Why use Google Chrome? Here's Why!

Wednesday, February 1st 2017

The benefits of using Google Chrome, even if you are not a Google school.

You might think that there is nothing less important than what internet browser you use in your school. There are many options out there. Some of the most known might include Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, and Microsoft Edge. The lesser-known browsers can range from Opera to UC. In my previous job, I taught in an elementary school. We had a computer lab that ran off a single server with 20 virtual desktop clients connected to it. We had both Chrome and Firefox on these units for students to choose. This made teaching challenging because there seemed to be areas where Firefox excelled over Chrome but the same the other way around.

In my experience, I found out that our main server didn’t have enough internal memory and that Chrome couldn’t handle running flash on more than 10 of the virtual clients. Another issue I found was that students never logged out of their Google accounts, which always made it difficult when we had to change classes. Firefox really did work better in this environment. However, I was a Google teacher through and through. I was in the midst of some kind of anxiety to teach with Chrome and realizing that Firefox really was more stable in this environment.

My battles continued for the better part of the year until we upgraded our RAM and found that Chrome can now run smooth without lag. Chrome has an embedded flash player and when I had 10 or more Virtual clients logged in and using the Flash feature, it would really suck down to juice when it comes to the server’s memory. Now, I was able to diagnosis my problem only with the help of my contracted computer supplier. However, this took me over a year to figure out. They thought it was because it was not updated, not enough bandwidth, etc.       

To make a long story short, I was legitimately thinking that Chrome wasn’t the best browser for my students. Many of my students would still use Chrome even though it lagged behind the rest of the students. There is something about Google Chrome that is appealing to students. Maybe it is the name recognition and prestige of the Google brand. Alternatively, maybe there is a legitimate reason why it is the most used browser in the world. I wanted to figure out what makes Google Chrome so much more popular than other browsers and inform you about the benefits of using the Chrome Browser.

Please continue on to the top 10 reasons why I think Chrome is the best browser for you, your school, and your students.

1. Stability. Google Chrome is very stable. Remember the days of opening up a tab in Internet Explore and having it freeze? Then, the entire program would crash. This is something that you don’t have to worry about in Chrome. The reason is that Chrome is built in such a way where pages are loaded in its own separate environment. This means if a page fails to load or crashes, only that tab will be effected. In very rare occasions have I have crashed all of Chrome, and that was only because my physical hard drive had an issue.

2. Speed. Similar to the last point, this point has a lot to do with Chrome and its ability to load pages in separate environments. Barring any kind of hardware issue, you should be able to load as many tabs as you need and not see slowdowns.

3. Design. The design of Chrome is simply beautiful. It is a low key, minimalist design that will not distract students, staff, or others. Other browsers have a steep learning curve as well, but not with Chrome. The URL bar is also a search bar, the back and forward buttons are all you really need, and the interface doesn’t take up a lot of screen space. This is great for younger students who might be new to the internet.

4. Omnibar. The Google URL bar is a lot smarter than we think. You can search, ask questions, do math problems, search websites, and so much more from the actual search bar. Many other browsers have a separate bar for searching the web. You can also speak to your browser with Google’s amazing voice detection software.

5. Tabs. I know what you are thinking, all browsers have tabs, but what makes Google so special is that it gives you more control over them. You can move them around, pop them out into new windows, pin them to the browser if you use them a lot, reopen tabs you might have closed, and more. I find myself using tabs in a more creative way now that I know that Chrome can handle them so well.

6. Multiple Account. If you are like me, then you have a work account, a home account, and a half dozen demo accounts for creating accounts on other websites. With Chrome, you can log into all of these separate accounts and work within them independently. Just add people under settings and you can log into all of your accounts at once. This is a very useful feature of school staff and teachers. 

7. Themes. To go back to point number three. I think that it is important to mention that you can customize the look for your browser as well. You can create a different theme or look for your browser with a single click. If you have multiple accounts linked to your Chrome then you can differentiate them with a different theme.

8. Security. Google is known for having the best security of any browser. It is an amazing browser that will let you sign in and out easily and will always try to protect you from outside internet threats. I have never had issues with Google’s security.

9. Apps and Extensions. Probably one of the best things about Chrome is its ability to install small little softwares to it. In the Google Chrome Web Store, you can download many extensions that will enable you to maximize the use of your Chrome Account. Extensions like screen recorders, link shorteners, Classroom shortcuts, text to speech software, dictionaries, and more. These are all software pieces with very little weight so they run smooth all the time.

10.The Cloud. When you sign into Chrome, you are signing into every that Google offers. If your computer dies, all of your bookmarks, extensions, history, passwords, and internet data is in the cloud and not on your physical device. This create the ability to be on any device and access your settings and data. You can have the same access on a Mac that you would on a PC. It is all in the cloud so you don’t have to worry about devices so much.

I hope that this list has been helpful as you rethink your internet browser. There are drawbacks to every browser but Google Chrome seems to be the best one for the classroom based on my previous classroom experience. Please let me know if there is any other reason why you like Chrome by commenting below. Thank you and keep an eye out for a blog post every other Wednesday!