Tuesday, 2 April 2013
Module 1: Web 2.0 and personalising my Web space
"If it isn't on Google, it doesn't exist." - Jimmy Wales.
Happy Easter everyone! Hope you all had a choccy-filled holiday. Speaking of Easter, have you ever experienced those moments during an Easter egg hunt, where you're searching around madly for Easter eggs - you know they're there but you just can't see them even though they're right in front of your eyes, in the most obvious place possible? Or even after a few months later when you're just randomly pottering around the house and you find a sneaky egg or two just sitting there, abandoned, longing to be discovered and eaten (despite it's 'whitish', non-egg like appearance)? It was this year's Easter egg hunt (and no, you are NEVER too old for an Easter egg hunt) that reminded me of my Module 1 experience.
I have been using Google as a search engine throughout the majority of my education and to find teaching tools and lesson ideas. When using Google, I only went as far as using the 'Search', 'Images' and at times the 'Maps' or 'Google Earth' functions on the toolbar. I knew the toolbar existed and I'm generally a pretty curious person who has to click/press any button just because it's there (seriously, you don't want to get into an elevator after me unless you wanted a tour of the building)! Yet, I never explored the toolbar further. Why? I don't know. Just like my Easter eggs, all these amazing tools were right in front of my eyes! It was only until I participated in some Webinars with Mike Reading and attended the Google Apps For Education Summit 2013 in Sydney, that I discovered that there was so much more to Google and there were so many exciting tools we could use with the students at school and best of all most were pretty simple to use and FREE!
Through Module 1, I discovered iGoogle for the first time - I had absolutely no idea it was there and so disappointed that I discovered it too late as Google might be removing this feature later on this year. I really like being able to customise my page with gadgets that are relevant my career and personal interests. I can see myself opening up my page on the IWB in the morning and using the 'Word of the Day' gadget when we are focusing on Word Work within our CAFE reading program, analysing the weather radar/newspaper articles together or using the 'How To' gadget to share little tips and tricks with the students; for example, today I learnt a shortcut method to multiply with with my hands! I made sure that I didn't sign into Facebook or my Twitter account so that these details would not be available to the students - also your Gmail address doesn't appear on the site either.
I wonder what new features Google will surprise us with and how it will impact our teaching, learning and use of technology in the future?