I’m continually surprised and amazed with the world of technology. Exploring extensions sounded really nerve-wracking, but I’m realizing they are tricks to make life easier. The extensions are small icons placed next to the Google Search Bar, therefore the icons are extensions for on-line searching.
The first extension I added to my computer was the Ad blocker called uBlock Origin. I use Chrome as my web browser, and clicked the Added to Chrome button when on the uBlock Origin web site. A little black shield icon instantly materialized next to the search box. Now all kinds of adds are blocked including the adds that play before YouTube video’s, as well as on line adds. This extension is incredibly easy to add to a computer, it also tells how many adds are being blocked once the icon is clicked. Excellent!
uBlock Origin takes out unnecessary advertising which makes watching YouTube video’s more time efficient in the classroom. Students attention is not diverted by the adverts, and their focus is directed to the subject being taught. This simple extension has great potential in the classroom to keep student’s attention and save time.
Screencastify is also an easy extension to add to the computer. Again, as this extension is compatible with Chrome, I clicked the Added to Chrome button and a small pink arrow icon with a movie camera is added to the extension list. The Screencastify main page also has a video that teaches you how to use the extension, which is a nice touch. Here is the video demonstrating how to use this technology.
Screencastify, allows you to show and demonstrate your computer screen with others. You also have the option to have your webcammed self included in the demonstration, which is a nice personalized touch. The video can then be uploaded to YouTube. This is an excellent teaching tool. Teachers can give step by step instructions on the computer to guide students with particular computer programs. If students have difficulty they can stop the instructions and review areas as necessary. Allowing students to follow the instructions in their own time gives all students the opportunity to learn at their own pace, and gain confidence with the material taught.
As you can see Evernote Web Clipper, is a great extension for taking screenshots and customizing them. This is an excellent tool for teachers as they can highlight, and use various editing tools to emphasize important material.
The uBlock Origin extension would fall into the Augmentation category as it helps students to understand and apply materials from the internet by removing distracting advertising.
The Screencastify extension, and the Evernote Web Clipper, both fall into the Redefinition category; these technological extensions allow students to apply their skills, analyse what they are doing, and evaluate their successes, which would have been inconceivable even 10 years ago.