Month: January 2018

So Much Awesome: My 6 Favorite Chrome Extensions

So Much Awesome: My 6 Favorite Chrome Extensions

Friends, I have a list a mile long of cool stuff I’m dying to show you; the problem is that I don’t know how to choose which comes first!  So, instead of choosing, I’m going to give you a list of my six favorite chrome extensions.  These are extensions I use almost every day, and that make my teaching, grading, and learning life a million times easier and more efficient.

  1. Checkmark

    Image result for checkmarkclassThis little tool from EdTechTeam has saved me countless hours as an English teacher.  Checkmark allows a teacher (or student) to use canned comments when reading and reviewing a Google Document.  Some of the comments that I use most often include: check for fragment, check punctuation, clarify your idea/meaning, detail needed, discussion needed, evidence needed, and check citation.  Before Checkmark, the problem was that highlighting and making the comment took quite a bit of time when multiplied by hundreds (thousands?) of comments over the course of a semester.  The ease and efficiency of a one-click comment makes all the difference.  If I’m scoring written work, Checkmark is a necessity.

  2. Clipular

    Clipular is invaluable when creating “how to” guides, presentations, and blog posts (like this one).  A person can screenshot or take partial screenshots, then edit them by adding effects, stickers, drawing, text, in addition to all of the standard photo edits (brightness, contrast, saturation, and sharpness).

  3. Bitmoji

    I use Bitmoji to give “stickers” to my students.  The simple fact is that kids love getting rewards – digital or physical.  When grading, I keep the Bitmoji extension open, and award stickers just like I would when I used paper in my classroom.  I try to tailor stickers to the student’s personality, and, to be honest, I may spend a little more time than I should choosing just the right one.  My favorite thing is to choose Bitmojis that are nothing like me in real life…or maybe they are…

  4. Whisper

    Have you ever given directions, taken questions, and set a class off on an important assignment only to remember you forgot to mention one very important part of the assignment?  It happens to me all the time. All. The. Time. 

    Like every day.  Image result for whisper class edtechteamLuckily, EdTechTeam came to the rescue once again, and the solution to all my problems is Whisper (well, maybe not all, but this one at least).  When I heard about Whisper, I immediately asked our tech department push it out to all of our teachers and students – that’s how much I love it.  Now, when I inevitably forget that one important part of the directions, I can simply type a quick message in Whisper to discreetly notify all of my students.  Students will receive the message in a pop up on their screen that is a minimal disruption to their work.  I can also redirect students easily by selecting only their name in Whisper, then sending them a one-on-one message.  All messages are saved in Whisper as well, so you have a record of everything you’ve sent!
  5. One-Click Timer

    Image result for one click timerOne-click timer is a tool I’ve been using more and more lately.  I’m finding that this time of year, my students are having a particularly hard time staying focused; therefore, when my students get a little distracted, a “one-minute warning” makes all the difference in getting them back on task.
    On-Click Timer is yet another tool that makes my classroom more productive by keeping my students and myself on track and focused.

  6. Grammarly

    If you aren’t using Grammarly, you may be making grammar mistakes you didn’t even know existed! Okay, that may be an exaggeration, but Grammarly really is an invaluable tool for both student and teacher. 

    Image result for grammarly I was lucky enough to convince my administration to purchase a site license, but even the free version is quite helpful.  I encourage my students to not only use Grammarly to check their essays for superficial mistakes but to also turn on the extension so that it can check their emails and forms.  Grammarly puts a stop to those pesky lower-case “i’s” that kids are so want to use (even my 12th-graders!).