by Kindy Segovia
OTR, Assistive Technology Supervisor, Kent ISD
The rapid expansion of technology use in schools has included broad use of the popular Chrome web browser. From schools that have adopted Chromebooks as their student devices of choice, and those using Google as their digital platform, Chrome plays a central role in many classrooms.
A natural, and often invaluable component of the Chrome browser, is the Chrome Web Store, a portal for browser extensions and apps that can support many areas of student learning. What is a Chrome extension? It’s a small software program that customizes the browser experience with added features and functionality.
Several extensions provide easy access to fun and effective brain breaks and other tools that assist with focus and independence. See “The importance of taking a break” by Psych4Schools for more information about the educational effect of breaks.
Move It: Set the notification interval and the screen will present you with random exercise, movement or brain breaks.
Save My Eyes: Regularly reminds you to take breaks so you can relieve tension from your eyes, move your body, or just relax.
Take a Break: Provides reminders to take a break from your computer work or web surfing.
Break Timer: Break Timer allows you to set up customizable breaks and will remind you to take them.
Posture Minder: Set how often you’d like to see a PostureMinder, then sit back and let it do its work reminding you with fun messages.
Mindful Break: Gives you a mindfulness tip and guides you through a short breathing exercise. Set reminders to help you remember.
One Click Timer: A nice visual timer that functions as both a countdown or counting up timer.
Use these extensions quickly and easily from your browser’s menu bar. They’re great for whole group and class instruction or for individual student use in a 1:1 environment. They’re even great for you, the educator, during those long moments or hours in front of your computer screen!
Kindy Segovia, OTR, is currently the Assistive Technology Coordinator at Kent Intermediate School District, Grand Rapids, Mich. She has worked as an occupational therapist in both schools and pediatric rehabilitation for over 25 years. She has provided educational training for teachers, parents and administrators over the past 15 years with a focus on adapting curriculum, classroom accommodations, and integrating technology into instruction. She is also an adjunct professor at Grand Valley State University. Find out more from Kindy at kindysegovia.com.