Great Chrome Extensions for Students

posted Jul 13, 2011, 7:37 PM by Eric Curts   [ updated Jul 13, 2011, 8:17 PM ]
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As students and teachers move more and more into using Google Docs and other Google Apps, the web browser being used becomes more important. For our district we have found Google Chrome to be the best. It is fast, updates automatically, is reliable, and has plenty of screen space for web applications.

However, another great feature is the amount of excellent extensions you can add to Chrome to give it additional functionality. In this article I will highlight a dozen extensions that can fit great into a school setting. Try these out and be sure to leave a comment about other extensions you recommend.

Chrome Web Store description:
"With this extension, you can: 1) Double-click any word to view its definition in a small pop-up bubble. 2) View the complete definition of any word or phrase using the toolbar dictionary. Foreign words are automatically translated to your language of choice."

My comments:
Great for all ages from kids learning to read (the little speaker icon will even say the word for them) to high school students facing challenging terms.
Chrome Web Store description:
"Simple Calculator and easy to use."

My comments:
This is a perfect replacement for an elementary school calculator. The buttons are big and it does just the functions they need.
Chrome Web Store description:
"Full featured scientific/simple calculator with algebraic method of entry that allows you to enter mathematical sequences in the same order that they are algebraically stated."

My comments:
A virtual version of the normal scientific calculator for middle school and high school.

Chrome Web Store description:
"The Evernote Chrome Extension is the best way to remember all of the great stuff you see online. Forget about bookmarks and open tabs, save the actual web page--text, links, images and all with a single click."

My comments:
Evernote is a great way for students to record and organize all their research and resources. Instead of printing copies, students can pull all their information for a projects into folders. A great way to truly go all digital.

Chrome Web Store description:
"Save files to the cloud. Supports Google Docs, Box.net, Dropbox, Amazon Cloud Drive, Windows Live SkyDrive, SugarSync, Facebook, Picasa, Flickr, Min.us, Twitpic and more."

My comments:
This is a great extension for students to move further into the cloud. No need to save files to a local drive, network drive, or flash drive. With a click they can save files to a cloud service and have access from anywhere.

Chrome Web Store description:
"Create a Google Doc, Spreadsheet, Presentation, or Drawing directly from your Chrome bar.  No need to launch docs.google.com; just a single click, and you have a new document."

My comments:
This extension (by Google's own Eric Edens) is a quick way for students to start a new document without having to type an address or find the links on our school website (or be tempted to use non-cloud office programs).

Chrome Web Store description:
"Capture the whole page or any portion, annotate it with rectangles, circles, arrows, lines and text, blur sensitive info, one-click upload to share. Support PNG and shortcuts."

My comments:
Most basic. Probably the quickest way to do a quick screen capture, crop and annotate.
Chrome Web Store description:
"The Picnik Extension for Chrome lets you easily edit the images you come across while browsing the web. With a click you can create a snapshot of your current web page and open it in Picnik for easy editing, annotation and sharing.  Do the same for all the images on your current browser page -- just pick one from the image list that pops up and then edit, embellish, then share with Picnik."

My comments:
More advanced. Picnik is great tool to capture, crop, rotate, and resize a screenshot, or just an individual image from the screen. Annotation is not as easy though. Finished images can easily be saved into Picasa Web Albums (and several other services). 
Chrome Web Store description:
"This quick screen capture addon is a must-have for bloggers and designers alike! It will perform a screen capture of the visible portion of any webpage and then open the capture INSTANTLY in a basic image editor where you can do markup (draw arrows and rectangles), edit (crop, rotate and resize) and get the exact pixel colors of the image. A perfect companion tool for designers and bloggers!"

My comments:
Most advanced. Great for capture, crop, rotate, resize, and annotate. However, you can also click the “Advanced Editor” button to move the image into the full Phoenix photo editor with very advanced tools, or click “Image Effects” to open the picture in the Peacock effects editor.

Chrome Web Store description:
"Use Internet Explorer to display web pages in a Chrome tab. Some sites can only be displayed using IE, and with this extension you can now see those sites without leaving Chrome. Great for web developers who want to test the IE rendering engine, users who use sites with ActiveX controls, and users who want to use the explorer view for local files."

My comments:
Although Chrome is the default browser for our students, there are still some websites that only work properly in IE. Instead of providing IE as a browser option, this extension allows IE to load inside of Chrome when needed.
Chrome Web Store description:
"Block all advertisements on all web pages, even Facebook and Youtube.  Your browser is automatically updated with additions to the filter: just click Install, then visit your favorite website and see the ads disappear!"

My comments:
By removing ads, AdBlock can provide a safer and less cluttered browsing experience for students.

Further resources:

For details on how to install Chrome extensions see Google’s help page:
For details on controlling which extensions users can have see: