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Five Free Tools for Chromebooks

by Miguel Guhlin
five free tools for chromebooks
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Have a cart full of Chromebooks but aren’t sure what digital tools you can use? Or why? While many use Chromebooks every day, it never hurts to review some amazing digital tools. Of course, you can find a lot of great apps for Chromebooks at the Chromebook App Hub. It offers paid apps for every subject and grade level. But what if you want free, no-cost apps? This is the list for you.

Two New Features for Chromebooks

You may have missed the announcement earlier this summer. Chromebooks are arriving with two special powers. These include built-in screencasting with closed captioning and simple video editing. Check out my infographic for more info.

Learn more about these

Now let’s get to a quick roundup of Chromebook-friendly tools and add-ons. Here we go.

Digital Tool #1: Kapwing Video Editor and Creator

five free tools for chromebooks

Kapwing Pro is now 100% free for students and educators. No longer will you have to pine for some free, high-quality video editor. Kapwing Video Editor, featured in this TCEA blog entry, offers so much. And the Pro version is now available at no charge for educators and students. Isn’t that amazing?

Kapwing Pro for Education features:

  • Presentation recording
  • Group projects
  • Video editing and greenscreens
  • Template and worksheet design
  • Video translation
  • Subtitles
  • Copyright-free images, music, and templates
  • Video import from the Internet

Want to know if you qualify for the Kapwing Pro plan? Per their website:

Teachers at accredited K-12 schools and higher education institutions are eligible for the Kapwing for Education Plan.

Students currently enrolled at accredited K-12 schools who are at least 13 years old are eligible for the Kapwing for Education plan. (Students enrolled at higher education institutions are not eligible at this time.)

Digital Tool #2: Canva for Educators

Canva is an incredibly versatile tool that you can use for everything. You only have to read these TCEA blog entries to see how amazing Canva is. It does everything:

Here’s a quick video overview of how to get started:

Want some help with back-to-school resources? Canva has you covered.

Get verified as a teacher or student to use Canva Pro for free.

Digital Tool #3: Book Creator

If you haven’t used Book Creator, it is an excellent ePub creation tool boasting over 15 million ebooks. It works on Chromebooks, iOS, Android and Windows devices.

Book Creator allows you to create a simple ePub without media. Or you can liven things up with an enhanced ePub. The latter includes video, audio, and more embedded. Read their blog for TONS of ideas. You can also share your creations to cloud storage (e.g., Dropbox, iCloud, Google Drive, or iCloud). It also supports the creation of digital comic books.

Get Book Creator for free.

Note: You can create one library and store up to 40 books for free. It’s enough to get started.  Be sure to explore templates! Then get become a Book Creator Certified Educator via TCEA’s $39 online course with one year membership FREE! Start Your Journey of Creativity and Learning NOW.

Digital Tool #4: Image Capture Tools

Need an easy-to-use image capture and annotation tool? You know, a browser-based add-on that captures your screen, then lets you annotate the image? Lightshot is my all-time favorite tool and works great in the Chrome browser.

Sometimes, you need a tool that can capture a scrolling webpage, not only what appears on the screen. Give Fireshot a try. It’s a great tool to have in your toolbox. Of course, if you need a photo editor, give Pixlr E and Photopea a shot. Need another amazing tool that makes assembling content easy? Try out Sketch.io’s Sketchpad, which I’ve written about before. It offers support for multiple languages, so it’s usable in any space you like.

Digital Tool #5: GIF Cap

Need to make a quick walkthrough of steps to share with students or colleagues? You could record a video. Another popular approach relies on creating animated GIFs for a screen recording. gifcap makes that possible.

five free tools for chromebooks

It’s so easy to use, that you’ll be creating short walkthroughs of steps for students. If you need a digital tool that takes a series of images and turns them into an animated gif, give EZGIF a try. EZGIF “…is a simple online GIF maker and toolset for basic animated GIF editing.” It makes it easy to “create, resize, crop, reverse, optimize, and apply some effects to GIFs.”

Now that you’ve seen some of my favorite, go-to tools for Chromebook, what would you add? Add them in the comments.

five free tools for chromebooks

Bonus Tools!

What, you thought I was done? Here are a few more that make my life easier. I bet they will make your life easier, too.

  • Custom Scrollbars. What a lifesaver. The current trend in browser scrollbars is thin and thinner. But when you’re working on a Chromebook or tablet, small scrollbars are problematic. They disappear, and if you scroll through content (imagine a long Google Doc), whew! It can be tough. That’s why Custom Scrollbars add-on is so awesome. And it’s free!
  • Icon Insertion Tools: Explore these two tools to get icons you can insert into Google Slides.
  • Background Removers
  • Classroom Screen makes it easy to share information with your students on the big screen.
  • Tab Resize. Split your screen layout on a Chromebook, if you need to. Many are accustomed to working on dual monitors, but when you are on the go, you may still need a split screen. This Chrome add-on can make that possible.

Have an incredible year. Use technology to lessen your stress, increase connections with others, and make your life easier.

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