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This Issue

"This Is Parkway" Digital Magazine

Northeast Friday Flyer

Which Browser to Use?

I'm often asked questions about online tools that don't seem to be behaving appropriately. My first question is almost always, "which browser are you using?" We are currently in a time of messiness when it comes to which websites work with which tools and, to be honest, you need to be flexible and choose your browser based on the task at hand. As educators, we're not alone in this plight. Plenty of industries have this same problem. However, here's a brief (albeit completely my opinion) overview of the most popular browsers for the Windows platform. There are other browsers out there and each has it's own features and benefits, but these are the three most common at this point.

  • Internet Explorer - Over the years IE has gotten kind of a bad reputation over the years because it was slow, bloated and was prone to virus and other malware attacks. However, I would say that those days have mostly passed. IE is far more secure, lightweight and is a perfectly respectable browser. In our district, it's also that "standard" that is set as the default browser on any newly imaged computer. IE is your best bet for Infinite Campus.
  • Mozilla Firefox - For many years this was my first choice for a browser. It seemed easy to use and had additional extensions to provide additional functionality. Firefox was added to our image a few years ago and works well with Edline, Webbuilder and the district Dashboard.
  • Google Chrome - Google Chrome became my browser of choice right after it was introduced 3 years ago. I like it for it's speed, extensions and add-ons, and most importantly, the fact that I can sync my content (bookmarks, passwords, etc.) across computers so that I am always working in the same basic environment. I use Chrome for everything that's not listed in Firefox and Internet Explorer. Chrome works really well with all of the Google tools (Docs, maps, etc.) which I use heavily.

Ultimately, for most of the browsing that you do, any of these browsers will work fine. However, when something doesn't work, try a different browser. It might fix it, it might not. But there's a good chance that that's part of the problem. For a more complete look at the difference between browsers, take a look at this PC Magazine article on the subject.