Thursday, April 17, 2014

Communication Tools for the Chromebook

I bet there are a few of you who now have access to a cart of Chromebooks and are eager to start integrating them into your classroom strategies.  The combination of laptop and cloud-only storage (for the most part) might be a daunting proposition for some, but you will find that awesome classroom learning and student outcomes can happen using a Chromebook.
As always, keep your learning goals top of mind, and then find the applications that work best to accomplish them.  This post focuses on Communication applications and extensions you can use on a Chromebook.   As these are web-based tools, you can use just about all of them on Macs, PCs, and mobile devices too.
Remind101 – This is a one-way text message system that allows the teacher to keep students and parents informed of classroom and school activities.  More and more teachers tell me what a lifesaver this has been, especially those who teach younger students.
Blogger - Blogging made easy!  Indeed, blogging supports Common Core standards (ELA and math), provides for a broader audience, and gives students voice.  Consider it for teacher, student, or general sharing of learning.
Screencastify – Chromebook’s screen-casting extension.  This is simple to use, saves your video in Google Drive.  It’s still in beta, so anticipate some wonkiness.
Google Voice - Manage all your phones to one location (extension).  This is not really a classroom tool, but it’s nice to get emails with a voice message and a transcript of that message.
IFTTT (If This Then That) - Very fun! Create easy scripts (recipes) that allow your apps to play nice together!  Automagically post a Twitter update when a blog post goes live; send a text message on a regular schedule as a reminder; lots of combinations to consider.
There’s more, please let us know what communication tools you use, regardless of device!

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