Google Tools for Educators
Google remains a staple tool in my everyday tasks, and I realize more and more how much I rely on its use. In fact, it is safe to assume that majority feel this way, and that most of us turn to the Google search bar when we have a question or need a resource.
For teachers, the Google search bar is commonly used to hunt down sites and downloads to use in lesson plans. However, it can begin to feel a bit daunting when trying to narrow it down and picking which ones work best. Google has made this less intimidating and much easier for educators by providing yet another Google tool—Google for Educators. No matter what subject is being taught this Web site has features that can make any lesson plan more vigorous and structured. I’d like to share some of my favorite Google tools for Educators that I have found through this site:
- Google Calendar- Set up a calendar for your classes to keep students and parents in touch with important dates and deadlines. This is an awesome tool to stay organized.
- Google SketchUp- This is a program that is relatively easy to use and lets you create, modify, and share 3D models. This would be fun to use with students!
- Lesson Plan Search- Search lesson plans for Google Apps. These are great to browse through, and you can even search by subject, product, and grade level.
- Google Notebook- Browse, clip, and organize information from around the web in a single online location that you can access from any computer.
- Google Teacher Community- This discussion group keeps teachers in touch with new features on Google for Educators. It also allows teachers to connect and share ideas or resources.
- Google Sites- An easy way to create web pages for intranets or class projects.
I highly recommend checking out the Google for Educators site and browsing through the various tools and features. Richard Byrne, author of Free Technology for Teachers, provides an informational and worthwhile post with a Free 33 Page Guide of Google for Teachers. Also, Edutopia has a post about Teaching with Google+ that I also recommend reading through. If you have any practices or findings with Google tools for teachers, please share in the comment section below!