Saturday, July 4, 2015

Experience the World in your Classroom with Google!

I had the great fortune to visit the Google for Education booth at ISTE 2015 on Tuesday in time to experience Rich Kiker's presentation. In case you don't know, he is a Google Master! While he didn't share everything here, his website complete with Symbaloo is full of Google related resources.

Inspired by the tools he shared, I have created this Symbaloo that spotlights the tools he did share but not all (so you don't get lost).

Beginning in the upper left are links related to location and mapping:

  • Google Maps - a no-brainer but just in case....
  • Google Maps for EDU - Click on the resources tab to find a collection of video tutorials for Google Maps and Google Earth
  • Street View - Stunning photography will transport you and your students to places far and wide! Explore world landmarks and discover natural wonders through 360-degree images! Street View is going away in August. Here's the info on where it's going!
  • Tour Builder - You can create your own story using Tour Builder! Think about... a personal narrative, plotting movement in a novel or historical event! This could be a really great project for your students as well as for you. It allows you to create Google Earth type projects using your web browser. Here's a YouTube tutorial. Only bummer - You must use a different browser than Chrome as Chrome no longer supports the Google Earth plug-in. Hopefully, that will change in the future!
  • Google Maps - Smarty Pins - This fun and interactive game tests players' trivia AND geography knowledge! Could be a fun and easy starter or end of class activity! 
  • GeoGuesser - Click Single Player mode and you're off! You'll be in street View somewhere in the world. Look around. Use any information available and figure out where you are. Click on the map and place the marker where you think you are. Click the Make a Guess button!
In the middle:
  • TREKS - Join the Google team as they trek the wonders of the world! Each trek is unique with videos, 360 degree panoramas and more! Meet chimpanzees in Gombe National Park. Hike the Grand Canyon. How might you set your students loose here?
  • Connected Classrooms - Bringing field trips into classrooms via Google+. You need to join the Connected Classrooms Community on Google+ to learn about the opportunities.
  • Expeditions - Google's latest EDU project. Click the Learn More button to request an expedition for your classroom. Scroll down and learn about Google Cardboard, More to come!
  • Google Cultural Institute - Discover exhibits and collections from museums around the world. You can even create your own collections and share them. Think of how you might use this to share specific pieces/works with your students! Below are links to the specific categories of works:
    • Art Project - Explore works of art and exhibitions. Virtual tours available as well.
    • Historic Moments - View exhibitions of the stories behind historic moments in our history.
    • World Wonders - Experience the wonders of the modern and ancient world.

Lower left corner:

  • Constitute - Explore the world's constitutions to read, search and compare. Talk about primary sources!
  • Google New Archive - Search for web news content until the year 2003. 
  • Google Lit Trips - Tracing the movement of characters from literature, Google Lit Trips are designed to encourage higher level thinking skills and  make real-world connections. They work with Google Earth. Be sure to look at the information on the right sidebar.
  • Google Books - Search here for free books and books for purchase.
  • Music Timeline - See how artists and genres have gained and dropped in popularity over the decades and more!

Super Bonus! Build with Chrome - As a mom who loved Legos as a kid and invested in lots with my own children (and looking forward to my granddaughter and I building together in the future), here's a digital platform! what's not to like!. Click Start Building and go! Or, select Build Academy to be challenged! Enter the World of Build to see what others have built. You can too!

How might these tools be used for learning in K-12? Share your thinking! Please comment and share! Together we can grow and learn!

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