Chrome is an awesome browser for the classroom. Here are my five favorite "tricks" for getting more out of Chrome. These tips do not require any special plugins, extensions, or applications. They are available for anyone running Chrome OS or the Chrome browser for Windows or Mac.
To enable any of these features, click on the "hamburger" (the three horizontal lines in the top right corner of your Chrome browser window) and follow the instructions.
1. Launch Tabs on Startup
Most of us spend the majority of our time on the Internet on the same 3-5 websites. For me, it's Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Calendar - my productivity essentials.
You can ask Google chrome to automatically load your favorite websites each time you start Chrome. No need to manually visit these pages. Open Chrome and you're ready to go!
To enable this feature: Settings > Show Advanced Settings > On Startup
Tip 1: Don't auto-load too many pages! I recommend you keep it at three or less!
Tip 2: If you use Chromebooks in your classroom with students, you can set which pages load when a student logs on to their Chromebook. This feature is controlled from within the Google Apps dashboard so you'll want to make your IT director a pan of brownies and ask him to turn it on.
2. Bookmark Sync
Teacher love bookmarking pages. Now you can synchronize your bookmarks across Chrome! You can use Chrome on your PC, Mac, Chromebook, iPhone or Android tablet. As long as you sign in to chrome, your book marks will be there when you need them!
You must sign in to Chrome to enable this feature: Settings > Sign in to Chrome. Make sure you check the box for "bookmarks". You can adjust your Chrome sync settings at any time by going to Settings > Users > Advance Sync Settings
3. Tab Sync
Have you ever pulled up a web page on your home computer, gone in to the office and wished you could remember the web address of the page back at home? With tab sync, you can view any open tab on any of your devices and open them with a single click. Pull up a map on your laptop, jump in the car and open up the map on your phone!
You must sign in to Chrome to enable this feature: Settings > Sign in to Chrome. Make sure you check the box for "open tabs". You must repeat these steps on every device you wish to use the tab sync feature.
After enabling tab sync, when you open a new tab in Chrome, you will see an option for "other devices" where all of your open tabs will be displayed. The screen shot below is from an iPhone, showing tabs on several other devices.
When you are projecting something in class and you want to highlight a specific area of the screen you can use the keyboard shortcut ctrl and + to zoom in. When you are ready to zoom back out, use ctrl and - or ctrl and 0.
Nothing to enable here! Just use ctrl and +/- to zoom in and out!
5. Settings Search
Do you need to reset your pass-phrase, adjust your trackpad sensitivity or delete an extension? Don't worry about remember where that button is, just search for it! Chrome user settings can be quickly searched. It makes adjusting settings super easy!
Nothing to enable here! Just go into settings and look for the search box!
Every month I send out an email newsletter highlighting ideas, updates, and new Apps and Extensions for Chromebooks. If this sounds like something you would appreciate, you can sign up here!