Cool Tools for School, Thing 28: Anything Goes Google

This is another Cool Tool topic that never disappoints! I don’t know how Google keeps coming up with new things but they do and they do it faster than I can keep up with them-thank goodness Polly does this fabulous round up every year!

What I looked at:

What I’d like to do with them:

The Primarily Google blog and website were chockful of ideas! I love their post about embedding YouTube videos into Google Forms to both avoid the YouTube website and the various issues that can come with it and, for gathering feedback and information from your students when they are done watching the video. I’m so blown away about the ideas they presented I’m seriously considering signing up for their self paced class. It’s a little pricey but I think it could be worth it…

The Control Alt Achieve blog was full I can’t wait to share with my teachers! They basically gave me enough awesome ideas to fill the “Technology Tips” section of the monthly e-newsletter I send teachers for the rest of the school year (and maybe even into next school year!). That is, if I can hold off sharing for that long-that’s how exciting I found things like:

Sidenote: I loved the idea of the Google Spell Up game but can not seem to get to work. Every link I find for it (even through the Chrome Store) just takes me back to the regular Google homepage. If you know how to get it to work, please, please share the secret with me!

In keeping with my obsession with Library Centers, I was very excited to read on the Ditch That Textbook site about YouTube Editor and being able to edit and customize other videos to better fit our needs but, that appears to no longer be an available option. However, I did learn about a fun Google Experiment I think our music teacher might enjoy using with students: A.I. Duet!

What I’d like students to try with them:

I’d love to incorporate the Primarily Google blog’s YouTube/Google Form idea into our Awards Season centers. Currently, we’re watching videos of this year’s 3 Apples books and our mock Caldecott contenders in our center rotations. I think this could be a great way to have kids think about things they liked and didn’t like about the 3 Apples books and/or the contenders in our Mock Caldecott. They could even review their responses before casting their final votes.

So I know I said I wanted to share the ideas I found on the The Control Alt Achieve blog with my teachers but I do have some ideas on how they (and I) could use them in the classroom with students. Perhaps in the future we’ll add some of these games/ideas to our library centers.  

  • Land Lines-I think it would be interesting for primary students who are just learning shapes to see how those shapes can be found in real life, in both manmade and natural forms. Plus, it would give them a chance to practice mouse control while also practicing drawing the shapes.
  • Smarty Pins-A great way to practice geography skills and work in some basic research skills as well (like identifying key words, best places to find the answer etc).
  • Google Maps-Space & Access Mars-Our 5th graders do a planet research project every year and these would make great extension activities for students who finish up early or, a fun way to drum up excitement and interest before the project starts.
  • Mystery Animal-I think this could be a fun treat when a class has a few random minutes in their day or at the end of library class. But beyond being fun, it’s also a great way to fine tune their questioning skills, deductive reasoning skills and, work on their listening comprehension.

I had so much fun working on this Cool Tool topic. It really gave me that energized, excited feeling you get when you attend a great session at a conference and you’re just buzzing with ideas. Which is nice because our state conference is still months away and this stretch between February break and April break can be just a tad…draining. But now I’ve got some fun ideas to work on and experiment with in the meantime!


2 thoughts on “Cool Tools for School, Thing 28: Anything Goes Google

  1. Looks like Google Spell Up hasn’t been updated in 5 years. Probably somebody created a test app and never maintained it. What a shame. Thanks for sharing so many of the fun google maps related info and how you would use them!

    1. That is a bummer about Spell Up! I usually test these things at school and I can’t always tell if it’s our network settings or the site…I mean, I could probably check them again at home but I usually forget by time I get there :-)

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