Chrome Extensions of the Week - September 29th

While most of my Chrome extensions are picked for educators, this week they are universal and can be used by anyone.

#1 Subscriptions Grid for YouTube
Type: Productivity
Summary: This is a great extension for anyone who follows subscriptions on YouTube. It turns the list that you normally get into a grid of videos, so you are able to see more at once. 

#2 EasyBib Tools
Type: Productivity
Summary: If you are like me you can't keep up with how to properly create a bibliography. With this extension you don't have to memorize all of the rules. It creates the bibliography for you from the website you are visiting and gives you the option to save for later, save as a Google document or print as a Word document. Another bonus feature is that it will let you know if the website is credible or not based on other users feedback. 

#3 Copy All URLs
Type: Productivity
Summary: This is an educators dream! Open all of the resources you want to share in separate tabs and in one click it will copy all of the URLs for you. Now you can paste them all at once instead of going back and forth between the document, email, or any other way you want to share the websites.

#4 Custom Google Background
Type: Fun
Summary: This allows you to make a unique Google homepage by providing your own image or searching the web for one. You also have 10+ ways to personalize the homepage, such as hiding the Doodle icon, make the search bar stealth (as in the picture below), and much more. 

Check out my Chrome Extension page for past recommendations. 

Chrome Extensions for the Week of September 22nd

Hello, my name is Kelly and I am a Chrome Extension addict. I know there are people far worse out there than me, but I can't help myself. Here are my Chrome Extensions for the week. 

#1 Deelete
Type: Productivity
Summary: This is a relatively new extension by Daniel Sosa. He contacted me via Twitter almost a week ago and asked if I would give his extension a try. So like any good Chrome Extension addict, I did. I LOVE it. While it might not be perfect for everyone it is perfect for me. In my job I download a lot of items (articles, pictures, etc.) from the internet. Deelete gives you the option of keeping the download or having it automatically deleted in 24 hours. If you are the same way and download a lot of web resources then you need to give this extension a try. 

#2 MakeGIF Video Capture
Type: Blogging (I put it in my video section though)
Summary: This extension could entertain me for hours. It allows you to capture videos in your browser and turns them into an animated GIF. To test it out I went to YouTube and played a video. I selected the extension icon and a pop-up appeared that allowed me to start capturing my selection. I pushed done and it turned that portion of the captured portion into a looped video. 
Please click here to see the GIF in action (it is the one in the red box).

#3 Black Menu for Google
Type: Productivity
Summary: If I am going to be honest with you I am not just a Chrome Extension addict. I am a Google addict. I love all things Google! This extensions makes me smile. No longer are the days that you have to open a new tab to get to the Google apps icon. With this app you can now search within Google or open any Google app from the comfort of any open tab.  Genius!

#4 Twitter for Chrome
Type: Social & Communication
Summary: This extension allows you to check your Twitter feed from any webpage. Simply click on the extension icon and your feed automatically appears. It will even give you a count of the number of tweets you have missed since you last opened it. 

Quick Google Sites Tip for Teachers

Yesterday, I got the pleasure of working with teachers on Google at one of our middle schools. We all know that teachers have a million things on their plate and they don't have enough time to get everything accomplished. I shared a little Google Sites tip with them that they seemed very thankful for. 

If you want to share a group of files with your students, place all of the files in a shared Google Drive folder. Insert that Drive Folder onto your Google Site page. Now every time you drop something into that shared folder it automatically appears (upon browser refreshing, of course) on the page with the inserted folder. 

There is no need for placing the file in the shared folder and then going to your Google Site to insert a link or attach the file. Why take 2 steps when you can do it in one! Something so simple can end up saving a teacher a lot of time in the long run. Share the tip with your friends and co-workers. 

Here are directions for inserting the Drive folder. 

Using Twitter to Become a Strong Educator

Mentioning Twitter in a room full of educators always gets a diverse response. You have those who think Twitter is just another social networking site to keep up with all the Hollywood gossip and they would never fathom having an account. While the opposite spectrum has come to realize how powerful Twitter can be as an educational resource. I strongly believe that once educators can see the value of using Twitter as a Professional Learning Network they will become a fan themselves. But you can't become a fan unless you jump in and see the power yourself. 

Perhaps you are already a Twitter fan! Use these resources to help get other educators on the Twitter train. The more we can get people sharing their vast knowledge and great resources the stronger we become as educators.

Understanding Twitter Here is a Twitter for Educators resource I created to help educators become familiar with Twitter. The best way to see the power of Twitter is to jump in and see what it is all about. 

Keeping Up With the Fast Paced Twitter Stream
I am not on Twitter 24/7. In fact there are days that I go where I don't have time to jump onto Twitter at all. I have come to realize that is okay even though I know I am missing out on some great sharing. When I am on Twitter I use Tweetdeck to keep up with all the great posts.  For those who are not familiar with Tweetdeck it allows you to create columns so you can see all the activity from those you follow, hashtags that interest you, lists you have created, and more. Here is Tweetdeck in a Nutshell to help you better understand how to use this amazing web application.

Finding People to Follow
The hardest part of using Twitter is figuring out who to follow. The best advice I can give you is find some teachers you know and admire on Twitter and see who they follow. Once you start following someone if you don't find their posts valuable, then you can easily unfollow them. If you don't know where to start check out Jerry Blumengarten's (@Cybrayman1) PLN Twitter list

Using Twitter in Education
Twitter is very popular right now, so why not use the tool in the classroom. Here are some ideas on using Twitter to engage students and parents. 

Additional Resources from Great Educators
Now I know I am not the expert on Twitter. There are so many great resources out there all you have to do is search. Here are some that I have gathered in the past that I want to share. I listed the name of the website page/blog entry and the person who wrote it. If I knew the author's Twitter handle, then I hyperlinked the person's name to their account so you can start following them. 

10 Steps for Educators New to Twitter by Justin Tarte