Best Google Slides Add-Ons For Teachers
Whether you’re primarily a remote instructor or forced to teach online as a result of the recent COVID-19 pandemic, you’ve probably heard of or maybe used Google Slides for a presentation.
It’s a simple online tool purposely created for presentations with the added value of easy multiple user collaboration.
Google Slides like most Google services is free of charge, easy to use, and most importantly extendable.
Simply creating your PowerPoint-style presentation is great but Google Slides now comes with the extensions that can enable you to take your presentations beyond just the slides.
These extensions or add-ons can help make your presentations interactive and engaging, thereby increasing the productivity of your lessons.
These are simply third-party applications that can be installed or added to a Google Slide presentation to add additional or extended functionalities.
Google Slides Add-Ons For Teachers
Are you a math or chemistry instructor looking to include some math equations or chemical formulas in your presentation?
MathType has you covered. It is a user-friendly add-on that enables users to easily write their equations and chemical formulas.
To top it off, users using touch devices can draw or handwrite their equations which MathType converts into perfect digital equations.
MathType creates and inserts equations in the form of images that can be edited or deleted by the user.
The addon is not free but provides a 30-day trial. It also integrates into Google Docs, Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and many other office tools.
Once you’ve subscribed to the service, the add-on will be available to be integrated into all these applications.
Simply try it out to see if it’s worth all the buzz before making any purchasing decision.
Another add-on for creating mathematics equations is Hypatia. It is a free and easy-to-use add-on that makes it easy to create complex maths equations.
Like MathType, Hypatia has an easy-to-use interface and equations can be created right away on your Google Slides with no difficulty.
But unlike MathType, Hypatia is free for both teachers and learners to use but may require some licensing in the case of an institution.
Institutional licensing also comes with “sketching” and “colors in math” features which are not available in the free version for teachers and students.
These two features are not a necessity so picking the free version should help you create any equations you’d like to create.
Want to add a mind map, flow chart, or even an entity-relational diagram to your slides? Lucidchart has you covered.
It is an application that enables users to create whichever kind of chart they’d like to with the added advantage of being collaborative.
This means you and your colleagues can work on the diagram at the same time and then insert it into Google Slides.
It integrates with multiple applications including Microsoft Teams, Salesforce, Slack, Jira, Microsoft Office, G Suite, and many more.
Lucidchart has a free version as well as a paid version and comes with nice templates to get you started.
It has drag-and-drop functionality and helps you quickly link individual objects in your chart. You can also share your Lucidchart with colleagues.
Overall, it is one of the best applications for creating diagrams, and its integration into Google Slides makes it easy for any instructors or users to leverage most of its functionalities for free.
Want to take learner engagement to the next level? Nearpod is the tool for you. It enables users to create engaging lessons containing virtual reality, 3d objects, and many more.
Easily create quizzes, polls, open-ended questions, collaborative boards, and gamified activities for your learners.
Using the Nearpod panel on your Google Slides, you can add a kind of content to your presentation.
Add a collaborative board to your slides to enable learners to add their responses and see each other’s responses.
Additional tools include the “Draw It” tool which enables learners to easily draw their responses to a question.
This makes it a perfect tool for K-12 learner training. These are only a few of the tools available for teachers to create great lessons.
Other tools include the “VR Field Trip, Fill in the Blanks, Fligrid, Matching Pairs, Memory Test, Quiz, Simulation” and many more.
Nearpod is loaded with great tools which help instructors create interactive and fun lessons.
Although Nearpod has a free package as well as premium subscription packages, their Google Slides add-on is only available with their Gold package and above.
But feel free to try it out as users who install the add-on get access to a free month’s worth of Gold package subscription.
If you’ve ever searched for free images, you’ve probably come across Unsplash at some point. Unsplash is a platform dedicated to sharing stock photography.
It has a huge growing library of images and perfect for finding high-quality images for any presentation.
Images from Unsplash are completely free and can be used for both personal and commercial use without fear of copyright infringement.
You can access these high-quality images, download them, and include them in your presentations but thanks to their free Google Slides add-on, users can now search for an image right inside their Google Slides and include these images into their presentations.
If you’re like me, selecting colors for your slides can take quite a bit of time. On second thought, selecting colors for any kind of design can take a boatload of time.
This is what makes Paletti a great add-on. It’s a simple and free add-on that enables users to color individual slides or the whole presentation at the click of a button.
You can create your own palettes, and save them for future use or you can select from 200 preloaded palettes.
Tired of looking for colors every time you start a new presentation? Simply save your preferred colors for background, shapes, borders, lines, and text with Paletti and apply them whenever you start your presentation.
If you know or have a JSON code, you can simply import it into Paletti or export your saved palette.
Arguably the most popular Google Slides add-on, Pear Deck for Google Slides Add-on enables you to turn your slides interactive.
Presentations don’t need to be boring anymore. Teachers can now quickly assess whether learners are following the lesson to make informed decisions before continuing to subsequent slides.
With Pear Deck, can easily engage students and receive anonymous feedback on learners’ understanding of the subject matter.
While apps like EdPuzzle enable users to integrate questions inside their videos to make them interactive, Pear Deck for Google Slides Add-On helps you integrate questions in any presentation.
Check out our article on the best apps and tools for online teachers to find out more about EdPuzzle and other relevant tools for your lessons.
Pear Deck also comes with a library of gorgeous templates designed to support the class’s learning objective.
Once your lesson has been created, simply share a link to www.peardeck.com/join along with a session code for learners to join the presentation.
A user-friendly dashboard displays answers and responses from learners who have been prompted to provide answers on respective slides.
Pear Deck is free but a premium version is available which provides access to extended features.
Another simple and essential add-on for Google Slides is the Extensis Fonts. Extensis Fonts enables users to easily select the font they want to use for their slides.
Instead of looking through the Google Font menu and trying fonts one at a time, Extensis Fonts enables users to easily access their fonts in the panel on the right.
You will be able to easily preview your fonts before applying your chosen fonts to your text.
Additionally, you can sort fonts by trends and other criteria. Extensis Fonts is a free add-on and helps to make font selection easier when preparing presentations.
Another very important add-on for presentations that involve learners from varying nationalities is the Slides Translator add-on.
This easy-to-use add-on enables users to translate the contents of a selected textbox into their preferred language.
The add-on automatically detects the language in your textbox and translates it into your selected language.
It also includes the “Voice Typing” tool which provides speech-to-text functionality in over 60 language dialects.
The Bottom Line
There’re multiple tools available geared towards making your job as a teacher easier and Google Slides is one such application.
With its extensive capability, teachers can now leverage this application even with or without your institution have access to a learning management system.
By leveraging some of the add-ons for Google Slides, lessons can become more interactive and productive.
Most Google Slide extensions are free but some add-ons include premium functionalities that are only available on subscription.