Home Chromebooks Eight Chrome Extensions and Sites You May Not Know (July 2021)

Eight Chrome Extensions and Sites You May Not Know (July 2021)

by Sara Qualls
chrome extension

I know you probably don’t want to hear it, but summer is coming to an end. Sorry to burst your bubble! Hopefully, there are a few readers out there who have had enough of a mental reprieve from the roller coaster of teaching during a pandemic and those words actually brought true joy and excitement to their hearts. Don’t worry, I hold no judgment for those groaning and who are about to click the back button and run to the safety of their couch to binge Virgin River on Netflix.

For those of you still with me, I trust those thoughts of decorating your classroom, ideas for making it your best year of teaching yet, and planning curriculum for the first week of school are giving you all the warm fuzzies. Let’s dive headfirst into the rabbit hole of extensions.

Chrome Extensions to Try

Dewey. If you love to find new ideas to try from Twitter, you’re going to love this extension. If you’re a curator queen like myself, you know that organization is a must. Dewey helps you transform your Twitter bookmarks into an organized collection.

The icing on the cake is Dewey allows you to share your perfectly tagged and categorized list with friends. It really is my new favorite extension.

Side Note: If you don’t know what a Twitter bookmark is, you are missing out on a great feature of this social media tool. You can access your bookmarks in the left sidebar menu on the desktop version or in the hamburger menu within the app. To bookmark a tweet, simply hit that upwards arrow at the bottom of each tweet and bookmark.

Mote. You probably have heard of this one, but just in case it’s not your radar, I’m including it. Do you dread leaving feedback for students? Mote to the rescue! If you’re spending hours typing comments within student assignments, do yourself a favor and download it now. This extension allows you to easily add voice comments and audio content to shared documents, assignments, emails, and forms. It currently integrates into Google Classroom, Docs, Forms, Gmail, Slides, and Sheets. It’s a real timesaver!

Print Friendly & PDF. You’ll be saving the planet with this extension. Picture this: you find a great idea or small article and hit print. The printer shoots out five pages when you only needed three paragraphs of text. Print Friendly & PDF optimizes any web page for printing and reading. It removes all the ads, navigation, and other non-essential content before you print. You’ll even have a final chance to delete any unnecessary items it may have missed. Not only are you saving the environment, but you will save money by using less ink.

Insert Learning. Find a great website and realize it would be a wonderful lesson for your students? Insert Learning can help you turn any website into an interactive learning experience! It lets you insert questions, discussions, videos, highlight text, and other insights you may want to share into any website. Has your jaw dropped yet?

But that’s not all, folks. It allows your students to highlight and insert their own sticky notes along with sharing their ideas in a discussion format. If you want to go a step further, add your entire class so you can differentiate for learners who might need additional content. Bonus: you can share the lesson you create to Google Classroom.

Heads up! The free version of Insert Learning allows you to have unlimited students, but will limit you to five lessons. However, if you fall in love with this extension, it’s only $40 USD per year or $8 per month for an individual teacher.

Email Tracker for Gmail. “I never received your email.” “It must have gone to my spam folder.” “I didn’t know there was a parent conference.” Tired of hearing these excuses? Yeah, me too. I won’t lie to you though. You’re still going to hear all of these, but with Email Tracker for Gmail you will now have the data to back you up. This extension tracks when your email was first opened, how many times the email was opened, and if any links were clicked.

Must-Visit Websites

Bakpax. Okay, this one isn’t a typical website I would share, but is more of a tool housed on the internet. If you want to get technical on me though, it is still a website. And it’s just too good not to share. Bakpax utilizes AI (Artificial Intelligence) and will grade the work for you. Yes, you read that right. It will grade assignments for you.

There are so many reasons why this could be a life-changer, but my favorite one is that it delivers instant feedback to your students. That means while your student is still in math mode, Bakpax will give them immediate insights. Speaking of math, if your student is anything like my son and hates to enter math answers online, they can simply upload a photo of their paper. That goes for any subject.

Other great features of Bakpax are:

  • Import students from Google Classroom
  • Easily convert your content to digital, auto-gradable assignments
  • 1,000’s of pre-made assignments to choose from
  • Options when assigning work such as allowing students to retry incorrect answers and submitting late work
  • Students can complete their work from any device or upload their paper.
  • Ability to read that hard-to-decipher student handwriting

And, in case you were wondering, this is not a sponsored post. I just think it’s that awesome! Oh, yeah, the CEO is committed to keeping it free for teachers.

IconsMania. This website is a branch of the ever-popular SlidesMania. Just knowing that it’s from Paula at SlidesMania should make you stop reading now and just immediately bookmark it. If you need a little more nudging, IconsMania gives you access to a collection of free, fully editable icons and illustrations.

Pro Tip: Check out this tutorial on creating your own digital stickers using IconsMania.

Boil the Frog. Sticking with my traditional randomness of sites you need to know, I bring you Boil the Frog. Raise your hand if the music you like is all over the place. I’m so glad to have you with me today because you will thank me for this one. Just head to the website and type in the names of two artists. Boil the Frog will create a playlist that gradually takes you from the first artist to the second. It shows you the path it’s generated and, if you like it, you can save it to Spotify for listening.

As always, I hope there was at least one useful nugget in there. Please don’t forget to let me know which ones you have tried or send me suggestions to try.

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