Using Google For Education

March 23rd, 2014 No Comments

When we search, we search Google. When we question, we find answers with Google. When we need to know how to get somewhere, we turn to Google.

We Google. A lot.

Google has changed the speed with which we gather information, giving us access to so much of it that sometimes we don’t know what to do with it.

Because of this, it helps to know how to maneuver through popular tools as well as find and use some of the more obscure elements of Google. It’s even more important to know this in order to help us teach better and more effectively.

So, within the categories below you’ll find more information and links about using Google to jump higher or dig deeper. By playing with the layers of a Google category such as Google Play, teachers can build networks of information and tools to make teaching and learning feel easier, more interesting, and ultimately become more powerful.

1. Google Play

Google Play does just that. It’s a streamlined landscape giving teachers plenty to play with. The sleek visuals link to sections such as Apps, Movies & TV, Music, Books, Magazines, and Devices. In the next few categories two through five below, you’ll find more information and links about these sections.

2. Google Apps

Depending on the objective, teachers can use Google Apps to teach anything from the basics of language to using it for memory games or space exploration. The really great part is that there are tons of free apps and it’s easy to find them.

3. Google Play Book

Within Google Apps, there’s Google Play Book with an impressive selection of textbooks. Students can access books on computers, tablets, and smart phones on Google Play Book. Using it across various forms of technology allows teachers to do more without limitation.

4. Google Music

Tons of free music bounces around inside Google Music. Teachers and students have access to jazz, classics, rock, and a whole lot more. Google Music also introduced Antenna Sampler with newly released tracks available for free. Use it for music, marketing, art, current events, and cultural awareness.

5. Google Magazines

With free magazine trials, teachers can gain access to various magazines through Google Magazines, check out their worth then subscribe and use them either for reference or assignments based on the nature of the subject.

6. Google Teacher Academy

Google offers certification with the Google Teacher Academy program. It’s a free, professional development academy where teachers learn about unique strategies and gain experience using Google tools. Educators who attend become Google Certified Teachers. It’s a great resource for developing leadership and collaboration skills.

7. Google Scholar

The best place to research or send students to research accurate information is through Google Scholar. It focuses solely on scholarly work when searching information. Libraries usually link up with it so that you can search full text abstracts, theses, books, articles and court opinions for free.

8. Google Scholar Citations

Authors can track who’s citing their research with Google Scholar Citations. Over time, authors can also use this information to graph citations and to discover more about Metrics. Offer this insight to students who are in masters or doctoral studies.

9. Google Scholar Metrics

A valuable tool for authors of scholarly texts, Google Scholar Metrics helps authors judge how certain articles appear and appeal to an audience. This helps with decisions on how and where to publish work.

10. Google News

Google News pulls together news from all over the world. Be as specific or as general as you want and find any news you need or any news you need to share with your students. Let’s say you’re looking for the latest news on accounting but you want to narrow it to a specific area of the world. Google News boasts over 70 different news editions so the search is limitless.

11. Personalizing Google News

Teachers and students can personalize Google News in order to match their needs. You can make suggestions for students to follow certain topics or trends depending on your goals and objectives or you can simply personalize your own and share links with students accordingly.

12. Gmail

Why use Gmail and not another email service? Well, it offers unique organization for types of emails by using tabs to automatically categorize social mail and promotional mail. Besides that, it links you up to Google Plus, which can be an attractive and resourceful way of communicating with your students.

13. Google Plus

From posting video to information, using Google Plus to communicate with students adds a social dimension to teaching that’s necessary without being reduced to shallow avenues of interaction.

Google Plus also gives you a page just for your profile. Teachers present themselves to students just the way they want students to see them or offer this profile as a way for students to get to know another side of you, the more personalized side that they need when navigating through the virtual world.

And, Google Plus Circles provides control over who sees what information. Create specific circles within circles in order to share information more effectively and control whom can view that particular post. Drag and drop people into a general circle or create a new one for a distinct purpose.

Of course, joining specific communities makes another great way to learn and teach. Teachers can work with an endless array of communities dedicated to topics such as Science, Philosophy of Mind, Landscape Photography, Google Apps for Education, EdTech, and more.

Google does the work for you when you upload photographs to Google Plus. You can use it as a tool to back up photos and select the ones you want to share. It also enhances the photos automatically so they look better without much editing on the user’s part. This makes sharing easier and quicker, something all teachers need.

14. Google Hangouts

The On Air feature of Google Hangouts becomes an invaluable teaching tool with a calendar of upcoming events which include items such as The Weather Channel: Sunset Day about the meteorology behind sunsets or Kofi Annan Dialogues speaking about young people and global development.

15. Google Drive

Inside Google Plus, Google Drive stores your information as if it were on your own personal computer. It is your personal computer complete with folders and documents similar to Word documents. The distinguishing factor is that these folder can be linked up with other members of Google Plus creating an easy way to share larger pieces of information and skipping over emails and attachments.

16. Google Docs

In the Google Drive, a plethora of templates exists just for Google Plus users and all for free. The Google Docs allows users to create anything from lab reports to essay grading rubrics to simple documents.

17. Google Drive Keep

Keep works similar to Pinterest but in the form of notes. It resides inside the Google Drive and the name means everything. It could be a series of sticky notes marked with ideas you just want to Keep. Or, it could be images that symbolize meaning in and of themselves, but the idea is that you Keep them.

18. Google Drive Drawings

Also worth noting are Google Drive Drawings. The drawings available again are so simple and easy to use, but the colors and simplicity add flavorful elements to the presentations, charts, documents, and so forth.

19. Google Drive Fusion Tables

Google Drive’s Fusion Tables allow you to upload data sheets and view it on maps, timelines, and charts. Limit who has access to it and even hide parts of it. You can also merge information from several different tables. The tables can be made interactive as well.

20. Google Drive RealTime Board App

With tons of apps available, you can connect to some amazing apps to use and share with students and teams of teachers. Collaboration just got a thousand times easier. The RealTime Board App allows you to create a whiteboard with some amazing graphics, sharing and utilizing information with the Google Drive.

21. Google Image

Outside of the Drive, use Google Images to browse, pick, click, clip, and download photos, drawings, art, and so on. Once you’ve clicked the image you want, Google shows you the source and you can visit the page or view the original image and download the size you want. This is great for adding to documents or posting to Google Plus.

22. Google Maps

Google Maps doesn’t just take you from point A to point B, which is what we normally use it for. It gives you another way to organize points of interest and take students on a tour of the places that matter to you and have them take you where they have been or want to go. It’s great for goal setting and sharing meeting grounds or even to go further and create family heritage maps.

23. Google Earth

Then, there’s Google Earth. If you download Google Earth 7, you and your students can travel virtually anywhere in 3D. A student in Australia can step into the Eiffel Tower within seconds, no plane tickets necessary. Or, find the Tour de France Fly Through and watch from above.

24. Google Earth History

Time travel with your students by using Google Earth to revisit ancient ruins with Google Earth’s History Imagery. View any neighborhood or city and see the changes between then and now. Observing 1938 San Francisco is going to be very different from 2013 San Francisco.

25. Google Earth Mars

Google Earth Mars takes you back in time with antique maps drawn by Giovanni Schiarparelli carrying you through to its evolution with 3D images of Mars right now. It will take you to images zeroing in on craters photographed by the rover that was brought to Mars in 2004.

26. Google Earth Climate

Investigate the possible consequences of climate change by utilizing Google Earth’s Climate Change. Send students to that link and have them create their own analysis of future dynamics. Have them roam around with North American Wildlife and discover more about Mali deserts before they even begin their own interpretations.

27. Google Earth 3D Trees

Another stunning feature of Google Earth is 3D Trees. Watch the tutorial video then tour some areas such as California’s Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park or Kahigaini, Kenya. Then assign students whatever section of the world or type of trees that they need to research.

28. Heroes of Google Earth

Besides a million other ways to use Google Earth, Heroes of Google Earth highlights the various ways people around the world use Google Earth to change the world. From defenders of wildlife who use it to clean up and educate others about oil spills to saving elephants in Africa, Heroes of Google Earth serves as inspiration for innovation and humanity.

29. Google Translate

Translate a single word, an entire sentence, or a complete document using Google Translate in 71 languages. Obviously, translating languages becomes much easier when necessary, but teaching any number of subjects also changes. Teaching students the value of language relations in any given field now means sending them to Google Translate to learn basic words or translate their ideas in order to market to specific areas of the world.

30. Google Challenge

Invite students to create an online marketing campaign for a business or non-profit organization with the Google Online Marketing Challenge. Students register with their Professor from a higher education institution then Google offers a $250 budget for students to work with over a three-week period.

31. Google Code

With developer tools, API, and technical resources, Google Code offers aspiring developers a place to narrow their focus and bind their efforts. Between the two subsites, Google Developers and Project Hosting, the resources and connections are endless. Think all-day hack-a-thons and code labs.

32. Google Ventures

What better way to teach students about entrepreneurship than to thrust them right into the arms of Google Ventures. Use it as a way to introduce business concepts in the 21st century virtual world or to simply drive students with startup ideas forward. Students can take their energy and drive to new heights with all the information and tools available to them.

33. Glass Collective

Inside Google Ventures there are several avenues to take with your students. One such place is Glass Collective. Student entrepreneurs can submit ideas stressing the use of Google Glass to improve and change the world. Imagine, your students can take their ideas and match it with Google Glass building their own confidence while possibly winning Google’s attention and efforts.

34. Startup Lab

Google Ventures also hosts Startup Lab where anyone, in this case, you and your students can attend workshops with industry professionals and network in many other ways, including fireside chats, barbecues, and happy hours. In a nutshell, Google’s experts become your assistant teachers. It doesn’t even mean students need a startup to learn. You might simply want to teach them goal setting, well, there’s an online workshop showing how Google teams set goals.

35. Google Green

How do you teach students about renewable energy? A starting point could be Google Green. Google’s basically puts its information out there, breaking it down into info graphics that show consumers exactly how Google conserves energy. It’s a visual and compact way to introduce a green lesson.

36. builds technologies to help deal with global issues and support innovators. Among them, Google Public Alerts help warn Japan of earthquakes and tsunamis. Google Now shows a card with information and evacuation instructions

37. 2014 Rise Award

Google Roots in Science and Engineering Awards challenges students to create technology to power the future. It not only exposes students to robotics but gives them the nudge and push necessary to motivate them. With President Obama and Prince Andrew among others who endorse its value, teachers have power on their side.

38. Google Cultural Institute

Partnering with museums, cultural institutions, and archives all over the world, Google Cultural Institute harnesses its Googlers to bring everyone diversity in cultures and share the beauty. Artworks, landmarks, and world heritage sites including digital exhibitions lie at the educators fingertips, ready to share with students.

39. Art Project

What do you want to see? Ask students this then direct them to Google’s Art Project. Is it the Palace of Versailles or The White House? It doesn’t really matter because over 40 countries contributed over 40,000 images. Collections, artists, artworks, and user galleries, it’s all there.

40. World Wonders Project

Walk around inside Stonehenge, Pompeii, and the Great Barrier Reef learning about the history of each place with Google’s World Wonders Project. Teachers don’t have to wonder if students understand the beauty and majesty of such historic sites. They simply share and show them to their students.

41. Google Politics & Elections

Take your students through the parties depending on the country they choose to investigate. Delve further with issues such as economy, government spending, healthcare, immigration, government spending and so on. It’s all found in Google Politics & Elections.

42. Google Giving

Google Giving isn’t all about how great Google is and what it does for people around the world, it’s about people period. It’s about stopping child exploitation online. It’s about technology innovators. It’s about grants, computer scientists, and nonprofits.

43. Google’s Global Impact Awards

Launching in India, Google Impact Challenge gives Indian nonprofits the opportunity to explain how they would use technology, innovation, and Google support to combat the world’s pressing problems. Having students keep track of the Impact Awards and its winners inspires any number of creative elements of teaching and learning.

44. Google Giving Technology

When it comes to nonprofits, Google gives free apps, ads, and products in order to help them stretch their reach and bring their message to a larger audience. Offering software grants, technical support and training to partners around the world, Google helps causes that make a difference. Dig into the stories and videos to show students the impact of technology.

45. Google Ideas

Google Ideas tackles the world’s conflicts and challenges with technology by rallying users, experts, and engineers to pioneer technological solutions to such problems such as violence and human trafficking. Teachers need look no further for taking difficult issues and showing students positive ways to deal with them.

46. Cloud-Based Surveys

One project under Google Ideas, Cloud-Based Surveys in Fragile States concentrates on unstable parts of the world where people aren’t given the basic freedoms of voicing their opinions. Google helped Voice of America in Somalia organize a survey tool with Google App Engine and Google Apps so making it more efficient.


Saga Briggs is an author at InformED. You can follow her on Twitter@sagamilena or read more of her writing here.

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