26 Replies Latest reply on Nov 22, 2009 6:43 PM by holmesg

    I'm a Googler; are you?

    Bonnie Feather

      Imentioned in another area that I wanted to start a discussion on Google Features and Apps.  Here it is!  I hope everyone will stop by and tell us about a feature of Google they are using in their classroom, with their staff, personally, and especially in their Intel Teach (R)trainings.


      1. Google Docs:  I first saw this in action at the Summit 2008.  We used a Google spreadsheet in an Essentials environment to put in the "starter" CFQ's.  Participants logged in to the document and added their ideas of how to create an Essential Question from a given Unit question, content questions from a given Essential Question, and so on.  I was so impressed by this collaborative tool!  I have used it and shared it in many classroom situations now. To learn more, go to Google => More (at the upper left) => Documents.
      2. Google Squared: I love this!  Go to www.google.com/squared   You can choose one of the squares linked at the bottom to see how it works.  Or, just put in your topic (dogs- or Elizabethan England, or whatnot) into the little search window, and see what happens!  you can refine this to add more columns.  Don't miss the "Show next 10" link at the bottom of your screen.
      3. Wonder Wheel:  Once you have done a Google Search, look at the top left of your screen for the words "Show Options."  It comes after "Web" and a little + sign.  Then scroll down on the left and click on "Wonder Wheel"  Your search string will be in the center, with possible related categories at the end of spokes.  Sometimes this can be a good way to teach how and why to refine your search strings!
      4. Speaking of teaching Search: www.google.com/educatorshas a wealth of materials for just that!  You will find posters to print out for your wall, classroom activities and tools, and information about the Google Teacher Academy- it's offered several times a year.  You'll also find a link to their Search Lessons.


      I could go on and on, but I look forward to reading about YOUR favorite Google tools!

        • Re: I'm a Googler; are you?

          I have to say I love Google Docs also!  Google has something for everyone.  Two of my favorite tools recently are Google translator and the Advanced search where I can choose the type of file I would like.  An example would be PowerPoint and it narrows down the options to any ppt on that topic.  Instead of millions of sites to scroll through, it specifies the file.  Makes my life easy when creating and pulling together presentations.

          • Re: I'm a Googler; are you?

            Bonnie- I agree with all that you shared and then some. I think right now my two favorites are Google Groups and Google Calendar.  Groups I have been using with my daughter and Girl Scouts- her troop manages their group and they post and organize their content online.  It is great teaching the girls and their parents all about communicating virtually.


            Google Calendar I love because I have so many different calendars that I can easily bring into one - they kids keep their calendars for posting assignments and personal events which clues me in on what they are doing.  We also have one for each of the sports that my kids participate in- they can then link that to their personal calendar and we can have it display with our calendar.


            Unfortunately my kids can't access Google at school - hopefully this is something that will change and I am definitely working on it. I too would love to hear how else people are using Google and what their favorites are. Julia

              • Google at school
                Bonnie Feather

                Julia brings up a point: her children are blocked from using Google at school.  Many schools and districts are using Google Apps in an "isolated" environment.  Staff and students are able to use such applications as Docs and sites within their own domain only.


                I understand that we are responsible for security of our students, but this makes me crazy in my own practice!  I have an account login to all the Google Apps for the local district where I work, another for the statewide portal for educators, and yet another for the wider "open" Google.  The consequence is constant problems among those logins, ability to post on all the calendars, and find all of the documents and emails notifying me that I have new Google Documents shared with me.


                Is it worth creating these problems for our students?  What is the real message we are sending them with all these obstacles?


                Does anyone else cope with similar issues, or is it just me?

              • Re: I'm a Googler; are you?

                In Louisiana, we use Google Docs in our LaTEL training. Participants use Docs to upload their Unit Plan and share with the instructor and their partner. We also use Docs to have participants share information on collaborative tools that are used in their Unit Plan. It is a great way for students to share their work with the instructor.

                • Re: I'm a Googler; are you?

                  Bonnie, I just checked out the Wonder Wheel! What a great tool! I can't wait to share it with the teachers in my trainings.

                  • Custom Search Engine: HowTo
                    Bonnie Feather

                    OK, I'm seeing some other great uses of Google Tools.  Have you made your very own "Custom Search Engine?"   This is a way to include ONLY the websites you would like your students to search.  So, maybe they are doing a report or a project and you want to limit their searches to save time and to avoid getting lost in the web.  This is easy!  Here's how:

                    1. Go to http://www.google.com/coop/cse
                    2. Sign in to your Google account.  (Remember for this you can create your account with any email- it doesn't have to be a gmail account.)
                    3. Click the "Create a Custom Search Engine" button.
                    4. Follow the on-screen prompts and fill out the necessary information.  You'll be adding only the website URLS you want included in your search engine.  It will give you the link to your engine, which you provide to students.
                    5. You can share it iin two ways:
                      1. Copy the URL from the homepage of your Custom Search Engine.
                      2. Use the provided code to embed a custom search box widget into your blog, webpage, or wiki.  From the control panel of your CSE (custom search engine) look for the link to "Code" at the bottom.
                    6. Happy Searching!
                    • Your own Library Search
                      Bonnie Feather

                      OK, I admitted it at the beginning of this thread: I love Google!  So, do you know how to create your own "Library?"

                      It's a part of Google Books.  Google> More> Books.  This in itself is fabulous!  Put in a fragment of text and it will tell you what book it's from!


                      But wait, there's more!  At the upper right, you will see a link to "My Library."  Here's where the REAL fun begins.  You can input all the books on your personal shelf and search them!  Or, you can add books from the Internet.  I have added books that are in the public domain, so I, my students and friends can search them and even read them or print them online, FREE!  You can see others' libraries!

                      If you want students to create their own libraries, they will need their own Google login.  If you want them to create a library collaboratively, they may all share a login.


                      Create Your Library

                      • Go to: books.google.com
                      • Click the "My library" link in the upper right corner
                      • Sign in to your Google Account.
                      • Search for a book title and/or author
                      • when you find the book you want, click the "Add to my Library" link!


                      View/Edit your library

                      • Click the "My library" link after you are logged in to your Google Account
                      • Toggle between the list view and the cover view by clicking the links in the upper-right corner
                      • In the list view, you can:
                        • Add notes
                        • Add labels
                        • Write a review
                        • Delete the book from your library

                      Share your library

                      • Send your library to others using the URL in the address window of your browser
                      • Re: I'm a Googler; are you?

                        I also love Google, and I use Google Docs all the time.  I use it in almost every workshop I teach to share handouts or hold group discussions.  Each team just enters their ideas on a different tab of a Google spreadsheet, and then they can use the chat feature to discuss and compare everyone's ideas.  I've used Google Docs on a personal level to co-plan a party with a friend.  And, I use it just like a flash drive to hold my most frequently used files online - as a backup.  Since I do a lot of traveling and visiting so many different campuses, it's nice to be able to access my files from anywhere.


                        I just learned 3 new things from reading this post - the Wonder Wheel, Google Squared, and Google Books.  Very cool!  I'll have to play with these some more.

                        • Re: I'm a Googler; are you?

                          Bonnie - Thanks for the information! My favorite Google Tool is Moderator. Some time ago I posted a document explaining the tool and how it can be used. I had great success using Moderator to develop vision statements for technology plans. Id anyone would care to view the document here's the direct link: http://engage.intel.com/docs/DOC-1550

                          • Re: I'm a Googler; are you?

                            I am a huge proponent of Google docs in my college class. We often use spreadsheets - and get great feedback from my students. I also use Google Calendar with my younger son's hockey team and I use both spreadsheets and calendar with my women's sailing association.

                            I had my son's teachers use Google Docs for peer reviewing, but again, since it is blocked at school.....

                            I also used Google docs at a conference during a workshop - so that teachers could add ideas over time - and they actually have (which is pretty amazing!)

                            And I really like that you don't have to have a Google account now - that is a huge plus.

                              • Re: I'm a Googler; are you?

                                Dealing with the same issue with my daughter's school. Working on a cool project with Google Maps for a Social Studies Methods course- plan on then sharing with my daughter's district and seeing if her SS teacher can't do the project what alternative they propose.  Hopefully it will be such a powerful use- they will see there is no alternative.


                                If you have any tips to share on how you got a district to allow students to use Google please let me know.

                              • Re: I'm a Googler; are you?

                                Oh my, oh yes, I am a googler.  The media coordinator and I work so closely together with the teachers in our school and are often collaborating on projects and lessons together.  So, I created a google calendar and invited her as a writer.  We can see what each other has scheduled and can keep up with the projects we're working on.


                                I also use google forms quite a bit.  I took our work order and created a google form, embedded it in our school wiki so that teachers can enter tech or software needs on the work order.  It gives us a running record of theie needs and serves as a database of services rendered.  I use google forms wth students and embed them in our student wiki to do a brain booster of the week, Where in the world is Jumper?, and their monthly survey of how they're using technology in their classes.  I also use google forms for various surveys we do throughout the year.  It is so easy to create, embed and keep up with your data.  The teachers and students love it.


                                I use google reader to keep up with my favorite blogs.  

                                • Re: I'm a Googler; are you?

                                  I guess I should admit "My name is Glen and I'm a Googler."


                                  In fact, this past week, I taught two sessions on how Google Docs can be used collaboratively with students and/or teachers. We had a district wide subject collaboration professional development. It was a fantastic opportunity to share how Google is more than just a search engine.


                                  My next goal is to find a way to NEED to use sharing with a folder in Google Docs. It seems so logical and I think is a fantastic idea. (I've you have not noticed, you may now SHARE a folder!)

                                    • Re: Share folder option
                                      Bonnie Feather

                                      So, Glen, I haven't tried this option yet, but I have pondered it, like you.  I am a trainer- one of quite a few who work all over Arizona for the same project.  We recently got a new trainer in one of our counties.  I'm thinking it might be a good idea to share some of my folders with him- that way he can catch up on some things witout having to create them all by himself.


                                      Anyone else have good ideas for reasons to share a folder?  When you share the folder, do all the documents contained in it get shared as well?  Is that the point?



                                        • Re: Share folder option



                                          I just started sharing a folder with a new teacher in my district. We are collaborating once a month by meeting together and developing common assessments.This new teacher is very excited to work together. He has felt alone as he has taught so far this year. I hope to ease his concerns through this process.


                                          It appears that each document uploaded to the folder must be shared for others to view it. Files can be uploaded by anyone who you have shared the folder with. From my testing, each person who uploads files must remember to "Share" the file before others will view it ... even if that file is in the shared folder.


                                          When a folder is shared, and the documents in that folder are also shared, it is easier for people to collaborate on multiple documents without having to send out "invites" or emails to share the document. So far, I like it a LOT!

                                      • Google Forms- a self-grading quiz!
                                        Bonnie Feather

                                        Another thing within GoogleDocs is Google Forms.  You click "Create New" > Form and away you go!  You create questions, then share the address of the form in an email to those you want to survey.  I don't recommend having the email sent by Google- the questions it puts into the email are confusing.  The form can also be an assessment for students.  It creates a spreadsheet in Google Docs for you, and the results are automatically populated into the spreadsheet.  If you know a bit about Excel, you can have the student assessment grade itself!


                                        I have found this exceedingly useful!

                                          • Re: Google Forms- a self-grading quiz!

                                            I hadn't thought about using it as a self-grading quiz. That's a great idea. I also like the "My Library" part too. I haven't used it but I think I will try it. Thanks for the ideas!

                                            Anymore news about WAVE??

                                              • Re: Google Forms- a self-grading quiz!

                                                Hi .. I'm using Google Forms frequently to collect trainees data or doing surveys .. There are extra interesting features added to the forms .. The page breaking feature , so you don't have that soooo long form as usual . Also , you can add matrix question . The new themes are awesome. Finally , I found that adding a title for each set of questions is very helpful.

                                                • Google Wave
                                                  Bonnie Feather

                                                  I did score an invitation to Google Wave this week!  My initial impression is that it will be GREAT in my job, as I work with people all over the state.  We frequently need to plan meetings and trainings together, and it seems perfect for that.  Unfortunately not all of my colleagues have it yet.  I found 5 invitations lying around with a friend and will be able to get 5 of my colleagues into it. 


                                                  It seems to be a combination of IM, Google docs and email;  Fortunately I have found a group of educators seeking to determine how it will be useful in classrooms. Let me know it you get an invitation!

                                              • Re: I'm a Googler; are you?

                                                Anyone else a Google Voice fan? An amazing tool. You get a Google Telephone number that you can link other telephone numbers to (I have my desk phone and cell phone linked). Calls and text messages get delivered and achieved in the account. You end up with recordings that can be organized, reviewed and resent. You even get transcripts of the calls. One place for all your calls and no one really has to know your real telephone numbers.

                                                • Re: I'm a Googler; are you?

                                                  I love good documents.  I use it to create a classroom story that all students participate in writing.  It has been instrumental in improving reading scores.  Students must read the complete story before adding a new line to make sure it flows.  Students look forward to returning daily to see how the story takes various twists and turns.