Stalking the OTF Google Learning Institute

I was very disappointed to miss OTFs “The Google Learning Institute”. I had planned on stalking the learning experience on Saturday via twitter. I hoped that enough people would be tweeting about it that I could pick up bits and pieces throughout the day. Saturday ended up being a beautiful day around Southern Georgian Bay and in order to maintain some balance in my life I have a personal rule that if it’s sunny out, I need to be outside playing. Otherwise I slowly turn into some evil person I no longer recognize. So I thought that I had missed the learning all together.

Sunday morning proved to be rainy, overcast and cold out. Aside from walking the dog and hunting the red squirrels that have found their way into my attic, it was going to be a day to catch up on chores indoors. First and foremost I opened up tweetdeck to see what I had missed over the past few days. My #OTFCUE column was full. Yeah! I worked from the beginning and started my own learning based on the tweets of those attending. THANK YOU all for sharing. Below is what I’ve learned in a few hours of catch-up.

  1. Using Google Alerts for parents to keep track of their children’s digital footprint. I use it myself, but never thought to encourage parents. Great idea Zoe!
  2. Google Insight – creating graphs and tables on the interest of specific search terms. What a great opportunity for a business or marketing course.
  3. Creating Google Custom Searches and embedding into your website. Great for students when they only need to search a few websites.
  4. Google is great, but there are other options. This presentation makes some great points about research skills. It’s all about choosing the right tool for the job.
  5. Google Scribe could be very useful for struggling writers.
  6. Google Forms allow you to embed maps.
  7. Google Lit Trips – connecting maps, images and locations to literature.
  8. Google News – one-stop shopping for the most popular news of the minute.
  9. Google New – a place to read about all the new things happening at Google.
  10. Google Wonder Wheel – searching for topics connected to your original search term – using graphics to organize.
  11. Google Squared – creating a table from search information. Great to help students with organization of information.
  12. Google Search Stories – Telling story (video) through google searches. I’ve seen these before but can never think of a good use. Some great ideas thrown around by educators on twitter!
  13. Embedding Google Lookup into a spreadsheet (Google Doc)- This one is my FAVORITE!!! What a great way to collect data – you enter the search into the spreadsheet and it pulls in the data from the web. So many possibilities. The one I created (based on an example given by Google) is a table of elements and their characteristics.
  14. Red squirrels are going to drive me insane! I can hear them – but I can’t find out where they are or how they are getting in for the life of me. It’s time to start an all-out war!

If I’ve missed any great tips and ideas from the Google session (or if you have tips on getting rid of the monsters in my attic) please share!

Thanks to the following for helping me grab some excellent ideas even if I couldn’t participate in the learning in real time: @susayoun, @mathattck, @dougpete, @tgianno, @rickbudd, @msjweir, @pmcash, @zbpipe and @cyndiejacobs!

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