For the second portion of this weeks tech task, we were asked to explore google and its many hidden wonders. After the session with Michael Wacker, a google certified instructor, I became aware of many different programs or apps that google has to offer that I was not aware of before.
In the past two of the google programs that I was aware of and used were google docs and google scholar. The neat thing about google docs is that you can have multiple people working on the same document at the same time. It is a valuable tool when working as a group on a project. It saves the document to a shared space that all the members can access on their own, continuously updating the document every time someone makes some changes. This is a program that I believe could be used in a classroom with students to allow them to easily collaborate with one another on projects. Google scholar has been a tool that I have used numerous times over my years in University. It is an easy tool to use when you are trying to find scholarly articles on a topic. One of the reasons that I enjoy using google scholar over the databases on the library website is because the search tool on google scholar is much simpler. Even if you do not know the most efficient way to search to get the best results using the “and” / “or” properly, you will still be able to find information that is useful.
One program that google has that I was not aware of was the google photos, called Picasa. I downloaded this program to my computer and started playing around on it. It automatically uploads all of your pictures on your computer to this program and then you are ready to edit and share your photos using many different options. So far this seems to be a simple, useful tool.
Another new program that I am now aware of is TestTube. This is super cool. You can edit, pre watch, add captions and much more to your videos before you post them onto YouTube. I think that this tool could be incorporated into projects for your students when they create videos. The different options available on TestTube are all separated and therefore user-friendly. This is definitely a tool that I will keep in mind to use in my future classrooms.
Google Groups is another program that it has to offer that I have started to explore lately. It seems very straight forward, which I like because I easily get confused with technology. In Google Groups you can create a group where you can all stay connected with one another. It is basically like emails to each other, but you all get them – creating a discussion board type of thing. You can join groups based on interest, and search for groups based on subject matter. This seems like a very cool tool to use to be able to stay connected – a concept which is continually becoming more apparent to me.