Search, Learn, and Share: Using "Even More" Google Tools to Support Your PLC

Mark Wagner, Ph.D.

Description: Google produces a number of free tools that can help members of a PLC access information, collaborate remotely, and be more productive as a team. For instance, specialized search and custom search help a PLC locate and share timely research. Google Reader and the iGoogle homepage help aggregate and process more information quickly and easily. Google Calendar and Google Groups help with organization and creating a sense of community online. Google Talk connects distant classrooms or buildings, and mobile applications allow teachers and administrators take all of this on the go... as they walk the halls or chaperone field trips. This fast-paced session explores many of these tools and helps participants know how to get started with the tools they most want to use with their own PLC.


Welcome Activity
  • Pre-assessment: How many of you use the tools we'll go over today? (I'll rattle off a list...)
  • How many of you would like new tools that can help you save time, encourage collaboration, and access your data anywhere? :)

A Note About Participation
  • Please try the things I'm sharing!
  • It's not a step-by-step how-to session... it's an awareness raising session. Use the links below to return to anything you miss or can't get to during the session.

Access Information (Search Tools)

Aggregate Information
  • Google Reader
    • Have trouble keeping up with the sites you visit?
    • Read them in one place with Google Reader, where keeping up with your favorite websites is as easy as checking your email.
    • Subscribe to the updates that are important to you!
  • iGoogle
    • Create your own homepage in under 30 seconds.
    • Add the gadgets that you will use!
    • And have fun personalizing your page. ;)

Create and Organize Community
  • Google Calendar
    • See the big picture.
    • Share events and calendars.
    • Stay on schedule - and up to date.
  • Google Groups
    • Discuss online or over email.
    • Create rich, custom pages.
    • Customize your look and graphics.
  • Google Talk
    • See real-time availability and status of colleagues online.
    • Send instant text messages.
    • Easily go from text to voice or video chat.
    • Chat right from your desktop (Windows Only) or from Gmail.

Mobile Access to Information
  • Google SMS - Search by text message! (Just text a search to 466453)
  • Google 411 - Free 411 directory assistance calls!
  • Google Mobile - More Google Apps available for smart phones.


Reflection Activity
  • Consider specific things you learned that you would like to implement in the coming school year. What are your next steps? And what do you still have to learn?
  • Join the League Learning Network the CLMS & CLHS online social network.
  • Start a discussion about the tool you want to learn about!