Let’s add some extensions to your look!

 

I was first introduced to a plethora of Google Chrome extensions when I took my first graduate EdTech class, ECI831.  There was an extensive list that Alec provided and he quickly reviewed some of his favourites, for which I promptly added to my extension list, although not really knowing what they were all about.  I can say that Extensions GIF by Jen Atkinsome are well used (Google Read/Write, Grammarly, Bitmoji, OneTab) some I haven’t really used…yet (EquatIO, Screenshot Reader), and several that I use without even knowing (DF Tube, Mercury Reader, uBlock Origin). Shelby, Megan, and Trevor have already mentioned some really good ones, so I thought I would do an investigation of some other ones that I have either not heard of or am not familiar with to add to the productivity tools that already exist on my own computer.  This is what brought me to this blog post for which I acquired most of the extensions that I’m going to be reviewing.


*Disclaimer* I have not formally used this tool within my planning and instruction.  This extension is restricted by my school division, not sure why (app not whitelisted for install by admin), so I was unable to play with it to see its full potential.  Therefore, the following review is based on the research I did.

This extension was created in 2014 to add an interactive assessment tool compatible with Google Slides or PowerPoint.  The purpose is to add an engagement element that provides immediate feedback using a formative assessment approach.  Below is a list of highlights and lowlights of this extension.

Highlights

  • Designed to enhance learning through PowerPoint or Google Slides
  • Platform works well in connected educator and BYOD settings
  • Variety of question types benefit students with a variety of backgrounds and learning preferences (drawing, dragging, text, number, and multiple choice)
  • Teacher has full autonomy over design, flow, and assessment tools usage
  • Teachers can view students’ responses to these questions immediately, and have the option to anonymously share results on-screen for all students to see
  • Clean, easy to use interface, which is attractive to both teachers and students
  • Huge repository of ideas to choose from
  • Partnered up with Merriam-Webster, Newsela, and Flashcard Factory
  • Teachers can share Takeaways (Google Doc that includes all of the slides and student answers)
  • Allows teachers to leave comments for individual students.
  • Students access using their Google accounts by entering a simple code shared by teacher

Lowlights

  • Free version has limited functions; need to use the paid premium version for full student interaction
  • Much of the effectiveness still relies on the teacher’s comfort level and ability to incorporate this tool within each lesson and choosing content that fits this style of instruction
  • Time-consuming to set up for effective use
  • Students rely on the teacher for immediate feedback on responses, which isn’t as easy with each type of question form (ex. drawing)
  • Although student answers are anonymous, they still may identify students and impact student participation

Overall to me, it seems like a fun tool but the time it looks like it takes to set up in addition to the Google Slides/PowerPoint itself seems like a turnoff, but if I were actually allowed to try it out, I may have a different opinion.

Watch a quick tutorial here to form your opinion on this Chrome extension.  Is this something you’ve used?  If so, let me know your thoughts.  Is this something you’d consider trying?  If so, what interests you about it?

*Disclaimer* I have not formally used this tool within my planning and instruction because I just stumbled upon it.  Once again, the following review is based on the research I did.  Unfortunately, there wasn’t much out there for reviews.

Also created in 2014, this extension is meant to streamline the assessment of Google Forms quizzes.  I have just recently been using Google Forms after using it for a project in my EC&I 832 class, and have been thoroughly using it to gather data for the ringette teams that I coach.  Although Google Forms itself has an assessment tool already incorporated, this one adds a little bit more options.  Below is a list of highlights and lowlights of this extension.

Highlights

  • Assign specific point values for multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, and short answer questions
  • Lets you send grades to students via email or by sharing in Google Docs immediately after they have completed a quiz or at a later time of your choosing
  • Accepts more than one correct answer for each of the questions on your quiz
  • Partial credit for an answer is an option
  • Easier to print grade summaries
  • Good tool for when you are giving a more comprehensive assessment and want to be able to use a wider variety of scoring and reporting tools.
  • Highlights which questions are most frequently missed which helps you easily identify problem areas
  • Decreases time grading student submissions manually

Lowlights

  • Doesn’t combine the student submissions with the score; you can see the submissions in one sheet and it creates another tab on the sheet for the score
  • Can be time-consuming to set up

Overall, I don’t feel I have enough information to formulate an accurate opinion on this.  This is one I’d like to explore more by implementing in class.   Watch a quick tutorial here to form your opinion on this Chrome extension.  Is this something you’ve used?  If so, let me know your thoughts.  Is this something you’d consider trying?  If so, what interests you about it?


*Disclaimer* I have not formally used this tool within my planning and instruction.  This extension is restricted by my school division, not sure why (app not whitelisted for install by admin), so I was unable to play with it to see its full potential.  Therefore, the following review is based on the research I did.

Doctopus, is an add-on script for Google Sheets that reaches out to Google Classroom and pulls in the web addresses for student work associated with an assignment. Doctopus acts like a teacher by not only collecting in assignments but also passing them back to your students.  However, it works best when combined with another Chrome extension called Goobric, a combination of Google and rubric.  Goobric allows you to take rubrics that have been roughly created in Google Sheets and inserts them into a Google Doc. 

Highlights

  • Students receive essential teacher feedback in real time
  • Combines a digital assessment rubric into already created assignments in Google Classroom
  • Individual teacher comments and the rubric data are time stamped and appended to the bottom of the Doc for each student to view assessment information is also sent to a Google Sheet for easy reference and analysis from anywhere at any time
  • Can be used for both formative and summative assessment
  • Teachers can fill out the attached outcome based rubric more than once, and each time the information is appended to the student’s Doc for them to view
  • Ability to click rubric boxes in the same browser tab as the opened assignment
  • Automatically adds up all those points from the rubric boxes afterwards to determine final scores
  • Tools allow teachers to shorten the time it takes to read, comment, and grade student work using a rubric
  • Can leave audio commentary
  • Can create a bank of comments for frequently used narratives so that they can copy-and-paste feedback
  • Allows students to self-assess their work so that they are engaging in metacognition about their work and how it measures against the rubric
  • Easily download PDFs of student essays with the rubric copied-and-pasted into the assignment

Lowlights

  • Quite a few steps to install and set up

No word of a lie, I had a difficult time finding any negative reviews on this extension, aside from my own opinion show above.  I’m intrigued by these tools as online classroom platforms are now required to set up in case we go back to online learning.  Having said that,  many eLearning teachers may be interested in a tool like this since they are already working with students in Google Classroom (for certain school divisions).  Watch a lengthy tutorial here to form your opinion on this Chrome extension.  Is this something you’ve used?  If so, let me know your thoughts.  Is this something you’d consider trying?  If so, what interests you about it?

Privacy

When it comes to privacy for online applications, plugins/extensions, and/or general web browsing, I am overwhelmed.  However, there are some quick ways to assess some privacy concerns suggested by CommonSense.Org.

First, websites with https:// means that the site is encrypted and has security features for vs. http:// which doesn’t.  Second, see if the tool has a privacy policy.  If it does, it shows a level of security as some tools are difficult to find any policy at all.  Lastly, if you’re still not sure, check with the experts at your school division.  I know my school division has a list of acceptable apps, tools, websites that have been checked for privacy.  Although some things are restricted, like FlipGrid, I’m sure there’s a good reason for this recommendation….right?!?

CommonSense.org also has a list of hundreds of websites and tools that have been evaluated based on their privacy.   Check out the list here.  There are also some suggested kid browsers that are safer to use.

Another way to protect for privacy is to add Chrome extensions, such as UBlock Origin.  However, with this and other suggested Chrome extensions, are there privacy concerns with adding these to your computers?

Accordng to HackerNews.com, you may take some comfort in knowing that  “Google began requiring extensions to only request access to the “least amount of data” starting October 15, 2019, banning any extensions that don’t have a privacy policy and gather data on users’ browsing habits.”  They also suggest that you “review your extension permissions, consider uninstalling extensions you rarely use or switch to other software alternatives that don’t require invasive access to your browser activity.”

Lastly, privacy and online activity go hand in hand with digital citizenship.  This is a no brainer but something that we take for granted when we put students online.  They need to know the ins and outs of how to access and be a part of the digital world.  They rely on us adults and teachers to ensure they are safe and productive online.  Do your part to educate yourself and your students so that can be critical thinkers, connect, be creative, and communicate appropriately.

White Girl Haircut GIF by Trey Kennedy

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One thought on “Let’s add some extensions to your look!

  1. Thanks for sharing information about these extensions! I haven’t heard of these ones before and there are so many out there, so it’s hard to even know what you want or need! I sometimes wonder about the safety/privacy of these extensions, so I guess that’s why some are not approved for division use. Very informative post!

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