Posts Tagged ‘Google’

As I mentioned in my introductory post, I have issued myself a challenge for the upcoming new year: to use a minimum of one new technology per week and write a review about the new sites I use. To date, I’ve reviewed websites that I’ve been using, and if you’ve been following along you know how limited that is… because as of my last post I’m out of technology that I currently use in the classroom. Good thing it’s December.

I’ve decided it’s time to come up with a plan. I teach in a high school, and next semester doesn’t start until January 31st, and the month of January will mostly be spent on review. I have quite a few ideas for various tools that I can use for review:

  • I intend on introducing Headmagnet to my students. Headmagnet creates virtual flash cards for your students that will help them to predict what they will forget. I haven’t used them yet, so I can’t provide a full review…. but if it works the way it’s supposed to the implications for students could be amazing.
  • I’m also currently brainstorming ways that I can use Google Docs as a tool for review.
  • Once the exams are marked I will be using Markbook (for the first time, though it is far from a new program) to compile my students marks. Other teachers at my school seem to either love or hate this program, so I’m curious to see how easily it works.

Once my new classes begin at the end of January, I have a lot of ideas of new ways to integrate web 2.0 into my classroom.

  • I will be setting up and using Edmodo for each of my classes. I think Edmodo has exciting implications for students and teachers and I know that my students will enjoy using it.
  • One of my upcoming courses is very conversation-based. To that end I plan on using kidblog to have them post blog entries and discuss each other’s thoughts and ideas. I’m still thinking about how exactly this will work, if anyone has any thoughts on how to introduce blogs to my students I’m excited to hear them.
  • I will be having my senior students create e-portfolios using powerpoint. Again, I’m currently working on the logistics of this and researching articles and blogs on how to do it effectively. My thoughts right now are that I might use this as a culminating task at the end of the year.
  • I’m working on finding another teacher who is willing to collaborate with my class on group projects using Titanpad, Scribblar, or Google Docs.

That’s where my ideas stand for now. None of them are brand new or revolutionary, but they are all new to me and I’m excited to see the results of this challenge.

I’m looking for suggestions of new tools to use with my class, feel free to leave me a comment! I will be reviewing all sites that I use with my class and updating this blog every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Google Docs is one of the many resources that I intend to use starting in January. I’ve been collecting a series of resources to help me along, and I’ve decided to share all of those resources with you. Should you be looking to use Googledocs in your classroom, here’s the place to start.

1. First off we have a video specifically for teachers which serves as an introduction to GoogleDocs. If you’ve never used GoogleDocs before, this is a great place to start.

2. This page from Google provides an overview for educators, tutorials, and a video showing how to use GoogleDocs.

3. Next, here’s a video from Google that details some ways that GoogleDocs can be useful to teachers. It moves quickly and doesn’t really tell you how to do all these things, but it’s a good way to get some ideas.

4. A presentation on 31 interesting ways to use GoogleDocs in the classroom.

I hope these resources are useful to you, GoogleDocs is an amazing program that has limitless potential in the classroom.

Google Earth

Posted: October 23, 2010 in Hardware, Websites
Tags: , , ,

When I first became interested in using technology in my classroom, I turned to Google. Anyone who uses the internet at all is familiar with Google and how they have revolutionized the way we use the internet. Any search engine whose name has become a verb certainly has my attention! I started off using Google street maps and Google maps, but when I started to crave something more exciting I followed the advice of a colleague and turned to Google Earth. The program seems to be getting quite a bit of attention in the news lately, mostly concerning issues surrounding privacy.

The technology: Google Earth

My impression:

Google Earth is a very rich program which my students have loudly proclaimed as “wicked awesome”. It is essentially a virtual map that uses images from satellites and aerial photography. There are many features including:

  • A flight simulator: Allows you to fly around and explore. A favorite of my students (especially when they discovered they could fly underwater).
  • Sky mode: Allows you to view the stars and other celestial bodies with remarkable images.
  • Historical images of select cities (a very cool feature for history classes)
  • The ability to view Mars, the Moon, and under the Ocean.
  • Street view: a popular feature on Google’s website that allows you to see panoramic ground-level images.
  • The ability to create tours of different locations around the globe (fantastic for all kinds of subject areas).

The main hurdle that I have encountered with Google Earth is teaching students how to use it. It is relatively intuitive, but there are so many aspects to it that it does take some time to learn. As a teacher I don’t want to use too much of my time teaching students how to use a computer program (I have enough to cover in the curriculum as it is). This program is worth taking a little bit of time out of your day to show your students though, since once it’s been taught there are so many different ways you can apply it to lessons across the curriculum.

Possible uses in the classroom/ Lesson ideas: There are so many possibilities for Google Earth it’s impossible to name them all. Personally I have had history students create tours of important places in specific events in history, gone on scavenger hunts to find specific places of significance to world religions, and had math students calculate distances from one place in the world to another. There are also obvious uses in geography. Richard Byrne has developed a great resource for Google Earth across the curriculum which can be downloaded here (his blog, also has a whole bunch of information on Google Earth and a range of other resources, definitely worth a look).


Where can I learn more?

Google Earth Download

A series of tutorials by Google

The Google Earth Blog

Google Earth for Educators

And of course, there are a variety of other resources for Google Earth on the web. Google it and see what appeals to you (see, I used google as a verb!)

Rating: 5 stars