Learn to Roam with Google Chrome

By now, if you're a student, parent, or staff member at LCUSD, you've probably used Google Chrome. It's one of the many Google products we use here at school to help us communicate, collaborate, and complete projects every day.

Since you will see the name "Chrome" refer to more than one type of Google product, we've explained a few of our favorites and how you can keep them updated.

Chrome Web Browser

Chrome is the name of Google's web browser. You use it to search and visit websites on the internet (similarly to how you may have used other browsers like Safari, Firefox, or Internet Explorer). We prefer Chrome and use it on all district computers. Anyone can download Chrome for free onto their own computers, tablets, or phones.  It's compatible with the most commonly used operating systems including Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS.

Chrome is a unique browser for many reasons. For starters, it's designed to save you time. It starts up and loads new pages very quickly. Because it's provided by Google, you can actually use the address bar as a search bar. This feature allows you to skip a step: you no longer have to go to www.google.com to do a search. For example, you could go to the address bar and type a web address you already know such as www.lcusd.net to go to that site, or you could type topical words like "La Canada,"  "La Canada Schools,"  or "Spartans" to get more search results.

One of the most innovative features of Chrome is that it can be synced to your Google account. When you log in to Chrome, using your Google username and password, Chrome can be set up to remember your personal preferences, themes, bookmarks, search history, recently visited sites, as well as passwords and auto-fill information, not just on your main device but on every device. This is a really helpful feature because you will have access to all your data, every time you sign in to Chrome. For family members that share their computer, Chrome has options for each person to set up their own personal profile and to easily switch users, when needed. Chrome also provides Incognito Windows for when users are using public computers and do not want their information stored.

Google has shared some step-by-step instructions to help you get started. 

Chromebooks

Chromebooks are laptops equipped with an operating system called Chrome OS and, of course, the web browser Chrome. Compared to other laptops, they are very light and compact. They don't require as much hardware, since all work can be done and stored online with Google Apps (Gmail, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Forms, Classroom, Youtube, and more). They also include virus protection, long-lasting batteries, and they automatically receive operating system updates. Because everything is saved on your Google account,  your data won't be lost if your Chromebook is lost, stolen, or damaged. For those rare times when you can't work online, Chromebooks do provide an offline mode.

From the specialized operating system to the unique keyboard, these computers have features different from other laptops, so you may find it helpful to use some of these Chromebook tips.

Chrome Updates

Google periodically releases updates for Chrome, Chrome OS, and Chromebooks to maintain security and improve features. Recently, they released Chrome 053. In addition to security and performance enhancements, this update is intended to extend battery life while Chrome is being used.

Most of the time, you're browser should update automatically. However, you can easily follow these steps, provided by Google, to see if you have the latest version.

You can also sign in to Chrome and enter chrome://chrome into your address bar for even faster access. 

You're all set to roam with Google Chrome!