Ed Tech Ideas

Tech Integration for Busy Teachers

Tag Archives: google

Grade 3 Resources

If you’re looking for some great resources for third grade (and quite possibly 2nd, 4th, and 5th), take a look at Gecko Techo.

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Gecko Techo has tons of Blogging How-tos, lots of info on Google Docs, Presentations, etc. There’s digital citizenship information for both teachers and students, as well as keyboarding sites, coding info, and much more.




Creating a Diagram Within a Google Doc

Here’s a short video I just created for a teacher at my school who was wanting her students to be able to work on labeling diagrams within a Google Doc.

Google Sites in the Classroom

Thinking of creating a classroom website, or having your students create sites for themselves? Watch 9 year olds Grace and Sophie explain how easy it is to do with Google Sites.

Lesson Plans for Integrating Google Apps

Google in Education has an index of over 100 free lesson plans, all searchable by products (Docs, Earth, Digital Literacy, Calendar, Sketchup, etc.), Subject, and Age. You can teach students about telling time utilizing Google Calendar; Introduce the scientific method using Google Spreadsheets; Go on a scavenger hunt for capital cities using Google Earth.

Thank You 2011!

Be a Political Trend Spotter

If you have students interested in the presidential campaigns in the US, they can now become an official political trend spotter. Google’s Politics and Elections Blog encourages political enthusiasts to submit current trends in the political race and have them featured on the site.

The blog features stories and issues, along with powerful search tools, relating to the ongoing political race in the United States; and how public interest, by use of the web, “can help transform politics and elections from a passive process to an active, participatory one.” There are fascinating posts with colorful graphics depicting current trends in everything from which candidate’s book is more interesting, to which department the federal government should cut.

Encourage your students to submit the political trends that they spot, and they too, just might become an official Google Political Trend Spotter!

Search Techniques with Google

When searching the internet, students generally go straight to Google, type in a query and use the first hit that comes up. Often times, this may be adequate, depending on what they are trying to discover. However, when researching information for a project they are working on, more advanced searching techniques need to be applied, and most students (particularly at the elementary level) are limited in this ability. Enter (of all things) Google. Google has created what they’re calling the “Search Education Evangelism Site“.

Lesson Plans

Start out
(Basic lessons)
Step up
(Intermediate lessons)
On top
(Advanced lessons)
Understanding search engines What is the Web? Google landing
The keys to search city
Search technique and strategies Which links should I follow?
Mixed media
Believe it or not
Features and operators Hello operator
Quick finds
Slicing & dicing

The site contains 9 different lesson plans (as shown above)  for teachers that focus on the basics (what is the web) to refining search techniques, to more advanced features of inquiry.  Below is an example of one of the presentations that are included within each lesson plan:

For more ideas on teaching children to become better online researchers, read Web Searching – Don’t Believe Everything you Read Online, an article I wrote for ISTE’s Leading and Learning with Technology magazine.

Translation Telephone

Remember playing telephone as a kid? You and your friends would sit around in a circle, the first kid would start it out by whispering a sentence or two into the next kid’s ear. The sentence would move around the circle until it arrived at the last person and, inevitably, the end result would be completely different (and often pretty funny) from what was initially said.

Now, with the help of Google Translate, a new site called Translation Telephone lets you simulate this experience online. You type in a phrase and click go and then watch as your sentence gets translated from language to language, until it finally gets translated back into English (see example below).

Ed Tech Ideas: This is a great site to not only have a little fun with your students, but also to show kids limitations of technology and prove to them that you can’t always trust everything you see online.

A Google a Day

Here’s a great idea for a classroom ice-breaker or a daily conversation starter from Google. It’s called “A Google a Day” and it’s a simple interface that takes the Google search page and adds a daily trivia question to the bottom of the screen. You do a search to find the answer and then check to see if you got it correct by clicking, “Show answer.” The answer is then displayed along with tips on the best techniques to search for it (in case you got the wrong answer).

Ed Tech Ideas: This is a great activity for younger kids as it teaches and reinforces smart search querying. To avoid spoilers, Deja Google was created, which is, “A wormhole inspired time machine that searches the Internet as it existed before the game began.” So you can search for the answer without fear of coming across someone’s blog post with the answer, thus spoiling the fun.

Gmail Motion

Google rolled out an absolutely amazing new gmail interface today called “Gmail Motion.” Instead of having to use your mouse and keyboard to compose and send emails (which are outdated – invented long before the internet) users are now able to use simple gestures to send emails.

The way it works is, “Gmail Motion uses your computer’s built-in webcam and Google’s patented spatial tracking technology to detect your movements and translate them into meaningful characters and commands. Movements are designed to be simple and intuitive for people of all skill levels.”

With simplicity and improved productivity as the aims, Google has created over 10,000 gestures and are adding more every day. For example, to open a message, make a motion as if you were opening an envelope. To reply, simply point backward with your thumb. To reply all, use both hands. It’s that easy!

Here’s a quick overview of how Gmail Motion works:

Happy April Fools Day!

Google Body Browser

Google’s latest 3d venture, body browser, allows you to tour the inner-workings of the human body.  You can zoom in to see the muscular and skeletal systems, fly around the organs, and go inside the brain. Take a look at the video below to see how it works.
Note: As body browser is still in beta, you need to have the latest version of Google Chrome, or Firefox 4.0b1

EdTechIdeas: My 5th grade classes are currently studying human growth and development, and this will make an excellent resource for the kids to get a deeper understanding about how our bodies work.

Google Instant

Google rolled out its new search enhancement today which instantly shows your search result as you are typing. Google claims that you can save 2-5 seconds with every search. The way it works is that you simply begin typing and results appear instantly. For example, when I type the letter w, search results for weather appear. If that is what I was looking for, I can use the tab key and hit enter to complete the search, or use the arrow keys to navigate the options and go to the first page.

I like the new search feature, and I think this, in a way will help students become faster researchers.

Google-Siberian Railway

Moscow-Vladivostok: Virtual Journey on Google Maps

Here’s a pretty cool mash-up from Google. The great Trans Siberian Railway, the pride of Russia, goes across two continents, 12 regions and 87 cities. The joint project of Google and the Russian Railways lets you take a trip along the famous route and see Baikal, Khekhtsirsky range, Barguzin mountains, Yenisei river and many other picturesque places of Russia without leaving your house. During the trip, you can enjoy Russian classic literature, brilliant images and fascinating stories about the most attractive sites on the route.

Here’s a video preview, but to get the full experience, go to the site and follow the route on the map while looking at all the sites out of the train window.

Integration Ideas

Great for classes studying maps, Russian history and geography. Teachers could assign different sections of the route to each student and have student’s research the regions and cities along the route. Story starters: Students watch a section of the video and then write a story from the point of view of one of the original passengers. Math: Students calculate the distance between stops. Estimate how many miles of rail was used in construction. Estimate the weight of the rails.

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