By itself Chrome is a powerful browser, but the beauty of it lies in the add-ons and extensions. For those that aren’t familiar with the difference add-ons can be thought of as stand-alone programs that live in the cloud. Extensions on the other hand “extend” the functionality of the core program – in this case Chrome. So without further ado, these are my 5 favorite extensions for Chrome:
Tabcloud: allows you to save groups of tabs together for easy recall. For example, you have a “school” tab with all the sites you need to access while at school and then can switch your “personal” tab with your other fave sites. Also, as it is linked to your Google account you can easily retrieve your same tabs from other accounts. Highly recommended!
Share to Classroom: allows you to push a webpage to the students in your Google Classroom so you don’t need to fiddle with links and multiple clicks. However, in order for it to work the device your students are using also needs to have the extension installed on their end (on their Chrome browser).
The Great Suspender: is basically a necessity for educators who are constantly on the move with their laptops. Chrome is a great browser but also sucks up a lot of battery. The Great Suspender allows you to “suspend” tabs that are not used for a specified duration of time in order to save on battery. Highly customizable in terms of the options it offers for when and how and which tabs to suspend, this extension is a must-have!
The QR Code Extension: allows you to create QR codes directly from the website you are visiting by simply clicking on the extension. Simple and efficient. I love it!
Screencastify: allows you lots of flexibility in terms of screen capture, aka recording what is happening on your screen … with flexible options to record whole windows or only specific tabs. The only drawback is that you need a strong network connection as it is web-based and you need to pay to upgrade to all the full features – however with a Google edu admin account you have 90 free minutes of recording as a trial which is plenty to figure out if you are really going to use it and if it is worth your while.
Don’t know how to install extensions? Simply type in store.google.com and navigate to extensions or even easier yet in the Google Search bar type the “name of the extension” for Google Chrome and then click on the + Add to Chrome in the top right corner. Enjoy!