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Ever find yourself wishing for a few extra minutes or even hours in your day?  Looking for the proverbial easy button? If you’re a Chrome user, Chrome extensions may hold the key to unleashing a new era of efficiency and workflow joy.  Found in the Chrome Web Store, extensions are small software programs that live in the Chrome browser and provide additional functionality, often streamlining the capabilities of their big brother websites and tools.

Here’s an example for you:  I love using Wunderlist (it’s a great web tool and app for generating and tracking to-do lists, allowing for custom notifications, file sharing, and task assignments). The Add to Wunderlist extension allows me to immediately add any given webpage directly to my existing Wunderlists, including the link and reminder options, without ever needing to launch the website.  

In thinking through an educator’s day, we desire to focus our attention on teaching and learning, but can often become misdirected in the sea of documents, meetings, research, and lesson plan creation.  With this in mind, I’m sharing my top 5 must-have Chrome extensions for educators to combat this tug of war reality.  And let’s face it, who isn’t an educator in some regard? So, let’s all dive into the extensions pool.

checker drive extensionChecker Plus for Google Drive

This is a must-have extension for those who use Google Drive.  The extension allows for instant browsing within Drive without ever opening a new webpage.  This equates to one less dedicated open tab! You can also set up desktop notifications for modifications of your docs by shared users. Finally, one-click access to docs no matter where you are in the browser  = genius!

checker plus 3

 

checker calendar extensionChecker Plus for Google Calendar

Another must have, this extension gives you one-click access to your Google Calendar with multiple display options and a text display upon hover. Remove yet another dedicated tab in your browser while enjoying custom themes and skins, simple event creation, and more.  Take back your browser space and stay on top of your day!

Checker plus for calendar

 

awesome screenshot extensionAwesome Screenshot

Perfect for capturing screenshots, this easy-to-use extension provides great annotation features including text, lines, shapes, highlights, and more.  The clean interface makes creating tutorials and visual aids a breeze with a myriad of screen capturing options including defined selections, delayed capture, and desktop capture.  Save your screenshots directly to Drive, download, or add to your free Awesome Screenshot project library.

Awesome screenshot

 

 bitly extensionBitly

Bit.ly has always been my favorite URL shortener, so it’s only logical that their Chrome extension makes my top 5 list.  Fully integrated with your Bitly account, shorten any given webpage and customize your bitlink directly from the extension. Links are automatically stored in your Bitly account where you can measure and optimize them. The built-in share button streamlines Twitter and Facebook posts or choose to share via email. Eliminate the vintage copy/paste to Bit.ly method of generating shortened URLs and discover the simple beauty of this extension!

Bitly
Colorzilla extensionColorZilla

Ever wish you knew the exact color of a webpage font? Trying to match color perfectly to an image or graphic?  Need the hex #? Wish no more! ColorZilla is an advanced eyedropper and color picker extension with some impressive features. With the eyedropper, use your cursor to immediately capture a color from any pixel on a webpage, then paste into another program.  Access an advanced color picker or use the webpage color analyzer to generate a website palette. ColorZilla automatically stores your picked color history for future reference.  Additional features include options for capturing flash objects and dynamic hover colors.  Find the perfect color all in the click of a button!

Colorzilla

 

Chrome extensions are to my workflow like worker bees are to the colony – they do the unglamorous but necessary work with amazing efficiency! This list is scratching the surface of the multitude of little icons waiting to sit in your browser and give you back that most valuable gift we call time. Speaking of time, take a few moments to explore the Chrome Web Store today and be sure to share your favorite extensions with us @Edvergent and #iTeachDigital.  Happy Shopping!

About The Author

Tiffaney Lavoie currently serves as the Director of Educational Partnerships for Edvergent Learning. An educator with a business background, she has served over 60 school districts in Kentucky as an instructional technology consultant where she developed and delivered professional learning opportunities and partnered with school and district technology rollouts. A former middle school teacher, Tiffaney has a passion for effective technology integration and recognizes the importance of accessible digital tools to support teaching and learning. She has presented on a state, regional, and national level, and values immersive digital learning environments that better equip students to compete in a global society.

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