Thursday, April 11, 2013

Google Chrome Web Store: Apps and Extensions

Before spring break, myself and six other faculty members from West headed off the Chicago to attend a Google Apps for Education Summit.    It was held at Glenbrook North High School, the high school John Hughes attended, which is important because some of the scenes from Ferris Bueller's Day Off and The Breakfast Club were filmed there!

We saw many new and cool things in...........and deciding what I would like to share first with you is tough....... I finally decided that sharing Google Apps and Extensions could have the most benefit for the most members of the staff........

The idea behind these features, is the same as the Apple App Store........To make computers act and feel more like a smart phone.......for both productivity and fun............

Here is how you can unlock the tools of the Google App Store.......

To begin MUST use the GOOGLE CHROME web browser!

1.  While in Google Chrome, click on the box to open a new tab.      (note the arrow in image below)

2.  A new tab will open and with it will be your all of the Apps you have downloaded.........

3.  To access the Chrome Web Store, you click on the app (it should be the first one) or you can click on the icon in the lower right hand corner..........

4.  On the left hand side of the page you will see the categories of apps they have to offer.....

5.   From here you can "shop away" for APPS.    You can search for content specific apps depending on what you teach including graphic calculators, converting units of measure, periodic tables, grammar rules keyboarding, anatomy, building circuit boxes,  etc....... Another feature you could check out are study skills apps like flash card makers (my students love quizlet) and Lucid Chart........Or you can find productivity apps like Google Calendar, Drive, Mail and Search.

6.  Once you enter a query in the search bar, your responses will come up with available apps and EXTENSIONS.   

An extension is a small program/tool that can add new elements to increase the productivity of your web browser.    Once installed, they can be found to the right of your address bar.   (See the icons in the photo below).

There are so many apps and extensions that is it hard to say what each person may find most useful.     If you use the internet for articles for class and such, I would suggest you check out CLEARLY.    It will take an article from the web and remove all of the advertisements and side bar stories that can distract you and your students.........Simply open the article you want to read, click on the CLEARLY ICON and "poof"......You have a clean article to share with your students!

If you would like to explore more about apps and extensions, please check out the websites of  David Jakes and Molly Schroeder, two excellent presenters that we saw.    Each of the links contains their presentation and lists of apps and extensions that they shared with the attendees!

As always, let me know if you have any questions!

Monday, January 21, 2013

How to Batch Enroll a class into BB

Thanks to all of you who attended our sectional this morning.

I hope you found something useful in it.

For those of you who need a reminder on how to batch enroll students in BB, click HERE!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Friendly How-To Reminders for Google Calendar and BB

With the end of the semester coming we are all crazy busy trying to close out one semester and start a new one.........and with that will come the possibility of questions with how to create a new Google calendar for a semester course, how to embed it in Blackboard and possibly how to have your calendar be the "entry point" (first thing that pops up when you log into the course)..........

In an attempt to help out with all three of these things, I thought I would share a "how to" sheet with directions for each of these things.    I had one staff member check out all the steps, and they said it worked, so hopefully it will for you as well.........

To access this handout just click HERE!