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Chromebook Exploration


This activity is designed for the Tech Leader who is not yet familiar, or has minimal experience, with the Chromebook and its features. Novice users will engage in this activity in a small group. As you feel more confident, feel free to work more independently or to join the experienced users.

As you engage in this exploration, consider it from the Learner point of view. How can you use this tool at your school?

In order to sign in to your Chromebook, you will need to know your Google Account username and password.  Take the next 25 - 30 minutes to complete the following tasks. If you run into any problems, please put your name on the "help" board.

Task 1 - Signing In to a Chromebook

  1. Click Add user on the lower-left corner of the screen.

  1. Enter your district Google account email address and password.

  2. Choose a picture. You can update your picture after you've signed in.

  • The sign in screen can show up to 18 users.

  • After you sign in to the Chromebook, you’ll be automatically signed in to other Google services you use.

Journal Reflections

  1. Did you encounter any challenges as you completed this task? What resource or strategy did you use to overcome the challenge?

  2. What did you learn that could help you as you are using Chromebooks in your classroom with students or introducing them to your colleagues?

Task 2 - Setting Up Bookmarks or Tabs

  1. Click on the Google Chrome Browser icon.

  1. Don't waste brainpower memorizing URLs. Click the icon in the omnibox (website bar at the top of the screen) to place a link for the page into the saved bookmarks. Click the bookmark to revisit the page anytime.

  2. Set up bookmarks for the following websites:

If you would like to add bookmarks to pages that you frequently visit, this can be an opportunity to do that as well.

Journal Reflections

  1. What is the value for you of setting up bookmarks?

  2. How can you help students manage internet resources through bookmarks?  

Task 3 - Understanding the Shelf and accessing your Google Drive

  1. Here is a brief Video that explains the Shelf/Launcher (note: some of the icons have changed since this video was made)

  2. To see all of your apps, click the launcher icon.  

  3. Click an app in the list to open it. You can also hold Shift while clicking to open it in a new window. To add more apps to this list, visit the Chrome Web Store.

  4. After clicking the launcher icon , from your shelf click the Google Drive icon

     5. Click the New button .

     6. Select Folder, name the folder “Chromebook Training” and click Create.

We will be adding documents to this folder throughout the training.

Journal Reflections

  1. What might your colleagues struggle with in setting up folders? How can you help them to move past those struggles?

  2. How does Google Drive appear to be different from other digital file management systems (ex, Windows or MacOS) you may have used?


Task 4 - Understanding the Touchpad

If you're using a Chromebook, use the touchpad to move the pointer and select items on the screen. (Your touchpad may or may not make a clicking noise.)  Here are some gestures and actions supported by the touchpad.


Simply move your finger across the touchpad.

Note: A standard mouse can also be easily connected to any Chromebook.

Journal Reflections

  1. What do you think will be most valuable to your colleagues in using the touchpad? Your students?

Task 5 - Shortcut keys

The top row of your keyboard may look different from a laptop or computer that you are used to. Take 5 minutes to familiarize yourself with the different keys.

Go to the previous page in your browser history (F1)

Go to the next page in your browser history (F2)

Reload your current page (F3)

Enter Immersive mode, which hides the tabs and launcher (F4)

Enter Overview mode, which shows all windows (F5)

Decrease screen brightness (F6)

Increase screen brightness (F7)

Mute (F8)

Decrease the volume (F9)

Increase the volume (F10)

Search your apps and the web at the same time. On a Chromebook, this key is located on the side, where you'd normally find the Caps Lock key. If you're using a regular keyboard, the Windows key in between Ctrl and Alt will work as the search key.

Tip: To turn Caps lock on temporarily, press Alt + the search key.

Journal Reflections

  1. Which shortcuts will your colleagues and students need to know and use most often? Why?

  2. Why is the caps lock key missing? What other key is missing?

Task 6 - Understanding Status Area and Settings

If your shelf is at the bottom of your screen, the Status area is in the bottom right hand corner. This will allow you to sign out, connect to Wifi, see battery life, control volume, and change settings.

Lock your device or sign out

Need to step away from your Chromebook for a few minutes? Use the Sign out option or click on the lock icon to make sure no one accesses your account.

Open your Settings page

Select Settings to see everything you can adjust on the device. There, you’ll find settings for your mouse and touchpad, web browsing, and device permissions, among others.

Find additional help

Click the question mark icon to open the Get Help app. You’ll find a searchable database of helpful tutorials and troubleshooting information for your Chromebook, as well as support contact information.

  1. Click on the Status section.

  2. Click on the ?.

  3. Click on Personalization (left hand side).

  4. Take 5 minutes to scroll through the different features that you and your students can use to customize your Chromebook.

Journal Reflections

  1. Which settings will be most important for your students and your colleagues to personalize? Why?

Final Reflection:

How will you use this exploration activity in the training you provide for your colleagues in the upcoming weeks?

Boyd Adolfsson,
Mar 25, 2015, 10:47 AM