From having a large library of extensions and add-ons to being able to surf the web incognito, it’s not hard to understand why Google Chrome is loved by many. According to statistics firm Netmarketshare, Google Chrome become the most popular internet browser as of April 2016, passing Internet Explorer and therefore ending Microsoft’s 18-year reign.
Part of what makes Chrome great are the extensions available today. In this blog post, I will explain what they are, how they can be useful for you and your Chromebook, and give examples of extensions you should download.
What are extensions?
Google Chrome Extensions are applications that run inside the Chrome browser and provide additional functionality, integration with third party websites or services, and customized browsing experiences. There are extensions for a variety of things like productivity, Internet privacy, blogging, etc. The best part is that they are all completely free.
What are the benefits for teachers?
Chrome extensions can make things more visible, compelling and helpful. The sheer amount of benefits offered by Chrome extensions justifies why they are the right choice for you in your classroom. Find a useful resource for a lesson? Save it by using Pocket. Want to convert a web page to PDF? Use Adobe Acrobat. Explain to students how to add a citation using Easybib.
Too many extensions?
There are no guidelines to how many extensions you should use but it’s important to note that you shouldn’t download too many. Downloading too many extensions will slow your browser and use a lot of memory. However, you have to keep in mind that the speed of your PC/laptop, your internet connection, available memory and how many tabs you keep open, can all impact your browser’s speed. So add or remove and remove extensions to optimize your setup so that your browser remains fast and useful to you as a teacher.
Examples of useful chrome extensions:
Screencastify is a simple video screen capture software. You can use it to make videos for your students.
Google Tone turns on your computer’s microphone (while the extension is on) and uses your computer’s speakers to exchange URLs with nearby computers connected to the Internet.
Google Classroom Teachers: Save time and create a more interactive class with the Share to Classroom extension. The extension allows you to push webpages to any of your Classroom classes, so they open instantly on your students’ computers.
This extension will allow your students to easily look up scholarly articles as they browse the web.