So for this week, I decided to put google to the test (as per our assignment). I started off by just checking out the site and what it has to offer. I noticed a really awesome page for teachers to use with their students ( http://www.google.com/educators/index.html ). It displays recent projects and news from google so currently most of it is a bunch of links to election related material. Although I am not a social teacher, I think that these could be very good resources to use to get my students to write about for an english class (for example). It has mock elections, election video links, a “Letters to the next president” (I’m hoping they come out with a Canadian edition soon!), and lots of other great tools. I think this would be so helpful in teaching students about politics and national issues, or at least provide a topic to spark an interest for an assignment. I wish that my teacher (especially social studies) had used something like this to get me interested, excited, or even just informed about what is actually going on in the political world. I really hope they come out with a Canadian version, though. If they do, I will definitly try to incorperate it into my class.
I also found a page of google related posters. Some of them would be helpful to display near and computer, especially if I plan on using google tools. I don’t know that they would be all that helpful, but for students to have a reminder of how the tool their are using works, then I might hang up a poster or two.
Finally, I stumbled upon at site called “Google Lit Trips”( http://www.googlelittrips.com/ ) which basically uses google earth to “fly over” the cities or places mentioned in various books. This would be helpful for students to actually see what they reading about or follow the path of a character over the course of a chapter, or even an entire book. This is an excellent idea for better comprehension and would be what I would think to be a fun activity for students to do. There are also lots of helpful links on the page with various teacher’s guides etc., to use for inspiration.
I only have two big problems with the Teacher Tools. Firstly, as I said above, its not Canadian, so there won’t be some material that Canadian teachers might want. Secondly (and this is a big secondly), there is not a full subject range of tools. There is absolutely nothing (that I could find) that is even remotely math related. Being a math major, this disappointed me a lot.
Overall, for the general teaching population, this would be a GREAT site to use, but for a select few Canadian math teachers, probably not so much.