Last week on Free Technology for Teachers I ran a series of blog posts highlighting my favorite add-ons for Google Forms, Sheets, Slides, and Docs. I followed that up with a post about some of my favorite Chrome extensions. All of those recommendations plus a couple of videos about installing add-ons and extensions are included below.
You can find each of the following add-ons by opening the “Add-ons” drop-down menu while viewing a Document, Slide, Sheet, or Form. After opening the menu select “get Add-ons” and search for the name of the add-on you wish to use. Watch this video to see the process in action.
G Suite domain administrators can install add-ons domain-wide. If there is an add-on that you think that all of your students should use, ask your domain administrator if he or she can install it for you. This video shows the process for administrators to install add-ons.
5 Good Google Slides Add-ons
The Unsplash Photos Google Slides add-on gives you instant access to Unsplash’s collection of free, royalty-free photographs. In this video I demonstrate how to add the Add-on to your Google Slides, how to use Unsplash Photos, and I explain the licensing of Unsplash Photos.
Photo Slideshow is a free Add-on that makes it quick and easy to import an entire Google Photos or Google Drive folder into Google Slides. Once you have installed the Add-on just select either Google Photos or Google Drive and then choose the folder of images that you want to have displayed in a slideshow. Each image in the folder will automatically be placed on a slide.
This add-on appears in my list of recommended Google Docs add-ons. I recommend the Google Slides version of it too. Easy Accents for Google Slides is easy to use. When you have it installed you can launch it on any slide. Type as you normally would until you need to add an accent mark that isn’t easy to create on your keyboard. Then just insert the letter and accent mark that you need from the Easy Accents keyboard. After inserting the letter and accent mark you can go back to typing on your physical keyboard. Easy Accents for Google Slides currently supports more than twenty languages.
Grackle is a service that will check your Google Documents, Slides, and Sheets for accessibility. It is available as an Add-on for Google Docs, for Google Slides, and for Google Sheets. When you run Grackle’s accessibility checker it will identify places where your slide doesn’t meet accessibility standards. It makes suggestions for improvement on the areas in which your document, slide, or sheet doesn’t meet accessibility standards. Some of the suggestions can be implemented with just a click from the Grackle Add-on menu while others are changes that you will have to make yourself.
This isn’t just an add-on, it’s a Chrome extension that you install to work with your Google Slides. AudioPlayer for Slides is a Chrome extension that will let you add music or spoken audio to your Google Slides presentations. With the extension installed you can simply right-click on a slide in your presentation and then select an audio file from your Google Drive to play on that slide. Unfortunately, the audio file will only play on the selected slide and not over all of the slides throughout the presentation. It should also be noted that you can only play audio files that you have stored in your Google Drive.
5 Good Google Docs Add-ons
Kaizena is a Google Docs add-on that lets you add voice comments to your students’ documents. With the Kaizena add-on installed simply highlight a word or a sentence in a document and then record a voice comment about that highlighted word or sentence. Voice comments can be used in conjunction with text comments. Students need to have the add-on installed in order to listen to the audio comments.
Pixabay for Google Docs is a free Add-on created by Learn In 60 Seconds. With this free Add-on installed you can quickly search for an image. Search results appear in the right hand margin of your document. Double-click on an image to insert it into your document. You can resize the image just as you would any other image that you upload to a Google Document.
Knowing the right keyboard shortcuts to type the accents and characters is one of the challenges that students face when learning and trying to type in a new language. Easy Accents is a Google Docs Add-on that can eliminate that challenge. Easy Accents provides a virtual keyboard that enables students to quickly insert the letters and accents found in French, German, Spanish, Māori, and many other languages.
I don’t like it nearly as much I used to, but the EasyBib Bibliography Creator Google Docs add-on is still useful. The EasyBib Bibliography Creator makes it easy to cite resources and format a bibliography in APA, MLA, or Chicago style. As many teacher-librarians will be quick to point out, EasyBib isn’t always up to date with the latest requirements of APA and MLA.
The Tag Cloud Generator add-on will create a word cloud in the right-hand margin of any of your Google Documents that contain more than one hundred words. This is useful for quickly identifying the most frequently used words in a document.
5 Good Google Sheets Add-ons
Flippity provides teachers with twenty handy Google Sheets templates for creating things like quiz games, audio flashcards, and progress trackers. Flippity’s Google Sheets add-on that makes all of their templates available with just a couple of clicks in any of your Google Sheets. In this video I demonstrate how to install and use Flippity’s Google Sheets Add-on.
Flubaroo is not as popular as it once was, but it is still a great Google Sheets add-on. Flubaroo you grade all at once all of your students’ responses to a quiz created in Google Forms. You’re probably saying to yourself, “Google Forms does that too.” You’re right Google Forms does do that, but Flubaroo lets you do more than just grade quizzes. You can use it do things to print score sheets for your students, give students digital badges, and give partial credit for answers. Take a look at this video for an overview of ten things you can do with Flubaroo.
Online Rubric is a Google Spreadsheets Add-on that enables to you create rubrics, enter scores, and email scores to students all from one place. Online Rubric provides very clear instructions for each step of the processes of creating a roster sheet, creating a rubric, and emailing grades to students. This video provides a demonstration of how to use the Online Rubric Add-on.
Add Reminders is a Google Sheets add-on that will set-up your spreadsheet so that you simply enter reminder messages and email addresses then specify a date on which you want your reminders sent. The Add Reminders add-on allows you to send the same reminder to everyone in your email list or you can send individualized reminders to everyone in your email list. Watch this video to learn how to use the Add Reminders add-on.
If you’re the person in charge of scheduling conference room, computer lab, library, or science lab use, Lab Scheduler is the Add-on for you. This little Add-on will give your Google Sheet an easy-to-follow template for coordinating room use without the need to make a zillion entries in a Google Calendar. Share the Sheet with your staff as view-only so they can see who has reserved a lab.
5 Good Google Forms Add-ons
Certify’em is a Google Forms Add-on that makes it possible for you to issue automatically issue certificates to people who successfully complete your Google Form. When you enable Certify’em on a Form it will populate a couple of required fields in your Form and ask you to specify a minimum passing score. Complete those fields then write your quiz and set an answer key just as you would for any other quiz that you build in Google Forms. When students complete the quiz they will automatically receive PDF certificates in their email inboxes if they have passed the quiz. (If you want to use Certify’em to issue certificates without making people complete a quiz, just set one easy question as the only scored question).
Form Limiter is an Add-on that lets you automatically stop accepting responses at a specified time or when you have reached a specified maximum number of responses. This Add-on is excellent when you need to cap the responses you need for a volunteer activity. Obviously, it’s also good for imposing a time limit on your students to complete an assessment in Google Forms.
formRecycler is a free Google Forms Add-on that makes it easy to reuse questions from one Google Form into another form. When you have the formRecycler Add-on installed you can access all of your existing Google Forms and then pick questions from one of those existing Forms to use in a new form. You can use formRecycler multiple times on the same form and thereby include questions from multiple existing forms in your new form.
CheckItOut is a Google Forms Add-on that makes it easy to keep track of the things that you let kids borrow from your classroom. To use CheckItOut you create a Google Form with a drop-down question that lists all of the items you want students to be able to borrow. CheckItOut will automatically create a second question in which students can check in the items that they borrowed. Watch my video to see how it works.
Choice Eliminator is a Google Forms Add-on that lets you create a Form on which choices disappear after they have been used. For example, if I create a Google Form that has ten meeting times listed on it, once a meeting time has been selected it will disappear from the options available to subsequent visitors. Using Choice Eliminator is a good option for teachers who have personal Google Accounts, but don’t have G Suite for Education accounts.
5 Good Chrome Extensions for Teachers
Share to Classroom is a Chrome extension that makes it easy to quickly push a webpage to your students. You can use Share to Classroom to push the page just for your students to read or you can use the extension to create an assignment or discussion question.
Loom is a Chrome extension that you can use to create screencast videos. There are lots of other extensions that do the same thing. What I like about Loom is that you can use it to create and send a screencast directly from your Gmail inbox. Watch this video to see how it’s done.
ReCall Study Time is a Chrome extension for limiting the amount of time you spend on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Instagram. When you have ReCall Study Time enabled you will see a huge reminder to get back to work if you try to open one of those five social media sites. Learn more about ReCall Study Time and two similar extensions by watching this video.
The Google Keep Chrome extension that makes it easy to save bookmarks and notes to your Google Keep account. You can then access your notes and bookmarks at Keep.Google.com or view them through Google Docs. If you’re already using G Suite for Education, Google Keep is a convenient place to save your bookmarks and notes.
Audio Player for Google Slides answers the question, “how do I add music to Google Slides?” With Audio Player for Google Slides installed you can not only add music to play continuously in the background of a presentation you can also use it to record audio in your Google Slides.
In this video I demonstrate how to install, disable, and remove extensions from your Chrome web browser.