Find your next job fast at the Jan. 28 Virtual Career Fair. Register now.
Infrastructure

‘Google for Educators’ Unveils Interactive Tools for Schools

By Rhea R. Borja — November 21, 2006 | Corrected: February 22, 2019 3 min read

Corrected: An earlier version of this story misidentified the newspaper in which Google Inc. was to place an advertisement based on student-generated ideas to combat global warming.

Inspired in part by questions from educators in the field, the Web search-engine company Google Inc. has unveiled a variety of online interactive tools, curriculum resources, and lesson plans for teachers.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based company introduced Google for Educators and Google Apps for Education last month. In addition, Blackboard Inc. has partnered with Google so that students and educators can conduct better searches for resources inside that Washington-based company’s education learning-management system, as well as scholarly works.

Google started developing Google for Educators after getting an increasing number of e-mails from teachers asking for help, said Cristin Frodella, the company’s product-marketing manager for K-12 education. Many wanted to know how best to teach students to use Google’s popular search engine, she said.

More information about Google for Educators and Google Apps for Education is posted by Google Inc.

The new site features a tutorial for teachers on conducting better Web searches. Other tools include Google Earth, three-dimensional mapping software based on satellite imagery; SketchUp, a 3-D software program that lets students design buildings and explore geometric concepts; Google Book Search, which finds books that match students’ search terms; blog and photo-sharing software; and word-processing applications that allow students to work simultaneously on the same document from different computers.

The company also invites teachers to add their lesson plans to the site.

Training for Teachers

Google also has partnered with Silver Spring, Md.-based Discovery Education, a division of the media company Discovery Communications Inc., to create online lessons and digital videos to supplement Google Earth.

Teachers can access online tutorials to integrate Google Earth with Discovery’s videos, whose subjects include geometry, the American Revolutionary War, and the novel All Quiet on the Western Front, said Matt Katzive, a spokesman for Discovery Education.

In addition, Google also held a pilot training session for 50 teachers on Nov. 7 as part of its plans to offer expanded professional-development opportunities to educators around the country. The aim was for the teachers to learn how to use the Google applications as well as such online skills as podcasting and blogging.

Next year, the company hopes to offer more seminars for teachers, both in person and on the Web, Ms. Frodella said.

Google Apps for Education, which is used by schools as well as colleges and universities, includes customizable Web pages, instant-messaging tools, e-mail, and interactive calendars. Tens of thousands of educational institutions and organizations, including the 65,000 students at Arizona State University in Tempe, use Google Apps, said Kevin Gough a product-marketing manager for the company.

Blackboard, meanwhile, will integrate Google Scholar and Google OneBox for Enterprise into its Web-based learning-management system. The former software allows students to search peer- reviewed papers, doctoral theses, and other scholarly works. The latter technology allows targeted searches of Blackboard’s course catalog and all other online content.

Going Global

In one recent project involving Google for Educators, the company invited students and teachers to create documents via the Web site to brainstorm ideas to combat global warming.

The online site featured links to resources and tips on techniques for slowing the increase in the world’s temperature.

Global SchoolNet, an Encinitas, Calif.-based nonprofit group that connects and teaches students via the Web and other technology, reviewed the documents and chose the 50 ideas it considered best, said Jill Lindenbaum, a Google spokeswoman. Those ideas are to be featured in a full-page ad in USA Today.

Ideas came in from upwards of 80 schools—more than half of them outside the United States, Ms. Lindenbaum added.

Eleven- to 13-year-old students at Ghana’s Opoku Ware School, for example, suggested that farmers allow land to lie fallow to enable soil nutrients to regenerate, and high school students in Romania suggested that scientists create hybrid plants that can survive in extreme conditions.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the November 29, 2006 edition of Education Week as ‘Google for Educators’ Unveils Interactive Tools for Schools

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Branding Matters. Learn From the Pros Why and How
Learn directly from the pros why K-12 branding and marketing matters, and how to do it effectively.
Content provided by EdWeek Top School Jobs
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
How to Make Learning More Interactive From Anywhere
Join experts from Samsung and Boxlight to learn how to make learning more interactive from anywhere.
Content provided by Samsung
Teaching Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table With Education Week: How Educators Can Respond to a Post-Truth Era
How do educators break through the noise of disinformation to teach lessons grounded in objective truth? Join to find out.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Director of Information Technology
Montpelier, Vermont
Washington Central UUSD
Great Oaks AmeriCorps Fellow August 2021 - June 2022
New York City, New York (US)
Great Oaks Charter Schools
Director of Athletics
Farmington, Connecticut
Farmington Public Schools
Head of Lower School
San Diego, California
San Diego Jewish Academy

Read Next

Infrastructure Half of Districts Lack Connectivity Needed for Widespread Videoconferencing, Device Usage
Two-thirds of America's public school students attend schools that may not provide enough bandwidth for life after COVID-19.
3 min read
.
iStock/Getty
Infrastructure Internet Access Is a Civil Rights Issue
In the world’s wealthiest country, why is broadband access denied to so many and in such high numbers? Mark Lieberman investigates.
7 min read
v40 6BI ML IMG
Illustration by Jamiel Law
Infrastructure Schools Handed Out Millions of Digital Devices Under COVID-19. Now, Thousands Are Missing
Some districts are scrambling to account for thousands of devices—a task made more urgent by the uncertainty over when students will be able to return to school buildings full-time.
5 min read
1 Laptops ARTICLE
Getty
Infrastructure How to Address Big Tech Equity Challenges
School districts are facing huge tech equity issues this school year, especially if schools return to full-time remote learning. Here’s how they are addressing those challenges.
7 min read
Sam Urban Wittrock, a history teacher at W.W. Samuell High School in Dallas, shows an example of one of the many WiFi hotspot devices his school district is giving to students. Schools nationwide are gearing up to do a better job this academic year making sure digital devices and WiFi access are available to all students.
Sam Urban Wittrock, a history teacher at W.W. Samuell High School in Dallas, shows an example of one of the many WiFi hotspot devices his school district is giving to students. Schools nationwide are gearing up to do a better job this academic year making sure digital devices and WiFi access are available to all students.
Tony Gutierrez/AP