Category Archives: Google

all things good about Google

Getting Google calendar working for you

Image representing Google Calendar as depicted...

Image via CrunchBase

The interface of Google Calendar is similar to desktop calendar applications such as Microsoft Outlook. Events are stored online; consequently, the calendar can be viewed from any location that has Internet access. The video below gives you an introduction to Google calendar, following by links to some of the more advance features available through Google calendar

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Accessing Youtube videos as a teacher

Image representing YouTube as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

Several teachers have asked me numerous times how can I take advantage of Youtube. Here are some examples

As a teacher I would recommend having your safety search activated on your browser to reduce the chance of any objectionable videos appearing on your screen. Although not 100% guaranteed “ever little bit helps” as the saying goes. The video below illustrates how to activate this safety setting

If you are still a little nervous about using YouTube in the classroom (as you are never guaranteed what other videos will appear in the sidebar).  you can remove all other videos from your screen by cleaning up your screen using a third party service outside youtube

If you school has blocked YouTube in your classroom you can download videos in advance by using websites like just remember to be vigilant with regards to copyright – not everybody puts their videos up on YouTube under a creative commons licence.

Another site I found useful for youtube was Splicd. This site allows you to just show a certain segment of a Youtube video. For example the video may be 15 minutes long but you only want to show your students a video from 2 minutes until 4 minutes.

The best use that I got from youtube was when I asked the students to do the work – this post explain how I set surfing YouTube as an assignment for my students

This post just deals with videos that already exist on YouTube. If you want to post some videos of your on YouTube  – have a look at my post on screencasting

Getting your students to find Youtube videos for their assignment

Coming up with different assignments that will motivate students and enhance their learning experience can be a big challenge. Here is an idea that may help you though.

As a chemistry lecturer I asked the students to find a chemistry related YouTube video and upload it to Moodle, the college learning management system, using the “glossary” function. (If you don’t have a learning management system you can set up an educators account on the free social bookmarking tool – Diigo.)

The one stipulation was that the students had to check that their chosen video was not already uploaded onto Moodle by a colleague. The students then rated each video, in accordance with specified criteria, with the average rating used as the grade for the student for that assignment. With over 80 students in that particular class each student watched over 80 chemistry related videos.  Despite the standard of video chosen varying dramatically, the enthusiasm for this chemistry assignment expressed by the student was immense. The only impact personally was to quickly check that each video chosen was appropriate i.e. contained no explicit material. At the end of semester as a lecturer I was then able to keep decent videos that the students had found for future years.


Cleaning up Youtube for your classroom

Youtube can be a fabulous classroom resource but can some schools are cautious about using it in the classroom because they are concerned about the videos and adverts that appear in the sidebars. “” offers a potential solution for teachers. This site cleans out all the clutter and gives you just a video.  Furthermore there is a quick button that you can add to your browser so that you can go to a video, click on “Purify” in your bookmark bar and instantly have a clean video

Google Forms -use in the classroom

Collect RSVPs, run a survey, or quickly create a team roster with a simple online form. Then check out the results, neatly organized in a Google spreadsheet.

The screencast below gives an introduction to Google Forms

There are numerous applications for Google forms in the classroom. Tom Barrett used Google docs to collate information from a diverse group of teachers on how they use Google forms in the classroom

A Google a day – use in the classroom

A very interesting tool available through Google which has great potential for any classroom. This short video outlines how simple the technology is to use – all you need is access to the internet

Here are some useful challenges to spark your imagination on how this could work in your class

Using the “advanced search” in Google

Google is an amazing search tool and within seconds can find exactly what you are looking for. But we have all been there, searching for hours on Google and NOT finding what we wanted. This simple tutorial shows you, through a few simple clicks , how you can optimise your time on Google.

Hopefully it proves useful

Ideal for the classroom – How to create Youtube Playlists

A playlist is a list of videos that you organise . This is perfect if you want to watch a series of videos back to back.

You then can share this list by capturing the url of the playlist or embed the video playlist on your website. The other cool feature about this is the fact that if for example you insert a url link on your learning management system for your students to access. You only have to share one weblink, not a separate link for every video. Furthermore, the url that you have distributed to your student is automatically updated if you come back a day, a week or even years later and add new videos to the original playlist.

To set up a playlist is very straight forward

  • Log into Youtube
  • Find your video of interest
  • Click on the “add to” button under the video
  • Click on “create new playlist” to start a new playlist of click on the name of an existing playlist that you have previsouly created
  • To access the url for your playlist, click on your youtube username (normally top right corner of the screen
  • Click on video manager (top right hand corner of screen)
  • Click on playlists (left hand side of screen)
  • Click on your play list of choice
  • Copy the url

Google Docs

Google Docs allows users to upload existing and to create new web-based documents, spreadsheets and presentations, and to edit them on-line

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Google for schools

Google image

Despite being less than twenty years old, the company Google has made a huge impact in the developed world today. There are 31 billion searches on Google every month. In 2006 there was only 2.7 billion. The growth of Google in short space of time has been phenomenal. Though very few people realize the other benefits of Google beyond an apparently simple search through the internet.

This post is the first in a series of posts collating of useful tips on using Google in the classroom.

Google Docs

Google Docs is a free, Web-based word processor, spreadsheet, presentation, form, and data storage service offered by Google. It allows users to create and edit documents online while collaborating in real-time with other users.

Documents can be saved to a user’s local computer in a variety of formats including: (ODF, HTML, PDF, RTF, Text, Microsoft Word). Documents are automatically saved to Google’s servers to prevent data loss, and a revision history is automatically kept. Documents can be tagged and archived for organizational purposes. The service is officially supported on recent versions of the Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari and Chrome browsers running on Microsoft Windows, Apple OS X, and Linux operating systems. Documents can be shared, opened, and edited by multiple users at the same time.

To find out more about Google docs have a look at the two links on YouTube: