Monday, January 26, 2009

Google's Docs, Earth and Sketch Up: Cool Tools and Possible Projects

This session was presented by Rushton Hurley, HS teacher, trainer, and nonprofit guy who teaches Japanese and is determined to try and save the world from ignorance. You can see the slides from his presentation by visiting here. His non-profit website hosts reviewed videos of lessons and projects and can be accessed by visiting here. You can visit here to sign up to recieve free classroom resources via email.

Mr. Hurley ran throught the following free Web 2.0 tools that could be used to engage 21st century learners.

1) Why Google Docs, Spreadsheets, Presentations and Forms? It's free, on a server somewhere that can be accessed from anywhere on any computer connected to the internet. It 's collaborative nature in general makes it the perfect vehicle for group and team work on documents, projects, and presentations. You can also invite others to just view the work. Forms are a great way to get back data quickly, you can even create self grading quizzes.

2) Google Sites - This is Google's wiki-like space allows for collaborative webpage building.

3) Google Earth - This is an interactive 3D atlas. Be sure to check our Lit Trips on Earth to see the lanmarks from great literary works already cataloged.

4) Google Maps - On Maps you can load information and pictures linked to placemarks. It is way more than just directions and street man can even give you a street view of many places.

5) Sketch Up - This is a CAD-like, but free 3D modeling program that can be downloaded and used to create INCREDIBLE, customized models. You can download models others have created as well. MUST SEE!

6) Google Books - This site offers a limited preview and/or full view of books in various genres.

7) GoogleAdvanced Search - This is a great way to narrow down a broad search with specific words, file types, sites, domains, etc...

8) - This is a free site featuring student-audience videos for use in lessons. All are invited to contribute to the site and all items are screened prior to posting.

9) - This site converts files and more. You can even download videos from YouTube by entering url of desired video and convert. This site converts them and then sends you a message to download it for viewing.

10) - This site offers copyright friendly music that can be used for movies, slide shows and student projects. All you must do is give credit to artists at the end of the presentation

11)Creative Commons Search - This site porvides copyright friendly stuff for use in shows and projects including thousands of pictures.

12) CoolIris - This site is used in combination with Flickr. You can choose pictures and put them in favorites in flickr then create a photo wall for easy reference when teaching.

13) Tag Galaxy - This site also works in conjunction with Flickr to create a photo globe. By the way, this is by far the coolest thing I have seen - I couldn't possibly accurately describe it - see for yourself.

12)Fresh Brain - This site is a place for collaborating and finding resources for online projects

13) Urban Dictionary - This is not a site to show kids while teaching but will help you understand what they are REALLY saying.

Why do we need to embrace technology in our classroms and with students - technology is attention grabbing! But just using technology for technology's sake is not the asnwer it needs to help the kid learn better and save us time. That's the key!


KK Cherney said...

I met Rushton in San Antonio and just loved his presentation.."Who can make a video in 10 minutes, YOU!" and he was great.
Some of the same tools he shared with you are some that the kids are using in extended day. Google Sketch-up is loved by all who tries it. I am so glad that you had an opportunity to learn from him.

Melissa Ross said...

Found some new ideas to include in my to do list. :)

Anonymous said...

Rushton is an awesome presenter who I feel gets overlooked quite a bit in our network of educators......but he is one who should be on everyone's radar.

Thank you so much for the links you shared.

dayle timmons said...

GREAT links!