Tuesday's Tidbits

IES Library Newsletter March 17, 2015

Technology You will LOVE

50 Of The Best Google Chrome Extensions For Teachers

Google Chrome is, increasingly, where it’s at.

As of April 2014, Google Chrome become the de facto internet browser, passing Internet Explorer for the first time after a five-year free-fall from Microsoft’s out-of-favor software. Fast forward to today, and StatCounter paints an even bleaker picture for Google Chrome competition, with Safari, Firefox, and IE combined still below Chrome’s nearly-50% market share.

While the real story is more complicated, with Microsoft bundling IE with windows giving it a huge built-in user-base, the rise of Google Chromebooks, Apple’s elegant-but-iOS-only Safari, and overall a subtle shift in mobile away from browsers to apps muddling the picture even further, what’s truly “the best” or “most popular” browser isn’t cut-and-dry.

But for the here and now, as far as browsers are concerned, Google Chrome is king, and part of what makes it great are Google Chrome Extensions.

What Are Google Chrome Extensions?

As explained by Google themselves, Google Chrome Extensions are “applications that run inside the Chrome browser and provide additional functionality, integration with third party websites or services, and customized browsing experiences.” While there is some grey area between Google apps, extensions, and simply shortcuts to websites, the right extensions can turn your browser into a Swiss-army knife of utility and efficiency.

What Is The Benefit Of An Extension For Teachers?

They can make things simple, more accessible, more visible, more compelling, more convenient–there are dozens of potential benefits to you in your classroom. Clip a web page to Evernote with a single button push. Look up a reference. Model for students how to add a citation. Send a link to colleagues without opening another tab. Find a useful resource for a lesson? Scoop it. Tweet it. Pin It. Find a post you want to read? Don’t email it to yourself–use Pocket.

The criteria we used to choose each extension? The extension had to increase your efficiency, provide a benefit to content/curriculum, allow you to connect with other teachers/parents/students, or enhance your workflow as an educator. If it has the potential to meet one of these four criteria, it was included.

Too Many Extensions?

Before skimming through these and installing 25 of your favorites, note that too many extensions can slow your browser down, and speed is one of Chrome’s other talents. Don’t rob Peter to pay Paul.

There is no standard for how many extensions you should use–your mileage may vary here. The speed of your PC, your available memory, your WiFi speed, how many tabs you keep open, and more can all impact your browser’s apparent speed, so add and remove extensions (it’s as simple as a few clicks–see the video above) to optimize your setup so that Chrome remains snappy and useful to you as a teacher.

From TeachThought 3/2/2015

Chrome Web Store - What is an extension?

New Books Have Arrived!

All of these are ready to be checked out.

Ling & Ting Twice As Silly by Grace Lin

Ling & Ting are twins. They like to be silly. They like to tell jokes. Most of all, they like to laugh together. Laugh with Ling & Ting!

The beloved twins from the Geisel Honor book Ling & Ting: Not Exactly the Same! and Ling & Ting Share a Birthday are back to share their favorite funny stories with beginning readers. This collection of six laugh-out-loud stories is sure to tickle the funny bone of fans and new readers alike.


Born in the Wild: Baby Mammals and Their Parents by Lita Judge

What do grizzly bear cubs eat? Where do baby raccoons sleep? And how does a baby otter learn to swim?

Every baby mammal, from a tiny harvest mouse "pinky" to a fierce lion cub, needs food, shelter, love, and a family. Filled with illustrations of some of the most adorable babies in the kingdom, this awww-inspiring book looks at the traits that all baby mammals share and proves that, even though they're born in the wild, they're not so very different from us, after all!


Red: A Crayon's Story by Michael Hall

Red has a bright red label, but he is, in fact, blue. His teacher tries to help him be red (let's draw strawberries!), his mother tries to help him be red by sending him out on a playdate with a yellow classmate (go draw a nice orange!), and the scissors try to help him be red by snipping his label so that he has room to breathe. But Red is miserable. He just can't be red, no matter how hard he tries! Finally, a brand-new friend offers a brand-new perspective, and Red discovers what readers have known all along. He's blue! This funny, heartwarming, colorful picture book about finding the courage to be true to your inner self can be read on multiple levels, and it offers something for everyone!