Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Add-On Additions!

Google Docs has a few new Add-Ons that are worth checking out! It had been a while since I check back into the Google Add-on menu.  I suspect that the resources available in the Google Docs Add-on page will grow quickly and in just the past few weeks there are some notable new ones.
If you are not familiar with Google Docs Add-ons, they appear in the main menu bar after opening a Google Doc or Sheet.  You will see different Add-ons depending on which App you are using.  The ones that run on a Google Spreadsheet (like the Doctopus Add-on) have no use for a Document, so they do not show when entering the Add-ons from a Document.  To explore the Add-ons first open a Document or Spreadsheet.  In the top menu bar, click Add-ons, and Get Add-ons as shown:
Much like you would see in the Google Store, you will see icons of the available Odd-ons.  Clicking on the icon will bring up information about that specific tool.  The benefit of Add-ons is that they work within the document type that you are working on and you do not have to leave the document to make use of the tool.  When this feature first become available, you just knew it was something that would take off, and I suspect it is beginning to!

Here are a few of the new Add-ons I am excited to explore how they can make a difference in the classroom as well as some that have been there from the start but are worth looking at again!:

Docs Add-ons


This Add-on addresses a problem that math teachers have complained about when using Google Docs for some time.  This tool will allow the user to create complex math and graphs from within the Google Doc from a sidebar tool.  There is a graph creator by which you type in an equation (y= formatted) and it will display the graph for the equation.  It also will create geometric signs, custom characters and formulas.  The creator of g(Math) has a great tutorial that will be valuable to those deciding if this is a worthwhile Add-on:


A second tool that is available in Google Docs is OpenClipArt.  This resources provides over 50,000 images as clip art from a sidebar in the Google Docs window.  This is a fantastic resource for educators and students wanting to add interest, color or image resources to their work.  

Sheets Add-ons


Doctopus is a well-loved scripts that you used to have to access through the scripts menu but is now and Add-on.  This script takes you class spreadsheet of names and emails and will organize and disseminate documents, assignments, and materials to certain or all students' Google Drives.  It will name the documents for each student and will even allow you to set up sharing settings.
This video should get you started:


Again, a well-loved script that is now available as an Add-on, Flubaroo is fantastic.  This script will support you as you assess students.  It will help you to grade, analyze and even email the students the results of the assessment.  An overview video should help you see what this script has to offer:

All of these Add-ons seem to be "adding on" quickly to keep checking back for more!

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