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10 Google Tools That Make Your Life Easier

10 Google Tools That Make Your Life Easier

By Maria Sellers

Google has a wealth of tools, but finding those tools that work specifically for a teacher requires some thought and research. As an eLearning Specialist, it’s my job to be a digital detective and find what’s truly worth the time and consideration of a teacher.

I’ve developed this list of must-have Google tools based on the following criteria:

  • Does it perform a task that used to demand a lot of my time?
  • Is the end result worth the time in training?
  • Will this allow for better organization for both the students and teacher?
  • Does this allow me to do something that I couldn’t do before?

Add these tools to your arsenal of teacher apps and programs—they may just make your life a little easier.

1. Google Keep

Google Keep is my new found treasure. I was the sticky note queen until digital sticky notes arrived in my life. No more sticky notes for wallpaper in my office! You can color code your notes, add check boxes, insert images, and share specific lists with individuals via email. Use this with your teaching peers as you organize or tackle a task and share to-do lists with students who may be falling behind or were absent.

2. Google Form

Traditional quizzes and assessments pose two problems: they take a lot of time to grade and don’t make it easy to analyze and assess the data for later use, which administrators want teachers to do.

Luckily, creating assessments with Google Forms is easy and can include one question or one hundred questions, depending upon your needs. Read number three (below) to save even more time with Google Forms.

3. Flubaroo

While many teachers have started using Google Forms regularly in their classroom, they’re still baffled by the various grading options that are available. Many teachers retort by saying, So, I’ve made this quiz, but the end result is a messy spreadsheet.

The solution, Flubaroo, arrived many years ago, but was still a complicated tool. Now, Flubaroo is a simple add-on. In your spreadsheet, click “Add-Ons” oin the tool bar, find Flubaroo, and add the tool.

The tool requests a few pieces of information from the teacher, analyzes the data from the Google Form quiz you choose, and provides both number and percentage results.

4. Online Rubric

As time-consuming as a rubric may seem, the end result is consistency. But, grading online essays or responses with a rubric is somewhat difficult. Online Rubric is another Google sheets add-on, and allows teachers to effectively use rubrics with ease. Use a pre-made template provided by Online Rubric or create a new one when grading the first student document.

5. Scholar.Google

Research is a necessary part of education, and students are completing most of their research online. Most teachers do not accept Wikipedia along with other websites as acceptable resources. Google Scholar allows students to search and save resources to their own library, create citations, and set alert queries for specific content. This digital card catalog provides resources without requiring students to be in the library or classroom.

6. Google Classroom

Organization is critical for teachers and students, and many tools have been paired with Google Drive in an effort to make this a reality for them. However, in my opinion, Google Classroom is the most efficient tool for the classroom.

Teachers create documents, assign the documents to students to use collaboratively or individually, and grade the documents upon completion—this all happens through Google, no distracting or confusing third party tools are involved.

Take this a step further by using Google Add-Ons, which can allow you to customize and amp up the experience.

7. Autocrat

As a facilitator for many online training sessions, I needed a way to keep track of points and award PGPs (Professional Growth Points). I created a beautiful completion certificate to award PGPs, but then I had to look back to the spreadsheet to fill it out. This process is fin until you have 100+ students to take care of in a week.

Then I found Autocrat, a Google sheets add-on, which allows me to merge my Google sheets information into a Google doc. Autocrat also makes it possible for Google sheets to auto create a certificate in docs for each student—not to mention, Autocrat can email this certificate to each student. It was almost digital magic the first time I tried it! Use this add-on to create completion certificates, feedback documents, discipline reports, and detention sheets.

Note: it’s important to watch the videos on the website before starting; there’s a small learning curve.

8. Pear Deck

Wish you could share your presentation with students? Are you seeking more student engagement? Pear Deck allows you to stream your Google slides presentation to student devices.

This tool is often compared with Nearpod, which allows for built-in, formative assessment, so it’s not in fact a true comparison.

9. g(Math)

Math seems to be left out in the digital world, but Google add-ons offers very useful tools for teachers and students. Mathtype is a challenge so I use to g(Math) in docs and sheets when typing math problems. Teachers and students can use functions in order to place an image of the graphed answer into their document. Statistics and charts can also be created through this add-on.

10. Easy Accents

Foreign Language keyboards are in demand for teachers and students right now and Google Drive does not offer a built in keyboard option. Thankfully, Easy Accents has offered a solution for this need, providing special characters for sixteen languages.

As you can see, the list of ways in which Google tools benefit teachers seems endless. We no longer have to be concerned with our computers crashing or losing a stack of papers—your entire classroom can be online. Check out those add-ons and find the amazing ways Google can make your life easier.

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10 Google Tools to Make Your Life Easier

 

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  1. Pingback: Google Docs Features Hidden in Plain Sight

  2. Pingback: 20 Best Google Education Resources for Teachers – Learn2Earn Blog

  3. Pingback: 10 Game-Changing Chrome Extensions and Add-Ons for Teachers

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