Teacher Zen with Google: 50+ Tips, Tools, & Apps

Recently added to the Survival Tips for Teachers!

“Learn with great passion. Learn with great enthusiasm.” – Lailah Gifty Akita

Google has many free incredible apps and tools that work on any device to bring you Teacher Zen. You can accomplish so many time consuming tasks, such as grading, assessment, providing feedback, research, creating spreadsheets, and more with Google Apps for Education (GAFE), Google mobile apps, extensions, add-ons, and scripts. Below is a slide presentation (download for free) of some of my favorite tips, tools, and resources to help you reach your Teacher Zen this year.

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  • To get the most out of Google, learn to use add-ons for each product. You can empower spreadsheets, documents, presentations, Hangouts on Air, and more by using free add-ons.
  • Cool Tip- with a gmail account when you add a +1 (or any number) to your email name before the @ sign and it acts like a different email but still goes to the original email address. This is helpful for creating multiple accounts on various apps or using your email to sign students up for apps and tools. I learned this tip from @Mgraffin.
  • Download the separate mobile apps for gmail, docs, spreadsheets, photos, drive, search, slides, and more.
  • To allow offline editing on your mobile device or tablet you have to turn on offline editing for each document, spreadsheet, or creation. If you have a Chromebook, it begins offloading these files for you.
  • Google Drive gives students free unlimited cloud storage for their creations.
  • With Google Drive, students can collaborate on documents, check their grammar and spelling, publish their work, format their work, cite resources, conduct scholarly research, translate, and so much more!
  • Empower yourself with apps and add-ons!
  • Be familiar with Andrew Stillman and his scripts for teachers, such as Doctopus, Goobric, and Formmule, Cloudlab.newvisions.org/add-ons
  • Why reinvent the wheel? Someone has shared a free template for you to edit so find it at Docs.google.com/templates
  • Use Google Chrome- a powerful browser you take wherever you are connected to the Internet.
  • Introduce your students to extensions to do mind-blowing things! Find some here and more here, Tackk.com/googledocsquickcreate and Bit.ly/50chrome!
  • I recommend getting the Extensify extension which helps you manage all your extension.
  • For Google Plus, your students must be at least 13 years- old. I love creating student communities on Google Communities with them on Google Plus.
  • Google Collections is one of the newest Google + features that works a lot like Pinterest where you can share collections of bookmarks.
  • Google Photos is now a separate app that allows you to search your photos for trees, profiles, etc., even if you didn’t label your photos.
    Cool trick- if you upload a Google photo of text to Google Drive, locate the file, then right click on the file and choose to open with Google Docs. This will turn that image into text.
  • With Google Hangouts on Air students, up to 10 can record themselves presenting, brainstorming, creating collaborative music, producing a video, and so much more! Empower your Hangout with Add-ons!
  • Connect with me on Google.com/+ShellySanchezTerrell for more tips and resources.
  • To discover more Google tips and tricks, follow #GAFE on Twitter.

Challenge: Try one of these Google tips, apps, add-ons or scripts to help you transform your teaching year!


Find the tools listed above and many more resources in the bookmarks below:

Google Tools, by shellyterrell

If you enjoyed these ideas, you may want to get your copy of The 30 Goals for Teachersor my $5.99 ebook, Learning to Go, which has digital/mobile activities for any device and editable/printable handouts and rubrics. Subscribe for FREE to receive regular updates!

Shelly Terrell

Shelly Sanchez Terrell (@ShellTerrell) is an award winning digital innovator, an international speaker/consultant, and the author of Hacking Digital Learning with EdTech Missions, The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers, and Learning to Go. She has trained teachers and taught English language learners in over 20 countries as an invited guest expert by organizations, like the US Embassy, UNESCO Bangkok, Cultura Inglesa of Brazil, the British Council in Tel Aviv, IATEFL Slovenia, HUPE Croatia, ISTEK Turkey, and Venezuela TESOL. She has been recognized by several organizations and publications as a leader in the movement of teacher driven professional development as the founder and organizer of various online conferences, Twitter chats, and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Two of the projects she co-organized were shortlisted for ELTons, #ELTChat and the Virtual Round Table Language and Technology online conference. She was named Woman of the Year by the National Association of Professional Women, awarded a Bammy Award as a founder of #Edchat, and named as one of the 10 Most Influential People in EdTech by Tech & Learning. Her greatest joy is being the mother of baby Savannah and Rosco the pug. Shelly has an Honors BA in English with a Minor in Communication and a specialization in Electronic Media from UTSA, a Masters in Curriculum Instruction ESL from the University of Phoenix, and a CELTA from CELT Athens. She regularly shares her tips for effective technology integration via Twitter (@ShellTerrell), Facebook.com/ShellyTerrell, and on her blog, TeacherRebootCamp.com, which has won several awards and recognitions as one of the top ESL, Edtech and Elearning blogs. Find over 400 of her slide presentations at https://www.slideshare.net/ShellTerrell/presentations

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