With Chromebooks gaining popularity in classrooms, many folks have offered guides on how to use some popular software like Microsoft Word and Office 365 on these otherwise seemingly stripped down machines. Though they may seem basic, Chromebooks and Chrome (as a browser for those not using Chromebooks) are probably more robust than you think. The Chromium project is an open source project for the browser and OS. Having open source code allows developers to make Chrome extensions for the browser that add features and enhance what your browser can do .
Chrome extensions run the gamut from games, gags, and pretty pictures to things that enhance your productivity, and make magic happen in one click. We’ve talked before about extensions that make thinking more visible, and others to generally enhance your browsing experience. The vast majority of extensions are free, and you can find them in the Chrome Web Store. We’ve collected 6 more that we think are worth taking the time to check out if you’re a teacher or student. Do you have a favorite that we haven’t included? Share with the Daily Genius community by leaving a comment below, dropping us a line on Twitter, or heading over to the Daily Genius Facebook Page and leaving us a note there.
6 Chrome Extensions Great for Students and Teachers
Readability aims to simplify your online reading by turning the content from the page into a simplified, clearer reading view. This can be particularly useful for students who are easily distracted by “all that other stuff” happening on the web. For all of us, it is easier on the eyes, and free of ads. It offers the option to save material to read later, and you can send things to your Kindle, too. This one also comes as a mobile app.
One of the perks of having your students read “real life” content is that they’re exposed to different language use than they may otherwise be; the downside is that may force them to spend more time looking up words they aren’t familiar with. The Google Dictionary chrome extension makes a handy little dictionary icon next to the browser’s URL field. When you come across a word you’re unfamiliar with, simply highlight the word and click the dictionary icon. Easy peasy!
Sidenotes is a note-taking extension that opens up a basic notebook in the sidebar of a webpage, allowing you to jot down notes on the side (as the name so aptly implies). All of your data can be backed up to Dropbox for you to access anywhere
Stay Focusd aims to well, help you stay focused by limiting the amount of time you spend on certain websites. If you know that you’re prone to going down a black hole of Reddit postings and emerge an hour later, you can set up a filter to block you out of that site after a certain amount of time, for a certain amount of time. You can block certain sites, all sites except those you whitelist, or certain content. Think of it as a helper for your time management problem.
Note Anywhere is a simple sticky note extension that allows you to leave a note on any webpage. When you return to that page, you’ll see the note. This is great for lesson planning ideas, or for anyone doing research.
Whatever word processing software you use likely has a spell checker, and likely your email. But you aren’t always writing using those tools, and spell check leaves it at just that. Enter: Grammarly. Wherever you’re writing online, it follows you around, ensuring your grammar is up to snuff and not making you look bad.