Technology Pursuit

Blending Technology Into the Language Arts Classroom

Month: July 2016

My New Favorite Chrome Extensions

Before this morning, I had 43 Chrome Extensions installed in my browser. After listening to Stacy Behmer at the Great Plains Google Summit, I’ve upped that number to 48.

Without further ado, here they are:

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Google Docs Quick Create

Google Docs Quick Create During the school year, I can’t count how many Google Docs I make in a given day. And every time, I have to spend countless seconds finding my Drive tab or opening it from my bookmarks, then wait for it to load. (OK, so maybe 8-10 seconds.) However, I can click this extension, and a dropdown menu of the different doc types drops down. I click on one, and I’m done: a brand new doc/sheet/form/drawing appears before me. Maybe it’s not a huge timesaver for occasional use, but for someone who makes a dozen or so docs a day, it adds up!

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Note Anywhere

Note AnywhereMore than once, I’ve wished I had virtual sticky notes to put on a website, just as I would a hard copy of an article. Now I do with Note Anywhere! Close the website, come back to it later, and the sticky notes are still there where you left them.

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Google Cast

Google CastI haven’t had a chance to play with this yet, but I’ve been so excited for it since Google announced it at ISTE last month! This extension allows students (with teacher authorization) to project their screen onto a television or screen, cutting out the need for other apps or gadgets to make this happen. Major time saver and a great way to allow students to share the stage.


Google Dictionary

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Google DictionaryThis is one I’ll highly encourage my students to install! If you don’t recognize a word you’re reading, just double-click on it. A small window opens with the definition! Looking up a definition has NEVER been this easy!!

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Make a GIF

Make a GIFThis summer, I’ve fallen in love with GIFs. With this extension, I can make my own GIFs by recording a video on my computer or using a YouTube video. If I’m feeling lazy, I can search for already made GIFs through this extension. It’s great for adding humor, but I’ve also recorded myself demonstrating something on my computer and then adding them to Twitter posts.

If there’s a new one out there that I MUST try, post it below! I’m always on the lookout for great new extensions!!


Sharing Conference Takeaways

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Coming back from ISTE in Denver is an overwhelming and inspiring conference–one that took me two full days to truly come down from. There’s so much I learned, so much I wanted to share with my staff.

However, I’m holding back a bit. Why? Because I don’t want to overwhelm them.

Putting myself in their shoes, I imagined how I would react to a long email about a conference. Is it long and multi-paragraphed? No headings? Then no way would I read it.

What would I read? Headings with quick blurbs of a sentence or two–that way I can scan through it, pick through the information most important to me, and disregard the rest.

On the drive home from Denver (we had five hours to kill), we wrote a Smore page with our favorite takeaways from ISTE. You can see it below.

Have you shared your favorite takeaways from your most recent conference or workshop? If not, jump on a Smore page (or Google doc or whatever your flavor) and make your own top 5, top ten, or top 13!


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