UPDATE! – It looks like you can’t publish Chrome Extensions for free anymore if you are just doing it in your school district accounts. The developer fee is $5. If anyone has a way around this, please feel free to tweet at me @donovanscience. I will add that the new interface for publishing extensions is much easier and cleaner than the old way.
Thanks to Curt Schleibaum (https://twitter.com/curt_truc) (http://www.geekyedtech.com/home) for showing me this initially at the Google Innovator Academy this last summer in Boulder. I have tried creating my own Chrome Extension before but didn’t get very far, I mostly just did it for learning purposes. When he showed how he was using his Chrome Extension to share out information with students and staff, I knew this was a great idea I had to steal. The Chrome Extension I ended up creating is a very simple one but can be very useful for communication and productivity. By clicking the Extension, a window will pop open that contains buttons that are hyperlinked to the various sites that our students, or teachers, need to use on a regular basis.
Below the buttons is some text that is pulled directly from a published Google Doc. As soon as I change the text in the Google Doc, it is updated in the Chrome Extension within minutes. This makes it very easy to share important updates and daily announcements with students, or share reminders and updates with staff about the professional learning that is taking place.
To get started, you will need to have a program that will allow you to write code. https://atom.io/is what Curt suggested and has worked very well for me, plus it is free.
Next, download the template folder from my Drive (template folder). After you click the link, click the down arrow next to the folder name to download it.
You will need to complete the tasks in the following categories to modify the Extension to fit your needs, test it out, and then upload it to the Chrome Developer Dashboard to push out to others.
You will find that it may take some trial and error to find the formatting you want but it is very easy to push out changes and updates. Make sure you use user feedback to make those changes that improve the use and functionality of your Extension.
If you have any questions at all, please feel free to tweet me @donovanscience