Google Classroom

Google has not only taken over the world, but they are positioned to take over many of the classrooms! There are many Google resources and applications that can be utilized in the classroom. Below you will find them organized into the following categories: Applications (downloads); Collaboration; Research Resources and Other Resources.

The first thing I suggest is setting up a Gmail account. It is free and then you will have a login for all of the Google tools and applications.

Applications

Google Earth
 - Utilizing GE to take students on virtual field trips and Lit Trips.
Sketch Up - Quickly build and create 3D drawings and models. These drawings (if done to scale and look identical to the building) can be placed on Google Earth as a 3D image.

Picasa - Photo sharing with students and parents. Embedding slideshows into your webpage or blog.

Google Chrome - Google has recently debuted their very first browser and I personally like it. It is still in beta and so all the kinks have not been worked out and not all sites recognize it as a browser. The one fault I have found...they do not offer this for Macs at this time.

Google Desktop - When you use Google Desktop to search, it not only searches the web for that topic, but it also searches documents on your computer. For example if you search "cars" it will not only find documents that you reference cars in the middle of the text, but it will also find the music from the movie Cars in your iTunes library.


Collaboration

Google Docs - Sharing documents with students and colleagues to collaborate on projects.

Google Groups - Collaborate and discuss things with students, colleagues and experts using a Google Groups discussion board. The great thing is you can keep it private and moderate discussion before anything is posted.

Google Sites - Create your own webpages in just a few minutes.

Google Calendar -  Electronic calendars that can be shared and subscribed.

Blogger - Set up a blog for your classroom is just a few clicks away. We do need to warn you about the "Next Blog" button. We do have a solution to remove that button.

Knol - This is something new and is still in beta, but I like where it is going. People who are experts about something can go into Knol and write an article on what they know and others can collaborate or go in and read and get educated on that subject. This is worth your time to check it out! Check out my first Knol post.


Research Resources

Google Custom Search - You can create a search engine that will search only sites you want searched. For example, if you put in "stars" in the normal Google search box you would get tons of websites not related to the stars in the sky. However, you can create a search engine that will only search websites of your choice like NASA and other space websites. Your data will return content that is only related to your needs. This is great when you want to teach your students how to search in Google, but are worried about content that is not educational. Check out the Custom Search I created below for this website. Google Classroom Search for Tutorials and Information

Google Books - Utilizing online books in full and preview mode for the classroom. (Various subjects and age levels.)

iGoogle - Google's personal page allows you to create a custom web page with content from sources of your choosing as well as subscribe to RSS feeds and tools to optimize your time on the web.

Google Reader -  Keep up with your RSS feeds  

Goog411 - Information for your phone that is FREE!!
In Quotes - This site compares two opposing views in quotes. For example, right now it has the two major party presidential candidates compared on topics in quotes.


Other Resources

Google Educator - Google has created a great site for educators to keep them up to date on using their applications in the classroom.

Even More Google - Google is always adding new applications. I normally check out what is new at least once a month if not more often. 

Don't forget about the Lab! - Some of the latest and greatest Google applications went through the lab first. This is always changing with new and great (a few not so great) things Google is working on. Find out what is new first. (I normally check it once a month or so, just to see what is new.)