Thursday, May 7, 2015

My Top Six, Can't-Live-Without Chrome Extensions

I've already confessed to being a Google Chrome addict, and I keep finding more apps and extensions that make my life easier and more productive. After giving a Tech Tuesday presentation this week to some fellow teachers that left them reeling from all of the exciting possibilities, I was inspired to create this list of my top six, can't-live-without Chrome extensions!

1. Extensity
This extension allows me to turn all of my apps and extensions on and off with two clicks, keeps my toolbar clutter free, and helps my computer run faster! I simply enable/disable extensions as needed. Bonus--I can launch any Chrome app  I have from this extension! THE must-have extension for Chrome addicts like me!

2. Save to Google Drive
With this extension, I can save screenshots or web content (including Office Docs, PowePoints, Spreadsheets and PDFs) to my Google Drive. It allows me to rename files and choose a folder from my Drive to put it in!  This is a great feature when I'm browsing for ideas for a new lesson I'm teaching, or when I find awesome content I'm afraid I'll lose!

3.  Grammarly Spell Checker and Grammar Checker
When we made the switch to Google Apps for Education in my school, one of the biggest complaints I heard from my fellow teachers was the lack of spell check/grammar check in Google Docs. Enter Grammarly to the rescue! Not only does it check your spelling and grammar in Google Docs, sheets, presentations, drawings, etc, but it also checks it virtually anywhere else on the Web! No more (or at least fewer) errors in tweets and Facebook posts! While a paid, premium version exists, I get much help from the free version of this extension!

4.  One Tab
I can be the Queen of Open Tabs if I don't watch out. This used to slow down my browsing experience, but it doesn't happen any more thanks to the One Tab extension. This easily, seamlessly converts my open tabs into one tab with links to all of my pages. I can restore a single tab, or I can choose to restore all of my tabs at once. The description boasts that One Tab can save up to 95% memory!

5.  Adblock Plus
Have you ever tried to show a video from Youtube in class, think you have everything in control, and then suddenly find yourself stuck with one of those ads you can't skip? Worse yet, the ad is invariably inappropriate, right? Well, that will happen no more with the Adblock Plus extension!  I never have to deal with annoying ads popping up any time I browse with Chrome!

6. Goobric
With the addition of Google Classroom to Google Apps for Education this year, Goobric has proven to be an amazing extension that allows me to work towards a paperless classroom by attaching a rubric I have designed to any rubric I have designed to an assignment in Google Classroom. I don't have to click on each assignment individually; Goobric allows me to scroll through and mark assignments quickly and easily! Check out this awesome video from Jennie Magiera on how to use it!

So many more amazing extensions exist, and new ones are being developed each day! I'd love to hear about your favorite Chrome extensions and how you are using them in the classroom! Please add your comments below!