Part 1 and 2 of this blog series discussed a few Chrome extensions I am using to help me customise my internet browsing experience. This followed on from Episode #6 of the Edufuturists Vault where we chatted to Dr Chris Craft, the brains behind many of EdTech Team's amazing suite of Chrome extensions. Don't forget to check these posts out by clicking the links below:
In this third and final instalment, I will discuss five more that have helped me. I hope they are useful - don't forget, please contact us if you want to write a guest blog post for us or want to discuss any of the topics we cover.
Steven and I had the privilege of visiting the Texthelp offices in Belfast last week (more about that in a coming post!) and we got to chat with some of the amazing team behind their suite of accessibility tools, many of which we have discussed before. However, WriQ could be the most important tool for a literacy based teacher that I have seen from them.
WriQ offers a standard measurement for writing to help teachers and parents monitor and manage the progress of each student’s writing. It helps teachers evaluate their students' written communication skills and provide meaningful feedback to improve their students' writing over time. This measurement offers a range of metrics to generate a quality score. There is now full Google Classroom integration which, added to the concept of instant assessment of student work, makes this an absolute godsend.
Have you ever wanted to find out how to do a simple task within GSuite tools? This crafty little extension gives you tips and tricks for using the tools from within the product.
Their product page explains it really well:
a. Rich, interactive training - Whether you’re in Gmail, Calendar, Sheets, Slides, or Docs, you can learn and take actions, all at the same time
b. In-App experience - Training is accessible directly within G Suite, so you don’t need to leave the application to learn how to use it
c. Available to all - Whether it’s to master Google Classroom, or the G Suite Admin Console, G Suite Training is free for your entire organisation.
Tutorials right within your browser - winner!
Alice Keeler, one of the leading lights of edtech in the US, has made a number of extensions, one of which is a nice little time-saving tool within Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides or Google Drawing where the default sharing setting is private. Changing the viewing permissions requires multiple clicks and usually we share documents without changing up this little setting, resulting in lots of requests for access! One of the recent big announcements in Gmail was the Access Checker so that any attached links and files are shared correctly but this tool does it within the actual file sharing. This Chrome extension changes the viewing permissions to those outside of your domain or school. The extra bonus is that the link to the Google file is also automatically copied to your clipboard. This saves you from the extra step of copying the URL after you changed the sharing permissions. Simply paste the link where you want to share the document and have full confidence that others can view the document.
We have spoken often about our love for EdPuzzle and an upcoming blog post is going to focus around appsmashing between EdPuzzle, Flipgrid, Screencastify and Google Classroom. However, this extension adds a small button next to YouTube videos to quickly start editing them in EdPuzzle. By installing Edpuzzle's Chrome Extension, you will get a small unobtrusive button under all YouTube videos so that you can start making them into your next lesson. Remember, EdPuzzle is aiming to create a lesson out of any video. Check out our Vault podcast with EdPuzzle power-user, Nick Hughes.
I know that a good number of the extensions I have covered in this series are developed by Texthelp and I am not going to apologise for finishing with another! One of the biggest challenges that I face when working with schools and teachers about integrating technology into the classroom is the ability to make maths digital. I wholeheartedly believe that the Equatio tool goes a very long way to overcoming this obstacle. The extension allows for mathematical notation to be inserted, spoken (yes speech to text!) and edited within a multitude of platforms. You can insert graphs, LATEX and Mathspace into a Google Doc for instance and the functionality for assessment within Google Forms is a gamechanger. The video below explains how important this tool really is and the added bonus of a Chrome extension (and other platforms if you want to use them) makes it invaluable to the educator's toolbox.
So, that's a wrap. 15 extensions I really love (and use). Don't forget to get in touch if you want to throw your twopenneth in or comment on these or other extensions you can't live without.