Tuesday 15 November 2016

Extensions, Add-ons and Apps

If push came to shove I am not sure I could really tell you the difference between a Chrome Extension, Add-on or App.  Well, maybe the app, but the other two, I'm not sure.  Today, I decided it was time I got it straight.  

After some exploring, I seem to have it.

Extensions are mini-programs that modify and enhance the functionality of the Google Chrome browser. They are the little buttons that appear beside the address bar in chrome.

Add-ons are extra features within Google Drive that enhance its functions.  These are associated with G Suite apps directly.  You find these in under Add-ons on the File Bar.

Apps are like desktop software programs you install on your computer, except that you use them directly within your browser.  You find these when you hit the apps button in the Chrome browser.

So now that that is straight I thought I would share eight of my favourites.

  1. Screencastify Extension - I love this extension.  It allows one to make screencasts.  It is easy, and a great tool for explaining.  The free version allows up videos up to 10 minutes.  This has help me teach and learn.  When I am engaged in new learning on my computer, I will turn it on so I can review later.
  2. Pinterest Extension - I come across so many great articles and tools in my day that I want to explore but don't have time in the moment.  I use the little extension to automatically pin these to boards called "Explore Later", "Read Later", or "Watch Later".
  3. One Tab Extension - My tab get out of control.  I mean I can have dozens open at a time.  This extension collapses them all to one page and I can go back and open them later.  Helps me feel organized.
  4. Ad Block Extensions - Say goodbye to those pesky ads on pages and before viewing YouTube videos.  Now, I will say I find this one is not always 100%...I have heard you need to be registered in an education domain.
  5. Form Mule Add-on (Sheets) - Run personalized e-mails from Google Sheets.  They can be run on triggers of manually.  Be sure to watch your fields if you use it for a while - Google changes things from time to time and it can mess with your settings.  This is a great way to keep parents up to date.  See my colleague Kim Pollishuke's great tutorial on her Weebly page.
  6. docAppender Add-on (Forms) - Append Form responses to a selected Google Doc.  This is a great way to track observations.  See the Inspire and Inquire Website for a great look at how this works.
  7. Choice Eliminator 2 Add-on (Forms) - Ever have a form with multiple choice answers but want to limit the number of people who can choose a choice?  This is the answer.  With Choice Eliminator you can set the number of times an answer is selected then it will disappear as an option. It is a great tool for signing up for presentation dates, parent-teacher interviews, etc.
  8. Copy Folder App - In Google Drive you can copy a file, but not a folder...this can be a nuisance...until you get this app.  

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