In this blog post, I will be highlighting a few of the extensions that I use in my day-to-day use of Google Chrome (if you aren't using Google Chrome, check out this blog post to be convinced!). An extension is described as a piece of code that allows added features and abilities to customise your browser. It is worth noting right at the outset that if you attempt to run too many extensions at once,it can slow your computer down. Make sure you pick and choose which ones you need or want to try or even download the Extensity extension so you can turn extensions off when you do not need them.
Now, this post will be a termly one and I might even create a database of useful apps, extensions and addons if this is something people would benefit from - but this is the Spring 2018 version of my useful extensions. All the links are clickable to take you straight to the Chrome Web Store to download these wonderful little time-savers!
1. Grammarly - A well-publicised extension, Grammarly (even the free version) helps with all things spelling, punctuation and grammar (and you can even get email reports of what Grammarly has spotted and changed!). I love that you get a red underline when you make a mistake and then can hover over it to see what you need to change. The free version does everything you need as a mainstream educator but for those who need to write a little more academically, the Premium Version is worth the investment. Forbes Magazine described it as
“It’s an online service that quickly and easily makes your writing better and makes you sound like a pro, or at least helps you avoid looking like a fool.”
2. Google Docs Quick Create - Generally, in order to create a new Doc/Sheet/etc, it requires you to type in the address bar or Right Click in Drive. This crafty little extension allows you to create new documents right inside Chrome. You have the option of Doc, Slide, Form, Drawing or Sheet. Nothing more, nothing less but you'll be amazed how much time this can save.
3. Save to Keep - Right within a webpage or other document, you can save a link directly into your Keep notes. With label editing and an option to add additional notes about the page, this is a great timesaver. I know I bang on about Google Keep quite a lot but this little feature makes it even better (if that is even possible!). For those who have crossed over into the light and use this for all your notes and memos, I can't recommend it enough.
4. GSuite Training - A simple extension that offers simple and interactive training lessons right within Google apps. FAQs, a searchable list and loads of how tos (it might save you a Google search after all!). We all know that there are little things you used to do on Microsoft (sorry for the expletive!) tools or need to be able to do quickly when working within the GSuite; you now have tools and videos and links to ensure you can make optimal use of the applications.
5. Anyone Can View - This handy little extension from the legend that is Alice Keeler (check out her website for loads of ideas), instantly allows the permissions on a document to be changed. When in the application, you simply click the button and it makes available for anyone to view (even outside your domain). This means no more requests for access emails! It only changes it to view, not edit or suggest modes but generally if I am sharing for these functions, I remember to change permissions!
6. Tab Glue & Tab Scissors - If you have a number of tabs you are working on at once, this great extension allows you to split the screens and then glue them back together. It makes organising multiple tabs simple!
7. Screencastify - Often, we want to take a cast of what we are working on or why a website is useful to share with others. You get a fancy countdown and it can be simply audio or video too.
For those who want to take this extension and addons rollercoaster further, check out Kasey Bell's blog post at ShakeUp Learning
Feel free to share this infographic with those in your PLN (by the way, my next post will be about building a PLN - personal learning network - and some great practitioners to follow!