Recently Google Workspace Apps updated to have a more “blue” design. Google has been moving features around in the menus for the last year. This recent update to the user interface has eliminated the Explore button. This was the star shape icon located at the bottom right of the Doc, Sheets, or Slides. Now it is gone.
Is Explore the Victim of AI?
Google announced they were bringing AI chatbot capability to Google Workspace. When this will be officially revealed to the public is anyones guess. I got access to Bard chatbot which I’m guessing is what the AI chatbot capabilities in Google Docs will be based on. It’s definitely in Beta, meaning it isn’t great… YET.
If I were to guess, the planned AI chatbot (Bard) integration makes the Explore button nearly obsolete.
Of course, again, when do those features hit Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides? When it’s ready. Google is asking people to test out and give feedback on Bard. Which means they are not at the phase of being ready to make it standard in Google Docs. However, the race is on… I would expect it to be pretty soon.
Don’t Worry Explore is Still There
While the Star icon in the bottom right is missing the feature is not. It’s just less convenient to access.
What is the Explore Tool?
The Explore tool uses Machine Learning, which is a form of AI, to make predictions based on your content.
Explore Tool in Google Docs
Teachers can use the Explore tool in Google Docs to find information and explore the web without having to leave their document. This can be helpful for a variety of tasks, such as:
- Finding images and videos to illustrate a lesson. The Explore tool can help teachers find images and videos that are relevant to their lesson. This can help to make the lesson more engaging and memorable for students.
- Finding websites that provide additional information on a topic. The Explore tool can help teachers find websites that provide additional information on a topic that they are teaching. This can help students to learn more about the topic and to get a different perspective on it.
- Finding resources for students to use in their own projects. The Explore tool can help teachers find resources that students can use in their own projects. This can help students to be more creative and to produce better work.
Explore Tool in Google Slides
The Explore tool in Google Slides is an invaluable feature designed to help teachers create visually appealing and well-organized presentations with minimal effort. By clicking on the Explore button, educators can access a variety of design suggestions, templates, and layouts customized for their presentation’s content, saving time and improving the overall appearance of their slides.
Examples of how teachers can use the Explore tool in Google Slides:
- Accessing design suggestions tailored to presentation content
- Browsing and selecting from a variety of templates and layouts
- Creating engaging, informative, and professional-looking presentations
- Searching for images, facts, and resources related to the presentation topic
- Streamlining content creation by incorporating relevant, high-quality materials
- Enhancing lesson delivery with visually appealing presentations
Explore Tool in Google Sheets
The Explore tool in Google Sheets is a valuable feature that helps teachers analyze and visualize data more efficiently and effectively. With the click of the Explore button, educators can access an intelligent assistant that provides insights, charts, and analyses based on the data in their spreadsheet.
Examples of how teachers can use the Explore tool:
- Identifying trends in student performance to inform teaching strategies
- Analyzing assessment results to target areas for improvement
- Creating charts to visualize class progress or demographics
- Comparing data across multiple classes or years for curriculum planning
- Generating insights to support data-driven decision-making in school management
- Simplifying grade calculations and generating visual representations for report cards
- Asking questions in natural language to extract specific information or custom visualizations
Where Did the Explore Tool Go?
It is not as convenient but you can use the Tools menu in Docs, Sheets, and Slides to open the Explore tool back in the sidebar.
Now that the Explore tool is not so easy to access it is probably worth your time to learn the keyboard shortcut. Ctrl + Alt + Shift + i
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