Screencastify is a free extension for the Chrome browser. It is used to record the computer's desktop and application. Screencastify will use the microphone that that is part of your computer. We can connect other microphones to the computer. Most microphones can be used by Screencastify. Plug the microphone into the computer USB port before starting the Screencastify extension.

Click on the Screencastify extension and select one of the recording options.

microphone option

Screencastify is a free extension for the Chrome browser and Chromebooks. The Chrome browser is available for most operating systems and is free. The extension can be download and installed from the Google Chrome Web Store.

Screencastify can be used to record content on the Internet. This includes content created with Google Docs, Slides, and Sheets. These documents can be used to provide instructions, lessons, and tutorials. Please be mindful of copyright law when recording content on the Internet.

Click on the Screencastify icon.

screencastify extension icon

Screencastify is a free extension for the Chrome browser and Chromebook. It is used to record the contents of your computer screen. Teachers can use Screencastify to record lessons, instructions or lectures. Students can use Screencastify to present information to the class and as part of assignments given to teachers. The extension can be installed from the Chrome Web store. In this lesson we look at the setup process after installing the extension.

During the setup process, we need to allow Screencastify to access and perform functions using the browser. It also needs permission to access Google Drive, which is where recorded videos are typically saved. Screencastify can use the webcam on the computer to record video, typically that of the presenter. The video captured through the webcam can be included in the screencast or it can be recorded separately. Part of the setup includes granting permission to Screencastify so it can access the webcam camera.

Click on the Screencastify extension icon.

screencastify icon

Supervising user accounts is something that parents and classroom teachers can do to manage how students use Chromebooks and the Chrome browser in the classroom. Typically, school districts that use Google for education have access to manage multiple Chromebooks and student accounts on Chrome browsers. This service usually comes at an additional cost in addition to the purchase of Chromebooks. The Chrome management service is purchased with each Chromebook.

Not all school districts have Google for education, and purchasing the additional Chrome management service adds to the price per Chromebook. Using supervised user accounts is one way to provide a supervised user experience for students in the Chrome browser or on a Chromebook without any additional expense. In this lesson, we will learn how to setup a supervised user account on a Chrome browser. This process works on Windows or Mac Chrome browsers.

On the right side of the Chrome browser is the browser menu. Click it to open the menu options.

chrome browser menu

Click on Settings.

chrome browser settings

Near the bottom of the settings page is the account or people section. Click on the “Add person” button.

people section in settings

An account box will open where we will provide a name for the account. Erase the generic Person 1 account and provide a descriptive name for the account.

name field for account

We’ll use the generic name student and select an avatar for the account.

account name of student and puppy avatar

Place a check mark on the option to supervise this account. With the supervised account, we will be able to control and view websites visited by this account. This account will be managed by the account we already have setup in the Chrome Browser.

If you haven’t setup your account on this Chrome browser then you will need to set it up first. The process is fairly simple. Replace student with your name and click the add button. You will be prompted to provide your Gmail address and password. After that, you can return and add the supervised account.

After placing a checkmark to supervise the account, click the add button.

check mark on control and view option

A message box will inform us that the account has been created. The information provides a link where we can manage the sites that can be visited with this account. For now, click on the “Switch to Student” button.

switch to student button

A browser window will open with a blue title bar. On the right side of the title bar is the account name and it’s also informing us that the account is supervised.

supervised student information

Let’s go to the management page for the account. Switch back to the settings window and enter “http://www.chrome.com/manage”.

 manage settings

A page will display the account we just created. Click on the account panel.

 supervised user dashboard

You’ll get an information box with a link to take a tour. Take the tour or click the “No thanks” button.

welcome information box

When a supervised user is accessing the Internet and clicks on a restricted site, the user can request approval of the site. We can decide to approve or deny access to these sites.

requests and activity boxes

We can monitor sites visited by the supervised user on this page.

activity box information

SafeSearch is automatically set for the supervised user account. This means that questionable content is filtered.

When the account is created no sites are blocked. We can manage which sites are blocked in the permissions section with the “Manage” option. Click on the manage link.

permissions section

When managing access to sites, we have two basic options. We can allow access to all the web or we can allow access to specific sites only. We can click the allow selector to choose how we want to manage the supervised user’s account.

manage permission section

If we choose to allow access to all the web, we can then block specific sites. This includes an entire domain. A domain is the address, i.e. google.com, wikipedia.org or digitalmaestro.org. When we block a domain, all the pages that are part of the domain are blocked.

In this example, we’ll block wikipedia.org. As we enter the address for the site, the behavior changes to “Block only this address”.

block site page url information

To block the entire domain, click the behavior selector and pick “Block entire domain”.

block entire domain option

After entering a site to block and selecting a behavior, we will be presented with another field to add an additional site. Click the Ok button to save this blocked site.

another page url field

In the permissions section we see the student account has one blocked site.

permission overview

Let’s try to access Wikipedia as a supervised user.

blocked page information

A page will open informing the user that they need permission to access this page.

ask permission dialogue

The same message would appear if we tried to click a link that leads to anything related to Wikipedia. In this example, we will click the link to an article about Albert Einstein on Wikipedia.

link to blocked article in domain

Blocking Subdomains

There are times when we don’t want to block an entire domain but just part of a site. There are several ways we can do this. Some sites have subdomains. These are sites that are part of the main domain but have a different address. For example, adobe.com is a domain and color.adobe.com is a subdomain. We can block the main domain adobe.com but allow access to its subdomains.

Go to the manage page and click on the “Manage” link.

permissions information box

We will be blocking adobe.com but allowing the user to access its subdomains like color.adobe.com. If the user tries to access adobe.com he or she will get the restriction message we saw earlier. On the other hand, if they go to one of the subdomains like color.adobe.com, the user will have access.

allow subdomains option

Blocking Specific Addresses

There are sites that have different domains based on different parts of the world. For example, google.com and google.co.uk are the same Google but the second domain is specific to the United Kingdom. Each domain caters to the language and other requirements of that country. For example, the Google for Mexico has menu items and buttons in Spanish.

google for mexicon domain

In this example, we’ve blocked access to the Google search engine for Mexico.

block entire domain option

Block Everything Except Certain Sites

Another way to limit access is to limit access to everything on the web except for specific domains or sites. Click on the allow selector and choose “Only approves sites”.

only approved sites option

For example, we can provide the address for digitalmaestro.org and allow the user to access the entire domain. The moment the user tries to access any site or page that is not part of the domain, a restricted page message will appear.

allow entire domain option

Block Subdomains

As we learned earlier, domains have subdomains. We can allow access to a domain but restrict access to one or more subdomains. In this example, the user has access to adobe.com but is restricted from accessing color.adobe.com. We need to select the “Block some subdomains” behavior for a site to have this option.

block subdomain url

Allow Access To Only One Address

Earlier we were able to block specific addresses like google.co.uk. We can do the same here but from the other way around. We can grant access to google.co.uk, and restrict access to the other Google domains. Make sure to select the option to “Allow only this address”.

allow only this address

Requesting Access

These are the essentials for managing access to sites for supervised users. How we implement the permissions depends on our needs. For example, in schools, we might want to block every site on the web except for specific domains or subdomains that are specific to instruction. As a parent, we might want to block only specific domains while leaving the rest of the web open. A business or school district with a kiosk might want to block everything but a subdomain with information for visitors.

When a user asks permission for a site we have the option to approve access.

ask permission button

When we look at the manage page we will see a request section. The request includes the web address and when the request was made.

requests box

We can approve or deny a site by placing a checkmark on the site and clicking the appropriate button. In this example, we will deny access to the site. when we deny access to a site, the user can still request access when trying to visit the site in the future.

requests information

All visited sites are listed in the activity section. We can approve or deny site access in this section too. Place a checkmark on the site and click the approve button.

visited date and time informaton

User Activity Monitoring

The activity section contains a list of sites a user tried to visit. We can look at the specific pages the user tried to access by clicking the triangle on the left of each site.

list of visited and blocked sites attempted

In this example, we see all pages within digitalmaestro.org that the user tried to access. The list includes pages that were blocked and those that were not blocked. Unblocked pages might be part of a subdomain that was approved for access.

detailed list of pages visited

Manager and Supervised User Accounts

We can create additional supervised user accounts and each can have its own set of permissions and approved sites. Multiple user accounts can be useful with different computer work-stations for students or different kiosk stations.

If we plan to use this account exclusively for a student work-station, kiosk or other option where we only want that user account, we need to make sure the managed account is not associated with the Chrome browser.

In the Chrome menu, click on settings.

settings option from menu

In the people section, click the managing account and click the “Remove” button.

student account selected with options

Confirm the removal of the account.

remove confirmation and button

Now, when we open the Chrome browser, it will open to the supervised user account.

The Chrome browser is automatically set to open the Google search page unless you’ve changed the home page settings. We can set the page or pages that are automatically opened when we start the Chrome browser. Each home page opens in a separate tab and we can decide which order those tabs will be presented to us in the browser. This is similar to the pinned tabs option we learned about in a previous lesson.

Click on the Chrome menu button and select settings.

Chrome browser menu and settings option.

In the settings page we see an option to set the startup page. Unless this has been changed, the default setting is set to open a new tab. This usually takes us to the Google search page. Let’s click on the third option to open a specific page or pages. Click on the set pages link.

on startup section.

A box will open so we can either type or paste the link to the page we want to open. If we happen to be on the page or pages we want to automatically open, we can simply click the use current pages button. This button looks at all the pages you currently have open and set those as start up pages. I’ll be manually providing the pages in this example.

provide a page link.

Once I’ve entered the page, I’ll click the OK button.

digitalmaestro.org entered into field link.

This will take us back to the settings page. Nothing looks any different, but if we quit the browser and start it again, the page we set will automatically open.

settings page.

Let’s set a couple more pages to automatically open when we start the browser. This time, I’ll have those pages already open in the browser. Each site or page is in a separate tab.

open Chrome browser and several tabs .

Let’s go back to the settings page and click the set pages link.

on start up section in settings.

The start page we set earlier is here. Let’s add the other pages we have open. Click the use current pages button.

add a new page option.

The pages that are currently open will be automatically populated in the list. We also have an address box available so we can add another site or page manually. Let’s set these pages by clicking the Ok button. Quit your browser and start it again to see each of these pages load. The pages load the same way we had them open.

browser open with several tabs.

Let’s do one more thing. What if I change my mind and I would rather have my gmail tab open first instead of my site page. We can’t change the order in the settings page but we can change the order in the browser. I’ll click and drag the gmail tab to the left of my site tab.

browser open with several tabs.

I’ll then go back to the settings page and click the set pages link. This will open the links box. Click the use current pages button.

start up pages with list of pages .

Notice how the gmail page floated to the top of the list. When I click OK and restart the browser, the gmail tab will be the first to open.

startup pages with open pages in order.

 

Like most browsers, Chrome includes a setting to customize its appearance with themes. Themes are part of the Chrome store. Click on the Chrome menu and select settings.

Chrome menu with menu items.

On the left side of the settings page, click on settings.

Chrome settings section.

Go to the appearance section and click the get themes button.

appearance section in settings.

The Chrome web store will open and take us to the themes section of the store.

Chrome web store and themes section.

There are many free themes we can choose from. The current popular themes are displayed on the theme section home page. To select one of these themes, click on the theme thumbnail.

preview of several themes in store.

A page with a larger preview will open and a button to add this theme to Chrome. I’ll add this theme to my Chrome by clicking the “add to Chrome” button.

information about theme and option to add to Chrome.

After a couple of seconds, the theme will be added to Chrome and the button will change to let us know this theme has been added to Chrome. Click on the close button in the top right hand corner.

button changes to read added to Chrome.

Elements of the theme can be seen in the tabs and in the address bar.

the navigation bar and tabs are blue.

To see the full effect of the theme, click on the Apps icon in the bookmarks bar.

the apps background has the theme image.

The background theme can be seen in the Apps launcher window.

app icons with the theme behind them.

To Change the theme, we will need to go back to the Chrome web store and select another theme.

appearance section in settings to get themes.

If you’re looking for a specific theme, use the search box.

the Chrome we store in the themes section.

If we prefer the basic theme that came with Chrome, we can select the reset to default theme button.

reset theme option in the appearance section.

Like most browsers today, Chrome uses tabs to open several web pages at once. You can still open pages in their own window, but that tends to clutter your screen and it’s difficult to navigate from one page to the next.

When we’re on a page and click a link, the new page will either open in the same tab or in a new tab. This isn’t something random. This is how the web page developer coded the page to open. When a developer is coding the links, he or she can choose to have the link open in the same tab or in a new tab.

With the power of modern browsers we’re empowered to browse the web the way we want, and tabs help do that effectively. Let’s begin with the basics. When we’re on a page and click on a link, we can choose how the linked page will load. Most pages will automatically open a link in a new tab, but if a link doesn’t open in a new tab, press the Command key on Mac or Control Key on Windows and click the link. This will force the link to open in a new tab in the background.

Most of the time we need to open a link in a new tab and then view the linked page. To do this press Shift + Command on Mac or Shift + Control on Windows and click the link. This will open the page in a new tab and bring it to the front.

If you don’t like to use short cut keys, right click on a link and select open link in new tab. This will create a new tab with the link but open it in the background. You will need to click on the tab to bring it forward.

There are times when we need to open another page but keep the current page open. In this case we can create a new tab and open another page in that tab. To the right of any tab is a new tab button. Clicking this button will create a new empty tab. We can then enter a page or site address. We can also search the Internet. There is a shortcut key which can save you time. On Mac, press Command + T or Windows Control + T.

browser with multiple tabs.

Tabs in browsers are a handy way of moving from web site to web site or web page to web page. They are especially useful when working on Google Documents. It’s easy to have lots of tabs open and it’s also easy to organize these tabs. Tabs can be moved around by simply clicking and dragging. In this example I will move my gmail tab to the right of my site drive tab.

several tabs in a window.

We’ve been working with tabs and we know they are very useful. There may be times when we need to have a tab open in a window on its own. We may need to do this because we’re presenting something on our computer and don’t want to show the usual clutter of tabs. Opening a tab in its own window is very simple. In this example I will open my web site onto a window of its own. To do this, I’ll drag the tab down toward the page.

dragging tab down and away.

Tabs are a powerful feature of any browser, but when you combine tabs and windows, the possibilities are endless. We know that tabs are good for opening multiple pages in the browser without the headache of windows opening all over the place. We also know that opening pages in separate windows can be confusing. What if we can combine the features of both and use them to help get our work done more effectively.

Browser windows can be a useful way for us to organize tabs. We can use windows to group tabs in any way we choose. Let’s begin with the basics. We can create a new window by going to the menu, clicking File and selecting New Window. We can also use the shortcut key Command + W on Mac or Control + W on Windows.

File menu options with new tab and new window options.

Many of us often need to go to the same web pages or web sites every day. Chrome has a way to make these pages available to use each time we start the browser. Chrome has the option to pin tabs. These pinned tabs will always open each time we start the browser. Pinning tabs is very easy. Open a page or site you need to pin and right click on the tab. Select the pin tab option.

tab contextual menu with pin tab option.

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