These are the tricks that students learn to make a Chromebook unusable, or at least frustrating. Of course, we have advice on how to fix them.
Students can turn the screen 90 degrees counter-clockwise by pressing:
ctrl + shift + ⟳
That last key is the “refresh” key above the number 4. So:
All of the following changes can be done in a portion of setting that’s meant to be helpful. In fact, there may be a time and place where these do help a student use Chromebook. In most cases, however, these are pranks.
Unfortunately, reaching the accessibility options has gotten harder. Here is how to reach it:
It is possible to change to a keyboard for another language (which will be subtly wrong) or an alternate keyboard like Dvorak (which will be incredibly wrong).
If you are in an unusual keyboard, you will see it on the settings panel. Instead of saying “US Keyboard,” it might say “US Dvorak keyboard” or “US Colemak keyboard.” Just click there and choose “US Keyboard” (the first in the list).
From the main panel, click on “Accessibility,” and you will find these options. You toggle them on or off by clicking on them. They are:
This will read aloud all the screen interactions.
You have to admit, it’s kind of funny. It reminds me of the giant wooden spoons people used to hang on kitchen walls. High contrast mode, aka “everything looks like a photo negative” Apparently this can also be turned on while the secure browser for testing is running. In that case, use this shortcut:
shift + 🔍 + h
If people are saying the screen is “zoomed in,” that could mean a few different things: All the elements are large, or just the type is large, or we have a scrolling view as if looking in a magnifying glass. The different solutions are all here. On-screen keyboard This one is actually unobtrusive and, for one use, helpful. It puts a little button on the bottom bar of the screen:
When you click on that, a virtual keyboard opens on the screen. Here is the tiny feature of that keyboard that matters:
That tiny microphone icon lets you do voice dictation. Make of that what you will.
Anyway, you make the on-screen keyboard disappear by clicking the keyboard-down button in the lower right. And you can turn it off altogether in the Accessibility section:
More resources Here is the full list of Chromebook keyboard shortcuts: https://support.google.com/chromebook/answer/183101?hl=en