Adding to Student Success with Google Add-ons

I don’t work at a learning institution that uses Google Classroom, but I do require students to sign up for a Google account. With a Google Drive account, students and teachers have access to incredible time-saving studying features and tools. These features make it easy to support learners with special needs, language learners, or promote student autonomy.

This year I decided to introduce students to the Add-ons in Google Docs instead of Google Chrome extensions. We just had too many problems with installation and permissions from the network administrators. Additionally, many of the great extensions require registration, which is a hassle. Many Add-ons are free and require no registration. Instead, students and teachers allow access to their Google account. To access, simply click the Add-on tab and click Launch. The Add-on appears on the sidebar. Below is a video tutorial on how this process works. Find Add-ons for math, writing, grammar, grading, MLA formatting, text-to-speech, and so much more! Below find recommendations for some awesome free Add-ons that require no registration.

Get your copy of Hacking Digital Learning, The 30 Goals Challenge, or Learning to Go. Ask me about training your teachers,!

Recommended Add-Ons

  • Grackle Marks is one of my favorite add-ons we are using this year to annotate, note-take, and peer edit work. You have access to quick highlighting and commenting.
  • Grade Proof AI is a basic grammar and spelling check that identifies some errors. No grammar check really catches all errors, but this one does a good job of identifying and explaining the error. Students decide to fix the errors with the recommendations. No registration is required unlike many of the other grammar checks.
  • MLA Formatting- Students no longer need to struggle with MLA format. This add-on automatically format their papers into MLA format.
  • Mindmeister- Quickly turn any bulleted list into a mind map.
  • Word Cloud Generator- Quickly create word clouds with the text in any Google Doc.
  • URL Shortener- Quickly create a short url for any document, spreadsheet, or form.
  • DocuTube- Do you like to create video lessons or flip instruction? Any YouTube video link in your document will play in the sidebar. You never have to leave the Google Doc with the questions, notes, or activities.
  • DocAssist- Create rubrics for student work in Google Docs and easily grade with a rubric. Add text or audio comments. Students receive a pdf with these comments.
  • Business Hangouts- Create a quick video chat for any Google Doc to aid in the collaboration of global collaboration projects or group work.
  • Template Gallery- Access tons of templates for creating schedules, calendars, grading, and so much more.

Challenge: Introduce your learners to Add-ons or use some to save you time!

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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),, and on her blog,, 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


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