If you’re online teaching in a Chromebook school, then you’re most likely using Google’s Chrome browser. Customizing Chrome with extensions is a very simple procedure that brings much more power and convenience to your browser. According to Wikipedia, a browser extension is “…a small software module for customizing a web browser.”
Google demonstrates an enduring commitment to education with its free-to-use Google Classroom suite of tools. The Google for Education gang also offers a Chromebook App Hub where you can locate lesson ideas, extensions, and apps to help educators get the most out of their Chromebook experience. So much power can be packed into the Chrome internet browser installed on your computer through extensions! Using them, you can turn your browser into a bespoke environment that caters to your particular needs.
Here are five must-have extensions for Chrome that will put the polish on your remote teaching activities. The full versions of these add-ons are costly, but you won’t have to pay a penny for them in the end. That’s because the features you need are in their free versions. That’s right—free!!
You may have heard of Screencastify because it’s so hot right now! Word about this handy tool has spread quickly, and it has seen over 10 million downloads to date.
Teachers can use this tool to create those instructional videos you’ve wondered at on YouTube. Download the Screencastify Chrome extension to create, edit, and share screen-recorded videos in seconds. And don’t worry about losing the file, because all of your videos are automatically stored in your Google Drive. To use/insert your videos in most of the Classroom tools, you’ll need to create a Youtube channel, which we’ll discuss in an upcoming blog.
There are so many ways to use Screencastify; the only limit is your imagination! To get you started, here are 50 ways to use Screencastify with your students.
One Tab is a Chrome extension that you’ll want to use if you teach the same lesson more than once. Instead of opening all your browser windows and tabs to have them ready as needed during your seminar, use One Tab to convert all of your tabs into a list. When you need access to the tabs during your lesson, just use the nice and neat list, instead of distracting your students or losing time with your cluttered screen. With just one click on the One Tab icon, it will open all your tabs on a given list or one at a time.
Students expect your writing to be flawless; you correct them on their spelling and grammar, so clearly you must be a perfect writer, right? Well, we all know there’s really no such thing. But by adding one powerful extension, you can go beyond spell-checking to having a safety net that will preserve your superhero-writer reputation with your kids.
The Grammarly browser extension helps you write in various browser apps by correcting any spelling or grammar mistakes. From emails to social media posts, as well as any document under the sun, rest assured your writing will be polished. Google Classroom tools include a spell-checker, which is really helpful. But if you’re working in other apps or with email, Grammarly has your back! Since the program has been around for many years, it’s pretty smart. The software can correct your spelling and grammar and make some other suggestions to help you polish your tone You can even insert complete texts for review. There is a paid version, but unless you’re writing lengthy research papers, the free version will serve you well.
With InsertLearning installed on student and teacher devices, you and your students can communicate, collaborate, and critically examine educational web sites. The tool lets you transform static webpages, including articles on newswire sites, into interactive assets for your lesson plan. The four-button interface for highlighting, noting, questioning, and discussing is simple to learn and use for teachers and students alike! While there is a paid version, the free one lets you create five total lessons. These can be carefully curated based on your curriculum and distributed to students in the blink of an eye!
Web Paint is a super versatile Chrome extension that no teacher or student will want to do without. It lets the user draw on (most) web pages!! During an online teaching session, the extension’s tools can be used to circle areas of focus, draw stars for emphasis and add text comments. Screenshots of the displayed area of the web page with your drawings can be saved. Both creative and practical uses abound, especially if installed in your students’ browsers, too!!