Wednesday, September 30, 2009

#9 Virtually Online

It is absolutely amazing explore virtual worlds online. I never knew that they existed.
The ideas of being able to visit a virtual library or attend university in a virtual world could be really appealing (as are the money making possibilities).
Some students in the classroom are already engaged in Virtual Worlds online and are keen to spend some of their break time and home time in this world.
I feel that there is huge potential for virutal worlds in the classroom, but I am not sure how to go about it yet. I know I would need to do a lot more research in this area and maybe ask the help and guidance of the students in the classroom.
Though I am concerned about some peoples (children, teenagers and adults) ability to become completely absorbed in the virutal worlds, to the point of neglecting their own. We can not allow these virtual worlds to effect our communication and social skills inside and outside the classroom. Where is the happy medium?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

#8 iGoogle

I really like iGoogle. I already use this at school on my work account. It's fun, interesting and engaging. I like adding different gagdgets, such as the Google Calendar, which lists homework and tasks that need to be completed. The 'To Do' list is another great gadget which both teachers and students can use to keep up with tasks and activities.
Everthing is just a click away and it is easy to begin setting up a page and adding gadgets. iGoogle is very engaging and innovative. It attracts all ages.
Maybe creating a gagdet about a classroom which could connect students and teachers together (like a portal) and you could leave messages etc.
Google looks like an intersting, vibrant, exciting place to work, where an atmosphere of collaboration is fostered and people are able to challenge each other in a positive way for the benefit of the company and become innovative. The best quote from an employee was, "You are in a position to make a difference to people you have never met!". This quote is what Google is about. It also seems the company ensures the comfort, saftey and health of it's employees. It would be extremely exciting and motivating to work at Google.

#7 Google Books

After viewing Google Books it is wonderful to learn how versatile Google is. I know that some of the worksheets and presentations I create will not be done through Google rather than Microsoft. Not only is it more convenient, but it seems to be easier to use.

Google Books (being an English teacher) is very very exciting. As all my classes spend one lesson a cycle in the library I am always challenged to help find interesting books (even up to the point where I purchase some to share with my classes). How fantastic it is to learn about a program where you can not just search for library books, but topics and magazines. It is also a great idea to allow students to go through themselves and search for what they may like. Each book selected provides a synopsis and also different reader's opinions. Students could also add their own review of the book as well!

The Library is a great idea to keep track of books that students have shown interest in or have read.
I can't wait to start using this application at school!

#6 Google Maps (&

Google maps are really good to use. It is easy to find locations, such as towns, suburbs and streets. The directions section is great and really easy to understand.

Google maps will be a great tool in class. As an English teacher finding locations in novels, articles, reports etc is always a benefit as it helps to increase a students understanding. From the maps it is easy to make a transition to Google Earth to see a more detailed picture, especially in other countries.

Using Google maps and Google Earth helps to make the content in class more relevant to students.

#5 Check out Google Docs

Really enjoyed learning about Google Docs - especially the presentations. To create a presentation that is easily made, can incorporate video's and graphics (which was not complicated) and readily designed and styled is great for the classroom. Really loved how easy it also was to create the extra notes down the side!!

It is so handy that they can be saved in Google's database, making it easier to access in the classroom.

It was also very easy to create a simple file, and the symbols in the toolbars were easily recognisable.

I would like to explore the Spreadsheets in greater detail and learn more about how to create one that would benefit a classroom!