This blog post is written by one of my life characters and good friends, Jill! She is a math teacher, turned tech teaching guru who just moved to the PE department this year to spice things up! Her tech teaching knowledge adds spice to the classroom! Thanks, Jill!
I love being a teacher. With that, I spend 7 hours a day standing at my teacher station in my classroom. I don’t have to explain to fellow teachers how busy the day gets. Being intentional with my computer use is key to accomplishing the extra tasks I need to get done behind the scenes each day. These extensions can help make you a Super Teacher.
I LOVE CHROME! If you are not using Google Chrome, you need to start TODAY. Their suite of tools for teachers is amazing. I am going to share my 5 essential Chrome extensions, ones I use daily. Of course, I have more than 5 installed, but these are ones I can’t function without.
In my opinion, Chrome is the king of Internet browsers, mostly because of the ability to customize your experience by installing extensions.
What exactly is an extension?
Before we get to my top 5, let’s discuss some terminology. Sometimes you hear the terms Chrome extensions and Chrome apps used interchangeably. This is incorrect. Apps are simple shortcuts to websites, much like how an app functions on your mobile device. An extension, on the other hand, runs within your Chrome browser. They are amazing little tools that enhance your browsing experience and most help you be more efficient.
Why are extensions good for teachers?
Chrome extensions make you a better teacher. Seriously! Anytime you can be more efficient, it makes you better at your job. There are 100’s of extensions added to the Web Store every day. I am constantly Googling “chrome extensions for teachers.” When I see one I want, I install it, I don’t hesitate. My advice, install anything that sounds useful. Once a month, look through the ones on your toolbar, if you haven’t used it or don’t know what it is, delete it. It’s that simple!
What is the limit on how many I can install?
I know you are asking, why not just install every extension available? The answer, there is no limit to the number of extensions you can install, however, too many can and will slow your machine down. The speed of your computer, your wifi speed and even the number of browser tabs you have open can affect how your browser operates.
My Top 5 Extensions
Here is the list of my top 5 Chrome extensions for teachers. To add them to your browser, visit the Chrome Web Store.
- Readability – This extension makes any website or article instantly readable by stripping all the things you don’t want to see, cleanly and simply. You can copy the text, share it, and resize to meet your needs with the comfy red couch icon of Readability.
- Goo.gl – Goo.gl is a URL shortener from Google. What’s really cool about it, the extension tracks the activity of the shortened URLs from your account. The extension also has a QR code function, making link sharing quick and easy.
- Boomerang for Gmail – Boomerang is a Gmail extension that allows you to schedule messages to be sent or returned at a later date. Write a message now, send it whenever even if you’re not online. Track messages to make sure you hear back, and schedule reminders right inside Gmail™.
- 1-Click Timer – What teacher doesn’t need to set a timer for tasks? This quick and easy timer is perfect for telling students they have 5 minutes to finish up the project they are working on. Click on the icon to the right of the Omnibox and move the dial to the desired time.
- Pinterest- Just click the Pinterest button next time you find something interesting that you want to save for later on a board.
As of today, these are my most used extensions. What are your must-have choices? Share with us in the comments below.
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