Set up a Chromebook

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This article is...
Summary.png Some getting started tips on Chromebooks.
IntendedES.png Intended for
Employees and Students
Categories.png Categorized under
Classroom technology and systems and Chromebooks
PD.jpg Maintained by
Phyllis Dugan
2018-2019.png Up-to-date for the 2018-2019 school year.


Were you one of our first Samsung Chromebook users?

If you received a Chromebook from us in late spring / early summer and signed in with your personal Gmail account, click here to request an appointment with us to convert it to a RCS-enrolled Chromebook. It should take about 20 minutes. Some of the things below won't work until you do this.

RCS-enrolled Chromebooks

If you were received a Chromebook in June or later and signed in with your Riverdale Gmail account, you're enrolled. Ditto if you met with us (section above) and we've converted your earlier-handed-out Chromebook.

Absolutely necessary steps:

  1. Turn on your Chromebook using the power button to the right of the keyboard. It's the small silver one.
  2. Sign in to your Chromebook using your RCS username and password.
  3. If you're asked to, select an image for your user profile.
  4. Ensure you're on the RCS-Community Wi-Fi network.
    1. Click the status tray at lower right (it has the time and your avatar photo).
    2. If you see "Connected to RCS-Guest," click it, select RCS-Community, and enter your password.
  5. Next update it by following these instructions (in the "Check for updates yourself" section). Click Done when finished -- no need to wait there.
  6. While you're in settings, check out some of your options. Under "Touchpad settings" you can reverse your scrolling direction (Chromebook calls this "Australian scrolling"). "Google Now cards" and "OK Google" might be useful.
  7. When your Chrome OS update is ready, you'll see an alert in your status tray. Restart your Chromebook to install the update. Again, instructions are here.

Optional but important additional steps:

  1. Once updated, you should be able to use the Google Play Store in order to test Android apps. You'll see it open when you log back in.
    1. Click Agree, wait for it to run an update, and then browse our apps
  2. Next start learning about Chrome OS with these links:
    1. Google's Chromebook tutorials
    2. 11 tips (Geek.com)
    3. 10 tips (Gizmodo)
    4. And search Google for "Chromebook tutorial" if you want more.
  3. Definitely Chrome OS keyboard shortcuts by pressing ctrl+alt+?.
    • alt+[ , alt+] , alt+- and alt++ are alt-awesome, and there are an alt-ton more.
    • Trust us, you won't figure them out unless you use ctrl+alt+?.
    • (Note: the above shortcuts mean you hold alt and press the key after the +.)
  4. Try out our awesome Chromebook workflows! We've tested thoroughly this summer and have built a number of methods for getting things done on a Chromebook. Go here for those. In particular, be sure to try out Kami and read up on our workflows that use it.
    • Note: you are welcome to create your own workflows but we know these will work. We suggest you use these and save your time for building curriculum and teaching it!
    • One tip: Kami. Install this and this, then sign in with your @riverdale.edu address. We'll be using Kami to edit PDFs, including handwritten annotation. It's awesome. 
    • Check out the Chromebook workflows here. Please download the pdf before opening it in Kami.
    • Did we miss something? Tell us.
  5. Look for other great apps that could support your teaching in the fall. Browse via this link (you can't install until we authorize new apps). Then tell us what you found via e-mail or via Tech Support request. For example:
    1. Lirbi Reader might be a good e-reader (especially if you're named Jason Curry... Jason, check out Musician mode!), but there are a ton more.
    2. If you're a Math teacher, you need to try the Geogebra apps.
    3. English and History teachers might be fine with just Kami (links above) for document annotation, but there are plenty of other apps to try out.
    4. Science, you say? See whether any of these 10 or these 14 suit you. And finally, everyone should browse the Google Play store -- or just do a Google search for "android app" plus your discipline or course.
  6. Don't forget about the stylus.

Other articles about Chromebooks:

Article Summary
Use a Chromebook effectively Some getting started tips on Chromebooks.

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