Muddling through the blogosphere

Google’s Cool Tools and Possible Projects with Rushton Hurley


I’m heading into ILC Session 2 with Rushton Hurley, one of my favorite presenters from NECC 2008. He starts in a few minutes, but already has Simon’s Cat playing for our waiting entertainment.

Rushton’s starting with statement that kids learn more when they’re having a good time – and I’ll add – teachers too – which is pretty much guaranteed with Rushton’s style.

Address for Rushton’s preos resources:

Why Google stuff?

  • powerful
  • collaborative
  • well-prices
  • time-efficient

Google Doc, Spreadsheets, and Presentations – Allow us to create Office application stuff online. Google Docs online eliminates “living hell” of sending versions back and forth. Shared spreadsheet of collaborative blogging projects. Google Presentations – allows kids to get to presentation at anytime as long as you identify kids as viewers and collaborators.

Google Notebook – Another collaborative piece. Download a plugin for browser (piclens or CoolIris- calls up photo wall – great way to get kids’ attention. Great for vocabulary. You have option to right-click and note cooliris in Google Notebook. You can put things in sets (like photosynthesis). Just identify someone as a collaborator. But you do have to download plugin. How to use with kids – teaching them to cite their sources.

Google Sites – compared to wiki

Google Earth – Requires plugin

Google Maps – Rather than filtering – is it a good thing that you can see someone’s house? Message to kids: don’t put your address out there. Checkout Google Map on California MIssions.

Sketch Up – 3D modeling program – essentially FREE audocad program. Great tools for designing area, for instance. 3D warehouse – bring in trees for example. Shadow tool, for instance, as you scroll through year, great for initiating discussions.  “We need to use tools in such a way as to really get kids asking questions.” Could be great science tool to because you can do inside too.

Google Book Search – full view – find Danger and Other Stories (Arthur Connan Doyle) – let kids read it on the computer

iGoogle – add widgets (online stopwatch, Nat’l Geo pic of day) It’s a front page

Advanced Search – storyboard template. By file type very useful.

Educators Group – use online resources to find other teachers – classroom posters, organizations, and more!

PowerPoint – Being a Project Amigo Video. ( No video – all pictures. Big question: is kid listening or not?

Why we do this:

  • another way to show learning
  • confidence
  • improve quality of student work
  • good for ELL, LD kids
  • personal impact
  • expanding the audience

I’m only two sessions into the conference, but I’m sure Rushton’s session will remain at the top of my favorites list.

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