I take a class period at the beginning of every new semester to “enroll” students into the world of Google. Many don’t know how powerful and customizable Google Chrome can really be with the help of extensions.
First, I show students how to log into Chrome. Once logged in, all of the changes they make to Chrome will follow them everywhere they go . . . as long as they log in again!
Then I explain to students what extensions are:
Extensions are small software programs that can modify and enhance the functionality of the Chrome browser. (developer.chrome.com)
I go through some of my favorite extensions and demonstrate how they save me time or provide a service that I really like: Nimbus Screenshot, DocHub, Bitmoji, Adblock Plus, LastPass, and Eye Dropper. Students are often amazed that these tools are available, that they can be installed for easy access, and that they are FREE!
As tech-savvy teachers, sometimes we forget about the basics that our students aren’t aware of. That’s why I set aside a period in class to go over extensions, bookmarks, and other tips and tricks to help student productivity before we ever start covering subject matter content. This helps my students be successful in my class for the long term!
I’m always changing the list of extensions that I have students install. To keep in line with my district’s Responsible Use Policy, students only install extensions that don’t require accounts to be created outside of their existing school-issued Gmail account.
These are the extensions students are currently installing:
|Extension||What does it do?|
|Classroom Split||splits Google Classroom screen to show instructions & workspace|
|goo.gl URL Shortener||shorten URL address & create a QR code|
|Eye Dropper||matches colors from an existing website|
|Adblock Plus||blocks ads on websites|
|DocHub||allows editing of PDF documents|
|Nimbus Screenshot||capture and easily crop screenshots|