What are recent questions educators have had when using Google Suites for Education (a.k.a. G Suite EDU)? In this blog entry, we explore three of their top questions.
Question #1: What Gmail add-ons and extensions or apps do you use?
“My school just switched our email to Gmail (finally!). What are the Gmail add-ons/extensions/tools you can’t live without?” asks Amanda Golby. Several respondents offered some suggestions. I share my thoughts after each.
- Boomerang: This add-on makes it easy to write an email, then schedule it to send later. I suppose this is handy if you’re French. Its best feature is the ability to track when people read your emails.
- Grammarly: As a writer, I find myself relying on the Hemingway Editor (web | Win/Mac app). If you need more support than that, this add-on may be worth the price. It will check your grammar, spelling as you type. The paid version expands the errors it can detect, suggestions it can offer.
As you can see, most of these are Chrome browser add-ons, rather than Gmail apps. My two favorite Gmail apps in the G Suite Marketplace include:
- Dropbox for Gmail: This makes viewing attachments and saving to Dropbox a breeze.
- Track and Sort: This app converts your email into a Google Doc “Email report” for sharing with others. Teachers might find this helpful when dealing with a long conversation thread. To print each email or copy-and-paste it would be time consuming. Instead, use Track and Sort to put into a nice format for sharing as a printable, single Google Doc. See example.
Explore the G Suite Marketplace to see what might catch your eye.
Question #2: How Do I mark up a Google Doc?
“Does anyone know of a Chrome extension that you can use to write all over Google Docs for feedback?” asks Cheryl Morrow. She’d rather do that than “printing off essays…the old fashioned way.”
Some relevant responses appear:
- Google Classroom: Open each document in Google Classroom and then adjust as needed. The document, along with your color-coded text, will be saved as a PDF. See instructions.
- Kaizena: Use this to leave voice feedback on Google Docs. Visit their website to see great examples that include audio and explainer videos.
- CheckMark: Add comments from a bank of remarks with this Chrome add-on.
- JoeZoo: Offers many features as a G Suite Marketplace app, including color-coded commenting.
- Record a video: Use a screencasting tool (e.g. Screencastify is my favorite) to record video comment.
For those that have access to Google Classroom on a tablet, you can write on Google Docs students create. Isn’t that amazing?
Question #3: How can I create a works cited page?
“What FREE app or add-on do you recommend for eighth graders to create citations and works cited pages?” asks Cynthia Smith. Several responses include:
- Mendeley: This cross-browser and platform citation tool makes capturing web-based citations a cinch.
- Zotero: It is a free, easy-to-use, open-source tool. Zotero is also cross-platform and works on the web. Its goal is to assist you in collecting, organizing, citing, and sharing research.
All tools offer citations in a variety of formats, such as APA and MLA. Some are free, while others cost money or do not come well-recommended. The latter include Apogee, BibMe, Cite This For Me, and EasyBib in case you want to try them out.
Top Three G Suite EDU Questions
Do you have practical, “tire meets the road” questions about G Suite in Education? Share them in the comments. Figured out some of your own solutions? Include them in the comments or send us a tweet @tceamg with the hashtag #tcea.