Did you know that there are these magical little programs called Google Chrome extensions that can enhance the functionality of your web browser? Want to save web content to your Google Drive with a simple click? Create and annotate videos of your computer screen? There's an extension for that! Okay, so maybe they're not literally magical, but Google Chrome extensions are pretty darn cool. You can view and download all available extensions at the Chrome Web Store, but I’ve gathered my top 5 must-use Chrome extensions for your convenience.
Busy teachers, read on to discover your new favorite web tools!
Save to Google Drive is a simple, time-saving tool that allows you to save content from the web directly into your Google Drive. No need for the extra step of saving something to your hard drive first, then logging into Drive and uploading the file from there -- simply download the extension and start saving links, images and documents with the ease of a right click.
Save to Google Drive is a must-download for anyone using Google Drive -- and if you’re not using Google Drive, you should probably get on that ASAP. Free online file storage that can be accessed and edited from any device? Yes, please!
Google Tasks allows users to create and manage running to-do lists in Google Chrome. Easily add tasks from the browser icon or by highlighting and right clicking on any website text you want to save. Managing tasks is also quick and easy with the browser icon pop-up. Though nothing can quite replace the ol’ paper and flair pen to-do list, this little extension comes pretty close based on convenience alone. Need to jot down a quick reminder but don’t have a pen or post-it handy? That’s where Google Tasks comes in.
Better Google Tasks is a more aesthetically pleasing version of Google Tasks, though it doesn’t allow for saving content via right mouse click and the browser icon takes users to an actual webpage rather than a little pop-up in the corner. I’ve only recently discovered it so I can’t make a definitive judgement just yet; however, I do appreciate the improved aesthetics as that was my only complaint about Google Tasks.
This 100% necessary Emoji keyboard extension allows users to quickly find, copy and paste any emoji from the standard emoji keyboard. Instantly up your handout or slideshow game and earn teacher cred while you’re at it. Everyone loves a well-placed emoji.
Screencastify is an extension that provides an easy way for users to record their computer screen. You can record with or without audio and save the files directly to your Google Drive. Not sure why or how you might use a screen recorder? Think about how many times you’ve repeated the same directions over and over again. Next time, simply record your computer screen and share the video with your students via Drive or Classroom.
Save time and paper while streamlining your grading process with the Goobric Chrome extension. Goobric and Doctopus (a Sheets add-on) work together to provide easy rubric-based grading on student assignments submitted through Google Classroom. Grade and comment on student work within a single browser tab. If you’re interested in getting started, check out my blog post on Doctopus and Goobric here: Doctopus & Goobric: The Ultimate Digital Assessment Tools. You can read more about how it works, and download a step-by-step tutorial with animated GIFs!
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You can also check out the Chrome Web Store and browse to your heart's content. Managing extensions is super easy, so no worries if you download something and change your mind about it later.