Installing extensions to Google Chrome adds amazing functionality to the browser. This allows users to personalise Chrome to suit their needs.
The Chrome Web Store has thousands of extensions on offer for you to customise the browser. To help support students to become familiar with extensions, admins can ‘Force Install’ a small selection via student Organisational Units in the Admin Console. This results in students logging into their account and automatically having access to these selected extensions.
Here are 10 Chrome extensions that I recommend to support student learning;
Adblock Plus automatically blocks all the advertising material on the website the students are viewing. A great extension to install to ensure students aren’t distracted while researching material on the web.
Announcify will read aloud the website the student has open. The extension will open a new tab with the text and begin reading aloud for the student. Students can select from 5 different english speaking voices, as well as from 15 other language voice types. They can choose the speaking speed and pitch to ensure they follow along as the text is read to them.
Awesome Screenshot gives students the ability to take a screenshot of their entire screen or a selected area. They can then annotate the screenshot with shapes, lines and text, and can even blur out parts of the screenshot to emphasise a particular portion of the image or cover up sensitive information. The screenshot can easily be shared with others and saved.
The Google Dictionary extension enables students to learn and understand the definition of any word on their web page. When students double click on a word, Google Dictionary will pop up with a brief definition for them. Students can click ‘more’ if they wish to explore the meaning of the word further. When students click the Google Dictionary icon on the extension bar they can either type any word or highlight a word on the web page to receive its definition.
Google Translate enables students to translate text from a web page into over 90 different languages. When selected text is highlighted, students can right click to select Google Translate and receive its definition and translation in text and speech. Students can ‘save’ each word to a Phrasebook to refer back to at a later time. Alternatively students can click on the Google Translate extension bar icon to translate the entire web page or type in a selected word.
Mercury Reader removes all advertisements and distractions from the web page the students are viewing, leaving only text and images for a clean and consistent page. Students click the Mercury Reader extension bar icon to enable the web page to be reconfigured for them. They have the ability to select a suitable text size, font style, and theme to suit their reading preferences.
Save to Google Drives allows students to save web content, images, or browser screenshots directly into their Google Drive. They can set the extension up to have saved material automatically go to a specific folder or manually change its destination once it has been saved.