3 Must-Have Chrome Extensions for Classrooms

These clever tools can boost student learning and offer teachers new ways to manage workflow.

March 29, 2016
Erin Wilkey Oh Executive Editor, Education Marketing
Common Sense Education

CATEGORIES Technology Integration, Tools

With the rise of Chromebooks in schools, more student-friendly, classroom-ready Chrome extensions are popping up in the Chrome store. These clever tools can enhance students' and teachers' online activities by connecting to useful utilities or providing powerful features within the browser window itself. From bookmarking and citation plug-ins to collaboration tools, Chrome extensions can boost student learning and offer teachers easy new ways to plan lessons, manage student work, and more.

Take a look at three of our current favorite Chrome extensions for students and teachers. Have an extension you can't teach without? Tell us about it in the comments below!

Diigo screenshotDiigo

Price: Free for 1,000 bookmarks/yr.; $20-$40/yr. for unlimited bookmarks
Platforms: Android, Chrome, Firefox, IE, iOS, Mac, and Web
Grades: 7-12

Diigo has evolved from a simple bookmarking tool into a collaborative destination for collecting, commenting on, and sharing information online. Students add the Diigo bookmarklet (Diigolet) to the browser's bookmark bar and then use it to save pages to a personal library section on Diigo. They can search for, bookmark, organize, annotate, collaborate, and share resources they find online. Diigo also gives teachers a way to share relevant, prescreened Web content, with notes to reinforce any lessons in the text.


Grammarly screenshotGrammarly

Price: Free; premium version $12-$30/mo.
Platforms: Chrome and Web
Grades: 6-12

Grammarly is a website and Chrome extension geared toward helping writers craft their very best work. On the site, writers can cut and paste or upload work they'd like to edit. Once it's uploaded, users can get feedback and suggestions with hints to understand why they should change or improve certain aspects of their writing. The browser extension automatically proofreads as you compose on Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, and nearly anywhere else on the Web, offering spelling, grammar, and style suggestions.


Kaizena screenshotKaizena

Price: Free
Platforms: Chrome and Web
Grades: 7-12

Kaizena is a Google Chrome add-on used in conjunction with Google Drive. If you're looking to ditch your red pen and grade digitally, this is your tool. On Kaizena, you can review and edit student papers that students drop into your inbox or request that you review. Teachers can provide feedback in three ways: Use the microphone to record audio feedback, use the text option to type feedback, or link a resource such as a YouTube video or website for students to review. There's also a Kaizena Mini version, which opens right in your Google Doc rather than in a new window.


Tom Durant
Classroom teacher
Virginia Senior High School
Virginia, IL

Hi Erin, thanks for sharing these tools.  Another tip I wanted to share with you is I'm using it for a few months now and it's great for keeping your "digital classroom" organized. You can create and share start pages filled with bookmarks, feeds, notes, to-do's, etc. It's super user friendly and completely (ad) free for Educational use.