When it comes to technology, I tend to be a minimalist, which is one reason I love ChromeOS. When COVID shut down classrooms across the world, I found that I needed to quickly scale up my tech setup for remote teaching, webinars, recording, and home productivity.
Here are my favorite accessories for teaching with a Chromebook!
HooToo USB Hub ($39) – Most Chromebooks have a limited selection of ports. A USB-C hub is essential if you plan on adding an external webcam, microphone, or drawing tablet to your Chromebook. This USB hub from HooToo works great and is very affordable.
Penoval USI Pen ($49) – Adding a pen to your touch-screen Chromebook makes it even better. Only a few devices come with a built-in pen, but those are usually quite small and difficult to use. Do yourself a favor and pick up the Penoval USI pen. It’s affordable and works incredibly well!
Note: Not all Chromebooks are compatible with USI pens. I created this video to help you find out which pen will work with your Chromebook.
One drawing tablet by Wacom ($59) – If you plan on grading papers or teaching a math lesson with digital ink, you will appreciate having a dedicated drawing tablet. Writing on your screen gets old pretty quickly. The One by Wacom is a simple, affordable option that works great with ChromeOS.
Second Monitor – Adding a second monitor will double your productivity. Every teacher should have two screens, not just remote teachers. If your school won’t buy you a second monitor, find one on Facebook Marketplace for $25. It doesn’t need to be fancy.
My desk setup is pretty basic. If you want to see the ultimate Chromebook desk setup, check out Gabe’s ultimate desk video!
Document Camera – as a former HS science teacher, having access to a document camera allows me to display all kinds of gross creators for my students. I have an iPevo document camera that works well with ChromeOS.
Printer – Printers suck, but you probably will need one at some point. Now that Cloud Print is dead, most modern printers **should** work with ChomeOS. Brother and HP seem to work the best with Chromebook, judging from the 100+ comments on this article I wrote about printing from a Chromebook.
Android Phone – Okay, I probably won’t be able to convince you fruity people to switch to an Android, but you shouldn’t be surprised to learn that Android and ChromeOS work brilliantly together. Phone hub continues to improve, making my phone and Chromebook better together (see what I did there!).
In addition to the gear listed above, there are some web-based tools that I couldn’t live without. Here are my essentials:
- Canva – I design most of my social media and YouTube images using Canva (educators can get a FREE premium subscription)
- Pear Deck – This is my favorite tool for designing engaging lessons. Pear Deck turns Google Slide presentations into interactive lessons. You can use it for free or upgrade to unlock even more features.
- Screencastify – This is my go-to video recording tool. I use it every day for teaching lessons, answering tech questions, and recording YouTube videos.
- WeVideo – All of my YouTube videos are edited using WeVideo. The WeVideo classroom package also gives your students access to this web-based video editor.
How do you accessorize your Chromebook?
This is the gear that I use every day to teach, create, and get work done! What are your favorite Chromebook accessories? Stay tuned for more as we get the Chrome Unboxed EDU week rolling and don’t forget to post your questions for the Chrome Unboxed team. Your question could be featured on this week’s episode of The Chrome Cast. This special edition of our podcast is sponsored by CTL and I’ll be joining the team as a guest to talk about Chromebooks and the classroom.One by Wacom Giveaway