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What are Add-Ons and how can they help me?

As a teacher there is never enough time to simply explore the full features of many different programs so we tend to miss out on the cool add-ons that would enhance instruction, learning, or assessment.

When you open a Google Docs or Google Sheet there is a tab at the top titled Add-Ons.  This is likely one of those options that you have avoided because you have no idea what it actually means.  Who really has the time to explore and figure this out?  I am providing you with an overview of what can be found in the Add-Ons section by highlighting some of the features teachers may find useful.  In addition to these, check out a previous blog post about highlighting in Google Docs which is also a beneficial Add-On.

Give assessments and collect data using Google Forms and Sheets

Create a quiz or exit task in Google Forms, view the data in Google Sheets, and allow Flubaroo to score and calculate your results.  This is a great way to get quick feedback on student learning with minimal time spent grading.  If this sounds like something you would benefit from, check out Flubaroo.

Read about it here,  Flubaroo Overview, and/or watch the video below to see how it can make your job collecting assessment data from students so much quicker.

Write Math Expressions and Create Graphs using Google Docs and Sheets

If you are a math teacher, this may be the perfect add-on as it provides a way to easy type in math expressions on to a Google Doc or Sheet.  When used with Google Sheets, it also can be used to create a quiz for students.  Check out all of the features of this add-on and see if it will work in your classroom by reading through the overviews below.
Create Math Expressions
Create a Graph
Create a Quiz

Find Synonyms and Antonyms with Google Docs

The Thesaurus add-on is a must for any teacher or student using Google Docs. Unlike a Word document, a thesaurus is not automatically included with Google Docs.  However, one simple step can change this.  The add-on simply needs to be selected and then it is ready to use.

Cite Sources within Google Docs is a familiar online tool for citing sources correctly. There is an add-on for Google Docs that allows the user to build their bibliography in a side panel and then insert the list directly into document.

Translate words or phrases within Google Docs

While online translators are not always perfect, they can be helpful especially for students where English is their second language.  This add-on opens a side bar within a Google Doc making it easier to quickly translate words or phrases.  The main downside is the fact that not all languages are represented by this feature.  However, it is a great tool for helping make content more accessible for students who are still learning the language.

Add color to your Google Sheet

Formatting and styling a spreadsheet can make it look more visually appealing, but it also makes it easier to read.   The Styles add-on provides the ability to select formatting for titles and headings, colors for comparison or type of data, or a theme for the entire sheet.  Collecting data is important, but being able to quickly interpret the data is essential.  This add-on helps with organizing the data into a more readable format.

Add Multiple Rows and Columns in a Google Sheet

I use tables and spreadsheets a lot, but I am often frustrated when I realize that I need more rows because the option only allows them to be inserted one at a time.  This add-on for Google Sheets solves this problem!  This addition to Sheets actually allows you to define the number of rows or columns to be added.  It is a simple solution that will save a lot of time.

Stay tuned for more posts about useful Add-Ons!


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