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Chrome Extensions

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Some people confuse a browser with a search engine.  Google has both and people often refer to them interchangeably as “Google” but Google is a search engine, Chrome is a browser.  You access Google through Chrome.  You can also access the Google search engine from other browsers. The search engine is the part of the browser that actually goes out to the internet and searches for the sites that best match your keywords.

The browser is the software that you use to search the internet with. Each browser has its own features that make your searching experience work best for you.  Chrome has it’s own “dock” that you can add software to.  It also has something called “extensions” that can be added to your search bar.  First we are going to take care of some basics.

Sign In:
If you aren’t already signed in there are a couple ways you can do that. Sign into one of the apps, like Gmail or Google Drive. Or, click on the Chrome menu and click on settings. Then click on Sign Into Chrome.  When you sign into one Google product you are automatically signed into all of them. Google products include: YouTube, Google Classroom, Google Drive. Regardless of which device you sign in with Chrome your bookmarks, search history, and settings will be the same.

1.To access your settings, click on the icon with three lines in the top right corner of your screen.
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2.Click on Settings
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3.Set your start up pages if you want.  I have mine set as  Make sure “Show Home button” is checked off as well as “Always show the bookmarks bar”.
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4. Choose if you want Chrome to Autofill your web forms and offer to save your passwords. I don’t recommend either.
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5. Basics. A brief look at the ready loaded features.  
  • New Tab
  • No bookmarks visible unless you set it up
  • Refresh
  • Star-Bookmark
  • Users, you can set up multiple users (remember you need to use your school Google account for all school related correspondence and file sharing)
  • Select where downloads go (Advance Settings, Downloads, Download Location)
  • Get themes-choose different themes for different users to help you keep them straight (Settings, Appearances, Get Themes)

6. Now let’s add some extensions. There are thousands of Chrome extensions that can make your life so much easier. From your settings look at the top left and click on “extensions”. Extensions are reviewed and rated in the Chrome store so you can get a feel for how others are using them and what they think.

Personal Recommendations:
  • WEBCLIPPERS. Clipping and saving articles you find on the internet helps you to find them later and to build your own resource libraries. Links and bookmarks aren’t always reliable. The three extensions below will help you to save your content, and remove the clutter for simplified reading and printing.
  • Clearly/Evernote Web Clipper: See the video in the Chrome store. Clearly was discontinued in January of 2016. The Evernote Web Clipper can do similar tasks but if you aren’t an Evernote user this might not be your best option. iPad app is available for Evernote. Evernote also works with other apps to add content to your “library” including Evernote Scannable, Penultimate, and Skitch. All of these ways to add content make it hard to compete with if you are looking for a product with more features.
  • Pocket: You can login to Pocket with your Google Account. Like Readability, you can click on RECOMMENDED to see a list of articles that other’s have clipped, similar to Pinterest. Pocket does a fine job of cleaning up an article and making it look good but unlike Readability it does not delete the screenshots, photos, and images. It is very difficult to tell apart from Readability at times because the features are so similar. Like Readability you can “Favorite” an article as well as Archive, and create Tags. You can recommend it through your Facebook, and Twitter accounts and share the URL through email. Pocket also allows you to clip pictures, though not as nicely as Pinterest, and videos. The video feature is a plus, you can see a thumbnail of the video in the clipper and play it directly from there. When you click the play button the video plays without the distractions you would otherwise see in YouTube unless you use the embedded YouTube playlist feature. Although I believe the YouTube terms of use asks that all videos be played from YouTube or through an embedded playlist when sharing with others so this might be a copyright issue. An iPad app is available.
  • Save to Google Drive: This is a one click extension that will quickly take what you are reading and put it in your shared documents. The formatting changes with the save and the articles can be very difficult to read in some cases. It’s very convenient to have all of your stuff in one place so if you are a Google Drive user this one would be a good choice if it weren’t for the formatting issues. Google Drive will not clip a video.

Other Extensions:
  • Momentum. This is an interface for your new tab page. Every time you click new tab you can see the time in oversized numbers, a beautiful photograph, a daily quote, the temperature where you are, a to do list, links to apps, email, and the Chrome tab. A similar product is called Taco.
  • Google Dictionary. Click the Google Dictionary extension and type in any word you want a definition for, it will be a little pop up window so you never have to leave your page
  • Google Mail Checker. This is a shortcut to your GMail account, it will also show you how many unread emails you have with a little number in the bottom corner
  • Snd Control. The “audio control pad for Chrome”. Allows you to have a pause and play button for Pandora, Spotify, YouTube, Amazon, and many others. The free version allows you to use one source only but for $24 you can have a lifetime use of as many sources as you want.
  • Amazon Assistant. if you use Amazon as much as I do this little drop down box comes in handy.
  • Pin it Button. Pinterest fans can click this at any time to add something to their Pinterest boards
  • Magic Actions for YouTube. Set for no ads to delete the ads at the beginning of your videos and the ones that pop up later
  • Cite This For Me. A citation creator for websites. Styles include APA, MLA, Chicago, Harvard.
  • Honey. An extension that searches for coupons at checkout. Just shop like you normally do and when you are at the checkout Honey will appear with coupons that could save you money on shipping and products. Very cool.
  • Last Pass is a password vault that helps you to organize and keep track of all of your passwords. It will also fill in forms for you.
  • Giphy for Chrome, click and drag animated video clips into your documents like this one.
7. The Chrome Store
  • Add apps here that will be added to your Chrome App Launcher
  • You can also access these apps by clicking on the Chrome App icon in the top left of the Browser
  • Check out the education apps


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