Ok, so the heading was meant to grab your attention, but I had a play with some free stuff today. I installed it in less than 10 seconds and children were able to do the same. What am I talking about? The Chrome Webstore.

The webstore is available here: https://chrome.google.com/webstore?hl=en-US

I recently installed Google Chrome at school as we are doing so much on Google Apps at the moment that we needed something better than Internet Explorer. IE had the problem that it couldn’t keep up with our typing speeds on Google Docs and it didn’t always load the full screen, we had to keep refreshing and Google Squared doesn’t work in IE very well.

I’d looked at the webstore a few months ago but mainly because I saw Tweetdeck worked online and I thought it’d be interesting to play with. But today I looked with different eyes. I tested it with a child’s login and they could install anything from the webstore in (around 5) seconds. A huge amount of the apps are free too. It must be said that you need a Google login, but our children have those. I have also enabled the Chromestore for them in our Google Apps domain.

Luckily it was raining today so I showed 6 children the webstore and set them to finding ‘stuff I could use across the school’ and they found some maths games, a planetarium and Brainpop resources too.

So what now?

I could provide shortcuts to the relevant apps, pupils then just login with their Google Apps accounts and install the software they need. No admin logins required.

I found apps for organising thinking (like wallwisher etc), mindmapping, creating artisitc masterpieces, mixing music, creating maps and throwing birds at pigs (I had to have a go…) I also found a fantastic one called Kido’z tv which had classic Tom and Jerry cartoons, how to make… videos and clips from Lion King, Toy Story and Bug’s Life.

I know this is all moving towards Google’s vision of a completely online Operating System, but it is definitely looking possible. Even without an online OS, the thought of how I could use some of these tools is quite exciting. I will definitely be spending more time playing in the store in the coming weeks.

What’s your favourite app in the store?