What the Tech?

Using the Google Tools and Add-Ons Available in Docs

Google Docs isn't just for typing our written work anymore. There are quite a few useful tools and add-ons that make Docs a valuable tool for all subject areas. Not only can we collaborate within a document, but we can also do research, define words, use voice typing, write bibliographies, translate... the options are endless. Check out a few of my favorites below and I will see you tomorrow morning to show you how they work!

The Research Tool

This one is my absolute favorite! One thing I always hated was constantly switching back and forth between tabs or having to copy and paste resource links into my documents. The research tool in Google Docs will open up a mini Google on the side of your document and you can search the web right from your file. Need to add a link? Use the Insert Link button. Looking for a quote or a photo for your project? Go no further, you can search for information, photos, quotes, tables, and more. All from within your document.

Voice Typing

Another really useful feature. Voice typing is a tool in Docs that allows you to speak instead of type. This is great for students with special needs or for students who just don't have the stamina yet to type those long narratives or research pieces. Plus, it can recognize 48 different languages so it can also be used with your ESL or ELL students and then translated (using another tool in Docs). Voice typing can be used in Chrome and/or on your iPhone or iPad.

Translate Document

This does exactly what it says. Whether you type or use the voice typing feature, you can translate an entire document into another language in less than a minute. This can used with students in ESL or in the World Language curriculum.

And now the add-ons...

There are so many little helper tools available in the add-ons store and many of them are free. Some of my favorites include:


EasyBib: Helps students to create bibliographies for their papers

Table of Contents: Create a table of contents for the various pages in your Doc

Thesaurus: Find synonyms and antonyms easily

Word Cloud Generator: Create a word cloud from your Doc to see what words you use most, etc...

Texthelp Highlighting Tools: Full set of highlighters. Can take all of your highlighted sections and put them into one Doc for you.