Google to Battle Educational Inequity

It’s been a good day for news about Google and education in my Feeds. It started with this post: Google to Battle Educational Inequity (Via A Teacher’s Life.) Apparently, Google is offering two-year deferrals to anyone who wants to spend time teaching in under-resourced schools before beginning work at Google. Wow. Great idea. As fellow ITM Blogger Lucy Gray suggests, it would be great to see more corporations supporting something like this. And how about a two-year leave for existing employees?

A to Z Google help topics (Via Lifehacker.) Lifehacker links to the Google help index, which might be useful for educators to browse.

Smarter Google searches (Via Lifehacker.) Lifehacker also links to some tips on smarter searches, which are always helpful to teachers and students. The article also links to the Google-pedia, a book subtitled the ultimate Google resource.

See real estate listings in Google Earth (Via Lifehacker.) I’m not sure this would be a meaningful thing in most educational contexts, but it’s another feature of Google Earth I was unaware of.

Download of the Day: Google Reader Notifier (Firefox) (Via Lifehacker.) And for those of you who have switched to Google reader, this looks like a great way to integrate that reading experience with your Firefox browsing experience. It is great to imagine students and teachers using something like this to keep on top of the information they have subscribed to.

Open Weekend GE Course Reflections

Open Weekend GE Course Reflections (Via Teaching This seems worth noting and I’d like to know more about it… and how it might be connected to Cristin Frodella’s work at Google for Educators:

The Google Earth Education Program offers schools and districts a free subscription to Google Earth Pro ($400 annually). Prospective schools and districts are encouraged to contact Dennis Reinhardt, Google Earth Education Director, at

It was also Google Earth and Geography Awareness Week last week.

New ITM Post Up

I’ve posted something new at the Infinite Thinking Machine… my first attempt at explaining tags: Tags and the Infinite Universe of Information

I suppose it falls short (or long) of the brevity goal, and I’m definitely lacking specific examples of student and teacher use… but I suppose those will come (I’ll be looking for them) and someday I’ll have another go at it. Feel free to share any you know of in the comments, too. :)

Googlepedia – Must Have Firefox Extension

Googlepedia – Must Have Firefox Extension (Via iTASC.) Brilliant! I wished for just this very thing only two days ago! Amazing. Check it out:

You are using Firefox, right? Good. Go fetch the Googlepedia extension. It turns your Google searches into Google + Wikipedia searches.

Extend Yourself: You do understand that Wikipedia is less about building an encyclopedia and more about “collecting the sum of all human knowledge and making it available for free to everybody on earth”, right? Please take 20 minutes this morning to educate yourself a bit further about Wikipedia.

Unlearn: Google vs. Wikipedia. Google and Wikipedia. Google or Wikipedia.,

Learn: Googlepedia.

Action: Try it. Tell a friend.

From My Feeds: Wikis, Google, and More…

I’m squeezing in a post between reading my feeds this morning and actually doing the writing I’ll get paid for. :)

First, I want to share yet another wiki I’ve started. I expect this will see a lot of use in the next few months. I’m using it to facilitate the tech planning process at the Palm Springs Unified School District. I share it here as a model and another example of how Wikis can be used in educational institutions. The actual content might benefit others as well. Visit to check it out.

Next I want to share a few things from my feeds. Speaking of wikis, Julie Lindsay shares a post about Vicky Davisk12 Wiki, including a new list of Winning “Outstanding Wiki Contributors.” Julie’s post includes some links to wiki in education resources and Vicky’s wiki is full of them. I’m glad I stumbled across both these sites.

So, for someone that doesn’t know what a wiki is, this post is relatively unintelligible isn’t it?

In other wiki news, Google has acquired JotSpot (Via StigmergicWeb), a popular and feature rich wiki service. It’s about time Google acquired a wiki service! I’ve been waiting for this. I can’t wait to write about it at the Infinite Thniking Machine.

Now that we’re on the topic of Google, be sure to check out what Tom Hoffman writes about Google-Oriented Ed Consulting (Via Tuttle SVC), and personally I hope Google takes up the lead in providing this service to schools, though I would certainly love to be involved… someday… post dissertation. I have to learn to start saying no to new projects – and stop looking for new work (however interesting)!

Also on the Google front, Miguel Guhlin has shared some more thoughts on using Google Earth in Your Classroom (Via Around the Corner –

Finally, speaking of Google Earth (which is a really cool map), I found this related post about a National Geographic resource interesting as well (though I haven’t been able to fully explore it): Maps, Maps, and More Maps (Via iTASC.)

More Workshop Wikis

I’m presenting five sessions at the San Diego Computer Using Educators Tech Fair on Saturday. Here are the wikis I’ve put together for those sessions. These presentation notes are a bit sparse without the speaking I’ll be doing, but I know at least one of my sessions will be recorded, and I’ll share that here, too.

In the meantime, feel free to contribute to the new wikis. :)

Power Up: An Introduction to Video Games in Education
It Really Is Really Simple! An Introduction to RSS in Education
Wiki While You Work: An Introduction to Wikis in Education
What More Could You Ask For? An Introduction to Open Source Software
Google More… An Introduction to Google in Education

I’ve Been Busy Part III: The Infinite Thinking Machine

At the end of a very long two weeks, I’ve also finally managed to get my second post up on the Infinite Thinking Machine blog. This post focuses on 21st Century Skills, and models the use of several search tools to learn more about the topic.

Meanwhile, my fellow ITM bloggers have been generating some great conversation. Check out the reactions to Wes Freyer’s last post. And be sure to check out the second show, which shares a few great search tips, and explores the use of Google Docs (formerly Writely) in the classroom. Good stuff… and short to boot.

Google in Education (and for the Mac)

I spent just over an hour catching up on my RSS feeds this morning. The new Google Mac team’s blog caught my attention several times, as did the Google Mac Google Software Downloads for the Mac, especially the new Picasa Web Albums plug-in for iPhoto.

Ironically I just lead an iPhoto workshop on Tuesday – and many of those folks will also be in my Picasa workshop this afternoon. I told people on Tuesday that it was sad iPhoto web albums cost $99 a year (via a .Mac account), but raved about the new free Web Albums in Picasa. Now, just two days later, I discover that thanks to the new Google Mac team, iPhoto users can also take advantage of free Picasa Web Albums. What a great way for teachers to share images with students, parents, and each other! Also what a great way for students to create a visual portfolio of their work and achievements!

While I’m on the subject of Google in Education, Doug Belshaw (in the UK) points us toward Vicky Davis’ post on how to search Google Video for educational content. It’s a simple tip worth learning.

Speaking of Google, and of catching up on my feeds, apparently I need to play with the new version of Google Reader. I was unimpressed with the first go, but folks are raving about the new features, especially sharing. Still, without the three pane interface that I love in NetNewsWire and Feed Reader, I doubt Google Reader will induce me to switch to a web-based reader.

Also, keep an eye out for my next post on the Google sponsored Infinite Thinking Machine blog… after the first show has its day at the top. Oh, yeah, go watch the show – there’s great stuff on Google tools in education!

Google Teacher Newsletter – 1st issue

I’m passing on the 1st Issue of the Google Teacher Newsletter in it’s entirety! If you’d like to subscribe to future issues of this newsletter, visit and subcsribe with your email address in the lower right hand corner of the site.

Greetings, and welcome to the first issue of the Google Teacher Newsletter.

We hope you’ve cleared the “back to school” hurdle and are full swing into the new year – enjoying your students and learning as much from them as they are from you. It’s in the spirit of collaboration and mutual learning that we’re sending this newsletter – an invitation for you to join us in creating a truly useful resource for educators.

Today, teachers like you are using technology in innovative ways to help students build knowledge. You play a critical role in breaking down the barriers between people and information, and we support your efforts to empower your students. We’re reaching out to you as a way to bolster that support and explore how we can work together.

As a start, we’re inviting you to share your best ideas for using the web in the classroom. Visit us at: for a teacher’s guide to 12 Google products. You’ll find information about each tool, examples of how educators are using them, and lesson ideas. You’ll also find lesson plans and videos from our partners at Discovery Education focusing on two of our most popular teaching tools: Google Earth and Google SketchUp.

We think of the site as a basic platform of teaching resources – for everything from blogging and videos to geographical search tools and 3-D modeling software – and we want you to fill it in with your great ideas. You can explore a Google tool you’ve never tried before, then tell us what you think about it. Or road test our lesson ideas, then follow the links to submit your own. And if you’d like to share your expertise with fellow educators, we encourage you to send us your story – we’d love to feature it in this newsletter or on the site.

We’re also working with WestEd to help teachers learn about the newest technologies for the classroom, including Google tools. If you’d like to be a Google Certified Teacher, we invite you to check out the details on our November 7th training academy here:

So what’s next? In addition to adding your ideas to our site, we’ll continue to develop new teaching resources and keep you updated on tools you can use in the classroom. And in the next issue of this newsletter, we’ll further explore how Google is getting involved in the teaching community and how you can join us.

We hope you find this newsletter useful. If you have any questions about the newsletter or website, please feel free to fire away and send an email to:

Until next time, thanks for reading.

Cristin Frodella
Google K-12 Education Outreach

Today is an exciting day for teachers and educational technologists everywhere; Google is officially reaching out and offering support to educators. :)