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Top 5 Firefox2 extensions for educators

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I’m in the process of making a bunch of Screencasts for educators on using Firefox2 and thought I’d ask anyone who is interested to chime in.

What are the top 5 Firefox2 extensions every educator should have?

Such a simple question I know.

My debate right now is whether to promote zotero or diigo. I’ve just stated playing with diigo and have been using zotero for awhile. One big difference I think is that to use diigo you need to create a user account on their site. Now that’s not bad if you’re a geek like me and you have accounts all over the Internet. But if you’re a teacher…you know the type, the type that say “Another account? How am I going to remember all these username/passwords?” is Diigo worth it? Or is a simple extension like zotero better with no online account needed? Or is there something better that I’m missing.

My list so far

Del.icio.us Bookmarks Great for personal and classroom use
Zotero research tool A great research tool for all ages!
Googlepedia Shows you a relevant Wikipedia article aling with your google search results.

So, what are your top Firefox2 extensions?


I started blogging in 2005 and found it such a powerful way to reflect and share my thinking about technology, this generation, and how we prepare students for their future not our past.


  1. Good topic…and one that certainly can help draw the imperiled from the province of IE. Are there IE answers to my favorite Firefox add-ons? Can there be in a closed source application?

    My Faves:

    Cooliris—to display link content without having to click on that link

    Clipmarks—to preserve interesting bits from interesting articles in a social networking environment

    Foxmarks—to synch the favorites on my three computers

    Performancing—to launch my blog as soon as I find an item of interest upon which I want to comment

    CiteBite—to take audience to exact location on URL I am referencing

    Sage—an aggregator, although I still rely primarily on Google Reader

    Adblock plus—enough said

  2. I have to second Joe’s mention of Performancing, and add my few…

    Greasemonkey – crucial for addon scripts

    Permatabs – lets you mark a tab “permanant” so it cannot be closed. useful if you keep two tabs (bloglines and gmail) open at all times and want them opened automatically when you start FF)

    Flickrfox – flickr fotos in a sidebar, sort of like flock does it

    restart firefox – adds a simple “restart firefox”, useful it you’re experimenting

    This sounds good, let us know when the screencasts are done!


  3. Diigo has already involved a number of educational and research users. Good feedback and splendid comments were received. A new version of Diigo will be released soon. Such as the new Group function which means a class or a team could share, cooperate and innovate smoothly. Furthermore,We are on our way to the next-gen Firefox’s extension. If you’ve got any comments and suggestions, feel free to contact us 🙂

  4. Just a quick note on Diigo as compared to Del.icio.us:

    I love the annotation tool aspect of Diigo and use it for research and referral, but the simple button on the Firefox toolbar that lists all of my tags immediately. If Diigo has this, I can’t find it.

  5. Without question, my favorite and the one I use the most is Web Developer. However, for most educators that might have limited appeal (along with the Lorem Ipsum generator which is quite useful for placeholder content). ColorZilla also falls into that category of great for picking colors if your developing media/websites. Because I use Netvibes, the post to netvibes extension is very useful (works pretty much the same as the del.icio.us extension). Greasemonkey and the library-lookup extension are great, as well. Finally, I’d add that Google send to phone is pretty handy for sending text to your or other phones and the Abe Vigoda extension can’t be beat.

  6. My number one extension, by far, is ReloadEvery. Without it, I would have to log in to PowerSchool every period in order to take attendance! But if I set it to reload the page every 5 minutes, the server keeps my session open.

  7. Great stuff, here. I’m glad to learn Text Marker is back in the mix with FF. A lot of folks I work with are stranded on the IE island. All of these add-ons, and others that spring forth from open communities, are good arguments to leave the IE island.

    Does IE have answers to these add-ons? Can it?

  8. To answer Joe’s question “Does IE have answers to these add-ons?” – the only one that I’ve really found is the AIS Web Accessibility tool bar – at it’s got shortcuts to so many different web accessibility tools & simulations, so, not just “Alt-tag checkers”, but sites that simulate cataracts, assess your text for readability etc., etc., etc.,
    I understand that they are working on a Forefox version.

    I’ve not really looked at Diigo, one of the points that I like about Zotero is that it generates outputs that are compatible with EndNote, though I agree that the need to store locally is a problem (though for some, a security they prefer).

  9. Pingback: Room With A View » Zotero Extension for Firefox

  10. Hi, I work on the Zotero project at the Center for History and New Media. I don’t know if this helps you make your decision but I thought I would just chime in to note that Zotero will have annotation features in the near future. We are currently alpha testing the ability to highlight and take notes on page snapshots. If you have the time I would like to hear what you think about Zotero as a educator. What new features would like to see? What ways we could improve our website to invite more educators to use the tool in their classrooms?


  11. Pingback: Top Firefox 2 extensions for educators? - EdTechRoundup.com

  12. Firstly, I’d recommend GBookmarks. I know that Google’s bookmark service does not include the community sharing tools that delicious does, but to avoid students and teachers from saying “not another account” or “I don’t remember my password” I’ve decided start with Web 2.0 tools that are available through Google accounts, which by the way are great.
    The other one I’d recommend is IE Tab. The reason I’d recommend this one is because there are sites, on occasion, that do not display or run properly in Firefox and although this is rare, it does happen.
    Neither of these recommendations are very exciting but they provide simple answers to problems that already exist, which, is what most teachers and middle school students want and need.

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