Chromebooks: It’s not that bad, guys
Pella Community High School has officially made the move from Macbooks to Chromebooks for this academic year, and most of the student body is not pleased. Students dislike the smaller screen, the lower processing power, and the lack of apps such as iMovie and Loggerpro. GoGuardian, the new Lanschool equivalent, also allows teachers to close tabs of students in their classes, which has led to grief for some students who don’t know how to access their tab history. However, despite these grievances, the new Chromebooks also bring a host of new and useful features.
First, keyboard shortcuts. Many of the old keyboard commands, like command + c and command + v are still available by using the control (ctrl) key instead of command. Scrolling through tabs can be accomplished in two ways: by scrolling sideways with three fingers, which will “scroll” through the tabs sideways, and by using ctrl and any of the number keys 1-0, which will take you to the corresponding tab in order from the left. Multiple windows can be switched between by scrolling up with three fingers or by pressing the sixth key from the left on the top row.
Screenshots can be taken either using the stylus controls (which can be accessed by taking the stylus out of the case and will appear as a small pen icon on the dashboard) or by hitting the shift, ctrl, and the spread windows key, and will then function just like the old Macbook command. By tapping on the “screenshot taken” notification, the photo can be edited and saved to files.
While files can no longer be dragged to the desktop, they can still be downloaded and then accessed from the downloads file in the files app. This can be used to add custom photos as desktop and chrome backgrounds as well, in addition to all of the default images given.
The notes app can be used offline, and it can be useful to keep a note constantly updated with homework or other things to remember. Notes is also compatible with the stylus, allowing you to write notes by hand or add drawings to your notes. There is also a dedicated app for drawing with the Chrome Canvas app, already preset on computers.
In all, the Chromebooks aren’t quite as limiting as they may seem at first. While old features may have gone, new flexibility has literally been added to what can be done while remaining on task. Chromebooks aren’t going away anytime soon, so it’s best to embrace what they can do to the fullest extent. Hopefully, these quick tips and tricks will prove useful for everyone throughout the school year.