Google Tools For Educators

Conference Handout

Carol LaRow

Contact: (518) 377-8332  

See the power of Google, with the features it has to offer for teaching and learning. Google has put together a package of innovative technologies that increase productivity, allow for collaboration, help develop technology skills, and empower and motivate students.

Use the links on this page to discover the Google Tools demonstrated in the presentation, including others that we did not have time to cover. The links are provided to give you quick access to the tools so you don't have to search for them.

Use the Documents to Supplement Tools section for how to's, tips, and integration ideas.

  More tools & links will be added as Google makes changes. Additional documents & how to's will also be added.
 Link to Carol LaRow's Educational Technology Consultant Page

Evaluating Sites on the WEB:
accuracy –  Does the site list the author and institution that published the page? Is there a way to contact the author?

credibility – Is the information from a news organization, television station, news magazine, trusted publication?

validity –     Do different sources report or list the same information?

objectivity – Is the main objective of the page to provide information? Is advertising limited? Are author’s opinions evident?

current –     Is the page current and updated regularly? Do the links work?

purpose –    purpose of the document is clear; ? information is useful
Google Tools:
News: Search and browse 4,500 news sources updated continuously. Quickly browse top news stories, search for a specific topic, get "news alerts," search archives, create timelines, and personalize your newspage.

Groups: Collaborate with members you select - teachers & students, students & peers, classroom to classroom! Share information, work together online, post ideas, exchange files, conduct discussions.


  1) Docs & Spreadsheets: Online word processor & spreadsheet editors that allow you to create, store, share, and collaborate.
       Students can work together on assignments. They can even import docs they are working on. Teachers can upload assignments
  2) Presentation: Publish presentations on the WEB. Use Google's presentation creator, or import existing Power Point
       presentations from you computer. Allow "real time" viewing of presentations in browsers.

Blogger: Start a class blog with this tool. Blogs are simple WEB pages of frequently updated posts. Use it to have students post ideas, thoughts, reactions to units you are studying. They can discuss novels, political events, and have ongoing discussions about class assignments. You can even post pictures. Start generating feedback in minutes!

Sites: Create and publish WEB pages.. No need to know html. See how your page will look as you type right in the browser window. No need to download software, and Google hosts your page on its server. You can add text, links, images, videos, gadgets, calendars, and more.

iGoogle: Personalize your Google homepage. Edit your settings, add gadgets, and design the look of your page. View information in a single place, from any computer. Sample content includes gmail, news headlines, weather, maps, documents, groups, blogger, and more. Note: You must create a Google Account to use all its features.

Book Search: Search the full text of books. Google will find content that contains a match for your search terms. You will be able to see everything from a few short excerpts to the entire book. The books come from two sources: publishers and libraries. Once you find a book, you browse online, search within the book, buy the book, or find it in a library.

Scholar: This allows you to search for scholarly literature from across many disciplines. Examples include peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, abstracts and articles from academic publishers, professional societies, universities and other scholarly organizations.

Sketch Up: A modeling software that allows you to create 3D designs. Students can construct models of buildings, trees, cars, etc. It can be used as a stand alone tool or with Google Earth and the 3D Warehouse.

Translate: Translate WEB pages or pieces of text. Copy and paste the text into the browser window or add a url for an entire page. Choose the language, and click the "translate" button. You can even add a browser button that translates with a single click.

Maps: Google provides dynamic, interactive maps that are draggable. You can choose between "map view" and "satellite view," which uses satellite imagery. No need to click and wait for graphics to reload. View maps and get driving directions. Search "within" areas, even neighboorhoods; locate a business, or type in a generic word like "pizza" and get a listing of pizza places in that area.

Picasa: Post photos and videos online that you can share with your students, other educators, and other classes. Create albums and upload photos that others can view and download. You can edit, organize, and even add captions and comments to photos. Use with Google's Picasa software. (Currently for PC's, not Mac's; PC's should be running Internet Explorer 5.01 or higher; 6.0 is better)

    New Features:

  • post your photos to public albums and search Picasa community photos
  • Picasa "uploader" - use as a "stand alone" application
  • "Map Your Photos" - lets you show people "where" you took the photos. Click on photos and see a map that locates the exact  place the photos were taken.

    Mac Users:

  • Picasa is not currently available for Macs
  • Picasa Exporter - offered for Macs with iPhoto; allows user to create Picasa WEB albums; exporter "lives" inside iPhoto; it's a plug-in that uploads photos to a Picasa WEB Album
  • allows users quickly post and share photos on the WEB
  • does not have the full features of Picasa

Google Earth: Uses satellite imagery to zoom to any place on Earth. Explore every country, see famous landmarks and locations, "fly" over the Grand Canyon, create your own virtual tours or use ones created on interesting educational topics. Choose to show boundaries, bodies of water, roads, geographic features, etc.


  • "Fly" to your own home; type in your address and go directly to your street
  • Get driving directions; search for businesses, parks, schools, landmarks, etc.
  • See 3D terrain and buildings
  • Tilt and rotate the Earth to get different views

    Featured Content:

  • National Geographic Magazine
  • You Tube
  • NASA
  • Discovery Network World Tour
  • Rumsey Historical Maps
  • Tracks 4 Africa
  • European Space Agency
  • Volcanoes
  • Earthquakes

    Special Feature!

      Teach literature using Google Earth. This site offers a variety of novels which are presented in a concrete way, so students can
      visualize where the action of the novels take place. Explore novels such as Grapes of Wrath, Candide, & The Aeneid for high
      school students. Review an historical novel, My Brother Sam is Dead, as your class studies the American Revolution, grades 6-8.
      Look into By the Great Horned Spoon in the K-5 section.

       KMZ files are downloadable! Use them in your classroom!

  • Podcasts offer overviews of the Lit Trips, with invitations for teachers and students to join
  • Slide shows give teachers an overview of the novel
  • How-to's are posted to download and use
  • Step guides are attached for learning how to use Google Earth
  • Endorsements are listed from authors, notable speakers, journals, etc.
Grades 6-8:
View how Carol LaRow integrates an historical novel for language arts classes, as students study the American Revolution in social studies. Carol's "Lit Trip" lists each chapter, with teacher and student-written discussion questions, links to resources on the WEB, links to primary source documents in the Library of Congress, pictures typical of the time period, and suggested technology activities for students. Other schools are invited to join the project or download the materials.

Link to WEB Page on Google Lit Trips
Download My Brother Sam is Dead KMZ

Podcast Overview (Need Quick Time Player)

Grades 9-12:
See how Jerome Burg uses Google Earth to create an experiment in teaching literature. Jerome recreates characters' journeys in some of the great novels high school students study. Pop up windows broaden the reader's experience with links, pictures, and text.

Link to WEB Page on Google Lit Trips

Grapes of Wrath KMZ

Google Sky: Allows users to explore the sky, constellations, and planets. Click the "star" button in Google Earth (click the "star" button in the menu bar). The sky above the current location of Google Earth will appear. Navigate through the heavens; use navigate controls to rotate, pan, and zoom. The "Layers" feature contains additional content to display. Look at constellations, learn about galaxies, see images from the Hubble Telescope, and read about the objects you are looking at. You can even animate the orbits of the planets.

Other tools will be added . . . .

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Documents to Supplement Tools
hello hello
iGoogle nPersonalize your Google Homepage
News nBrowse news sources updated continuously & customize your page.
Sites nCreate and publish WEB pages
Docs nUse online word processors, spreadsheets, & presentations
Maps nGet directions, view satellite imagery, locate businesses, and more with interactive mapso
Groups nCollaborate with others; share information; work on documents simultaneouslyo
Google Earth n"Fly" to any place on Earth; tilt and zoom the globe.
Sketch Up nCreate 3D designs; can also use in conjunction with Google Earth
Picasa nOrganize, edit, and post photos online; share with others
Blogger nGenerate feedback and discussions on any topic; use as a class blog on pertinent units of study
Scholar nSearch for scholarly papers, abstracts, articles, etc. from across many disciplines
Book Search nSearch the full text of works in the public domain; find books you're looking to buy
Google Sky nExplore the sky, constellations, and planets. Navigate through the heavens.
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