Google Tricks: 8 Sweet Tips For Your Classroom, Students and Teachers Alike
By now many teachers know about Google Search and Google Docs. However, with these 8 specific Google tricks, you can enhance your classroom beyond the basics and get your students engaged with some technology they likely know little about.
- Convert Units. Need to convert miles to centimeters? Teaspoons to Tablespoons? Dollars to Euros? Simply type in the unit amount and label you know and the name of the unknown units to find an answer. Here are a few examples of one of my favorite Google tricks, try entering the following into Google:
- 15 miles to kilometers
- 300 dollars in Mexican pesos
- 14 foot 6 inches in meters
- 3 pints in liters
- Search Within a Website. You can use the power of Google search to search for a specific term on any website. For example, if you want to find more information about Google apps on the SimpleK12 website, you can enter and search for “site:SimpleK12.com Google apps”.
- Time. To find out what time it is in another part of the world, type in “What time is it in (enter a specific location)”. For instance, you could enter “time in Sydney Australia” and you’d see, instantly, the time in Sydney.
- Explore the Sky. One of our favorite Google tricks uses the Google Earth Sky feature to look at the night sky from your computer screen. This is pretty cool, and students of all ages love it. You can toggle between Earth and sky views in a variety of formats.
- Search Scholarly Works. You and your students can generate search results from scholarly literature using Google Scholar. This is a great way to get content from peer-reviewed papers, academic publishers, articles, journals, and other scholarly documents. These results will not always appear in regular Google search results, but it’s one of the best Google tricks for those students who use scholarly and professional literature in their research.
- Connect Globally. Google Hangouts helps you connect through video to others around the world. Imagine connecting your classroom with students in another country, or finding an author, business leader, or politician to chat with your class!
- Study Price Comparisons. Have you heard of the Google trick known as “Product Search”? When you go to http://www.google.com/shopping, you can enter an item and compare prices from dozens or hundreds of different suppliers. This will become your ultimate comparison shopping tool.
- Find Specific Documents. Say you want to find a PowerPoint presentation on a particular topic. When you type in”filetype: ppt” in your search term, you will generate results that contain only PowerPoint presentations. For example, if you wanted to find a few PowerPoint presentations about the history of the state of Indiana, you would enter: “filetype:ppt Indiana history”.
We hope you have found at least one new way to use these Google tricks in your classroom.
Please share with us and other teachers some of your favorite Google tips and tricks in the comments below.