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The Teaching Space Podcast

The podcast is on pause for a year (as of August 2021) as I am tackling the final year of my masters in education (which I am doing alongside my full-time job). In the meantime, please revisit the considerable back catalogue of episodes. Also, give me a follow on Twitter, where I am still very active and sign up for my personal newsletter here. You can visit The Teaching Space website here: theteachingspace.com.

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Jun 20, 2020

Episode 97 of The Teaching Space Podcast shares three fantastic Chrome extensions for teachers and trainers.

Introduction

Oh I love a useful Chrome extension (when I remember they are there!) On the off chance you have never used a Chrome extension, I'll give you Google Chrome's definition:

"Extensions are small software programs that customize the browsing experience. They enable users to tailor Chrome functionality and behavior to individual needs or preferences. They are built on web technologies such as HTML, JavaScript, and CSS.

An extension must fulfill a single purpose that is narrowly defined and easy to understand. A single extension can include multiple components and a range of functionality, as long as everything contributes towards a common purpose."

(What are extensions? - Google Chrome, 2020)

Here are three of my favourites which have been getting a lot of use, lately. They are Toby, Loom and Grammarly.

Toby

I have just started using Toby, and I think it could be a game-changing Chrome extension for me - certainly in supporting my podcast workflow, but I can see it being useful in many work contexts too.

"Toby is better than bookmarks, it levels up your Chrome browser. Toby is a visual workspace that lives on every new tab. Add new tabs by dragging and dropping your browser tabs into collections or save a whole session in just one-click. Access all of your collections on any desktop with automatic sync. Use tags to organize your collections or create notes for your to-dos" (Toby for Chrome, 2020).

So, going back to the podcasting workflow, when I am ready to publish a podcast, in one click I can have all of the browser tabs open I need (e.g. hosting website, my website and all social media platform sites). While it might only save seconds, seconds add up.

Loom

I wrote a blog post about Loom in the very early days of starting The Teaching Space podcast, and I am still a massive fan.

Loom is a Chrome extension which enables you to record your screen and share a link to the video in just a few clicks (usually just one click to record, one-click to finish). You don't need to download the video or think about where you are going to host it. Loom takes care of all of that. A link to your video is automatically generated and placed on your clipboard, ready to be pasted wherever you like (email, Google Classroom, etc.).

At the time of writing, Loom Pro is free for teachers. It was made free in response to the COVID-19 crisis and looks like it is going to stay that way.

I find Loom extremely useful when a colleague or student needs me to explain something technical (e.g. screen-based), and we are not in the same room. It is also great for recording presentations and giving students feedback on an assignment.

Grammarly

Finally, Grammarly saves me from making spelling, punctuation and grammar errors every single day and is available as a Chrome extension. The bonus of having Grammarly in your browser is that you can use it virtually everywhere.

I recently "treated" myself to the paid version of Grammarly as I have some large writing projects coming up. However, the free version is excellent and sufficient for most. Compare plans here.

Grammarly is also available as a Safari, Firefox and Internet Explorer extension so very versatile. It works with MS Word, Outlook and Google Docs and other native apps for Windows and macOS. I have also recently installed the Grammarly keyboard on my iPhone, which is fantastic. One unexpected bonus is an emoji search option!

Wrap Up

And that's it. If you have any questions about this episode or comments you'd like to share, please join The Teaching Space Community: community.theteachingspace.com.

The show notes for this episode include any links I’ve mentioned; you can find them at theteachingspace.com.

If you have enjoyed this episode, please consider supporting the show by making a small donation towards the running costs on my Ko-fi page which you can find at ko-fi.com/theteachingspace. Alternatively, please consider leaving a review on Apple Podcasts or whether you listen to the show. Thank you.

Thanks for listening and I hope you'll join me for the next episode.

References

Toby for Chrome (2020) Chrome.Google.Com, [Online]. Available at https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/toby-for-chrome/hddnkoipeenegfoeaoibdmnaalmgkpip?hl=en (Accessed 12 April 2020).

What are extensions? - Google Chrome (2020) Developer.Chrome.Com, [Online]. Available at https://developer.chrome.com/extensions (Accessed 11 April 2020).