Reflection on Sharon Betts’ “Oodles of Googles”

I began to use Google tools over a year ago and yet here I am finding ones that I haven’t accessed to-date. Sharon’s session gives me the option of using her wiki, her embedded videos or the downloaded video clips. She is a master at teaching teachers and the careful design of her session didn’t surprise me. The multiple resources will be helpful during faculty meetings and small “help” sessions with teachers. The google tools have evolved and will continue to do so for fortunately I have become more comfortable with screencasting lately and should be able to do my own sessions that teachers can revisit.

While I was setting up some of the investigation tools that Sharon recommends I couldn’t help but go off on tangents to Talk (is it better than Skype?), check my Reader, check to see if I have the latest Picasa plugins for my browser and iPhoto (I didn’t), and thus I found that I could have spent my whole day on the google tools page. I didn’t know about google Web History; that will save me tons of time!!

The continually expanding opportunities of google tools are bringing more and more communication and collaboration options to our classrooms. Sharon and others have described a way to use a teacher gmail account to have students have logins that are a derivative of the teacher account and they go to that account, not a separate student account, may be a way to have our younger students use these web 2.0 tools with their own login, but with guidance and supervision from the teacher.

Once again by viewing the session materials I have more on my “back to school” To Do list than ever, but I am enriched by so many more resources that I have been helped to apply and understand. Thanks Sharon!

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