively, work collaboratively, and reason systematically. Newsela is a database of current events stories tailor-made for classroom use. Indexed by broad theme (e.g. War and Peace, Arts, Science, Health, Law, Money), stories are both student-friendly and can be accessed in different formats by reading level. This subscription program is available to Oakwood students in grades 1-8. Khan Academy offers exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard that empower learners to study at their own pace in and out of the classroom. Subjects include math, science, computer programming, history, art history, economics, and more.
Tech Tip: Common Sense Media
As parents, we’re constantly fielding the barrage of social media, apps, games, movies and video that our kids encounter. How do you make sense of it all?
Common Sense Media is a good place to start. A long-time resource for educators and parents, the website provides reviews books, movies, TV shows, video games, apps, music, and websites. It then rates them in terms of age-appropriate educational content, positive messages/role models, violence, sex, and profanity, and more for parents making media choices for their kids.
Tech Tip: Parent Access, Did you KNow?
Homework, grades, and other student information such as attendance and schedules are available online through ProgressBook Suite ParentAccess for parents with students in 4th through 12th grade.
Parents and students have the ability to set up missing assignment alerts and low-grade alerts, with the ability to specify alerts for particular subjects and grade averages. Please realize it takes time for teachers to input grades into ProgressBook.
As always, be sure to log into Parent Access frequently to view grades and check account settings.
Tech Tip: The Benefits of Using Google Drive
- Google Drive can be downloaded on smart phones and tablets, so students can access every document without having to own a computer or pay for internet at their house.
- Google saves everything you’re working on, so you won’t have to start from scratch when your computer unexpectedly restarts for updates or your battery dies.
- Students can access files from any computer by logging into their Google account.
- Enables students to share and collaborate on the same document at the same time, in real time.
- Students’ work travels with them in a digital format from year to year, with unlimited storage in their Google accounts.