One revelation from the past year all teachers can agree on is that this year has been tough. But, technology, although at times finicky, has saved us from letting down the reason we teach, our students. Our love for our students has led us to great lengths to make this year work! That doesn’t mean a little help wouldn’t help! Let’s talk about how to make it just a tad bit easier though! Take a look at the 4 must have Google extensions to take the edge off each day!
Chrome Web Store
To start, everyone needs to know how simple it is to download an extension. A simple Google search of Chrome Web Store will bring your extensions store up as the first hit on your search list. Once there, just use the search tool to find the extension you are looking for! Some are paid extensions, but the ones on this list are all available for FREE!
Let’s jump into our first extension! Emoji Keyboard by JoyPixels is my go to emoji keyboard on Google. It is simple to use, and adds a little extra flair to assignments in Google Classroom, can be used in the Google Meet chat, or on any assignment created! Students love to see what emojis will show up each day.
Emojis are great for ice breakers, or puzzles and give that extra special touch in a world where seeing each other face to face is difficult. To boot, this emoji keyboard is absolutely free. To use it, search your favorite emoji, and once selected, it will automatically put it in the bar on the bottom and copy it for you! Simple paste wherever an emoji is needed!
Another way to spruce up your slides or PowerPoints is by adding the Giphy extension. This one is a ton of fun! You may just want it to send fun gifs to co-workers on a particularly rough day! Giphy allows you to search for relevant GIFs to make everything a bit more relaxed.
There are options for GIFS, stickers, emojis and you can even create your own! Imagine adding a personalized sticker to your students digital work! Our students are missing out on so much, but they don’t need to miss out on reward stickers! Students love to see what GIFs you may come up with to keep lessons engaging and new. Giphy is an easy extension to do just that!
When searching for a GIF, or other option, all you do it type in the search bar and then drag and drop to wherever you want to use it! Giphy is also available on the Chrome Store for FREE! via Pink Box on GIPHY
Ultimate Volume Booster
This extension is so simple, but so incredibly helpful. Think about a time in a Google Meet where a student is speaking so low, that it is impossible to hear what they are saying. What a terrible feeling asking students to repeat themselves over and over. Ever have a video clip playing, music or a YouTube video and the students couldn’t hear it? Of course these scenarios have crossed your path at some point in this chaotic year, but this is where the Ultimate Volume Booster comes in! This simple tool increases the volume on any website, including Google Meet. It has been a lifesaver on more than one occasion. Any time I play a video, I make sure to turn this up first so students can hear it clearly on their end. When sound is being amplified on a website, there will be a simple, blue rectangle next to the name of the site and you will know your volume is increased!
The next extension is a gold mine for student feedback. Mote gives you the ability to leave students voice notes or comments. One of the parts of in person teaching that I really miss is those individual or group conferences, where students can listen to your feedback and then apply it. Oftentimes students respond better to our voices and unfortunately learn less from written feedback. In a Mote, you can monitor your tone of voice and give the praise so many students are seeking, especially in this hybrid world!
To use Mote, you simply download the extension and it will be automatically available in Google Slides, or Google Docs. All you need to do is add a comment and the icon for Mote can easily be clicked and the rest is simply giving the valuable feedback!
If you haven’t already screen recorded a lesson with screencastify, try it today! Screencastify will let you record yourself and your screen with your voice over. You can choose to turn your camera on or keep it off. The Screencastify extension makes the whole process that much simpler with the click of the icon in your extensions!
Google extensions absolutely make teaching just a little bit easier. If you are looking to spice up your engagement during lessons or just make lessons better, these extensions have you covered! Teaching in a pandemic can be made just a little bit easier with these 5 must have Google extensions! If subscribe you’ll have exclusive access to a how to video for adding Google extensions.
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These are just SOME of the many great Google extensions. I hope you learned some great tips and ways to make digital learning even better! Don’t forget to subscribe to my email list! Not only will you get the most up to date tips, tricks, and classroom projects… and of course more fun FREEBIES including The How To Video FREEBIE! You will also have exclusive access to the ever growing digital how to video library! If you would like to learn about this and other things happening in my classroom follow me @sweetnsauerfirsties on Instagram.
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