This is the second post about the Google Teacher Academy that was held in London last week. The first can be found here.
Another highlight of the Google Teacher Academy was being shown that I had no idea about search! The first session, led by Lisa Thumann explored a number of search features. Two of the features would be very useful in Geography (and other) classrooms. First, a screen cast. I should add that I purposefully didn't use these tools until this morning, and shot in one take. This was to evaluate how intuitive the tools is - something that is very important in our Geography department if the tool is to be shared with staff and students. I have used a geographical example, and a topic that I am working on for a forthcoming project.
These tools help to expand the search beyond the first six or seven results that are commonly used by most young people (and myself if I'm honest!). The tools could also allow searchers to explore the information in more detail. I know that staff in my school often wish that homework consisted of more than the first few results returned on Google! Alternatively, view the screen cast here.
- Use the 'Latest' option to return results within the last 24 hours. This option often includes tweets, adding and extra option of interaction.
- Use the 'Timeline' feature to sort and explore search results by date. This is very useful when exploring the relationships with past events and in evaluating past event responses e.g. have the lessons learned been implemented?
- Use the 'Wonder Wheel' option to explore the search results through a mind-map style interface.
Personally, I didn't know that these tools existed before I visited Google, although I have to admit, that I could have discovered them through a little more exploration. However - who has the time? I can see these tools having a positive impact when shared with other teachers and young people.
It is worth adding, that these tools can only improve the search for information, and the analysis and selection (both important in a geographical enquiry) of information still needs to be developed.