Experimenting with add-ons to google docs

This week I have been playing around with google drive, specifically some of the apps attached that can enhance docs, sheets and forms.  I’ve discovered how to use the ‘flubaroo’ add on for google forms that allows auto-marking of multiple choice quizzes.  These are becoming an essential part of the course and projects we are building, to allow students to self-assess their progress and become more autonomous with their learning and their progress.

Experimenting with a google doc below for example;

EasyBib’ an easy bibliography creator looks like it could have potential, where students are doing large research projects they should be referencing their sources.  This apps allows students to record the websites they use for instance, creating an automatic bibliography.  Would be useful for our dereliction project for instance, where students have been researching the background to a derelict part of the world.

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‘Kazeina’ – This add on allows for more effective feedback to student work.  I’m really looking forward to experimenting with this.  It allows teachers or students to highlight parts of the document and give feedback in audio or written form.  It is also possible to attach a full document to a highlighted part of a student assignment, this could be used I imagine to extend or differentiate e.g. by attaching an interesting article or a writing structure respectively.  This could be a time saver and lead to more effective and meaningful feedback.  For example, it is not always possible to give full and clear feedback in written form, students often want further clarification.  The audio recording tool could overcome this issue.

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‘ProWritingAid’ looks interesting, although it is a premium add on and costs.  I like the look of the plagiarism check, could be used as a deterrent to students ever copying and pasting.  However, it costs $5 for 5 checks. Other tools within the add-on maybe benefitial to students, although one may argue that students should develop the skill of assessing their own writing themselves.

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‘GradingHelp’ potentially looks tremendous.  It creates a comment on a range of literacy functions that would make teacher and peer assessment much more efficient.  It might take a bit of getting used to, however, it is worth experimenting with.

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There is also a ‘translate’ add on with obvious uses for EAL students, a ‘Highlight tool’, ‘Thesaurus’ and ‘URL shortener’ for example, that could improve students outcome and outputs.

I will reflect on how I use the add ons in a future blogpost.  There are also add ons for sheets and forms that I am yet to explore.  With a unit for year 7 based on data collection and presenting findings, i’m sure we can experiment with more add ons and ensure students make full use of this technology to enhance their learning and outcomes.

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