Google’s Chrome “apps” are a bit of a misnomer.
They’re not extensions, as you may be familiar with from Firefox, which run in the background, or change the look or workings of your browser, giving it new capabilities and visuals. Instead, they are generally full web-pages that are optimized to run in Chrome that you access from your “new tab” tab.
Essentially, a glorified bookmarks page.
But there are advantages to using Chrome web-apps over simply bookmarking an interesting SaaS product.
For instance, you can choose how an app will open by right clicking its icon on the apps page. Do you want it in a pinned tab? Fullscreen? A new window? Take your pick. Additionally, you can easily carry your apps page with you, from computer to computer, simply by logging in to, for instance, your Gmail account. This makes it handier than a local bookmarks folder for accessing your apps when traveling, or if your computer goes down.
Given that, here are ten great Chrome web-apps you should be using if you’re an eLearning professional.
A free gradebook and classroom management app that can track grades, create lesson plans, and sync schedules. Integrates with your Google account and calendar to keep everything in one place.
A cloud-based learning management system that is free for up to five simultaneous classes. Google Drive integration means that Google Docs and Spreadsheets can be used easily for assignments and course content.
A course and content creation tool that is free for teachers, Blendspace (formerly Edcanvas) is focused on blended learning and bringing digital media into traditional classrooms. It also allows for auto-grading assessments and tracking student progress through courses.
This free app lets you build quizzes, surveys, and other assessments to test skills acquisition or other knowledge retention. You can publish the quizzes anywhere online, award certificates, and track results and statistics.
A free LMS that allows you to “build your own MOOC” as well as sell courses for a revenue share. EDUonGO also integrates with Google Drive to allow you to easily bring in content and files when building courses.
Games-based learning and gamification are becoming big in the eLearning space, and Zondle provides you a free platform to build learning games and track student results. Additional integration with the Edmodo LMS and a suite of mobile apps adds additional accessibility.
A student tracking and lesson planning app, this free service allows you to attach any digital content to a student profile or lesson plan. Additionally, a mobile companion app lets you track student progress from anywhere and upload images and files from the mobile device’s native camera.
A free (for teachers) collaboration and classroom management tool, Edmodo includes content sharing, chat, student tracking, and gamified badges. Mobile app integration and access to resources from other teachers also expands the reach of the software.
Need to give assessments from a distance but want to limit any potential cheating? This app from the American Institutes for Research provides a secure testing environment for anyone using a Chromebook, logging them out if they try to, for instance, take a screenshot or switch to another app before finishing the test.
This white board app is free for up to three boards and 100mb of storage. It integrates with Google Drive to allow you to link files easily, and has real-time collaboration so teachers can host online classes and receive instant feedback.
Are there some great Chrome apps I missed? Add them in the comments below, and check out the full list of Chrome apps for eLearning.
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