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Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Five Chrome Extensions for Teachers and Students

Extensions for Google Chrome can do all kinds of helpful things for you and your students. This is the time of year when teachers who have Chromebooks for the first time ask me what they should add in addition to the standard things that their IT staff installed. Usually my suggestions begin with a few Chrome apps and some extensions. Here are five Chrome extensions that I frequently recommend to teachers.

1. Audio Player for Google Slides
This extension answers the question, "how do I add music to Google Slides?" With Audio Player for Google Slides installed you can not only add music to play continuously in the background of a presentation you can also use it to record audio in your Google Slides.

2. Use Loom to Make Screencasts from Your Inbox
Loom is a Chrome extension that you can use to record screencast videos. Additionally, when you have Loom installed you can record screencast videos directly from your email inbox. Watch my video to learn how to use Loom.



3. Auto Text Expander for Chrome
This extension might become redundant with the new iteration of Gmail, but it is still worth mentioning for now. Auto Text Expander for Chrome enables you to create keyboard shortcuts for phrases that you frequently use in emails. This extension lets you can set a keyword that when typed will fill the body of your email with programmed text. This is a convenient tool to use if you find yourself frequently replying to the same type of questions in your email.

4. ReCall Study Time
This extension can be equally helpful to teachers and students. ReCall Study Time is a Chrome extension that is intended to help you cut down on the time you spend looking at social media sites when you should be studying or working. With the extension installed and enabled you'll be shown a big reminder to get back on task whenever you try to open Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, or Instagram in a new browser tab.

5. Share to Classroom
If you're married to the Google ecosystem and using Google Classroom within a G Suite for Education domain then you should to try Share to Classroom. With this extension installed you will be able to push webpages to your students' devices by simply opening the extension and specifying which of your Google Classroom classes you want to receive the page. Students do not need to do anything because the page will automatically load in their web browsers. You can also have students push pages to you through Share to Classroom.

Bonus Item!
There is a Google Keep Chrome extension that makes it easy to save bookmarks and notes to your Google Keep account. You can then access your notes and bookmarks at Keep.Google.com or view them through Google Docs. If you're already using G Suite for Education, Google Keep is a convenient place to save your bookmarks and notes. Learn more about Google Keep in the webinar that I'm hosting next week on PracticalEdTech.com.