8 Must-Have Google Chrome Apps for Students

It’s not easy being a student. As classes, athletics, and extracurricular activities become more demanding, even the most conscientious students can have difficulty prioritizing and focusing on their work. Fortunately, for this technology savvy generation, there are a host of tools that can help students stay on top of their game.

Google Chrome, the free web browser, offers applications (but if you don’t want the kids to laugh at you, be sure to call them apps), that function like software programs in the computer. With these apps, you and your students can get work done more quickly and easily. Although many apps are mostly for fun, others can be extremely effective in helping students stay organized and productive.

We looked at numerous apps and culled out the top eight from the Google Chrome Web Store we think will make a student’s life less stressful. And, because this is intended for students, who typically have limited income, we’ve only included apps that are free.

Image from Flickr via Randy Z

Image from Flickr via Randy Z

Apps to Stay Organized

  • Sunrise Calendar –  this cleanly designed calendar works with Google Calendar and iCloud, and includes Facebook events. With both web and mobile apps available (for Android and iPhone), all information stays synced.
  • Todo.ly – once students know what’s on their calendar, they can plan out what work needs to be done with this handy To Do list. With color-coded tasks, it’s easy to prioritize, plan out and check off each step of a project.
  • EvernoteFor a more robust organizational system, Evernote fits the bill. Describing itself as a modern workspace, Evernote allows users to type short or long notes and categorize them into notebooks. Photos, web articles, lists, notes and even receipts can be stashed in Evernote and searched for when needed.
  • Mint – it’s not something students always learn about in school, but money management is an important aspect of student success, particularly as students prepare for college. Mint helps students create a customized budget and sends reminders of upcoming bills. Accessible on web and mobile devices, Mint helps reduce the stress of worrying about how long funds will last.

Tools To Make a Student’s Life Easier

  • Google Drive – documents, spreadsheets, and presentations can all be kept, accessed and shared on this app. This is ideal when groups of students all need access to a document for a group project, or for students who want to work on a paper from multiple devices, or for students who don’t want to buy additional word processing, spreadsheet or presentation software for their computers.
  • EasyBib the hard part of researching and writing a paper may be finished, but then there’s one more hurdle: making sure the citations and bibliography are formatted correctly. EasyBib simplifies the process so students can type in the information they have and the app can help find the source and format. Another tool for citing sources is Cite This For Me: Web Citer, which is an extension that can also be downloaded from Google Chrome Web Store, and creates website citations in APA, MLA, Chicago or Harvard referencing styles.
  • StudyStack – need to memorize a long list of foreign words or technical terms? StudyStack has flashcards, crosswords and other ways to help students with memorization. With categories that include Latin, chemistry, pharmacology, standardized tests, accounting, Quiz Bowl and AP comparative government, students will find the support they need. And, if a particular term or topic isn’t covered, students can create their own flashcards.
  • Desmos Graphic Calculator – this intuitive graphic calculator allows students to plot functions, create tables, animate graphics and use many of the functions of an expensive calculator—for free.

Extra Credit Tool

Although technically not an app, Stayfocusd is an extension that is too useful to neglect. When it’s essential to get rid of distractions and just concentrate on work, Stayfocusd blocks websites that the user has designated as a time-waster for the remainder of the day. It may seem like a heavy-handed approach, but reviewers rave that it increases productivity.

In Short

Take a look at these apps on the Google Chrome Web Store and see if any of them would be beneficial to your students. Google constantly offers new apps that help you and your students customize computer or mobile device to meet individual needs to get more work done, with fewer headaches.

Editor’s note: This piece was originally written by Jeff Dunn and ran on July 13, 2012. A lot has changed since then, so we’ve had author Pamela DeLoatch update this piece with the latest techniques and innovations.

7 Comments

  1. kirsten burnett

    May 14, 2015 at 1:06 pm

    this is so very cool. really beneficial tip to help students optimize their internet use.

  2. Helya Sahami

    May 18, 2015 at 11:33 am

    Hi Pamela,
    Thank you for sharing such a great resource! I am a high school teacher and one of the courses I teach is AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination). Time management and organization are two of our main focuses in this course. I will definitely be sharing some of these resources with my students, especially sunrise calendar, todo.ly, and evernote. The AVID elective is moving more towards the use of technology for note taking strategies and organization strategies, so I really appreciate that all the apps on this list are free. I do use google drive and google docs a lot with my students, however I am amazed by how many other great resources are out there for my students to use. You made the researching aspect of what tools to pass on to my students so much easier for me. Thanks for your help!

  3. Joey DeBruin

    May 19, 2015 at 11:02 am

    Hi Pamela,

    Great tips! I wanted to let you know about another chrome extension that is a great teaching tool for kids. It is called Tab for a Cause, and lets kids donate to a charity of their choice every time they open a new tab page. It lets them participate in this awesome feeling of giving back to causes they care about, all without actually costing any money! They are running some cool campaigns with charities like Room to Read and Water.org that students can join together to support.

  4. Tina Rehfeld

    May 25, 2015 at 8:41 pm

    Thank you so much for the great list of apps that are available through the Google Chrome store! Our high school recently just received 70 google chrome carts, so now almost every class on campus has access to google chrome books for every student in class. We are hoping to have enough chrome books to have a 1:1 ratio early in the 2015-16 school year. Due to this, I have been looking for new apps to use with my students to improve their educational experience.

    To add to your information on Google Drive, it is not only helpful for students in groups, but also for teachers. I use Google Drive to store my lesson plans, presentations, worksheets and much more. This is useful to me because then I don’t have to worry about carrying around a flash drive, and it eliminates the worry of having to start a presentation from scratch if I forget my flash drive at home/work. Additionally, Google Drive allows you to share documents and presentations with your students, which makes learning much more interactive.

    Of the apps that you have mentioned I’m especially interested in the Stayfocused app and will be looking into how it compares to the Pomello app. Both seem to use methods to keep students on task and working towards specific goals (something that I, also, could use help with). I like how Stayfocused limits access to distracting sites, but I’m interested in Pomello’s “non-intrusive” tactics to keep one on task.

    Another great feature of the Google apps is that our students, being digital natives, are so used to working with apps in their daily lives. This makes learning more accessible and enjoyable to them. This is an exciting time to be in the classroom and I am excited to research the apps that you have mentioned further, and hopefully implement them with my own students.

  5. Sergio

    July 1, 2015 at 2:30 am

    I use many of the applications described in the article, but one thing that wasn’t mentioned is VocApp. I use it for studying vocabulary in the form of flashcards, as I think this is the best flashcard app on the market so far. You can check it out here: http://vocapp.com/

  6. james

    July 6, 2015 at 11:01 pm

    I use mainly Google chrome to search in web. i didn’t know these this and i think this article was helped me to get more idea about Google chrome search engine

    http://www.essayguardian.com

  7. Piyush

    July 14, 2015 at 8:03 pm

    Great list of Google chrome application for students. These are no doubts best chrome extension that will help students score good in exams.

    Thanks,