When using the Chrome browser, it’s nice to snag a few free “Extensions” from the Chrome store to make life easier. When you add them, they appear on the top right of your browser window. Any time you want to disable an extension or find details about it, you click on the “hamburger” (3 horizontal lines) on the top right, choose “Settings” and then “Extensions.”
I have multiple personalities on Chrome, so the extensions I use vary with which identity I happen to be claiming at the time. Some extensions (like “Share to Google Classroom”) are better suited for School Terri. And some (like “Pin It”) get utilized more by Home Terri. Here are some that I’ve been using lately that you might want to try out:
- “Save to Pocket” – Used by every part of my schizophrenic self on every device I have, Pocket is my favorite bookmarking tool. On my school and home computers, I can instantly add and tag any website link I like so I can look for it later. (You can find out more about Pocket in my digital curation posts from earlier this summer.)
- “goo.gl URL Shortener” – Instantly shorten and create a QR code for any site. Great for use on Twitter, sharing URL’s in e-mails, etc…
- “Tab Cloud” – By the end of every day, my Chrome Browser has so many open tabs that I start hyperventilating. Some of those tabs need to stay open because they have to do with something I may be planning to blog, or they might all be sites I’m using with my students that day – or every day. You can instantly save your tab collection by clicking on the Tab Cloud Extension. Give it a name and any time you want to access it, just click the extension to find your tab group.
- “Share to Classroom” – This is a relatively new extension that allows you to instantly share a website link to all of your students in any of your Google classrooms.
- “Page Eraser” – This one is kind of fun. Let’s say you want to show your students an article on a website, but the site has some distracting ads – or maybe you want them to figure something out so you want to take off some of the items on the page. With Page Eraser on, you click on pieces of the page and they will disappear. I will caution you, however, that one of my colleagues tried this on a page she uses a lot, and then couldn’t get the items to reappear. I’m guessing this had something to do with a cookie trail, as restarting the browser solved the problem.
- “CraftyText” – This may be my new favorite. Ever wanted to share something, like a link or a group code, while on a website – but the text is too small? This extension puts a text box right on top of the website that you can add text to. Need students to join Google Classroom? Just stick that group code in your CraftyText box so all can see it! You can see an example below. (First, I used goo.gl URL shortener, then clicked CraftyText and pasted into the box. Then I hit enter so it would appear larger than life.) When you are done using it, just click on the extension again to make it disappear.
So, do you have any favorite extensions? Share them in the comments below!