Google Chrome Web Apps For Teachers And Students

Last week I posted the answers to some frequently asked questions about the new Google Apps Launcher.  In that post I mentioned Chrome Web Apps, and received a few emails asking about how to use Chrome Web Apps with your students.  This post will answer those questions.  At the end of this post I will also share a link to a list of Chrome Web Apps that I love.

Chrome Web Apps available through the Chrome Web Store
Your Chrome Web Apps are available through the Chrome Web Store

The difference between Chrome Web Apps and Google Apps:

Google Apps refers to the core suite of tools that are associate with your Google account.  Google Apps are created by Google, and if you have a Google Apps For Education or Google Apps For Business account, you can individually turn each of these apps on and off for your staff and students.

When we are talking about Google Apps, we are typically referring to:

  • Google Drive (Google Docs, Spreadsheets, Presentations, Drawings, Forms)
  • Google Calendar
  • Google Sites
  • Google Plus (that link is to my Google Plus Account, I’d love to connect with you)
  • Gmail
  • Groups

There are also more non core Google Apps such as Maps, Blogger etc

Chrome Web Apps, are generally created by third-party programmers and are available through the Chrome Web Store.  There are thousands of Apps available.

The difference between a Chrome Web App and an App that you download on your mobile device or tablet:

When you download an App onto your mobile device or tablet, you are actually downloading that app onto that device.  When you attach an app to your Chrome account, you are essentially creating a link back to another site, or in some cases to an offline account on your computer.

This is fantastic for education because this means that so long as you can sign into Chrome on any computer your apps will be accessible.  This save the frustration of students not being able to complete their work because they don’t have their computer or app with them.

Online and offline Apps:

Most Chrome Web Apps need an internet connection to function, although offline Apps are becoming increasingly available.  You will see in the list below, I have created a list of Chrome Web Apps that specifically work without an internet connection.

How to add Chrome Web Apps to your Google account:

  1. Launch the Chrome browser
  2. Click on the chrome menu icon in the top right hand corner of your page chrome menu button
  3. Click sign into Chrome
  4. Choose what you would like to Sync (bookmarks, extensions, history etc)

The difference between a Chrome Web App and an extension:

The easiest way to explain the difference is that generally speaking, a Chrome Web App will take you to the App’s website, and extension will interact with the screen you already have open.

You can also connect Chrome Web Apps to your Drive Account:

When you are in your Drive folder, click the red create button, then click connect more apps (see below).  This will then launch the Chrome Web Store.  You can search for your Chrome Web App and then connect it to your Drive account.

Note: When you want to use your Drive Documents with this App, your document will open up inside the App, not in Drive.

Adding Chrome Web Apps to your Google Drive
Click on create, then Connect more Apps

A list of Chrome Web Apps to check out:

To access the list of Chrome Web Apps and extensions we recommend, simply CLICK HERE

This list is by no means exhaustive!

If you use a Chrome Web App or extension, and you think it should be on the list just let us know in the comment section below.


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In 2018, Using Technology Better designed and delivered a two phase post-migration training program for this New Zealand based graphic design firm. The initial goal of the training program was to reduce frustration with G Suite, with the long term aim of facilitating a change in culture and collaboration that can lead to transformative practices