Home Free Tools & Resources App Ed Review Roundup: 4 Powerhouse Google Drive Add-ons

App Ed Review Roundup: 4 Powerhouse Google Drive Add-ons

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Add These Apps to Your Google Drive Now!

The flexible ways Google Drive can be used for education are borderline amazing! Whether it’s storing files, sharing information, or collaborating during a learning activity, teachers are coming up with really innovative ways for using Google Drive in their classroom. However, one of the sometimes overlooked features of Google Drive is the app market dedicated to it!

Teachers can add apps directly to their Drive by: Clicking the New button, Hovering over the next menu’s More button, and Scrolling down on the final menu before choosing the “Connect More Apps” option. They can then browse and search hundreds of apps. As teachers keep expanding developing methods for using the apps, we wanted to share some of our favorites. For each app we review, we write an original description that explains what teachers and students will experience when using the app, 3-5 ideas for using it in the classroom, and am evaluation of its strengths and shortcomings. Feel free to check out App Ed Review’s free edtech database for suggestions. Now, onto the Google Apps!

  1. PearDeck is the tool you have always wanted! With it, teachers can load a presentation (e.g., PowerPoint and Google Slide) into PearDeck and insert questions, polls, and comments into it. When ready, they can present the PearDeck to their students. To add engagement, students can log into the PearDeck presentation using their own devices. Once they do, they are locked into the presentation and can respond to the prompts the teacher embedded into it. This tool can encourage and development student engagement and accountability during the presentation of information. PearDeck is a “must” for teachers who have access to a class set of devices. Learn more here.
  1. WeVideo is a movie-making tool that syncs with Google Drive. With its easy-to-use interface, students and teachers can add audio tracks, images, screencasts, and more into the video and adjust how long each piece of content stays in it. When finished producing the video, it needs to be quickly rendered before it can be added to the student’s or teacher’s Google Drive as a video (mp4) file. These features make WeVideo a handy tool for the blended learning classroom. With it, students can make and record documentaries, newscasts, presentations, and performances. Because the final product is a video (mp4) file, it can be uploaded and shared with ease! With high scores for rigor and engagement, WeVideo is definitely worth taking the time to learn.
  1. Google Sites is new again! If you haven’t logged in and checked out Google Sites in a while, it is time to take a second glance. We admit, the first version was clunky and limited, but this new version with its “snap-together” interface makes adding content a breeze! Plus, Google Sites can be used in so many different ways in the classroom that it is one of the most flexible pieces of edtech there is! For example, students can make a Google Site to present information using multimedia, organizing it on different pages, and adding links; images; files, and text to it. One way we use Google Sites is to have students create and share ePortfolios. Check out our review of Google Sites to learn more.
  2. MindMup 2.0 is one of our all-time favorite tools for creating webs, and it saves directly into Google Drive. Have an idea or concept you want to develop? Well, with this Google app, you can click twice in the box that appears when you start a new web and type in the big idea. Next, you can add nodes to expand your first ideas. Plus, to help with your organization, you can color code and stylize the content. This tool is perfect for students to brainstorm a project, essay, or report. To learn more about MindMup 2.0, click here.

That’s all for this month’s Roundup.  If you would like more information about any of the apps mentioned here or that are on the App Ed Review website, please contact us at info@appedreview.com. And remember, Google Drive has its own apps!

 

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Alex Fegely is a Social Studies teacher at The Academy for the Arts, Science, and Technology, a STEM school in Myrtle Beach. In addition, Alex is an adjunct instructor at Portland State University. Previously, he has taught English and Digital Media. Alex believes that technology is an invaluable classroom tool for differentiating instruction and engaging learners.   Todd Cherner is an assistant professor of education at Coastal Carolina University. Previous to becoming a professor, Todd was a high school English and Journalism teacher at Leesburg High School, where he also coached bowling. Professionally, Todd believes technology's presence in education is going to continue to increase, and he wants to support teachers with quality resources for using technology effectively in the classroom.

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