Day 9 of Google 2020 – Chrome

On Day 9 of Google 2020, we will take a look a some good to know Chrome tips/websites.

CHROME EXTENSIONS

There have been a couple situations where both students and teachers have indicated that they could not find an extension that the district has pushed out to all users. The extension was there but the user did not pin the extension to show up.

On the reverse side, some staff find that they have to many extensions or they might not use all that have been forced to their profile. The user can unpin extensions so that they don’t show up all of the time.

The 1.5 minute video below will walk through the process of pinning/unpinning an extension. You might have noticed there is now a puzzle piece that showed up on the top right corner. That is where you go to pin/unpin.

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Day 8 of Google: Chrome Keyboard Shortcuts

On the eighth day of Google, we will take a look at how to use Chrome more efficiently. Are you someone that uses keyboard shortcuts? I have found that fewer and fewer students actually use a mouse when using chromebooks/computers and knowing basic keyboard shortcuts could help make the user of the device more efficient.

Chrome Shortcuts:
Reopen a Closed Tab
We have all experienced it at some point where we have accidentally closed a tab that we didn’t want to close. Well, did you know that you can get that tab back open with the help of a few key strokes?

Refresh a Page
I find myself using the refresh button from time to time. Rather than using the trackpad or a mouse to move the curser to the refresh arrow next to the omni box (search box), there is a shortcut:

Open and Close a Tab
Yes, there are also keyboard shortcuts to managing your tabs in chrome.

In order to make the shift to using keyboard shortcuts, this is something where you will have to ‘force’ yourself into doing it several times before it will become natural.

And that is my Spiel…

Efficiency with Using Multiple Tabs in Chrome

Sometimes the ‘simplest things’ are the ‘best things’. One such example has to deal with managing your chrome tabs and windows. We all have experienced a time where we wanted to be able to see two different tabs in a chrome browser at the same time, but we don’t want to have to deal with bouncing back and forth from each of them to accomplish work. You also don’t want to have to manually select new window from the file menu of Chrome. So the solution you ask? Use two different chrome extensions, called Tab Scissors and Tab Glue.

Tab Scissors
You can get tab scissors from the chrome store, under the extensions section. By selecting this chrome extension, it will automatically create two different windows for you.

NOTE:
1. The two separated windows will take the same real estate as the original window. Thus you will want to make sure that the original window takes up the full screen of your computer.

2. You will notice in the GIF below, I want to be able to see the Sheil Spiel tab as well as the YouTube: Closed Captioning Google Slide presentation tab. Thus, because the Google Slide is the tab on the right side, I selected its tab before hitting the Tab Scissors chrome extension.



Tab Glue
You can get tab glue from the chrome store, under the extensions section. When you are ready to merge the two chrome windows back into one, you select the tab glue extension. See the GIF below.

Hope that this simple tech tip can help make you be more efficient with your work.

And that is my Spiel…

Gamifying Professional Development – #GoogleSheets

This past semester Jess Gilcreast, our librarian, and I worked together in creating ways our staff could earn professional development hours besides sitting in a formal training. Our goal was to help create flexibility and adhere to different learning styles. One such way that we accomplished this was through offering professional development training through Gamification, using Google Sheets.

The Inspiration
This inspiration came from Bob Petitto. Not only was I impressed with the work that he had published on his blog, but I was also inspired by his Chrome in 30 Day activity that he put together. I appreciated the fact that he provided a way for his staff to learn about the Chrome browser on their own time by completing 30 different tasks. His original blog post on his 30 day challenge can be found HERE.

I also was inspired by the work that our Freshmen humanities teachers put together, Heath Ahnert, Steph Burnham, Krystin Cooney, Jess Hatzidakis, Steward Pepper, and Meg Uliasz. Their ultimate goal was to help students truly understand the process of researching and citing acquired information for a research paper. Thus, they gamified the task. Based on student decision on which specific tasks they completed, different items would appear with their explorer. The more challenges the students completed, the more elaborate items would appear, truly creating a ‘game’ out of learning. Such an awesome way for staff to connect with students. These teachers did great work and they came back stating that the students loved the activity.

Gamifying Professional Development
So, with the two above incidences, Jess Gilcreast and I put together our own activity that related to tech training we wanted our staff to know. The link to our Gamification PD Google Sheet can be found HERE. Feel free to use, we just ask that you please give credit.

Instructions Tab:
Instructions for the user explaining how to use the sheet. A video is even included for the user to help them with navigating through the Google Sheet.

My Badges Tab:
As the user completes tasks a certain badge will show up on their ‘certificate’. If a user completes all four tasks, all of them show up on their certificate, one in each corner of the certificate.

These were the four badges that Gilcreast created for the certificate. All done by using Google Drawings.

PD Tabs:
We offered four different opportunities for the staff: Chrome Browser, Researching w/ Google, Chrome Extensions, and Google Updates. In order for a staff member to receive a badge, they had to complete all tasks under that topic. You will also notice that a reflection section was added at the bottom of each tab. We wanted to know what their biggest take away from the activity was as well as any questions they still had that we could help answer.


NOTE: Some things might be outdated at this time as this was something we put together for Spring semester of 2016.

Benefits to this Type of Learning?

  • Staff learn at their own pace
  • Staff learn when they want to learn (learning should happen beyond the walls of the school – we hear this all the time with student learning so why shouldn’t it apply to our staff as well)
  • Staff are competitive

This was the very first time that I had done anything in terms of Gamifying. Not only did I have fun deciding what to include, I also gained a great appreciation for what Google Sheets can do for you. I also enjoyed collaborating with my librarian. I know that I have already said this but thanks for the inspiration Bob Petitto and Freshmen Humanities team. My hope is that in the future more staff in our school will take advantage learning in this format.

No Connection Error? Play the Dinosaur Game!

From time to time, we have all seen this chrome message when our internet connection is not working. Well, have no fear as you can entertain yourself until the connection gets resolved or you find something else better to do.

To play the dinosaur game, hit the up arrow. Soon you will discover that your dinosaur on the top left corner of your screen will start running. But be careful, as there will be objects in your way that you must jump over.

The question that I have for you is, how many points can you get with your dinosaur?