More and more of us are moving to tools such as Google Apps for Educators, Chromebooks, and mobile devices. We’re using the Cloud to create and share information. I’m not always convinced that’s a good thing, especially when the bandwidth is minimal and internet speeds are slow. But when it works, I love the ability to write and communicate stuff via the Interwebs.

And Google is working to make it even easier by launching add-ons for Google Docs and Sheets. This basically means that there is now a specific place dedicated to tools and features that can help you and your students do more with Google Drive. It’s basically a Google App Store just for those of us using Drive that’s gonna make our lives just a bit simpler.

Because the Add-On option is fairly new, there isn’t a huge number of choices yet. But Google is open sourcing this so expect more and more goodies to start showing up.

To use the Add-on option and to browse through all the options, open any of your documents or spreadsheets (or create a new one), select Get add-ons from the Add-ons menu on the menu bar across the top of your document.

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I’ve already added a couple of my favorites but you can see the link to Get add-ons and to Manage add-ons. The first opens the Add-on store and the second lets you manage the Add-ons that you’ve already installed.

You can find tools like Thesaurus, EasyBib, highlighters, translation apps, mind-mapping tools like Gliffy and MindMeister, and I really like the possibilities of the Google Maps app. The cool Mapping Sheets tool is a fast and easy way to make custom Google Maps. If you have a Google Sheet filled with names and addresses, you can instantly create a Google Map from it. This means you can create a giant map with all of that information plotted out. Think battles. Explorers. Economic data. Geography lessons.

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Like I said, still small potatoes in terms of the number of apps available but it’s sure to grow. Keep checking back and let us know what else you discover.