Sep 29, 2014

Google Apps: Chrome Bookmarks

Do you have post-its with web addresses all round your monitor? Is your desktop cluttered with shortcuts to sites on the Internet? Do you find yourself typing certain addresses into the address bar on a regular basis? Worse... are you using a search engine to access regularly used websites?

Consider using the bookmarks feature of your browser. Browser bookmarks are intended to provide quick access to frequently used sites.  Since we are a Google Apps for Education school, this post will focus on Chrome Browser; just know that nearly all browsers provide similar functionality to save links to favorite places on the Internet.

One of the reasons we ask that everyone in our district use Chrome is the ability to access all of your "stuff," regardless of which computer you log in to.  For more information on how Chrome works, visit a post from last year, Google Apps: Google Chrome.

Where is the Bookmark Bar?
If you do not see a menu bar below the address bar, press Control-Shift-B. Alternatively, press the Settings icon (upper right corner, 3 parallel bars), hover over "Bookmarks," click "Show bookmarks bar."

How To
  1. When viewing a page that you will want to revisit at a later time, click the white star icon at the far right of the URL bar.
  2. A small pop up box will appear, confirming that a bookmark has been added. The star will turn yellow; anytime you visit a page that has a yellow star, you must have bookmarked it at some point!
  3. To change the text that appears in the bookmark bar, edit the text in the name field. 
For sites with an identifiable icon (Gmail, Drive, Blogger, Yahoo, Amazon, Apple, etc.), removing the text shows only the icon. Below is a screen capture demonstrating how this abbreviated view looks. (Apps shortcut, Gmail, Tasks, Drive, Calendar, Quizlet, Blogger, Youtube, Classroom, various district sites, and a folder containing frequently used web 2.0 tools)

The default location for bookmarks is the bookmarks bar. But what happens if you have a lot of bookmarks, and they don't fit on the screen?

To reorganize the order in which bookmarks appear on the tool bar: click and hold, then drag and drop to the desired location on the bookmark bar.

Right-click on top of a bookmark on the bookmark bar to:
  • Open the link in a new tab or window
  • Edit the bookmark name or location
  • Delete the bookmark
To create folders, access the Bookmark Manager through Settings icon > Bookmarks (or use the keyboard shortcut Control-Shift-O). This will open in a new tab, showing all bookmarks and folders. From here, you may manually add new bookmarks, create folders and subfolders, and move individual bookmarks.

Using a Bookmark
When you want to visit a bookmarked page, simply click the bookmark and it will open in the current tab. To open a bookmark in a new tab or window, right-click on the bookmark and select the appropriate option.

Tips for Success
  • Students should be encouraged to bookmark frequently used pages.
  • As students engage in information seeking, encourage them to bookmark pages in a special folder. Should additional information be needed, students will be able to quickly return to the page for clarification or missed details.
  • Browser bookmarks can not easily be shared. For this, consider using a social bookmarking tool like delicious or diggo (pay attention to the Terms of Service, as well as the "social" aspect -- many do not provide the required privacy protections for underage students).

Additional Reading & Support
The Bookmarks page on Google Help Site provides additional information and support on this topic.

GTSD staff are encouraged to contact Mrs. Bond for assistance with this or any other Google Apps for Education tool.