Thursday, September 4, 2008

chrome's tabs and windows

In yesterday's post, I wrote about the features of Google's new browser, Chrome. As a longtime cruiser with Firefox, I'd have to find compelling reasons to switch. Ultimately, beyond all the features I highlighted yesterday, only one reason stands out:

Chrome lets me work more efficiently.

When I research, I take notes. Chrome makes it very easy to open several articles at a time all in separate windows, as well as Google docs, so I can jot down impressions, capture links and quotes, etc.  With Chrome I can easily pull contents from a tab into separate windows, which resize beautifully for easy reading. Scrolling is consistent from window to window, and I can work with as many open windows/tabs as I wish without worrying that they might slow me down or crash. I can highlight any word or term by right-clicking to do a quick Google search in a new tab. Just to write this post, I have four windows open for reference.

I often use Google Alerts in my research, so I keep gmail in a separate window in the background to watch for new information from the web to add to my topic.

Need to grade essays? Pull up the spreadsheet with the links to your students' docs, and put it in a separate window. Next, bring up your gradesheet. Since these are essays, you may also want to bring up your rubric, also in a separate window. Now, you're all set to grade. Click to open in a new window the first student's essay for evaluation and to add comments, enter rubric scores, enter grade, and click out of the essay. Click on the link from the spreadsheet to the next student's essay, and so on. Everything you need is on one screen in front of you.

This process works equally well if, rather than essays, you've collected quiz results using Google forms.

Daily lesson plans
When you click on the new tab button, Chrome highlights your most visited websites in snapshots, as well as sites recently accessed and closed. This makes it very easy and quick to get to your next period's site before they walk through the door, to bring up the day's lesson plan or opening exercise. You can also have ready the course standards for your state in a separate window, all set to project onto a whiteboard or screen.

one negative: no add-ons
The new Chrome is almost perfect for the way I work. The one caveat for me is that I will miss Firefox's add-ons, one of its most useful features. However, Chrome is so intuitive in its search bar, that so far I haven't missed much.

It's always fun to play with new toys. I'm looking forward to putting this one to work.

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