Five Favorite Chromebook Extensions

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My kids start school in just over a week.  The summer has been busy, fun, and gone way too fast.  Today, I got up early and took my favorite girl shopping.  Spending the day one-on-one with either of my children is one of my favorite things to do.  Now that my daughter is twelve, and almost as tall as I am, we have extra fun shopping because we like many of the same stores.  The best part is the relationship-building time.  I realize that none of this intro has a thing to do with Chrome extensions, but I’m sharing my excuse for not publishing my Five Friday Faves until after 10:30pm on Friday.  Some things (in this case, back-to-school shopping) are more important than blogging…but on with it before it ends up being the wee hours of Saturday morning.

I have been using a Chromebook as my primary digital device for about a year and a half now.  Prior to this, I was a tried and true, longtime-using (and loving) Mac girl.  But guess what, people.  I love my Chromebook!  I have yet to find something I need to do that I can’t accomplish with it.  And as I am traveling a lot for work now, it is a breeze to pack along on airplanes weighing in around 2 whopping pounds!  So, I decided to share five of my favorite Chrome extensions.  You can peruse the Chrome Web Store at your leisure and find pretty much whatever you are looking for (and then some!).  Here are the ones that made my short list:

  1. Google Hangouts – If you are somehow unfamiliar with GHOs, they are video chats.  I have had business meetings with someone in New Zealand, interviewed with a team of three people in Boston (they were all in different locations at the time of the hangout), chatted with colleagues, and caught up with friends all via Google Hangouts.  They couldn’t be easier to use, and I have had much fewer connectivity issues with Hangouts than when I attempt to use Skype.  They are a great way to collaborate, but can also be used in the classroom to talk with experts in the field, other classes around the world for Mystery Hangouts, or even with a teacher who might be home with a sick child.
  2. OneTab – OneTab is fantastic.  It saves up to 95% memory, making your battery last longer, all while reducing tab clutter.  Here is an excerpt from the Chrome store:  “Whenever you find yourself with too many tabs, click the OneTab icon to convert all of your tabs into a list. When you need to access the tabs again, you can either restore them individually or all at once.”  You can use the ‘share as a web page’ feature to upload your list of tabs into a web page in order to share them with others. This is a great way to curate reliable resources that you want your class to use for a specific assignment.  I love it as a way of organizing tabs that I want to reference quickly in the future.
  3. URL Shortener – I don’t really need to explain this one.  I use it often when wanting to share to social media.
  4. AdBlock – This does exactly what it sounds like.  Here is what the overview says, “The original AdBlock for Chrome. Block all advertisements on all web pages, even Facebook, Youtube, and Hulu. It works automatically: just click “Add to Chrome,” then visit your favorite website and see the ads disappear!”
  5. Save to Pocket – Pocket is an excellent way to save articles, webpages, videos, etc. to read and/or view later.  It automatically syncs to your phone, tablet or computer so you can view it at any time, even without an internet connection.  This offline capability is fantastic for students who don’t have internet access at home.

There was my quick list.  Which extension is your favorite?  Please share – I’m always on the hunt for ways to make my work easier, or my life more fun.