Graphing Calculator…Photo Editing…AutoCAD…Oh My!

While investigating some changes in our Google Apps For Education (GAFE) – Drive account (formerly called Google Docs), I have learned that we can no longer create a new document from a template.  Part of the Drive account (your online document storage location) now allows you to add apps to your drive screen; so I decided to see if I could add an app that would run the template setup.  I didn’t have much luck there but I did find some new apps that I felt were worth sharing.

A few weeks ago I described a video app – WeVideo, that connects into your Drive account and allows you to create and collaborate with others on a video project, so you aren’t tied down to one computer.  Now I have learned of a few other apps you should know about:

  •  Graphing Calculator by Desmos – you can add this app to your Google Drive account so that you can create online graphs that have more detail then excel and greater possibilties than your online google spreadsheets allows.  This graphing calculator app allows you to graph mathematical equations to create an elipse, a parabola, a hyperbola, and others.  Check out this video to see more: Graphing Calculator by Desmos.
  • MindMeister – create and share mind maps online.  This means you can easily create and collaborate with others to organize ideas, brainstorm an essay, detail the steps in a lab, or map out the script for your next video.  When it is connected in your Google Drive you can connect it with others for a collaborative effort.
  • PicMonkey and Pixorial – edit pictures from your online photo storage – Picasa (part of the GAFE).  Create a photo collage, teeth whiten, add filters, edit the photo itself, cropping and more.  Remember it is online…no need to use the photo editing software anymore tied to that one computer.
  • AutoCAD WS – upload, edit, and share AutoCAD files.  You can now work on an AutoCAD project online from any computer without being tied to specific machine, and again it’s FREE.

You will find many more apps to connect with your Google Drive account.  Take some time to check them out!  They are online…means available anytime and anywhere from any computer and sometimes even those handheld devices.

How to Add These Apps to Google Drive:

  1.  First these apps only connect with your Drive account (easily) in the Google Chrome browser…not in Firefox or Internet Explorer.
  2. Sign in to your Google Apps account – ex.  All students and staff have an account.  Email me if you need a password reset.
  3. In the menu at the top of your Chrome browser, click on your drive account.
  4. Now, click on the button that says “Create” and choose “Connect More Apps”.
  5. A menu will appear on the screen that allows you to browse for all types of apps that can be connected to your Google Drive account.  Just search for the one you want and click “Connect”.  You will now see the app listed in your “create” menu just like a new document or presentation.
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