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On Christmas Eve, as Santa makes his way across the world, you can follow his progress and keep tabs on how many presents he’s delivered with the Google Maps’s Santa Tracker. And this year Santa’s developer elves went a bit further. They created a Chrome extension that enables you to simultaneously browse the web on your Chrome Browser and follow Santa along his route. Simply install the Santa Tracker Chrome extension from the Chrome Web Store.


Before Santa takes off on Christmas Eve, you can also use the extension to follow the countdown to his departure, play around with his blimp, elf bus, and write messages on a frosty browser window.

While everyone in Santa’s Village is busy gearing up for the big day, they always make time for visitors. You can meet some elves and ask Santa to make a personal phone call to a friend or your family.

For more ways to get holiday inspired Chrome themes, apps, and extensions, check out the holiday collection in the Chrome Web Store - including the Santa Tracker chrome theme. And, if you don’t have Chrome yet, give it a spin.

Happy holidays from all of us at Google!

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A few months ago we released This Exquisite Forest, a Chrome Experiment that lets you create collaborative animations using an online drawing tool. Thousands of people from all over the world have contributed to the project, creating unique animations like Looking Up / Looking Down, Wine after Coffee and Animated Typography. For any of these animations, you can click the button in the lower right to add to the story and branch it in a new direction.


Today, we’d like to share The Endless Theater, a new way to wander the forest by viewing a continuous stream of different animations. In addition, now you can embed animations directly into your site or blog, so it’s even easier to share your work with the world. Just go into the lightbox view and click “Embed.”


A project of this scale and diversity is really only possible on the web, where people can view and contribute from all over the world using only a browser. Thank you all for making the forest so full of life. Please continue to explore, find your favorite animations, and add to the story.

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[cross-posted from the Official Google Blog]
For many students and teachers, the hassles of traditional computing often prevent them from making the most of technology in the classroom. Schools that have adopted Chromebooks, however, have been able to bring the web’s vast educational resources—whether it’s conducting real-time research or collaborating on group projects—right into the classroom. Chromebooks are fast, easily sharable, and require almost no maintenance. Today more than 1,000 schools have adopted Chromebooks in classrooms, including some school districts like Richland School District Two (S.C.), Leyden High School District (Ill.), and Council Bluffs School District (Iowa) who have deployed Chromebooks to tens of thousands of students.

To help budget-strapped classrooms across the country, we’re working with DonorsChoose.org, an online charity that connects donors directly to public school classroom needs. For the holiday season, teachers can request the Samsung Series 5 Chromebook—the most widely deployed Chromebook in schools—at a special, discounted price of $99 including hardware, management and support.

If you’re a full-time public school teacher in the U.S., visit DonorsChoose.org and follow the instructions to take advantage of this opportunity by December 21, 2012. Your request will be posted on DonorsChoose.org where anyone can make a donation to support your classroom. When you reach your funding goal, you’ll receive your Chromebooks from Lakeshore Learning, DonorsChoose.org’s exclusive fulfillment partner for this program.

If you’re not a teacher, please share this opportunity with the teachers who have made a difference in your life! Or if you’re interested in supporting a classroom directly, read through the list of Chromebook projects and donate what you can. Be sure to check back often for new projects.

Thank you for your support in giving the gift of hassle-free technology to teachers and students. Working together, we can ensure “The virus ate my homework” is never uttered in a classroom again, and we can help classrooms get off to a strong start in the New Year!

Happy holidays.