Monday, March 4, 2019

How to Install Google Docs Add-ons Individually and School-wide

I've written about Google Forms and Google Docs add-ons in a coupe of recently posts. It occurs to me that if you're new Google Docs, you might not know how to install the add-ons that I've featured in those recent posts.

How to Distribute Add-ons School-wide
If you're in a school that uses G Suite for Education it is possible for your administrator to install add-ons on your behalf. That's a great option when you to ensure that all of your students have the same add-ons correctly installed. That process is outlined in this video.

How to Install Add-ons Individually
Installing add-ons on your own is a great way to try them out before deciding to ask your G Suite administrator to add them to your students' accounts. To do this simply open the "Add-ons" drop-down menu while viewing any of your Google Documents and then select "Get Add-ons." When the "Get Add-ons" menu opens you can browse for add-ons and read their descriptions. When you find one that you want to try, click the blue "+Free" button. The whole process is demonstrated in the following video.

My 5 Favorite Google Docs Add-ons

Last Friday I shared my five favorite Google Forms add-ons. That same day I posted a video featuring a convenient hack for speeding up the process of commenting on students' Google Docs. Those posts spurred a couple of emails from readers regarding Google Docs add-ons. The following are my favorite 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.

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