#12 Google - not just for searching anymore

Google is the most famous search engine on the web these days, with the very name becoming a verb in our language. Here's Wikipedia's entry on this phenomenon:

The verb to google (also spelled to Google) refers to using the Google search engine to obtain information on the Web. For example, "Mary googled for recipes." A neologism arousing from the popularity and dominance[1] of the eponymous search engine, the American Dialect Society chose it as the "most useful word of 2002." [2] It was officially added to the Oxford English Dictionary on June 15, 2006,[3] and to the 11th edition of the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary in July 2006.[4] The first recorded usage of google used as a verb was on July 8, 1998, by Larry Page himself, who wrote on a mailing list: "Have fun and keep googling!"[5]
Although we generally equate Google with web searching, that's not what this "thing" is about. Google also has a variety of free web tools that can be particularly useful in education. Some of these are:

Google Alerts - will e-mail the news to you as it happens. Just enter a search term (news topic, person, event, sports team, etc.) that you would like to keep tabs on. Whenever that topic appears in a news item or on the web, Google Alerts will send you an e-mail.

Google Calendar - lets you organize your schedule and share it with family and friends.

iGoogle - gives you a customizable home page where you can add links, news feeds, gadgets, etc. (Be sure and look at the gadgets - these are really fun!)

Google Notebook - lets you clip and collect information into an online notebook as you do research on the Web. It can be shared with others.

Picasa Web Albums - similar to Flickr; Google's version of photo sharing.

Discovery Resources

Google Alerts - FAQs

Google Calendar Tour

Google Notebook Tour

Learn More about Picasa Web Albums

Discovery Exercise

After looking at each of Google tools, choose two of them to explore further. Try setting up an alert, calendar, notebook, picasa album or iGoogle page and using it. If sharing is an option for the tools you choose, make them public. Blog about your experience with both tools and include a link to your creation. Be sure and include possible educational uses.

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