4 E-Learning Chrome Extensions, plus Interactives and Virtual Field Trips

Chrome Extensions:
1. Mote for Audio Comments
2. Bitly for Link Shortening:
3. Nimbus for better Screen Captures
4. Grade Transferer to copy from Classroom to Powerschool

Interactives with Google Tools:
5. Drag n' Drop Activities
6. Virtual Field Trips


1. Mote for Audio Comments:
You can quickly record audio feedback within Google Docs, Slides, or Google Classroom (as private comments) using the Mote Chrome Extension. It will automatically create a link within the comment where students can listen to the recording (no login needed for students) AND will transcribe your audio to text in the comment.

2. Bit ly for Link Shortening:
Set up an account using your Google login at bit.ly, then use the Bitly Chrome Extension to quickly shorten and customize links to a site or doc you are at. This is especially useful for those long Google Docs links, links that you want people to remember or be able to type in, or to just save space. For example, bit.ly/ChromebookTutorials

You can even bitly the "/present" or "/copy" version of a Doc (see this slide for an explanation on that) to force people to get a specific view of the Doc/Slide, like i did with the the Meet info for parents at bit.ly/MeetStudentsMMS.

3. Nimbus for better Screen Captures:
While your Chromebook has screen capture functionality, you may like the expanded functionality and ease of use of the Nimbus Chrome Extension.  Try out the features, which include screenshotting the entire webpage (even the part not visible on your screen), editing the screenshots, and even a screen recorder.

4. Grade Transferer to copy grades from Classroom to Powerschool:
More quickly and efficiently copy gradebook data from Google Classroom into Powerschool using the Grade Transferer Chrome Extension. They have a video demonstrating how to save time with this tool. 

5. Drag n' Drop Activities:
Shout out to Nick (Drawings) and Lisa E. (Slides) at D83 for using Google tools to create Drag n' Drop activities for students. By sharing them in Classroom "Make a Copy for Each Student," each student gets an editable interactive. Here's Nick's example in Drawings:
   ^Follow Mr. Leonardi on Twitter for more!^

6. Virtual Field Trips:
I previously shared how students can go on self-paced Google Expeditions from home, but there are a few other ideas for virtual field trips:

Hope you find these helpful!

Google Meet "Grid View" Extension!

Currently, holding a large Google Meet video conference can make it difficult to see all participants. Fortunately, there is now a Chrome Extension called “Google Meet Grid View” that allows you to view many more screens at once in a grid:

  1. Make sure you are on Google Chrome and logged into your school account:

  1. Go to the “Google Meet Grid View” Chrome Extension page. Click “Add to Chrome”
  2. The extension will be added to your Chrome Extensions:
    You do not need to click it or do anything with it.
  1. Now, when you’re in a Google Meet you will see this button at the top:

  2. Click that button to put your Meet session into “Grid View” mode. (Click again it to return to your previous viewing mode.)

My Thoughts: Use of Google Meet is skyrocketing right now, as you may imagine. Google is scrambling to update the app daily in response to teacher requests and feedback. My guess would be that this, as an often-requested feature, will eventually be integrated into the Meet app, making the use of a Chrome Extension unnecessary. But until that happens, this is a great solution!

Side by Side Windows on Chromebooks

Having two windows or tabs side-by-side on your screen is useful for drag & drop, taking notes, comparing documents, or otherwise multitasking. Here's how to do it on your Chromebook.

Video Demonstration

1. Resize your current window by going to the top right corner and clicking the middle button to take it out of full-screen mode.

2. Click and hold on the solid bar at the top of your window (next to where tabs are) and drag it to one side of your screen.  Don't stop until your mouse touches the edge of your screen and you see a rectangular "shadow" image cover half your screen:

3. Let go of the mouse. It should now dock that window to the side of the screen.
4. Repeat that process with any other window - Chrome or another application - on the other side of the screen. In this example, I am docking my "Files" app to have access to my Downloads.

Bonus #1: You can do this with Tabs in Chrome too!  Just click and hold the tab and drag it out of the window and to the edge of your screen.

Bonus #2: The keyboard shortcut to accomplish this is Alt + Square Brackets: 
Dock to left side:  Alt + [
Dock to right side:  Alt + ]


Email Audio Alerts

If you want to step away from your computer but want to still hear if an email
comes through, you can take these steps:

1. Go to your Gmail Settings:

2. Scroll down and enable notifications:
(there may also be a blue link to click above "New mail notifications on"

3. Install a Chrome Extension
Gmail on a computer does not play audio on incoming email messages
You need a Chrome Extension. I like this one:
Gmail Audio Alerts 
Then, in your Chrome menu bar, click the extension to set up your sound.
Make sure your volume is on.

There are other Chrome Extensions that do the trick, but this one is simple, and of course has the AOL sound which we all love. Hope this helps!

Originality Reports in Google Classroom

The two most recent updates - Rubrics and Originality Reports - are now available to all users.

Originality Reports compare a student's work against millions of webpages and books, and produce a report showing the percent that may have been plagiarized or in need of citation.

For now, you can only turn on Originality Reports in Google Docs assignments, and you only get to use them on 3 assignments per classroom. After 45 days, an Originality Report expires and you can run a new one for another assignment.

Here's how to set up an Originality Report:

1. Create an Assignment and attach a Google Doc "Each Student Gets a Copy."   Check the "Originality Report" checkbox:

2. When students go to turn in work, they will have the option of running their own Originality Report to detect uncited passages before turning in their work:

3. When you are reviewing a student's work, in the right-side panel under their name you will see a link to run an Originality Report. Any flagged text will be identified here.

If this is a past assignment and you didn't previously set it up with an Originality Report, you can run it on the assignment from here.

4. Clicking the link will open up a full report that includes summaries of the amount plagiarized and the sources they match:

With the limited number of reports you can run, this is best used on a major assessment, like an end-of-unit essay.  It's also worth noting that if you're giving students a template using an assignment you found online, any instructions or questions you have pre-embedded into the doc may flag the plagiarism checker (I've had similar experiences in the past with TurnItIn.com). 

Still, this is a step in the right direction for Google Classroom moving more towards being a full service Learning Management System.