Monday, December 23, 2013

Did You Know? Incognito Mode

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Did you know that your Google Chrome Browser has the capability to create a new window that will allow you to browse in private?  It's called Incognito mode and it is very useful.

How it works

After you have downloaded and installed the Google Chrome Web Browser, you must first launch Chrome to get started.  Then you must click on the "Settings" button at the top right of your browser window (it looks like three, short, horizontal lines).  Then, when you click on this button, select the link that says "New Incognito Window".   When you select "New Incognito Window", Chrome will open up a new window in Incognito Mode and will present you with the following message:

"Pages you view in this window won't appear in your browser history or search history, and they won't leave other traces, like cookies, on your computer after you close all open incognito windows.  Any files you will download or bookmarks you create will be preserved ..."


Here is a screenshot image to help you locate the settings button on Chrome.  This screenshot also highlights the button to launch a "New Incognito Window".



When you select "New Incognito Window" Chrome will open up a new window for you in Incognito Mode.  Here is a screenshot of the webpage message that you will see when you are in Incognito mode.




By default, your other Chrome Extensions will not show up in Incognito mode.  This might simply be because you have not enabled these Extensions to be used while you are in Incognito mode.  However, there is a way to easily display and use your Chrome Extensions while you are in Incognito mode.



To enable them, simply go into your Chrome settings and select "Extensions".  This is where you will be able to "Enable" the Extensions that you would like to use when you have gone "Incognito".




Here's an Example

Incognito mode can be particularly useful when students share devices.  For example, if Student A is using a computer and logs in to his or her Google account, Student B can quickly open a "New Incognito Window" to quickly log in to his or her own Google account to access his or her own  information.  Now, Student B can use this Incognito window to quickly access their Google Apps such as locating a Google Doc, open a Google Site, check his or her Google Calendar, and much more, all without logging out of Student A's Google account.  Then, when Student B is finished with his or her account, he or she can simply log out of the Incognito Window, without a trace, thus, keeping his or her private information and preferences and unchanged and secured.

Similarly, Incognito mode is also particularly useful if a teacher needs to quickly access his or her account on a student machine to check to see if a Google Doc was successfully shared with the teacher, check grades, and any other information inside of the teacher's Google account.  The teacher can then simply logout of the Incognito Window and no trace of the teacher's account will be left on the student machine.

Lastly, this is also helpful when a teacher needs to demonstrate something on another teacher's machine.  Teacher B can launch a "New Incognito Window" on Teacher A's machine to perform the quick demonstration, then logout of Incognito mode without leaving a trace of his or her own personal information.

Now that you know

  1. The next time you need to quickly access your Google Account on a student machine, or on another teacher's machine, consider launching a "New Incognito Window". 
  2. How might you infuse this feature into your classroom instruction? 

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