Google Drive has long been a useful tool for collaboration, communication, creativity, and critical thinking. Now, with the addition of “Add-Ons,” Google Drive has drastically increased its functionality. With “Add-ons,” users (staff and students) can add in specially created programs that interact with their Google Docs.

For example, students can install LucidPress and create Thinking Maps that can then be immediately embedded into their Google Doc. Or, teachers can use TextHelp and its highlighter tools to quickly and easily highlight student work. These Add-ons have been available for a while, but Google has now fully integrated them within Google Docs. Here’s how to access them:

  1. Open a Google Doc (either a new one, or one you’ve already created);
  2. Click on “Add-Ons;”
  3. Search for an Add-On that you want to install and click on it;
  4. Once you found the Add-on you want click on “+Free;”
  5. You will get a pop-up asking you to verify the install
  6. Click “Allow”
  7. Now, you have access to this Add-On
  8. To access it, in your Google Doc go back to “Add-Ons” and hover over the Add-On you wish to use