I attended the Tools for the Digital Age seminar on September 23, 2014 at UNH Manchester, presented by the World Affairs Council of NH.
Ben Blink, a public policy analyst for Google, introduced and demonstrated new educational tools and resources that teachers can use to enhance their teaching and engage learners. He discussed five major free tools for educators.
- Google Maps for Education – mapping tools
- Constitute – digital collections of constitutions from across the globe
- Connected Classrooms – virtual field trips
- Google Cultural Institute – exhibits and collections from museums around the world
- YouTube for education
Google Maps and Google Earth
Google Maps and Google Earth are now closely tied together. When you are looking at a Google map, note the Google Earth icon on the bottom left.
Especially check out Maps Gallery. There are thousands of maps available and users can even upload their own maps to the site. An interesting map that Mr. Blink pointed out was Earth at Night 2012 Just think of all the interesting discussions that could occur based on this one map!
The Constitute Project provides the world’s constitutions – to read, search, and compare.
See https://www.constituteproject.org/ to see 192 different constitutions. They can be searched and excerpted by such things as amendments, executive, international law and more.
This allows for virtual field trips using Google Hangouts. The Connected Classrooms site lists upcoming events and past events which have been recorded. A How to Use Hangouts in the Classroom is included.
Google Cultural Institute
At the Google Cultural Institute you can discover exhibits and collections from museums and archives all around the world; you can explore cultural treasures in extraordinary detail, from hidden gems to masterpieces. You can do virtual walking tours of many areas too.
And, you can create your own galleries and share favorite finds with friends.
YouTube for Education
Tired of cat videos? Worried about inappropriate videos? Check out https://www.youtube.com/education. Below is one teacher’s take on why videos are needed in education.
Using Different Google Domains
When a search is done using google.com, the user is getting the US based information, generally. Try using another domain to see what a user in a different country might see. To get a find Google domains in different countries, see List of Google Domains.
If you decide to use any of these Google tools, be sure to check with your IT department regarding your school’s policies with respect to these features, privacy, and more. If you want to get more information and training about these tools see How to use Google Tools for education.
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