Going Ga-Ga for Google

The ubiquitous search engine keeps adding educational features.

The word google is increasingly used by the general public as slang for electronic search, but Google tools do so much more. Popular Google products provide educators with instant access to the news (Google News); image search capabilities (Google Image); and handy maps (Google Maps). Here's a look at some of these resources.

Google Scholar: Scholar lets you hunt for articles, books, theses, abstracts, and more from a variety of sources. Search by author, title, publication, or category. Narrow your search by language and set up Library Links so it locates your item in the electronic catalog of a chosen online library. Best of all, you can find out who else has cited a particular source.

Google Calendar: Perfect for teachers, students, parents, and school administrators, Google Calendar can be accessed from any computer with an Internet connection—all you need is a Google account (registration is free). Share all or some of your calendar with others and decide if those who can view your calendar can also modify it.

Picasa 2: This free image enhancement toolkit and photo organizer locates images on your computer and organizes them into albums. Create captions, send images via e-mail, and ferry images to your Google blog by clicking the Picasa Blog This button.

Google Video: Google Video lets you upload and share classroom videos. Here you'll find some educational gems such as Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech or an innovative reading of Maya Angelou's poem, "Still I Rise."

Google Spreadsheets: This free Web-based application sports a slimmed down Excel look. The spreadsheets you create can be saved for online access, renamed, or deleted. Once you've created and saved your Web-based spreadsheet, enter the e-mail addresses of those who have permission to see or edit.

Carol S. Holzberg is an educational technology specialist in Greenfield, Mass.