Activity - Using Google Tools

1. Reflect on these questions:
When did you start using Google? What tools have you used?

2. Explore the following Google tools:
Use Advanced Search Engine Features to find out:

  • the current temperature in Phoenix, AZ
  • how much a USDollar is worth in Canada
  • Search for information about the current best seller

3. Use Google as a Translator to convert a paragraph from English to Russian to Spanish, and back to English. Did the final paragraph equal the original?

4. Google is an educational website.  There is Google Scholar, a scholarly research search engine, and Google Educators, a collection of tools and websites geared towards K-12 educators.  GeoEducation includes Google Earth, and SketchUp.  These are tools  that can enhance  K-12 social studies, science, and math curricula. Search for the same things you used in activity #2 using Google Scholar. How are the results of this search different from the previous searches? How are they the same?

5. Google is a calendar.  The calendar can be used by everyone in the group to add events, schedule meeting rooms, or check out equipment. Find the KCS Google Calendar.

6. Google is a collaborative word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation software.  Watch this Common Craft Video to see how they can be used.  

7. Why should we use Google Docs in schools?  Watch this movie to find out.

8. Google is a Form. Create a Form in Google Docs to collect some data from your students. Save it and use it in your classroom.

9. Google+ is a Collaborative website.  Find a Google+ Circle to join.  What made this circle attractive to you?

10.  Try one of the remaining tools. (Blogger, Moderator, Course Builder, Scripting, Flubaroo, or Oppia).  How can you use it for instruction?

Additional Resources

Navigating Video
Searching Video

Google Sky

Google Lit Trips
Google Products List (more Google Tools!)
Official Google Blog
Google Earth Blog
Crisis in Darfur (Google Earth)
Here's a user manual (in comic book format)

Even more! What is a Mashup?

According to Duane Merrill, a mashup "draws upon content retrieved from external data sources to create entirely new and innovative services"

Liz Coleman has an excellent QuickTime video explaining how to use Google maps for content mashups.  Her bookmark list http://del.icio.us/ellejaycee/presentation has many curriculum references including a President's Birthplace Mashup, a Civil Rights Mashup, and one about Route 66.  Programmableweb.com is a Mashup directory where you can go to view Mashups created on a variety of topics, including the 7 Wonders of the World.  Try traveling through a book by using Lit Trips.

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