Educators! For many of us, this isn’t a new theme park ride. Yet for those of us who haven’t experienced the thrill of using GOOGLE’S free tools, you’ve missed lots of FREE FUN. As an educator, you are given many industry-standard options to use at no expense. Better still… they are worth using.
As a new WEB 2.0 guy, I learned that collaborating with co-workers online is working smart. When you are away from your computer, are you LOST without your calendar? As an avid EXCEL and WORD user, I struggle to keep the latest update at hand. The list goes on and on unfortunately.
What options does Google offer for you? http://www.google.com/intl/en/options/
Some of my fav’s include:
1. Gmail. The world’s best email.
2. Chat. Send your wife love notes online!
3. Google search… just “Google it!” Like McCain said, we can even “Google it” to find out the top 20 candidates for V.P.
4. Maps. Much more reliable and accurate than MapQuest.
5. Earth. Have you seen your own home online yet using Google Earth? Great virtual field trip option.
6. Scholar. Working on an advanced degree? Need scholarly research for your website?
7. Notebook. Keep your “clips” you find during online searches.
8. Calendar. Keep multiple calendars online (personal, school, church). Link into one calendar if you want to.
9. Documents. This is my NEW FAVORITE! Upload from MS Office any file (.doc, .xls, .ppt) and it’s there. Unfortunately, PDF is not a format in which Google operates… yet.
Part II with Google Documents. Here are the WEB 2.o features. Share your documents by inviting them to “view”. Or invite them as a “collaborator.” Which means… you build a CONCERT PROGRAM. Send it to a colleague. Invite them to ADD TO THE DOCUMENT. Google then notifies YOU when every time the doc has been edited! Google works FOR you.
Then, invite others as a “viewer” to see what is forthcoming at the concert, yet they can’t change the layout. Only collaborators can make changes. Then, email to a Google GROUP that you have set up in GMAIL. (Import/Export addresses to/from various email programs.)
10. Picasa. For our High School Spring Musical, we share pictures among 3 collaborators. No time to meet? View online. Collaborate using Google’s amazing features.
11. Code. For those who understand code, Open Source is a wonderful collaborative tool. Get info using CODE. Incidentally, for those of you who need a free OFFICE program, begin to search the OPEN SOURCE programs available to you. OPEN OFFICE is fully functional on PC/Mac. No longer must EDUCATORS sit in the wings crying because we don’t have funds to purchase software packages. There are hundreds of amazing programs available to those who… seek and find.
12. Translate. Two years ago, we met our German cousins…for the first time! Communicating effectively across languages can be daunting to say the least. Now, using TRANSLATE, you can not only read other languages but Google will translate for you into other languages.
ENJOY Googling Around!