I’ve been playing around with Google Chrome’s extension called Chrome to Phone, and I’m completely hooked. The concept is simple enough. You’re on your desktop and you find some information that would be useful to bring up on your phone in the near future (e.g. you’re about to leave your office to go to class). Chrome to Phone pushes it to your Android powered phone.
I had heard about this and had been meaning to check it out, but I didn’t decide to play around with it until I saw the review of it on App Judgment a few weeks ago.

I immediately started thinking of ways this could help an academic. Here’s 5 I can think of off the top of my head.
  1. Push Google Presentation Slide to your Phone
    Let’s say you’re reviewing some presentation slides before class. There are two reasons an academic might want quick and easy access to those slides in class (2 minutes later). First, you can use your Android phone to control the presentation slides, but to do that you need to bring up the presentation view on your phone. Second, even if you don’t lecture from presentation slides, you might like to use a private Google Presentation to function as electronic note cards on your phone. Either way, Chrome to Phone is a quick and easy way to push that presentation slide to your phone just before class.
  2. Push Any Google Doc to your Phone
    You might have reasons to be able to quickly browse some Google Documents in class (e.g. short lesson plans, or notes about something). As your leaving your office, push those to your notification bar with Chrome to Phone and they are right there for you.
  3. Push an electronic reading that you have stored in Google Docs to your Phone
    I give my students electronic readings that are stored in Google Docs. It would be nice if I had a quick and easy way to pull up the reading on my phone to read a passage, double check a quote, etc. When I’m reviewing that reading just before class, I can click the Chrome to Phone button and the PDF is waiting for me in the notification bar when I get to class. If I feel the need to call up the reading, it’s right there in your notification bar.
  4. Push Student Blog Posts to Your Phone
    I have a student blog, and I like to comment on some of them in class. With Chrome to Phone, I can push the blog posts to my phone that I might want to talk about. When I get to class, they are waiting for me in the notification bar and I can remember which posts I want to talk about.
  5. Push Text to Phone’s Clipboard for Annotation
    The first four uses are all teaching related. Let’s talk about a research related use. I use Catch and Evernote for gathering notes about research. If I see a passage in a journal article I’m reading, and  I think it will be useful, I like to copy and paste it in my Catch account or my Evernote account. With chrome to phone, I can highlight text and when I click the Chrome to Phone button – the text is automatically copied to my phone’s clipboard! So if I see something I want to grab, but have to run out of the door. I can push the text to my clipboard and paste it into a Catch or Evernote file on the go.

I’ve only been playing with this for about an hour, and I’m hooked. Academics with Android phones should definitely check this out.

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