Tag Archives: google

Chrome Apps and Extensions

Now that summer has begun it is time to play! If you haven ‘t spent any time in the Chrome Web Store I HIGHLY suggest you do.  There are tons of free apps and extensions you can use in your Chrome browser that are fabulous.

To get to the Chrome Web Store you can click on new tab in your Chrome browser and in the bottom right hand corner click on Web Store.

Chrome Web Store

You will have to make sure you are signed in to the Web Store (check the upper left hand corner for your email address).

Spend some time in the Web Store exploring. There are backgrounds, games, programs, extension, helpful tools.  Here are a few of my favorites:

Extensions will appear next to your address bar.



Screen Capture – captures an image of what is on your screen quickly
Shorten Me – allows you to shorten an URL or create a QR code with one click
Announcify! – takes your webpage and read it to you
Key Rocket – helps you learn short cut to make your life a bit easier (think CTRL + C)
Read & Write – will read your Google Doc out loud to you
Ginger – spelling and grammar check


Apps will appear as icons when you click on a new tab.



These apps will allow you to access your Google tools quickly:
You Tube
Google Calendar
Google Docs
Google Drive

Voice Comments (from learn.ly) – allows you to leave voice comments on a Google Doc
Dropbox – free cloud storage
Geogebra – online mathematical tool

Those are a few of my favorite but I am just skimming the surface. There are a wide variety of items from typing games, to a biodigital human, Angry Birds, ad blockers, and the list continues.

So now that it is summer take some time to play and see what you can find.  I would love to hear what you come up with! Leave me a comment so our list of great apps and extensions continues to grow.

Internet Favorites

The end of the year is upon us. As educators this is the time where we clean out our rooms and get ready for a bit of rest to recharge our batteries.  As educators, we also know there is that myth of “3 months of vacation”.  Before you know it we will be picking up our class lists and supplies and getting ready for the next school year to start.  

A tip for the end of the year housekeeping – saving your Internet Favorites.  First, if you are not using Google Chrome as your browser I would suggest making it your browser of choice next school year.  If you have Internet Favorites saved in Internet Explorer you can import these bookmarks into Chrome by following these directions.

  1. Click the Chrome menu Chrome menu.
  2. Select Bookmarks.
  3. Select Import bookmarks and settings.
  4. Select the program that contains the bookmarks you’d like to import.
  5. Click Import.

Now, that you have all of your bookmarks in Chrome, by signing into the Google Chrome browser this will save all of your favorite Internet sites.  The best part, if you sign into Google Chrome at home it will sync all those booksmarks on your home computer as well.  If you want to know more about why you should sign into Google Chrome you can read more here.  Follow these steps to sign into Google Chrome.

Follow these steps to sign in:

  1. Open Google Chrome.
  2. Click the Chrome menu Chrome menu on the browser toolbar.
  3. Select Sign in to Chrome
  4. Sign in to your Google Account in the dialog that appears. 
  5. In the “Confirm sync settings” dialog that appears, choose what you want to sync.
    • Sync everything: Click the “OK, sync everything” button. (I choose to sync everything).
    • Choose specific items to sync: Click “Advanced” and select “Choose what to sync” from the drop down menu. Select the checkboxes for the items you want to sync.
  6. Click OK.

You will know that you are signed into Chrome when your email address appears in the upper right hand corner when you open a new tab.



You don’t need to worry about your email address staying there and security.  This will not allow others to get into your email or other Google applications, your password would be needed.  

Stay tuned for some summer posts about how signing into Chrome gives you access to the Chrome Web Store and tons of free extensions, programs, and add-on’s to make your tech life a little easier. Have a great summer!


Day 12 – Drive vs. Docs?

For some of you it has happened already. For others it is coming soon. Your Google Documents will be changing over to Google Drive.  So what’s the difference?  Here is what Google tells us about Drive.

Think of Google Drive as your personal stash of files and folders that follows you wherever you go – it lets you keep everything and share anything with 5 GB of storage. With Google Drive, you can access files, folders, and Google Docs from a web browser or any device where you’ve installed your Google Drive.

Your Google Drive is in the cloud, but you can also install the desktop and mobile application to access your files from your computer, smartphone, tablet, or other Android or iOS mobile device, in addition to the online interface at drive.google.com. Google Drive’s built-in sync capability ensures that your files, folders, and Google Docs are the same on all your devices.

Here is the best part (in my opinion) –

What’s changed

  • Collections are now called folders.
  • More things have been added to the Settings menu, including upload settings.
  • The left navigation has new views:The Home view is gone. Instead, use My Drive to organize all of your files, folders, and Google Docs.
    • My Drive
    • Shared with me
    • Activity

What’s completely new

  • Sync files between all of your devices with Google Drive for your Mac or PC.
  • View and search Google Drive on the web in a visual way with grid view.
  • Add a file to a folder by clicking the folder icon within a file or Google document, spreadsheet, or presentation.

Want to read more information? Check out Navigating your Google Drive

Want to see an overview of this new change?

Sit down, hold on tight, and get ready to Drive!

Day 11 – Organizing your home

Organizing your home? Don’t confuse this with your own personal space. I am talking about your Home area in Google Docs/Drive.  One of the complaints that I have heard is that the Home area looks cluttered and people want to get rid of the documents that hang out there.  Now there is an easy way to do just that.

Simply check the box next to the document in and then from the More button select “Don’t Show in Home”


The document will disappear from your Home area.  If you had the document saved in a collection, it will appear there.


If your document was not in a collection you can always search for it by using the search bar.


Because it is not in your Home area anymore, simply get rid of Home in the search bar before you search to search in all documents.


Using the Don’t Show in Home option along with creating Collections for you documents will help to keep your Google Documents organized and easy to use!


Day 10 – Forms

Google Forms are easy to use and share and can collect a variety of data.  Think about a time that you have wanted information from a number of people. By creating a Google Form all of your information is organized in one place in a spreadsheet format. So, how do you do it?

  1. Click Create new > Form.

  1. In the form template that opens, you can add any questions and options you’d like. You can move around the questions and select a variety of question formats (multiple choice, check boxes, short answer, etc.)
  2. Click Email this form once you’ve finished adding your questions. You can also send a URL to your friends if you prefer that.
  3. Add the email addresses (or select people from your address book) of the people to whom you want to send this form.
  4. Click Send

Then, when you want to check out your collected information you can access the spreadsheet. If you need to make any changes to the form you can edit it by opening the spreadsheet then clicking on Form, then Edit Form.

Want to know more bells and whistles about Google Forms? Check out this link!

Want to see what a Google Form looks like? Then check out my sample form about my blog by clicking here.

Day 9 – Emailing Google Documents

Did you that in Google Docs you can directly email someone your document as an attachment? Here are the steps:

1. Once you have the document open click on File, then email as an attachment


2. From there a box will pop up. First select what type of file you should send.  I typically use PDF because then anyone can open it up.


3. Then type in the names of the people you would like to send the document to and a message if you want.

Day 8 – Revision History

Revision History. Hands down one of my favorite parts about using Google Document or Drive – that is for a later date 🙂 This allows you to see who has contributed what portions to the shared document and even revert back to an older version.  So how do you do it?

First click on File, then See Revision History


Then a new item will appear on the right hand side of the screen. From here you can see all the edits but the various contributors.


Once you click on an older version you will see the option to restore back to the older version.


That’s all there is to it! So whether you are using this feature to find an older version of a document or checking each person’s contribution to a project, revision history comes in pretty handy.


Day 7 – Going Incognito

Many of us have gmail accounts we use in our personal lives.  Sometime you may be working in both of those accounts.  If you have done this then you may have also experienced the frustration of trying to switch between these two accounts.  The solution? Going incognito!

By pressing Ctrl, Shift, and N at the same time you can open a new window and go incognito.  This will allow you to log into multiple accounts with any of the headaches.

How do you know your are incognito? When you open the new window you will notice this message appear


And in the upper left hand corner you will also notice this guy…

Going incognito will make life between two gmail accounts that much better!

Day 6 – Chrome

Whether you are using Google Documents, Gmail or other Google applications, all Google items have one common theme.  They all run best when using Google Chrome.  This web browser was designed to be used with all Google applications and you will notice a significant difference when using these compared to another Internet browser.

One of my favorite things about Google Chrome is when you open Chrome.  If you click on the arrow you find on the left hand side


You will be directed to a page where you will find icons of your most visited websites.  This provides an easy opportunity to your “favorites”.


The other way to mark favorites in Chrome is through the Bookmarks Bar.  When you are on a website you would like to include in your favorites click on the star in the address bar.


You can rename the favorite site to anything you want.  To get your Bookmark Bar to appear, simply click on the wrench and then select Bookmarks, then show Bookmark Bar.


Day 5 – Themes

Sometimes you just need to have a little fun. Today’s topic is purely that.  Did you know you can personalize your email by changing the theme of your email?  Simply go to the gear on the right hand side, click on settings, and then click on settings across the top of the   new screen.  Choose your favorite color, a beach theme, or even a ninja!