Online and homeschooling students need support to reach their full potential. While our apps offer many different built-in support tools, having access to additional help on your computer or smartphone is a great way to help you feel more confident and independent. With that in mind, our staff has compiled a list of the best Google Chrome extensions and educational apps for students. Check out our recommendations and decide for yourself what’s best for you or your student.
Chrome Extensions for Students
Chrome offers many different extensions that you can use anytime you use Chrome. These extensions can easily be added (and removed) in the top right corner of the Chrome toolbar.
Here are our top recommendations for Chrome extensions:
Natural Reader is a very good program for reading text in speech. This extension allows you to highlight any page and it will read it with highlighting to keep track. Highlighted text is a great feature that allows students to distract themselves and take notes while continuing to listen, and then return to the text without missing a beat. This option gives students with a variety of learning or visual problems a chance to keep up. It’s also a great way to listen to text while reading, providing your brain with two kinds of input. When you stimulate your brain in two different ways, learning becomes more long-term. However, if you’re not quite sure if this kind of extension is right for you, check out this short video.
Google Web annotations
Annotate: Web annotations is another Chrome extension that lets you highlight, draw lines, and add text boxes right on a web page. You can even save it and view it later when you return to the page. Unfortunately, you’ll have to pay to get more color options for annotations, but the basic level is free and has a lot to offer. One such impressive free feature is the ability to add notes to the notepad page so that you can copy any important graphs, charts, or visual images into your digital notes, even after annotating the graph. For students who learn better when they can interact with text, this can be a great option. This video shows some of the features of the free Annotate extension.
Grammarly is one of the most popular web extensions. This extension goes beyond the typical text editor spell checker. The free version not only detects your spelling mistakes, but also draws attention to frequently confused words and explains why word choice is wrong. Essentially, it’s a mini-lesson to help you avoid repeating the mistake. Grammarly also identifies problems with the tone of your writing. By the way, when I needed to do my paper, I always asked for professional help. By the way, EssayAssistant help writing essays so you could choose which app you like more.
Although the program also detects a lot of punctuation errors, the really interesting thing about this free extension is that it helps students write more concisely, helping them “get to the point” of what they are trying to convey.
The aspect of this extension that we really like is that whether you’re using it to write an essay, post a comment on YouTube, or send an email, you have the option to save Grammarly sentences in a separate window to the right of the work you’re doing. That way, you won’t be distracted by pop-ups and can jot down your ideas before you start editing. If this free extension sounds like something you need, here’s an informative video about the free version of Grammarly so you can decide for yourself.
Useful Apps for Students
Accessing useful tools on your smartphone or tablet is one way to help you succeed in your studies, but it’s hard to know what will really be useful and what will just take up space on your device. Here are a few suggestions of apps that we find useful for our students.
Mobile appsGoogle Docs and Google Drive are handy to have on the go. That way, no matter where you are – in the dentist’s office or in the passenger seat behind the wheel – you’ll have access to your digital notes, essays and study guides.
Quizlet offers both an app and online access so you can create your own flashcards for easy study. It is easy to use and provides another opportunity to learn on the go. Although Quizlet offers users the ability to access flashcards posted by others, we’ve found that creating your own is the best use of this tool for students. Creating your own online flashcards gives you the opportunity to learn while you create them, and ensures that the information you are learning is reliable and accurate. We’ve seen some tutorials on this resource that don’t meet these requirements, so we recommend this resource as a way to create your own tutorial resource rather than looking for someone else’s work.
Simple Mind is a Mind Mapping tool that helps you brainstorm and organize information for writing assignments or as a study guide. In the basic, free version of this app, students can add, delete, edit, and move topics around. They can connect ideas on a mental map or online and change the brainstorming layout. For visual learners who need to be able to manipulate topics and see their ideas online before they write, this app can be a valuable tool. To use it as a study tool, you can turn your notes into a graphic organizer, creating a network for basic concepts and specific details of the material you are studying. Overall, this is a good option for those who work best by visually manipulating their ideas when writing and studying.
Improving English: Vocabulary, Grammar, Flashcards is an option for students who need a little extra help with both English and some basic math concepts. Its 4.5 rating on the Google Play Store speaks for itself. This app offers English correction and practice in vocabulary, grammar, idioms, and phrasal verbs. If you need an overview of math, Improve English offers a tips and tricks section, help with ratios and proportions, progression, averages, and percentages.
Merriam Webster Dictionary
The Merriam Webster Dictionary App is an “oldie but a goodie.” It has been around for a long time for a reason. For students who read on their own, a reliable dictionary app is a must. You can download it to your phone and have it at the ready when you encounter a word you’re not quite sure of. Referring to the dictionary when encountering difficult words is a great way to understand what you’re reading as well as interact with new vocabulary.
Google Calendar is a proven app that will help you keep track of assignments, set reminders for any deadlines you’ve set for yourself, and help you remember to interrupt your chores and take time to check and study. The fact that you can share your deadlines in a group makes it easier for parents to help their students meet their goals. You can set up as many notifications as you want, so if you want to be reminded a month in advance, a week in advance, a few days in advance, and the day of your set deadline, act! Busy students and families can use this to make sure everyone is aware of the student’s schedule. This is a valuable resource for online students and their families. Watch this video to see what the Google Calendar app can do for you.