6 Chrome Extensions for Students

Google Chrome has quickly become my browser of choice over the last year or so. It’s huge list of features and overall reliability speak for themselves. If you and your students are using Google Apps for Education and its accompanying Google products, you quickly find that everything just works better in Chrome.

One of the best features of Chrome is the ability for students to install apps and extensions from the Chrome Web Store.

As our team helps teachers this school year with Chromebook implementation, we have come across many apps and extension to share with staff. It seems to be one of the most popular features with teachers about the Chrome browser.

When I share with teachers about Chrome extensions, I tell teachers to think of them as enhancements to their web browsing. They put information at your finger tips quickly, help keep students more productive, and assist with information curation.

Here are some of my favorite Chrome extensions that are great for students:

todo To Do List

To Do List is a simple, yet effective way to have a running to do list right in your browser. This is great for students that need to keep track of upcoming assignments and other school events. There is a number badge displayed directly on the extension telling you how many items you have on your list. It’s easily to reorder the items on the to do list by dragging and dropping, highlight more important items by adding the pound sign (#) at the front, and switch between a few different color schemes to choose the look of your list.

googledictionary

Google Dictionary

There are a lot of extensions created by Googlers in the Chrome Web Store, but Google Dictionary has become a fast favorite for many teachers. Students often will need to be reminded of the definition of a word as soon as they read it while looking up information on the web. This extension is a great help. Students can click the extension, type in the word they need to look up, press enter and they’ve instantly got it without leaving the page they’re on. The feature I like the most about this extension though is the ability to double-click on any word in a piece of text and immediately see a pop up bubble with that word’s definition. Not only that, but students are also given an audio icon to click on to hear the word pronounced for them.

googledictionary2

readability

Readability

We all have seen articles and other online resources that are very cluttered with ads and other pieces of information that are irrelevant to the content we’re trying to focus on. The Readability extension greatly helps with this. I always use a CNN article as an example when I’m sharing this one with teachers. As soon as the article loads, click the Readability extension and you are presented with three options: Read Now, Read Later, and Send to Kindle. Students can click Read Now and Readability will convert the article by stripping off all of the extra information that is not needed and presents only the article and specific images associated with the article. This makes for a much more focused, eye appealing reading experience. If students want to take the extra step of creating a Readability account they can click Read Later to have the article saved to their account for easy access at a later time. If a student reads a lot of Kindle content, they can link up Readability to their Kindle for access later from another device.


readandwriteRead & Write for Google Docs

This is a great accessibility extension for students that need a little extra help with their writing. Once this extension has been installed, the only place it can be used is when a Google Doc is open for editing. The extension adds a purple tab at the top of the document that says Read & Write. The extension allows for students to instantly have read to them anything that they have typed on their document. Sometimes all students need is to hear what their piece of writing sounds like when read aloud to help with edits. There are also other features like a built-in dictionary, picture dictionary, and other study tools.

The developer of the extension has a nice video tutorial that demonstrates all the features. It’s about 6 minutes so definitely check it out:

savetodriveSave to Google Drive

If your students are already using Google Apps for Education, this new extension from Google will allow them to quickly and easily capture content from the web and save it directly to their Google Drive. Students are able to save a screen capture of the existing page being viewed, or specific items on that page (links, images, sound bytes) can be saved to Google Drive by right clicking on them and choosing the Save to Google Drive option. Another handy extension for students to help them curate content on the web.

shortenmeShorten Me

We all know that links on the web can get really long and not very neat looking. The Shorten Me extension helps with that if you need to email a link, post a link in a discussion or in a piece of writing or a presentation. When clicked, the Shorten Me extension automatically creates a shortened link of the web page currently being viewed using the http://goo.gl link shortener. Once it link is created it is automatically copied to your computer’s clipboard so it can be quickly pasted into an email or document. There is also an option with this extension to also have a QR code automatically generated for the link that can also be used to quickly get others to the link via their smart phone or tablet.

While I know there is no shortage of other great Chrome extensions for students these just happen to be a handful of my favorites. I always enjoy sharing these with teachers so they can share them with their students. They help us all to be a bit more productive and enhance our learning on the web.

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29 Comments on “6 Chrome Extensions for Students”

  1. My observation is that Chrome itself has become decidedly less stable over the past month or two. In fact it’s given me pause to consider a return to Firefox, at least on my MacBook Air. That’s obviously not an issue on the Chromebook platform.

  2. Thanks for the helpful post – I didn’t know about the Google Drive app. For math teachers, the Desmos.com graphing app is amazing and very useful: http://bit.ly/WIAXOm

  3. These are great suggestions. I really like the Readability and the Read and Write app.

  4. Thanks Kyle, these are great tips!

  5. […] Google Chrome has quickly become my browser of choice over the last year or so. It's huge list of features and overall reliability speak for themselves. If you and your students are using Google Ap…  […]

  6. […] Google Chrome has quickly become my browser of choice over the last year or so. It's huge list of features and overall reliability speak for themselves. If you and your students are using Google Ap…  […]

  7. […] use Google Chrome, but in case you do, I thought I would pass along a blog post that I came across. In this post, Kyle Pace lists a few good Chrome extensions for students–it might be worth a minute of your […]

  8. Susan says:

    Thanks for the info. Love readability. Going to look into read write now. Sounds perfect for some of my students.

  9. […] 6 Chrome Extensions for Students « Kyle B. Pace […]

  10. A colleague and I were just talking today about the idea that maybe some students need to read their drafts outloud to each other to just hear them for errors. Then I saw this post.

  11. […] 6 Chrome Extensions for Students « Kyle B. Pace […]

  12. […] Google Chrome has quickly become my browser of choice over the last year or so. It's huge list of features and overall reliability speak for themselves. If you and your students are using Google Ap…  […]

  13. […] Google Chrome has some great extensions for students.  Check them out by clicking on the link: http://kylepace.wordpress.com/2013/01/29/6-chrome-extensions-for-students/ […]

  14. […] Google Chrome has quickly become my browser of choice over the last year or so. It's huge list of features and overall reliability speak for themselves. If you and your students are using Google Ap…  […]

  15. […] Google Chrome has quickly become my browser of choice over the last year or so. It's huge list of features and overall reliability speak for themselves. If you and your students are using Google Ap…  […]

  16. I’d love for them to use these extensions and some of the apps as well. In order to get these extensions, won’t we have to open Google Chrome store for our students on Google apps? Is the chrome store available in your district? Do you have reservations about opening chrome store? I teach computer ed at a small non-public school, and would appreciate your input! Thanks!

    • Kyle Pace says:

      Hi Anne!

      Thanks for reading my post and thanks for your comment. Yes you are right, the Chrome Webstore would have to be turned on for students in your Google Apps domain. You also have the ability to push out certain apps and extensions school-wide as well as prevent students from installing certain apps and extensions. There’s no doubt, however, that digital citizenship conversations need to happen between teachers and students about using proper judgement when downloading an app or extension for school use.

  17. […] Google Chrome has quickly become my browser of choice over the last year or so. It's huge list of features and overall reliability speak for themselves. If you and your students are using Google Ap…  […]

  18. […] Google Chrome has quickly become my browser of choice over the last year or so. It's huge list of features and overall reliability speak for themselves. If you and your students are using Google Ap…  […]

  19. Good ones. I recommend Curiyo–instantly provides internet-sources info about any word or most contextual references within a webpage.

  20. […] Google Chrome has quickly become my browser of choice over the last year or so. It's huge list of features and overall reliability speak for themselves. If you and your students are using Google Ap…  […]

  21. […] Google Chrome has quickly become my browser of choice over the last year or so. It's huge list of features and overall reliability speak for themselves. If you and your students are using Google Ap…  […]

  22. I would also suggest World Data Finder https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/world-data-finder/njemfmgdongfbepammkjllhpdlolckde as a Chrome extension that can be used by students.

    World Data Finder is a nice one-click assistant in fact checking, data analysis and data discovery. It lets you get relevant data and charts to almost any page you visit right away.

    A user can explore data and charts in a pop-up window or get them inserted directly into the text.


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