Written by Andrew Ellingsen and Sarah Zbornik, DCSD Instructional Coaches.
When I have a last-minute change of plans and want students to all visit the same website, it can be frustrating to wait for everyone to type in the web address… I know I could add a link to my Schoology course or create a QR code, a tinyurl, or shorten the URL using Google. Sometimes, though, I want to change course mid-lesson…
Google has recently released a new extension for Chrome called Google Tone. This extension allows users to use their computer’s microphone and speakers to transfer a web link from one computer to another. After I installed it, a blue megaphone icon now appears to the right of the address bar in my Chrome browser.
When I visit a website I want to share, I can click on the Tone icon, and a series of notes will play. The microphone on any computer (...in relatively close range...with the extension installed...and the Chrome browser open…) will process the audio cue as an invitation to visit the same website – and the invitation will open as a notification in the upper-right corner of the screen.
Clicking on the invitation will open the web link, and the lesson can proceed without waiting for students to type in the web address.
(I came across Google Tone while I was looking for a computer-friendly alternative to the mobile app Chirp. Chirp allows for the transmission of photos, SoundCloud audio files, short video clips, web links, and other formats by using an audio version of a QR code. This has been a very useful tool with the iPads at the elementary level, but less so for middle school. While there’s an extension in Chrome that allows you to send a Chirp from the computer, they have not yet released a version that allows users to receive a Chirp. Trust me – when they do, I’ll blog about it here!)
What extensions have you installed on Chrome that are helpful? Share them in the comments below!
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