Monday, March 28, 2022

Chromebooks Can Do That?! - Teach with Chrome Webinar

I recently had the privilege to present some of Google's "Teach with Chrome" webinars

These were a series of 30-minute sessions diving deep into how Chrome devices and ChromeOS can be used by teachers and students to improve teaching and learning.

One of the sessions I did was "Chromebooks Can Do That?!" where we looked at lesser known but helpful features of Chromebooks including:
📷 Camera tools
🎞️ Screen capture and recording
🗂️ Multiple desks
📶 Offline access
⌨️ Keyboard shortcuts
🤖 Android apps

See below for the recorded webinar video and session resources.

▶️ Recorded Webinar Video (39 minutes)

🧰 Resources

📷 Camera Tools

Launch the Camera app
  • Click the Launcher button.
  • Locate and open the Camera app.
  • Change the size of the grid, the length of the timer, or the camera resolution.
  • Select "Mirroring" to flip your image from left to right.
  • Select "Grid" to view a grid overlay to help line up shots.
  • Select "Timer" to turn on a 3 or 10-second timer.
  • If you have a second camera, select "Switch camera" to change between your cameras.

Take a picture
  • Use the "Photo" option to take a normal landscape-oriented picture.
  • Use the "Square" option to take a square image.
  • The picture will get saved to the "Camera" folder on your Chromebook. To access the images open the "Files" app on your Chromebook, then select "My files" and then "Camera".

Edit a picture
  • You can open and edit any picture you have taken:
  • "Crop & rotate" the image
  • "Rescale" the image to resize it
  • "Lighting filters" to adjust exposure, contrast, and saturation
  • "Annotate" to draw on top of the image

Record a video or animated GIF
  • Choose the "Video" option.
  • Then choose "Normal" to record a standard video.
  • Click on the microphone icon to mute or unmute your mic.
  • Click the record button to begin recording.
  • Click the pause and resume button while recording as needed.
  • When done click the stop button to finish.
  • Or choose "GIF" to record a 5-second animated GIF.

Scan a document
  • You can scan a document with your camera as well.
  • Choose the "Scan" option.
  • Then choose "Document".
  • Line up the document within the frame.
  • Then take a picture of the document.
  • Choose "Retake" if you need to rescan the document.
  • Click "Fix" if you need to adjust the frame for the scanned document.
  • When done, click "Save as Photo" or "Save as PDF" to save your scanned document.

🎞️ Screen Capture & Recorder

There are several ways to launch the screen capture and recording tool:
  • Click on the system menu in the bottom right corner (where the clock is located), and then click on "Screen capture" in the menu.
  • Or press Shift + Ctrl + Show windows keys 
  • Or press the Screen capture key (on newer Chromebooks)

The screen capture and recording toolbar will open:
  • Click "Screenshot" to take a picture.
  • Click "Screen record" to take a video.
  • Click "Full" screenshot or video.
  • Click "Partial" screenshot or video.
  • Click "Window" screenshot or video.
  • Click "Settings" to mute or unmute mic, and choose the location to save to.

🗂️ Multiple Desks

Chromebooks allow you to organize your windows into multiple desks.

Create and access desks
  • To access your desks, press the "Show windows" key 
  • Click "New desk" to create an additional desk.
  • Click on the name of any desk to rename it.
  • Click on any desk to switch to that desk.
  • Tip - Swipe left or right with four fingers on your touchpad to move to the next desk.

Manage content on desks
  • To move content press the "Show windows" key and then drag windows or apps to the desired desk.
  • Or right click on a window or tab, then choose to move to another desk or show in all desks.
  • To delete a desk press the "Show windows" key and then click the Close button in the top right corner of the desk thumbnail.

📶 Offline Access

Although Chromebooks are cloud-based computers, they are still able to work when offline. To do this you need to enable offline access in the settings for Gmail, Drive, and Calendar.

Offline Gmail
  • First click on the settings gear in the top right corner of the Gmail screen.
  • Choose "See all settings" in the menu.
  • On the "Settings" page choose the "Offline" tab.
  • Check the box to "Enable offline mail".
  • In the "Sync settings" choose how many days worth of emails to save offline: 7, 30 , or 90 days.
  • If desired, check the box for "Download attachments".
  • In the "Security" settings choose what happens after you log out of the Google account on this device:
  • Keep offline data on my computer (good if you do not share the Chromebook with others)
  • Remove offline data from my computer
  • Save the changes
Now when you are offline you can go to Gmail and still access, read, delete, organize, and reply to emails that have been saved for offline use. When you connect to the Internet again, the changes you made offline will be synced up.

Offline Drive
  • Click the settings gear in the top right corner of Google Drive screen, and choose "Settings".
  • Scroll to find "Offline" settings.
  • Check the box for "Create, open and edit your recent Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides files on this device while offline."
  • Click "Done".
Now when you are offline you can go to Drive and can access and edit any files that are not grayed out (these will be recently used files).

Offline Calendar
  • Click the settings gear in the top right corner of Google Calendar screen, and choose "Settings".
  • Find the "Offline" section in the "General" settings.
  • Check the box for "Turn on offline calendar".
  • Let Google Calendar reload to make the change.
Now when you are offline you can go to Google Calendar and still access your events, although you will not be able to edit them or add new events while offline.

⌨️ Keyboard Shortcuts

Some helpful keyboard shortcuts:

🤖 Android Apps

Most modern Chromebooks allow you to install Android apps, which opens up many additional tools for your device.

Enable Android Apps
  • If you are using a school-managed Chromebook, check with your technology administrator to get Android Apps enabled.
  • If you are using your own personal Chromebook:
  • Click on the system menu in the bottom right corner (where the clock is located), and then click the settings gear.
  • In the "Settings" screen, find the "Google Play Store" settings in the "Apps" section.
  • Next to "Install apps and games from Google Play on your Chromebook," select Turn on.
  • In the window that opens, select More.
  • Agree to the Terms of Service.

Install Android Apps
  • Launch the "Google Play Store" app on your Chromebook.
  • Search or browse for apps.
  • Install apps.

Google Classroom - Android version - The Android version of Google Classroom has several features that the web version does not have:
  • Digital annotation feature
  • Take pictures and record videos
  • Scan multiple pages of work
  • Student selector tool
  • More details and resources at: 

Jamboard - Android version - The Android version of Google Jamboard has several features that the web version does not have:
  • Insert Drive content
  • Insert image from camera
  • Insert stickers
  • Handwriting recognition
  • Shape recognition
  • Autodraw
  • More details and resources at:

Toontastic 3D - Android version
  • Toontastic lets students create, save, and export 3D animated, narrated stories for free

Post by Eric Curts. Bring me to your school, organization, or conference with over 50 PD sessions to choose from. Connect with me on Twitter at 

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