Ain’t nothing but a G thing baby! The new Google Ad-ons have something for everyone!
Type of Technology: Google Drive
SAMR Model: Augmentation
Grade level: all grades
Subject Area: all subjects
If you haven’t realized already, there is a G-revolution. Google is taking over, and creating some amazing apps. Recently my good friend and tech coach turned me on to Google Add-ons. They are apps you can add on to your Google Docs pages, and they can make your life a lot easier. Now if your school district is anything like SBUnified, your students are heavily into the Google thing. Our school has open wi-fi for our students, many computer labs, computers in classrooms, iPads, and in not even one of them, will you find Microsoft office. Instead, you will observe students creating Google spreadsheets, presentations and documents and sharing them with their teachers. I have at least one Google Doc shared with me each day, and on heavy days, many are shared. They show up in my gmail, are easy to grade, and are PAPER FREE!!!
Google the platform of the next generation.
Yes, I sometimes miss my Microsoft Word, and I have spoken to many other teachers who miss it, too. But one of my favorite teaching moments last year involved my students’ innovative use of Google Drive and the applications available in this powerful tool. My AP Government students were studying public opinion polls. We had recently watched the State of the Union Address, and after the SOTU, Gallop investigates 10 topics the President discussed in his speech and what people really think of those topics. I have my students formulate questions, creating a polling method and poll the senior class on the topic they were assigned. They then compared it with Gallops findings. Well, I knew I had entered the technological age of my teaching career when last year when, without my prompting, a group of my students entered their data into a spread sheet, and created amazing pie charts of their findings and Gallops findings. I have been a fan of the “Big G” ever since.
So let’s get to my favorite new Google thing. While in Google Chrome, Google users can enter into their Google Docs and see a new tab to their Google menu labeled “Add-On.” Select “get add-ons” and you will see a long list of apps that can create extraordinary things in your Google Docs. These tools appear to be third party apps that are being created for the Google platform. Some of these tools are very powerful and useful to classroom teachers and students. Here are a few of my favorites…
Easy Bib. Many of you may be familiar with the Easy Bib app for iPads and smartphones. This works the same way, but instead it starts a works cited page for you right in your Google Doc.
Kaziena Mini. Kaiziena has a few features such as allowing teachers to use a rubric to rate parts of the Google doc, but the feature that I find very helpful is that it allows a teacher who is grading a Google Doc to give vocal feedback, and student can reply with vocal feedback as well. This can also be used as students are collaborating a a document.
Template Gallery. There is a template gallery that pops up in your google doc to allow students to create resumes, business letters, financial sheets, invoices, and much more.
Label Maker. Avery Labels is on board with a label making google ad-on to allow you to use Google Docs to create labels.
Verity Spell. An excellent spell check program.
Gliffy diagrams. Gliffy helps you create diagrams such as venn diagrams and customize them to your liking. It will also save your diagrams so you can use them again on a different document.
Chord Transposer. This add-on got my husband so excited, and may only be interesting to musicians, but the chord transposer allows a musician to create or upload music into Google Docs and transpose the music into another key. No more spending hours at the piano attempting it yourself.