Using Google Chrome Extensions - Guest Blog Post

Guest Blog Post by Maria Burnham, Library Media Specialist

You might be asking yourself, "What is an extension?"

Answer: an extension is a handy-dandy little tool that hangs out on the top of your Chrome browser (to the right of the URL bar), ready and waiting to help you be more efficient in your life.  

To find/obtain Chrome extensions, there are two places to look: 

1. The "Apps" button on your Chrome Bookmark Bar (top left). Click on the "Web Store" icon and then, on the left, select the word Extensions. You'll now be only searching for Extensions. 

or...

2. Click on the 3 horizontal lines at the top right of your Chrome Window. Select "Settings" then click on the word "Extensions" on the far left of the next screen. At the bottom of the page you'll find a link to "Get More Extensions" which takes you to the Web Store.

Search by title (like the ones I'm listing below, or just do a general search). Want to try one? Just connect it to your Chrome account and the extension will appear. Want to delete the extension, you can do so in your Extension Settings (see #2 above).  

Need some help? Check out Atomic Learning's training, here, section "J" covers extensions.

Here are my favorite Chrome Extensions and what they do:

1.1-click timer: It's like an egg-timer built into Chrome. Select from 1 to 60 minutes. Great for giving students an allotted time to chat. It, of course, comes with a timer sound!

2. Clearly: Clearly is a great extension if you're showing something (an article, a picture, a web page) but you don't want students to see the ads. Clearly swipes away all of the "junk" on the page so you can focus on the content.

3. Print-friendly & PDF: Once again, if I find some article on the web that's useful, clicking on this extension while in the page will all the page to become print-friendly and will even allow me to de-select parts of the page that I don't want to be shown. The page can then be saved as a PDF and then uploaded to a web page or to your LMS. Very cool!

4. Turn off the Lights (note: this extension shows up in the URL bar and ONLY when you're in YouTube): This extension blacks out comments, ads, and other distractions while showing a YouTube video. Only works within YouTube.

5. ShortenMe: For those of you who have embraced the QR code or goo.gl site shorteners, this extension creates both for you in one-click on a web page.

6. Pinterest: I know many of you are using Pinterest for professional reasons. This extension allows you to quickly "Pin" without being in the actual app or page all of the time.

7. Save to Google Drive: Save a web page quickly to your Google Drive.  

8. Awesome Screenshot: If you ever want to capture a web site and annotate over the top of it, use this extension! It's so easy to take a screenshot and then type in text, circles, shapes, arrows, etc. Perfect for online directions and handouts! Once you're done annotating, you can save to your Drive or to your computer. 


Maria Burnham is a passionate Library Media Specialist at one of our partner districts in Minnesota, Sauk Rapids-Rice. She shares her passion for technology in education with her peers in a weekly email highlighting tips and tricks to engage users in technology and Atomic Learning, which she cleverly named “Mondays with Maria.” That weekly email is where this guest blog post came from. We will continue to post Maria’s inspiration from time to time, feel free to share with others! You can follow her on twitter:

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