Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Apps and Chrome extensions that will make your life easier

Hi everybody welcome back to my blog.  I know I took last week off but hopefully this week will make up for it.  You can find me on twitter @barlottn.  Last week I learned about iPad apps and Chrome extensions.  Our professor Kyle Calderwood set us up with some great guest speakers on google hangout last week.  The guest speakers were @dwmalone, @geekyteach, and @teachintechgal.  It was awesome having them as guest speakers and I really learned a lot.  They showed us a ton of Chrome extensions and iPad apps that I had never heard before.  Even if you don't have an iPad like me, you can still learn about some great chrome extensions that you can use for your home computer or laptop.

What exactly is a Chrome extension?  A chrome extension is an application that runs inside your Google Chrome browser.  It allows you to customize your browser with helpful everyday tools that will provide you more functionality.  These extensions can also be shortcuts to websites so you don't have to waste extra time browsing.  There are a lot of great extensions out there but you have to be careful not to download too many.  Having too many Chrome extensions can slow down your browser.  You can have as many extensions as you want but always keep in mind that your memory, your computer speed, and your wifi speed can be effected by how many extensions you have.  So just keep an eye on those three things as you add new extensions.  A couple of cool Chrome extensions are Quizlet which can you study for test and quizzes, Readability will clear up all the clutter like adds and such so you can read articles without being distracted, and EasyBib which can help students created citations, reference pages, and find credible sources so they don't plagiarize.  To find more great extensions click on the link that I have embedded in the beginning of the paragraph.

The Chrome extension I am about to talk about is great for when you don't have enough time to read a long article but you have to read it.  Too LongDidn't Read (TLDR) is a fantastic extension that summarizes an article of your choose.  It condenses the article down and gives you the main points which are the most important.  In less than a minute you have synopsis of an article that your either needed to read or just wanted it to be condensed.  Most people like myself don't have the time or just don't feel like reading an entire article.  Theres only 24 hours in a day and they go by pretty fast so don't waste them reading an entire article that you don't want to read.  It also has some good reviews from other customers in the Chrome Web store.  It's always important to check the reviews of an app or extension before downloading so you know that it's legit and you don't waste your precious time.

This next app is for iPads.  It's called ZooKazam and its a really fun app especially for kids.  You print off different targets that the app gives you and the app will bring that piece of paper to life.  You can take pictures and videos of the animal with the app.  It also allows you to change the weather and the light effects around the animal to make it even more realistic.  You can even change the scene that the animal is in to make it more realistic or to teach students what environments these animals live in.  There are 40 different animals including 10 dinosaurs.  This is a great tool for a elementary or science teacher who wants to bring animals to life in their classrooms for the kids.  The app is free but you only get limited animals.  For just .99 cents you can unlock all the animals.  This app also has great reviews in the app store.

 That's it for this week.  I hope you enjoyed my blog and I will be back next week.

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