Wednesday, September 10, 2008

What I Learned This Summer: Google Services can be adapted for classroom use!

Google has distinguished itself in the search engine wars, and has been added to the vernacular as a way to describe online search: "let's Google that". I've been using Gmail since it was in beta because that's what in-the-know techies do, play with new stuff, and of course Blogger was acquired by Google. Something I learned this summer is that Google continues to create many tools that can be adapted for use in the classroom! Below is the memo I shared with my colleagues detailing many tools Google provides, though every day I run across something new.

Update! This is a comic book version of introducing Google's tools!

The first place I learned about was Google for Educators, which is a community specifically for educators to develop curriculum and share with Google how they use Google in the classroom.

Then I saw Google Docs, which allows multiple users to update the same document at the same time, and all changes are saved, which would be great for your students' group projects. I use it to store information I need in multiple locations instead of using a USB drive. All I need is internet access to access my documents. I also found out about Google Forms: I set up a spreadsheet to compile information, a link is sent to everyone who needs to provide information to me, and the information is uploaded to the spreadsheet! Imagine how easy it will be to collect data from now on!

Then I reviewed Google Pages, which gives you a free website hosted by Google so you can create a class website. Everyone now has access to Google Sites, but you get the same thing: a free website! Many teachers use Google Sites to organize their lesson plans and provide access to students who are absent. This site can also be easily linked to our school homepage.

Then I found Google Groups, where you can send and receive information from a bunch of people, and all the information is stored in one place. You can create a group page for each subject, each class, each period, however you wish to organize your communications. Or you can have your students create a Google Group to save information for group projects.

I used Google Calendar to store all our Roosevelt events, which you can view from our school website If you create your own Google Calendar, you can include Roosevelt's calendar and this way you'll know not to schedule a vacation around a time when you'll be busy at school! f you add yourself as a contributor, you can even post local events on Roosevelt's calendar so our students know about things happening outside their immediate environment. Or you can use a calendar to create your pacing guide, and share with your fellow teachers so during department meetings everyone can visually see where other teachers are with their curriculum.

Today I learned about Google Custom Search Engine, which allows you to preselect websites for your students to use for an assignment so they don't waste time on sites that are not helpful.

There's so much more! Just for you, I found links to everything Google provides so you can maximize your Googling.
If you think these tools are as cool as I do, you can also join:
or start your own Roosevelt group for your department, committee, student group...the possibilities are endless!

1 comment:

Ms. Agbowo said...

This is a comic book version of introducing Google's tools!