Google Chrome is, increasingly, where it’s at.
As of April 2014, Google Chrome become the de facto internet browser, passing Internet Explorer for the first time after a five-year free-fall from Microsoft’s out-of-favor software. Fast forward to today, and StatCounter paints an even bleaker picture for Google Chrome competition, with Safari, Firefox, and IE combined still below Chrome’s nearly-50% market share.
While the real story is more complicated, with Microsoft bundling IE with windows giving it a huge built-in user-base, the rise of Google Chromebooks, Apple’s elegant-but-iOS-only Safari, and overall a subtle shift in mobile away from browsers to apps muddling the picture even further, what’s truly “the best” or “most popular” browser isn’t cut-and-dry.
But for the here and now, as far as browsers are concerned, Google Chrome is king, and part of what makes it great are Google Chrome Extensions.
What Are Google Chrome Extensions?
As explained by Google themselves, Google Chrome Extensions are “applications that run inside the Chrome browser and provide additional functionality, integration with third party websites or services, and customized browsing experiences.” While there is some grey area between Google apps, extensions, and simply shortcuts to websites, the right extensions can turn your browser into a Swiss-army knife of utility and efficiency.
What Is The Benefit Of An Extension For Teachers?
They can make things simple, more accessible, more visible, more compelling, more convenient–there are dozens of potential benefits to you in your classroom. Clip a web page to Evernote with a single button push. Look up a reference. Model for students how to add a citation. Send a link to colleagues without opening another tab. Find a useful resource for a lesson? Scoop it. Tweet it. Pin It. Find a post you want to read? Don’t email it to yourself–use Pocket.
The criteria we used to choose each extension? The extension had to increase your efficiency, provide a benefit to content/curriculum, allow you to connect with other teachers/parents/students, or enhance your workflow as an educator. If it has the potential to meet one of these four criteria, it was included.
Too Many Extensions?
Before skimming through these and installing 25 of your favorites, note that too many extensions can slow your browser down, and speed is one of Chrome’s other talents. Don’t rob Peter to pay Paul.
There is no standard for how many extensions you should use–your mileage may vary here. The speed of your PC, your available memory, your WiFi speed, how many tabs you keep open, and more can all impact your browser’s apparent speed, so add and remove extensions (it’s as simple as a few clicks–see the video above) to optimize your setup so that Chrome remains snappy and useful to you as a teacher.
[source : teachthought.com]