Are your students learning virtually this school year? If so, having them install extensions to their Chrome browser can help them be more successful in an online learning environment. But, with so many extensions to choose from, how do you know which ones are the best for your students? In this post, you’ll discover some of the best Google Chrome extensions for students in 2021!
What Are Google Chrome Extensions?
If you are unfamiliar, Chrome extensions are small programs that you can easily install into your Chrome browser. Once installed, extensions can improve or change your browser’s functionality. For example, Google Chrome extensions for students can:
- improve reading comprehension
- provide editing tools for writing
- translate content for ESL students
- make online articles and passages more accessible for special-needs students and students with IEPs
- keep students safe online
- make online learning more fun and interactive
- and LOTS more!
What Are the Best Google Chrome Extensions for Students?
The following are four of the top Google Chrome extensions for students in 2021. If you want my complete top ten list of extensions that students need, check out the video below. The video also shows how to install and open extensions in your browser.
There is a lot of great, educational content online. The problem is a lot of that content is full of ads that distract from learning and may not always be appropriate for students. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve found a great article on History.com or National Geographic, only to have it be covered in distracting ads.
Mercury Reader makes online learning safer and less distracting by pulling all the ads away from an online article. The Chrome extension will open a new page with only the text, pictures, and videos that are part of the article. All of the ads, clickbait, and promotions disappear.
If your students are working remotely, there is a good chance they are using Google apps to complete many of their assignments. I love Google apps, but one of the few problems I have is that they don’t always provide great editing tools for writing. For example, when working in Google Docs, there are not a lot of advanced tools to help students review and edit their work.
Grammarly provides tools to help students check their spelling and basic grammatical errors. Best of all, it works with almost any online site. Not only have I used this extension with Google apps such as Docs, Slides, and Forms. I have also used it when writing emails and typing in open forms online. With this extension, students have no excuse for making spelling errors and other minor mistakes when writing.
Read and Write
Read and Write has quickly become one of my favorite Google Chrome extensions for students. The extension provides many tools to help students with reading comprehension such as highlighters, a written dictionary, and a picture dictionary. Also, it can read the text from almost any site aloud to students.
But, this Chrome extension does not just help students. It can also be helpful to teachers. You can use the extension to create vocabulary lists and worksheets for an online passage or article. To learn more about using some of these features, make sure to watch the video at the top of this page where I show how to use the extensions described in this post.
Custom Cursor for Chrome
This last extension is a fun one. With Custom Cursor for Chrome, students can turn their cursors into all kinds of art, icons, and characters from books and movies. This is a great way to keep your students engaged and can also be a fun conversation starter during your virtual morning meetings.
With so many students learning remotely, Chrome extensions are must-have learning tools in 2021! These are just a few Google Chrome extensions for students that will help with comprehension, accessibility, and online safety. Remember, to check out my video about extensions for students to learn about even more Chrome extensions for students, tips for how to use each extension, and a tutorial for how to install and open extensions in your Chrome browser.
Google Chrome extensions can help teachers too, especially if you are teaching virtually. Be sure to also check out my post about the top ten extensions for teachers in 2021!