I am google lover! My best fantasy involves moving to California and joining the google revolution. I am beginning to think that there IS a possibility that GOOGLE could rule the world one day (free of charge - no less!!) What I love about google is its whole concept. Give people the information they need...free of charge! And do it without bullying and outsourcing much! I have heard cool things about their company and how well they treat their employees in order to foster creativity!
However, I learned even more today by playing around with some of the new features. I have always used google as my primary search engine and I have a google account that I use for blogger. I use google on a day-to-day basis as my first stop during a websearch. It is easiest and I find it can usually give me what I need to know without having to dig much (laziness!) When it comes to students, I usually have them try to stay away from google (I have even blocked it before.) I don't know if this is the best method because google DOES have some great resources, but it doesn't necessarily provide the scholarly material I would like to have my kids using for their big speeches during oral comm. I would love to hear from others about how they DO USE google with their kids!
More recently, I set up an iGoogle after hearing about it from Sarah Burnett. That really opened up the world of google too me. Now I use my iGoogle to show me the RSS feeds coming from the metronet sites and to give me a few other feeds from vocabulary and writing sites (via google reader). I also use my iGoogle to stay relevant on current events. Also on my iGoogle, I have subscribed to the google tip of the day. This tip gives me new insights into google every day. They post new products and tips to help use current google products better. I learned here about picassa, which I use now to organize my personal photos and I plan to use it in the future to share pictures with family and friends!
I created a customized search for my honors class today that will have them search some select websites for information about literary classics (our current unit.) It was harder than I thought to add it to my school website because I tend use frontpage and I am not super familiar with html codes, but I got it to work with a little patience and time. The customized search is not super refined, but I will continue to play with it! Right now it comes up heavy on the Barnes and Noble websites, but I think I can make it stop that is I play more. You can see it by clicking here and scrolling to the bottom of the website.
Well enough blabbing!!