Thursday, July 28, 2011

I Heart Google

Raise your hand if you love and use Google all the time. If you didn't raise your hand, you are lying. I can't tell you how many times a day I "google" something. Or log into my Google email account. Or sign into Google+ to see what every one is up to. Ok, so maybe not so much the last one yet, but all the others are totally true. I mentioned a few days ago in another post how much I adore Google and thanks to our training I now know a gajillion more ways to use it. Ok, ok maybe not a gajillion, but quite a few! Here are some new twists on the old search engine:
  • Google Docs: A super awesome way to collaborate with people on a project. There are many different types (listed below), including a basic "doc" similar to a Word Document. You can invite people to edit it, or just view it. Great for people who are working on a project together, but may not be able to meet as often as they want. Can be used in the classroom for group work too!
    • Google Forms: Great way to give a survey or to collect information from a group. The information is automatically put into a spreadsheet that you can organize and manipulate as you wish. I used this as a way of collecting information from my students at the beginning of year, and as a tool to collect mid-year information.
    • Google Spreadsheets: Just like Excel or Numbers, but on the internet! Graphing options are available. This tool was a lifesaver when planning our wedding. My wonderful hubs put together a spreadsheet that we could all edit with names, addresses, gifts, shower information, etc on it.
    • Google Presentation: Another marvy way to collaborate with people when working on a project. So much easier than constantly emailing something or saving it to a flash drive.
  • Google Sites: I used this tool to set up my final portfolio for college and couldn't have been happier with the final product. It was very simple to use while also portraying the professional feel I wanted.
  • Google Calendar: Can be easily synced with other people's calendars so you can keep up with multiple people's happenings. I also just found out that there is a way to sync it with iCal (Apple's calendar tool)-sweet!
  • Google+: I'm still new to this, but what I like what I've seen so far. Kind of like facebook, but without all those silly apps and games. I think this will really take off in a year or so!
  • Google Earth: As I mentioned earlier this is the bomb dot com for teachers, but it can be used for much more than just classroom application! Want to see the town you grew up in over the years? Go for it! How about Ground Zero when the World Trade Centers were there? Totally possible! And my favorite, want to follow Kate and William's route after the wedding? You can totally do it!!
  • Google URL Shortener: Not a super huge deal, but helpful if you're trying to keep a link short (such as with Twitter's 140 character limit).
  • Gmail: Who doesn't love bacoodles of space and folder options? Crazy people that's who! Love this mail option and the chat that accompanies it.
The best part? All of these user-friendly things can easily be found on Google! I'm seriously only skimming the top of the amazingness of Google. I'm sure there are a million more applications that I have no clue about. How do you use Google?

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