February 19th – A Week With Google Drive Day 5

In Google Docs/Slides/Sheets some of the most powerful resources you’ll find are from the “Add-On’s” which Google has given 3rd Party access to develop “add-ons” to their products.  I’ve talked, and will continue to talk, about a few I really like for Sheets.  Google Drive has similar “Add-On’s” which are Apps that use the platform.  There is a giant online store full of them you can check out, but below I’m going to give a brief review of a few helpful ones.

February 19th – “A Week With…” Google Drive

When inside your Google Drive you can click the new button to create a new Doc, Sheets, or Slides, but if you scroll to the “More >” option it’ll open up to Google Draw, Google Forms and something called “Google My Maps” and the option for “Connect More Apps”.  Do it.  Most of them are free and really useful. Below are a few I’ve found and have been very useful in my teaching.

Adding Apps to Google Drive
Adding Apps to Google Drive

1.) Editey
Pros: It’s (the default one) an online instant HTML/CSS editor that students can see their work instantly.  Helps them to add in CSS via separate external file to show the true power of CSS and helps them to make connections to why it’s important (and not to use internal or inline style)
Cons: Seems to be having some issues with Google Drive – I checked out their blog and they said Google changed some permissions and they are working to resolve them – stay tuned!

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2.) StackEdit
Pros: It’s another HTML editor and has a slick interface which is closer to what industry professionals use (rather than Editey)
Cons: A little tricky to figure out and I had a tough time working with all 34 of my students to help them understand the platform – the main reason we went with Editey as a class with Chromebooks

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3.) MindMeister
Pros: This isn’t the only Mind Mapping software available (see the screenshot) but I feel it’s the best with the options you can create colorful text and maps.  You can also export to PDF and images without the upgrade
Cons: Only 3 MindMaps at a time.

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4.) Pixlr
Pros: A free (with some ads) alternative to Adobe Photoshop.  Very powerful and a nice step up from Google Draw, but will get you ready for Adobe Photoshop when you are ready to spend the money
Cons: The ads take up a lot of space on the screen, and when you come from learning Adobe Photoshop (or a like powerful product) it’s hard to adjust down to this free version – I suggest starting with this and maxing it out before jumping to Photoshop

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There are dozens more available and you’ll have hits and misses, but you’ll learn a little something about everything in the process!

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