A device that beat the iPad at the mobility game?
Sounds impossible. Yet Chromebooks overtook iPads to become the bestselling educational device in the U.S market.
Some of the pie can be credited to Google’s push with education. That push has turned into a street brawl as Apple, Windows, and Google try to capture young minds. Google has an advantage with its Hydra-headed offerings. To remind teachers and students of that fact, Google brought together 43,000 educators from 12 different countries for an international web conference called Education on Air this month.
Teachers and pupils explored the role of technology in education. Google got to know if its tools are being used in the best way possible. You can ask yourself the same question if you are in some other part of the world. Your school might not be going with Google for Classrooms just now, but you can start your own initiative with the most ubiquitous Google tools of all – Chrome with its ocean of educational apps and extensions.
Information overload is an epidemic. An organized mind is the antidote.
My Study Life is the tool for teachers and students alike. The Chrome app is an all-in-one planner for recording class schedules, assignment deadlines, exam dates, and also rotation schedules for the week and day. Get reminders for unfinished tasks, upcoming exams and classes before they even start. Teachers can securely share schedule information with their students.
My Study Life is also cross-platform across iOS, Android, Windows, and Chrome.
Studying hard without revising is a waste.
We have all experienced the panic mode at some point in our lives. Scratch it and the reason comes down to lack of revision. Quizlet is a popular Chrome extension that uses spaced repetition to help students memorize better. Flashcards aren’t new, but Quizlet gives them a digital makeover with the ease of creating learning sets on the topics you want to study.
There is a huge library of flashcard sets you can also pick from. Teachers can use Quizlet to create fun learning based quizzes. An upgraded Quizlet account with more features is available for $15/year. Quizlet is also available on iOS and Android.
Online reading is an information literacy skill.
Your mileage may vary. Beeline Reader claims to speed up your reading with color gradient to guide your eyes from the end of one line to the beginning of the next. The cognitive trick is in how our brain processes color.
BeeLine Reader is helpful for readers of all levels—from young readers to graduate students and beyond. Readers with dyslexia, ADD, and vision difficulties reap some of the largest benefits from BeeLine Reader, with speed increases that can top 50%.
At least, take the challenge! I found it useful for skimming over text.
For the most popular document format on the web.
As a student or teacher, you are bound to come across a lot of PDFs. Extensions help us manage PDF files and Notable PDF is a powerful tool to have around. Annotate documents and share them with others. Highlight, strikethrough, underline, and add comments.
Google Drive integration comes with a $2/month or $15/year subscription along with other niceties. There is also a Notable PDF discounted plan for schools.
Because typos hurt.
Google Chrome has a spell-checker. Spell Bee could be the second weapon in your proofreading arsenal because a misspelling or two could be a minus mark. Spell Bee is a basic autocorrect extension that works on any website. It can recognize more than 4500+ common typos and also allows you to add your own word substitutions in the settings page.
Curated collection of videos and games to master math and language arts skills.
This Google tool is nothing more than a shortcut to the Common Core Quest site. Still, let’s keep it around for all the learning videos and games it points us to. Gain mastery and earn ribbons as you move through the concepts. Quizzes helps students and teachers evaluate progress as students learn at their own pace.
Storytelling makes a comeback.
Storytelling is our oldest method of instruction, and the Storytelling Chrome app is a “book builder”. Teachers and students can use images and text as building blocks for their books. As a visual storytelling tool, teachers and students can create books around lesson plans and class assignments. Private books can be shared via email or codes with friends and family. Public books are approved by the site’s “Storyspotters” and are viewable by all.
Storybird has a premium membership plan with more interactive features.
Make reading easier.
In 2013, a team of researchers in Spain found that specific fonts are more effective for dyslexics than others. Two years before that the Dyslexie typeface was designed by young Dutch designer Christian Boer to some acclaim. Watch him explain how a typeface can help people with dyslexia in this TEDx Talk.
Take notes while watching videos.
YouTube is a haven for educational videos. But there is no easy way to take (and organize) notes about the stuff you are learning. This Chrome extension is a notetaking app with a difference. I had reviewed it thoroughly a few years back – since then it has become more popular.
It is a necessary tool if you like to take notes while watching online videos. All your notes are synced with Google Drive.
Present your document with videos.
Movenote piggybacks on Google Drive. It is a presentation tool which enables you to record video alongside the content in any document. You can record the instructional video with your computer, tablet or smartphone and make it more engaging. Documents on Google Drive can be opened with Movenote.
Because children need to be aware of the world around them.
Do children read newspapers anymore? Thanks to news curation tools for all ages like this Chrome app, they don’t have to turn too many pages. Newsela publishes daily news articles at 5 reading levels from grades 3–12 to help the youth stay updated with the world.
The Chrome tool is designed according to Common Core standards. Many of the news reports come with quizzes at the end. This engagement helps students apply critical thinking to what they read. Teachers can organize articles around specific themes (Text Sets) and personalize their instruction.
Newsela offers a Pro subscription plan with advanced features like progress tracking and personal annotation on articles.
A smart student response system.
Socrative is a power tool for teachers that works like a command center to engage with students through interactive quizzes and questions. Teachers can create their personal learning networks and easily visualize the formative progress students are making. Socrative is available across all platforms making is useful in any technological setting.
Here’s how it works.
YouTube for teachers and students.
Chrome shortcuts impersonating as extensions serve one purpose. They save time when you need to get to your favorite resource fast. TeacherTube and its educational video content should be on the list. It is also an online community for sharing instructional videos. Teachers can post videos designed to teach a concept or skill.
Turn any video into an interactive lesson.
The above site highlights the sheer number of educational videos available today. Access EdPuzzle quickly from the browser and convert any educational video into a flipped “mini-lesson”. Crop a video, explain it with your own voice, and insert quizzes at any point in the videos timeline. EdPuzzle enables you to personalize a video and helps track what is being learned.
EduCanon is a similar tool for creating interactive videos.
Powered by Intel Education for K-12
Intel has a set of K-12 apps that are available via the Chrome Webstore. The set includes:
- Read With Me
- Learning in Context: Concept Mapping
- Learning in Context: Reading Comprehension
- Learning in Context: Population Statistics
For instance: Concept Mapping allows students to easily create mind maps, flowcharts, and concept maps. The apps are simple and intuitive to use for all ages.
We Want Your Recommendations
Google has given a separate page to Chrome for Education. Google’s goal is to integrate whatever we do online with the browser. Extensions and apps are the bridge.
Searching for more educational Chrome apps and extensions? Head to the webstore’s Academic Resources or Teacher & Admin tools and sift through to the gems. Tell us about your favorite Chrome extensions for learning and teaching in the comments. Your recommendation makes it quicker for everyone else to install.