Web 2.0

What is Web 2.0: 

Web 2.0 is the second stage of development of the Internet, characterized especially by the change from static web pages to dynamic or user-generated content and the growth of social networking. (source)

The following list comprises 14 of the most useful Web 2.0 features, gadgets, and/or resources that are made by Google and that will work directly with a Google Site.

 Google Custom Searches

  Google Gadgets

Create a custom Google search bar that will search through only the specific sites that you choose. This is useful for teachers who are wanting students to focus on specific resources or to search within more narrow parameters. Google Gadgets are dynamic web content that can be embedded on a Google Site. These can range from weather reports, news RSS feeds, games, stock updates, and much more.


 Google Custom Gadgets


 Anyone can develop their own personalized Google gadget. They can submit it to the gadget store and then make it available to the public or just keep it private. This is a social networking site that can be intricately woven throughout Google related activities online. It is currently the second largest site to Facebook with over 500 million users. It allows users to connect amongst a variety of "circles". Circles are used delineate the type of relationship you have with your friends, i.e. coworkers, acquaintances, family, etc.
 Google Groups

  YouTube Videos

Google Groups allows you to create and participate in online forums and email-based groups with a rich experience for community conversations. You can create a group and embed the group within your Google Site.  YouTube, owned by Google, is a video sharing platform that allows for comments and feedback as well as the ability to embed your uploaded videos within other documents, including your Google Site.

Google Docs

  Google Translate

Collaborative documents that are stored in the cloud. They can be contributed to by multiple individuals and include the ability to chat while collaborating and to determine which participant was responsible for what part of the completed activity. The documents can be hyperlinked and embedded very easily within a Google Site. Try this example here - Survey & Results Google's free online language translation service instantly translates text and web pages. You can embed this on your page and users can instantly translate your website to one of dozens of different languages. This is very useful when trying to increase the user accessibility of your site's content.
 Google News


 This is a service that allows to specifically choose what types of news stories interest you most and then have only stories matching your criteria delivered to you daily, weekly, monthly, etc. These can be used by a CoP to filter specific news stories of interest to their members. The newsfeed can be embedded into a Google Site with ease.  The Picasa web albums are now being integrated into the Google+ social networking site. They encompass online photo sharing albums that allow you to upload photos, edit and manipulate them, geotag them based on their location, and then share them publicly or privately with others. They can be used to embed photos and photo galleries into your Google Site.

 Google Maps
 Google Moderator
Google maps are online, collaborative maps that can be included and embedded within your website. You can also create your very own customized Google map that highlights a specific area or land marker. These can be used by a CoP to highlight areas specific to their interest. An example would be a running group who creates a custom map to outline their route to the rest of the members. This is a tool that allows distributed communities to submit and vote on questions for talks, presentations and events. This allows you to Include people in your preparation for lectures, interviews and hard decisions or work together to organize feature requests and brainstorm new ideas. Ideal for connecting with members of your CoP by by letting them decide which questions, suggestions or ideas interest them most.
Google Hangouts

  Google Calendar

Hangouts are a sub-section of the Google+ social networking site. They allow you to create open voice, text, and video chat rooms where users can share ideas and show their screens to others. There is even remote access opportunities so another user could access your screen and help you with something if needed.

 Google calendar is a collaborative online calendar that allows designated users to add to and/or manage dates that are shared between users. This is an ideal tool for a Community of Practice because when one user changes or adds a date to an existing Google calendar, the changes instantly appear on all members calendars as well.

 Google Voice

 Make free telephone calls within North America to any phone number. Integrates easily with your Google contacts. You can also forward this number to your mobile phone or land line.