Feb 18, 2016

Google Apps, AddOns, and Extensions


Google Chrome is a powerful tool for browsing the web, but did you know you can super charge your browsing experience by adding Apps and Extensions?  What are apps and extensions?  


  • Chrome Apps - these are web based applications that can be added to your Chrome Apps Page or Chrome App Launcher.
  • Chrome Extensions - These are tools that can be added to your Chrome Browser
Also, if you are a Google Drive user, you may know that there are AddOns that you can install in Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Forms to beef up your productivity and document creation.   

You can easily add these tools to your browser by visiting the Chrome Web Store (http://chrome.google.com/webstore).  Some AddOns may not be viewable in the store, but you can find them in the AddOns menu of whatever Google App you are using.

Now that you know what is possible, below is a list of tools you can't do without!  Just providing enough to make you dangerous, then you can set yourself loose on the webstore to really start exploring.

Apps

  • Pocket - This app allows you to save and archive websites/articles for viewing later.  You can use your Google Account to set up your Pocket account. Great for those times that you simply can't read every article or site that you run across.  Just pocket it for later.
  • Socrative - This student response app allows teachers to create, edit and deploy assessments.  Students can respond on any web connected mobile device or computer.  And its FREE!
  • Remind - this tool is a free, safe way for teachers to interact with students and parents.  Sent out notifications to participants via text or email - whatever format users wish to receive.  Plus you can also setup the Chat feature so that students and parents can respond or reply.
  • NewsELA - This tool provides a large library of articles that can be used to engage students in nonfiction and news articles.  Articles can be scaled to the students needs across 5 reading levels.  Plus, teachers can also administer quizzes and discussion questions related to the articles students read, for a great reading comprehension exercise.
  • HootSuite - Very simply put, this app allows you to connect all your social media accounts so you can access them in one place.  Wonderful tool if you have social media accounts for the classroom.

AddOns 

  • Autocrat - This add on for sheets allows you to merge Sheet data with a Google Doc.  Great for Mail Merges.
  • Draftback - Allows users to playback the revision history of a document.  Sort of like watching the document be created all over again. Great as a plagiarism checker, as you can see large pieces of text dropped in at once instead of being typed....
  • EasyBib - This add on for Google Docs allows users to search for and add citations to their documents - in MLA, Chicago, APA and more....
  • Flubaroo - This add on for a Google Form Response Sheet allows you to grade assessments automatically as they are submitted, and inform students of their grade and responses.  Great time-saver for teachers.
  • Merge Values - This add on for sheets allows you to merge values in a google sheet.  Great when paired with Power Tools.
  • Power Tools - This add on allows Sheets users to perform many of the functions found in Excel, including capitalization, split (text to columns), data merge, etc...
  • Site Maestro - This add on for Google Sheets allows you to create and manage ePortfolio sites for students using a Google Site template you have previously created.  This description will not do justice to the actual add on - you have to watch the video tutorial to see how powerful this tool is!

Extensions

  • ColorZilla - This extension allows you to pick a color from anything on your screen and get the RGB values for the color so you can use them in Photoshop or any other program.  More useful than you would know!
  • Crafty Text - This extension allows users to display large text on a banner over an existing webpage.  Great for lectures, presentations, or bellringer activities.
  • OneTab - Reduces tabs on your browser down to a  list on one tab.  Tab can be shared with others using a link.  Great way to share a list of links for projects and research, with students.
  • Save to Pocket - This extension for Chrome allows you to Save articles and sites to your Pocket Account directly from your browser.
  • SnagIt - This chrome extension from TechSmith allows you to capture images and screen casts from your browser and save them in Google Drive.  Great screen cast and image tool!
  • Tab Resize - Need to view two tabs side by side?  Tired of having to reduce/restore and resize on your own?  Turn your chrome browser into a split screen. Let this extension do the work for you.  Love it!