Happy New Year! I took a little bit of break to collect some ideas and start on some posts and I am ready to start sharing again. The first post for the new year is going to focus on using Google in the classroom and in education in general. My school has recently provided all students with a Google account and access a Google drive to help streamline the process of homework, papers, and other classroom assignments. However, There are several other options that Google has available that will provide the teacher and the student the opportunity for a more enriching learning experience.
1) Google Alerts
This feature provides a flexibility to receiving updates for a particular topic of interest. The alert will be send directly to the student’s mailbox so the information is completely up-to-date. This is perfect for those using current events or news stories in their classroom activity and is helpful for reports dealing with ever changing events.
2) Google Books
Ahhhh, I couldn’t go one highlight without mentioning Google Books. Forgive me I am a librarian so yes books will be at the top of my list. And yes, I know they are in digital form but I am not totally against the digital book. Do I think they should have an actual book of course but the digital book works just as well…but that is another topic. Back to Google Books. This tool is amazing for students to access millions of books and preview them for free. It allows students to reference countless books on any subject matter to gain a greater level of understanding on said topic.
3) Google Talks and Hangouts
I love this option for video chatting with a group of people. The feature allows for up to 10 individuals to conference in on the same video call at the same time in order to talk about ideas, discuss a book, voice concerns for a project, etc. I have used this feature actually with my two book clubs. Each school was reading the same book and we were able to have a larger book discussion through the hangout option.
4) Google Scholar
Probably used more by high school and college level individuals, this feature provides the Google user the ability to research scholarly literature from multiple sources. The latest articles, abstracts, and books can be downloaded directly into the users mailbox, and all information can be cited, and public profiles can be created. This is wonderful for those students working on larger more detailed research papers and theses.
5) Google Calendar
The online agenda. This is option allows the student to schedule when projects and assignments are due and even share their calendar with other users. Also alerts can be sent through a text message or email in order to help the student submit assignments on time.
Overall Google helping the students interact with each other and educational information in a new way. They are providing the tools for the student Google user to become a more active participant in their learning process and succeed in new ways.