Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Google for Educators

Last year, Google decided to dip their hands into the education world, launching Google for Educators. Very cool, as we like to say here in the Fridge. They have designed/are designing/suggesting already created programs to be used in education.
For example:
Google Calendar can be used in a variety of ways by staff and parents. Our school used a general Google Calendar log in so that we could check out our mobile lab, SMART Board and projectors (no, we don't have one per room). It has been suggested all over the Google world that it be used to show assignments, etc., for parents.
iGoogle, the new customizable homepage, offers users to choose from hundreds of different services to keep you in the know about EVERYTHING. Many bloggers and educators have suggested using iGoogle for student start up pages, and while I see how cool that would be, I did miss how that would be practical.
Another feature that I used in my classroom long before it was under the massive Google umbrellas was the feature you are using right now: Blogger. From test preparation to finding out what's going on in class, Blogger has endless possibilities.
My new favorite Google tool is Google Reader. Google Reader allows you to read what is new on your favorite websites (including this one) without actually having to go there. And, with iGoogle all I have to do is open up to my homepage to see if any of my favorite author's have made contributions to our world (including David Pogue, Edutopia and the Infinite Thinking Machine, Google's education blog).
While these suggestions are just scrapping the top of the barrel, these that I mentioned are some of my favorites and most used. Feel free to comment on how you are using any of these or other Google for Educator tools.

1 comment:

Madison Wilburs said...

Wow--I love what you are doing here. I am a fifth-grade classroom teacher who is new to all of this. I am going to use a blog this year to inform parents of what is going on and to teach students how to use the web and how to do simple tasks such as upload pictures. I also created a customized search engine that consolidates years of research into one handy tool for my students. It is very specific to the level of my students and to my curriculum. I will stay in touch via your blog. Thanks!