Here are a few neat things you can do using the Google toolbox.
1. Create timelines from a Google spreadsheet. We’ve mentioned other timeline tools before, but the easy editing associated with using a Goolge spreadsheet as the data container makes this option extra-nice.
2. 50 Little-Known Ways Google Docs can Help in Education. This list includes access features (like cloud storage and collaboration) in addition to functional features (graphs, drawing, videos, and templates). If you think you’d like to do more with Google Docs, but aren’t quite sure where to start, this list offers a nice overview.
3. Confirm quotations by searching Google Books. High on the list of scholarly annoyances is knowing – just knowing – that a quotation is somewhere in a given book (or stack of books), but not being able to find the right page. No more! Well, for the most part. An additional benefit is the ability to verify that source materials have been properly cited, if you are re-quoting something.
4. Google+. Google+ is certainly something to consider: it ranked as the highest new tool on the list of 100 Top Tools for Learning in 2011 (note that voting on this list is restricted to learning professionals, so results here might be more valid than an ordinary internet poll). Additionally, we want to hear how you’re using Google+. Have you used it in a class? To network or collaborate with other scholars? Used the video chat feature in Google+ Hangouts? Have you shared your screen or tried any of the apps that accompany the video hangout?
Last, if your students turn to Google as a default search engine, this is a nice article about cultivating savvy searching skills (based on a piece in The Atlantic). I love that “understanding sources” features prominently!