There are various internet browsers that educators may use for their daily task such as Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Safari, and of course our focus for this blog: Google Chrome. Although I use other internet browsers time to time, Google Chrome is definitely my browser of choice when it comes to working and functioning as an educator. One of the great features of using Google Chrome as your browser, is that you have the ability to install a variety of small programs that can personalize your browsing experience and tailor the functionality of Chrome browser for your specific needs.  These programs are called Chrome extensions. an easily accessible program that can be installed that can extend the functionality of browsers.  Most often you will find that some extensions are available on other applications you may already be using.  

Chrome extensions are a great way to enhance your browsing experience, productivity, and maximize your instruction. They can be easily found in the Chrome Webstore where you can search, review, and install the different applications to your Chrome Browser. By simply installing these extensions to your Chrome browser, they become easily accessible for use within seconds and can be readily available at the top of your Chrome browser for use at the click on a button.


TechItUp Talk Podcast on Chrome Extensions

Check out this “Straight Outta Chrome: Tools to Enhance Your Digital Instruction” choice board presentation I presented at the 2021 Region IV Digital Learning Conference. To structure the session, I used the SlidesMania Elevator Template to give it a spark of creativity for participants to select and choose their own exploration of Chrome extensions.

Download Choice Board Template

Chrome extensions range from application to support teacher -created instructional videos, productivity tools, extensions for fun use, search tools, and even extensions to enhance specific google applications, like Gmail, Google Docs, and calendar.

Teacher-Created Instructional Videos

Screencastify

Screen capturing is a great way for educators to capture visual content to support learning outcomes.  This can be done by taking screenshots or screen recordings that can be saved as videos to support your students, parents, and other educators. Screencastify is a screen recorder extension that will allow you to create a video that can embed the webcam and record the screen at the same time. This extension will work great for recording lessons, How-To’s,  making announcements,  modeling problem solving, and so much more! In addition, all video recording are automatically save to the Google Drive.

Record to Slides

This extension allows you to easily record video directly into your Google slide presentation. Recording directly into your slide is a great way to support your instructional process and set expectations for your students.

Student Feedback & Annotations

Mote

The Mote extension allows you to add voice notes to Google applications such as Google Docs, Slides, and Sheets. This is a great to provide comprehensive feedback to your students. Student would be able to listen to voice note and respond or make make correction according to the feedback that is given. In addition, the extension will also transcribe your voice to text in different languages.

Kami

Kami is a PDF and Document annotation, Mark Up Tool. I know many teachers who love its ability for students to color-code their annotation as well as collaborate with others. The annotation toolbar includes features such as a dictionary tool, text markup like highlighting, underlining and strikethrough, it also has drawing tools and shapes. You can auto-sync and save files to Google drive. It has a built in OCR  for scanned documents  which means that text can be detected when you scan files. It can convert files to PDF. It work great with PDF, Word and google documents, PowerPoint and images.

Grammarly 

Grammarly is a great application to support writing and it’s available as a Chrome extension. The free version helps support spelling grammar and punctuation while the premium version has more upgraded features such as tone detection, conciseness, and fluency. However, I use the free version while I am writing in my Google Docs and I love that I can easily detect any potential errors in my document. The extension work pretty in many places you may find yourself writing online like Twitter or Gmail.

Extensions for Productivity

Nimbus

This extension allows you to easily screenshot any part of a webpage partial or even the full webpage on a site.  You can edit and annotate your screenshots and easily share them with others.  It also offers screen recording to allow you to record and save your screen as a video.

Google Keep

The Google Keep extension allow you to curate content from the web. You capture online content such as websites, text, and images. Educators can easily take note for online content and connect it to a website as well organize and label their content.

OneNote Web Clipper

Whether you are using OneNote for you personal notes or OneNote Class Notebooks for your students, this chrome extension is great for capturing web content and quickly adding to your OneNote Notebook.

Weava  

Weava is a highlighting tool for websites and PDFs.  It is a great tool help you get organize online research in which you can Highlight websites and PDFs with multiple colors, make annotations, and organize your them into folders and sub-folders. They easily revisit your notes within a single click to give your own insight.

EquatIO

EquatIO is a great extension for STEM content area educators. With this extension you can easily make math digital. It allows you to write math expressions to convert handwritten equations to text in documents. With EquatIO, you do not necessarily have to rely on whiteboards and it even has text to speech for formulas. This extension will work great with Google Forms.

Extension for Efficiency

Infinite Dashboard

With Infinite Dashboard, you can manage bookmarks and apps by pinning your favorite website or applications or even save your browser sessions. This means if you visited multiple websites, you can easily save the session to access again. In addition you can manage notes. a calendar , to-do lists.

Zoom Scheduler

Zoom Scheduler allows you to easily schedule Zoom meetings from your Google calendar. You ask: Why would you want to do that?  Well, if you are a Google Calendar user, then you may have noticed when you schedule a meeting from your Google Calendar your given Google Meet as your option. 

Student Learning and Engagement

Insert Learning

Super cool extension that allows you to transform any webpage to an interactive lesson. Teachers can insert questions, discussions, and sticky notes directly into any website. You can select from a set of question stems or create your own.  And I love that the sticky not allows you to record videos on a selected part of a page as well as embed interactive content via embed codes. These lessons can be assigned via Google Classroom, Microsoft Teams, and from a direct link.

This one of the coolest extensions I’ve seen to transform learning. Just imagine being able to embed  YouTube videos, FlipGrids, Edpuzzle, and so many other third-party application to connect to a webpage.  Free Text Resources

Immersive Reader

The immersive reader extension provides reading and language supports on most webpages. Although it is an unofficial extension that is not endorsed by Microsoft, the extension operates exactly as the Microsoft’s immersive reader that you find Word PowerPoint, and OneNote. It also has the same look and feel as Microsoft’s version. Student can easily highlight text, right click and then select “help me read this.”

Google Translate 

The Google Translate extension will translate text into various languages. You are able to view translations while browsing the web. The settings of the extension all you to adjust when to translate and can even translate an entire webpage.

Grammarly

The Grammarly extension operates an a writing assistant that help to reduce writing writing error . It will provide feedback in many online platforms that requires writing such as email, Google Docs, and tweets.

StackUp

The StackUp extension supports monitoring and measuring reading online for yourself and for your students. You can easily monitor your students’ reading of online resources and can assign reading and create reading challenges.  If you are teaching virtually, this is a great extension that can continue to support your students reading.

FlipGrid

Fligrid is an application in which you can create discussion topics and students can respond via video. The FlipGrid extension makes it easy for access discussion topics from any browser window. You would need to just simply open the extension and enter a Join Code

EdPuzzle

Edpuzzle is a video application that allows you to add checks for understanding throughout a video where you can place questions at any part of the video and students are able to stop at that time to respond before continuing the video. The Edpuzzle extension is specifically designed for YouTube.  It adds an Edpuzzle button next to any YouTube video to allow you to easily start editing the YouTube video in Edpuzzle

Extensions for Mental Wellbeing & Focus

Current

The current extension is great for reminding you to take mindful breaks. It operates similar to the Mindful app on the Apple watch in that it can support educators in bringing a micro-dose of mindfulness into the flow of the workday with every new tab you open from your Chrome browser. It also gives you practical tips and 30-90 sec breathing exercises to support the flow of the workday.  

Forest

The Focus extension will support you in staying focused while on the web. With this extension you can plant a seed in the forest and while you are focused on a specific task, the tree will begin to grow. However, if you proceed to websites you have deemed a distraction, the tree will began to wither away.

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