The Chrome Web Browser is ever changing so these instructions are valid for version 21 and above at this time 2-5-2013.  My previous postings and Google Doc on the subject are now out of date.

Some Background:
Many web apps that we use are launched from a parent web page using a technology called a popup page. Unfortunately some Ad's are delivered in this same way.  However, there are generally only one or two of these depending on the site you are visiting and most web developers no longer rely on this method of pushing Ad's because web browsers block them through the use of the popup blockers by default.  It is safe to turn off this technology because the use of the popup blocker usually masks additional issues your computer may have such as malware.  If you turn off the popup blocker and you are inundated with Ad's then you have malware that needs to be removed.

To turn off the popup blocker on the Chrome browser do the following:

While in Chrome click on the Settings icon in the upper right corner (three dashed lines) and select "Settings" in the menu.  At the bottom of the page click the link for "Show Advanced Settings". In the Privacy section Click the "Content Settings..." button.  Scroll down to Popups and select "Allow all sites to show popups".  You can also be more selective and just allow certain websites to popup a page by clicking the Manage Exceptions button and in the Hostname Pattern field enter the website address pattern such as infinitecampus.org.

 
 
Chequamegon School District's BYOD policy makes it easy to shop for your student this year for Christmas.  Under BYOD or Bring Your Own Device to school, what ever choice you make for a device for your student it will be allowed in school.  Here are some handy tips and choice recommendations for this years holiday shopping for a digital device for your student.

Tablets are all the rage this year with prices lower than ever.  The iPad is the top selling tablet with the new 9.7" retina display 4th generation iPad starting at $499 for the 16G WiFi only model.  For some this is a hefty price to pay so best to get the generation 2 iPad at $399.  It has all the same basic features as the generation 4 iPad but without the retina display and a little slower processor. Then there is the iPad mini with a 7.9" display, smaller than the larger unit but basically the same as the generation 2 iPad in specs with a price starting at $329.  While the Apple iOS has not changed much in the past couple of years, expect your new iPad to be compatible with the next release of iOS 7  predicted to be a major shift in its graphical user interface design to keep pace with features found on Android devices.

If you are looking to get a great tablet but do not want to pay the premium price of an iPad then check out the Google Nexus 7 at play.google.com.  The Nexus 7 has tremendous reviews and is only $199 in price for the $16G WiFi model.  Your student can use the Nexus 7 to do research with Google's new voice search connected to knowledge based search engines as well as voice dictate a document directly into a Google doc even while off line.  Google is making tremendous strides in voice technology and the Nexus 7 is the only purely Google Android OS other than the Nexus 10.   Speaking of the Nexus 10, here is another purely Android OS device with all the latest features Google Android has to offer.  The Nexus 10 is a larger tablet like the iPad with on-screen keyboard that uses swipe technology which is a rapid input typing method unique to Android devices.  The Nexus 10 could be used in place of a laptop with its integration with Google Apps and voice dictation capabilities.

If you are looking for a laptop for your student, there are many to choose from but at this time I DO NOT recommend anything using Windows 8.  Windows 8 needs another year to be refined and for more software programs and apps to be developed.  Since tablets are out selling laptops by more that 2 million units per month, there are a plethora of Windows 7 laptops to choose from that are going to be dumped on the market in time for Christmas to make way for new Windows 8 touch laptops.  These Windows 7 laptops will be cheep.  Again I do not recommend the Windows 8 devices at this time.  
For a premium laptop the Apple Macbook Air is the best choice.  Ultra thin and light, 100% solid-state (no moving parts), runs all day on a battery charge and with the newest Mac OS it is super easy and slick to use.  The next Mac OSX update is expected to have Siri and an improved voice dictation built in.  Typical starting price for the Air Book is $1,199. 
 
At the complete opposite end of the spectrum, if you are looking for a cheap alternative laptop or a second computer for around the house you cannot beat the Google Chromebook.  Starting at $199 on the Google play store it is hard to beat the price.  The Chromebook is a cloud-based laptop that all the students are using at school.  Works with their Google accounts and stores all their data in the cloud.   I recommend the Samsung model on the Google Play store for $249.  The Samsung model Chromebook is 100% solid state (no moving parts, just like the Mac Book Air), boots up in 10 seconds and runs all day on a battery charge.  This is a great device for doing research on the web and for document production.  I use a Chromebook every single day for reading, document creation, updating my websites and more.  Did I mention it plays videos and music as well?

If you are considering a smart phone for your student I recommend the iPhone or the Nexus 4.  You can find the iPhone at Apple.com and the Nexus 4 at play.google.com.  Both are terrific phones and your choice is dependent on just a few simple things:  if you already have an investment in iTunes music or videos or Apps then you choose the iPhone, if you are new to smart phones and want to try something very different then choose the Nexus 4.  You will not go wrong with either choice and both will work just fine at school.

What ever you choose your student can be using a device of his or her choice at school and at home with their own personalized device.  Your student will be happier using their own device and could ultimately be more productive,
 
 
From the Google Drive and Docs team blog: http://googledocs.blogspot.com/2012/05/find-facts-and-do-research-inside.htmlToday we’re introducing the research pane—a new feature that brings the web’s wealth of information to you as you’re writing documents.

The research pane taps into Google Search directly from Google documents, so whether you want to add a cool destination to your itinerary for an upcoming trip to India or you're looking for the perfect presidential quote for a political science paper, you don’t even have to open a new tab.

You can access the research pane from the Tools menu by right clicking on a selected word that you want to learn more about, or by pressing Ctrl+Alt+R on Windows or Cmd+Alt+R on Mac. From the research pane, you can search for whatever info you need to help you write your document. With just a couple clicks you can look up maps, quotes, images, and much more.

If you find something you like, you can add it by clicking the insert button or, for images, by dragging them directly into your document. If appropriate we’ll automatically add a footnote citation so there’s a record of where you found the info.

Hopefully bringing knowledge from the web to Google documents will make your writing process just a little bit more efficient.

Posted by Sarveshwar Duddu, Software Engineer
 
 
An iGoogle Portal Page is a great way to present all of your important information in a single place.  The iGoogle Portal is very simple to setup and can be used to show your email messages, your Google documents, your calendar, the school's facilities calendar, school activities schedule, news, sports and weather and many other elements of information important to you.

It does not take long to set up an iGoogle Portal Page but I can assist you in getting started quickly.  Just right click this link and choose Save Link as...  to download a settings file to your computer desktop or downloads folder.

Then, open your web browser and go to iGoogle.com.  In the center of the page find the See Your Page button and click it, then In the upper right corner of the iGoogle.com portal page, click the sign in link and enter your Google account and password (email address and password).   Once logged in, click the small gear next to your account name and in the menu select iGoogle Settings. 
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On the iGoogle Portal Settings page, scroll to the bottom of the page and find the Export / Import section.  Click on the Choose File button or Browse button and browse to the settings file you downloaded earlier.  Once you have properly selected the settings file it will display next to the upload button.  Click the Upload button.  After a moment, refresh your browser or reenter iGoogle.com in the address bar.  If necessary you might just need to quit your browser and start it up again.  If you are not already logged into your iGoogle portal then just reenter your account.  You should now have a nicely formatted iGoogle Portal Page.
 
 
Here is a link to a site with step-by-step instructions using all the tools in the Google Apps arsenal to setup electronic portfolios.  Click here to see the instructions.
 
 
I saw this posted on the Google Apps Blog.  We are ahead of the game here by adopting Google Apps already.

America's Dairyland schools moooove to the cloud
Posted by Julia Stiglitz, Google Apps for Education Team 

When it comes to education, Wisconsinites have always been on the cutting edge. The very first kindergarten in the US was founded more than 150 years ago in the town of Watertown, WI. In higher education, the University of Wisconsin-Madison awarded the first Ph.D. in chemical engineering ever granted in 1905. Continuing the trend of advancing education in the state, K-12 schools in Wisconsin are going Google.

Thanks to a collaboration between the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction and the 12 Cooperative Educational Services Agencies (CESAs), over 850,000 students and 55,000 teachers across Wisconsin will have access to Google Apps for Education, professional development and technical deployment support.

 
 
SyncDocs is the ultimate way for you to move to the Cloud while at the same time using your favorite document editor like Word or Open Office.  

Once installed on your Windows PC SyncDocs will keep any folder you choose in full sync with your Google Docs.  The installer creates a desktop folder called "My google Docs" by default and once installed all of your Google Docs will appear in this folder.  You can drag and drop any files or folders you want synchronized to your Google Docs right into this folder and they will be synced up to your Google docs account.

But it gets better.  Open Word and and create a document, save it to your SyncDocs folder you have chosen to be in sync with your Google Docs and the file will immediately be synced to your Google Docs account in Google Docs format.  Now open a browser and go to your Google Docs account online.  Open the document you just created with Word and edit it online using Google docs.  When you are done editing Google Docs will automatically save the file.  SyncDocs on your PC will resync the edited document back to your PC with the changes you made online.  Re-open the file in Word and you will see your changes.  SyncDocs automatically converts the file formats for you so your file is still a native Word doc on your PC but a Google doc when you are online.

One thing worth noting.  The synchronization only works from your PC, your Google docs account does not do any synchronizing.

Watch this short informative video showing how SyncDocs works.
 
 


There is a cool set of Google Apps desktop icons that you can install.  They use a stylized Google Chrome window.   The icons only work on Windows systems.

Google Apps Desktop Shortcuts