When I assign students to do research on World Book Kids, they always love and comment on the full page photograph of animals and people that initially comes up. When I looked through the Google Chrome settings, I learned the themes were very easy to change. Some photos don’t open well. For example, I wanted a photo of an iceberg, both above and below the waterline on my own computer as a visual reminder of my student’s personal and academic lives. When I added it, it didn’t show properly and I couldn’t see the 10% above water. Nevertheless, I thought it would set the proper mood to change all the library desktops to either rainforest image or rainforest animals. Normally I don’t bother wasting my time on such details, but since it is so easy I may as well use any element I can to grab their attention. Also, I found the Settings–>Extensions so I can delete whichever extension I don’t actually use. I also found CRTL-H to clear out my history.
So much power for my computer, so little time. Of the approximate 40 apps/extensions I felt compelled to review for this assignment, the one I LOVE the most and have already used is Pocket. Because of another Cool Tools assignment, I subscribe to Twitter #TLChat. I often scan through the articles and fortunately/unfortunately I always find something I want to read or reference later, but run out of time as I am usually doing this during lunch or someone interrupts me, oh you know how it goes. For those of you familiar with TL Chat, it comes out every day, meaning it is super easy to get behind. Despite how easy it is to fall behind, I know there is always something worthwhile for me to read and thus I save every daily email from TLChat. So, yes, I currently have approximately 75 editions I feel I absolutely need to review during the upcoming break. Ridiculous of course, but I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this dilemma.
Before pocket, I would email a link to myself or copy and paste article to Google and save. These emails would get lost in my ever expanding Inbox and if I did remember to look for it, it was of course, ridiculously time-consuming. Now, with Pocket added to my bookmark bar, when I am reading an article and feel I need to save for later, one click on Pocket and it saves to my list and allows me to tag as well.
For example, I’ve been trying to read and come up with a decent fake news lesson plan. The articles have been coming out fast and furious. Several articles linked to other pages that I need to review. Being able to Pocket the articles and assemble a list that I can read when I am ready to sit down and have time to think and plan is very helpful. Bonus feature, I clean out my Inbox because I no longer have to save emails.
I added several extensions that looked interesting, but may or may not be useful to me. Awesome Screenshot looked good. I often use screenshots, copy to a google doc and add lots of arrows to give students a visual to help them navigate a website. I haven’t used it yet, but probably will. I also added Black menu for Google but I’ll have to see if that proves useful to me. At least I know how to delete extensions so they don’t clutter up my bookmark bar.