Monday, July 15, 2013

20 Must Have Chrome Apps for the Classroom

Googles "#1 focus is on the USER...and all else will follow."   How true is that in education too.  I am a teacher of students, not of Economics, Mathematics, etc.  When we take our eye off the ball, we have already lost the game.  Teaching is not easy because we are not teaching subjects, we are teaching individuals.

Teaching to the individual needs of students takes manpower and in public education today, we are WAY out numbered.  What are we to do?  Give up the fight?  We would make more money elsewhere. That's not in us though.  We are teachers and as John Maxwell said, "We want to make a difference, with people that want to make a difference, doing something that makes a difference."  

Enter technology, the force multiplier.  1:1, Flipped, and Blended, are not just buzzwords they are paradigm shifts.  Done correctly (supported) they can offer a truly individualized education.

This brings me to the core point of this post, to share with you what I feel are 20 of the most useful Chrome apps.  Chrome apps don't have the same fervent following as similar apps on iOS or Android, but in many cases they are just as good if not better.  What I like most about Chrome and web applications that utilize Google Authentication is the premise of a single sign-on.   In a traditional school setting (not 1:1) a student is likely to use dozens of different computers in a short span of time. With a single Google Account, that student can seamlessly access all of their files, bookmarks, settings, and applications across any number of devices.  The experience is the same everywhere, even at home. 

So, without further ado, my top 20. Some are teacher tools, but most have content creation and students in mind. Please keep in mind that there are many amazing subject specific Chrome apps (Biodigital Human, Geogrebra, etc), but I was going for a more universal approach here.  If you have questions about any of these apps, or would like to share some that you are using, please leave a comment.

Thanks to friend and colleague Teresa Thomassen for this projects foundation and inspiration.

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