Google Tips and Tricks

Four Lesser-Known Google Tools You Should Try Today

Google has become such an integral part of our everyday lives that it’s hard to imagine there are pieces of it we don’t know about. But I’m betting you aren’t familiar with at least one of these Google tools.

There are many Google tools teachers are using in the classroom, such as Drive, Classroom, and Hangouts. However, there are also quite a few Google tools that aren’t as widely used or publicized. Learn about a few below and how they can be used in your classroom today.

#1 – Keep

Google Keep is a note-taking application that allows you to create lists, color code notes, set note reminders, and share notes with others. You can even create voice recordings which are then automatically transcribed into a note. If you are a fan of to-do lists like I am, Keep allows you to convert text notes into checklists. You can access Keep online or by installing the app for iOS and Android.

In the classroom –

  • Students can quickly save what’s on their mind, write down homework, take brief notes, record their ideas, or take pictures of information.
  • Students can color code homework notes by subject area; for example, all blue notes could indicate math homework.
  • Students can set up reminders about their notes in order to get instant notifications about homework or projects.
  • Students could listen to voice notes that you create in order to practice pronouncing words or study vocabulary.

 

#2 – Sky

Sky is a part of Google Earth that allows you to explore space and star systems. It lets you view star systems using the best images from NASA satellites, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, and the Hubble Telescope. Sky is a great way to view the planets and constellations and witness the birth of galaxies and other items in the universe.

In the classroom –

  • Students can write poems about the stars.
  • Students can discuss objects in the solar system and describe differences between them.
  • Students can create stories about the night sky.
  • Students can build presentations about the history of the planets.
  • Students can discuss the atmosphere of the Earth and how it protects life on Earth.
  • Students can create videos about the importance of the sun or climate change.

 

#3 – Art Project


Google Art Project is an online platform that lets you view high-resolution images of art from more than 400 of the world’s greatest museums, including the Tate Gallery in London, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, and the Uffizi in Florence.

In the classroom –

  • Students can take virtual gallery tours with audio and video guidance.
  • Students can zoom in on individual artwork masterpieces and discuss them in groups.
  • Students can create their own virtual collections or view collections you have created that support their instruction for the day.
  • Students can write about images that you select as writing prompts.

 

#4 – Build LEGO with Chrome


Google has partnered with LEGO so you can build with Lego bricks using Google Maps as your baseplate in Chrome. A Google team in Australia first developed this application as an experiment in 2012, and Google has now opened it up to everybody.

In the classroom –

  • Students can build their own LEGO cities, highlighting data they have collected about their city.
  • Students can build Lego versions of historical landmarks and write an essay about them.
  • Students can view what others have built and discuss the various structures.
  • Students can screen capture their creations to include in a digital story or video.
  • Students can review digital citizenship and copyright by reading the site’s House Rules.

 

So, how many of these did you know about? If you knew about them and are currently using them, we’d love to hear from you. Also, don’t forget to join us for our monthly free-to-member webinar series, Get Your Google On, in order to learn about more Google tools. They are held the first Thursday of each month. Register for them here.

Join Our Email List

Join our email list to ensure the hottest new content gets delivered to your inbox.

Leave a comment

comments

About the author

Diana Benner

Director of Professional Development at TCEA
Diana specializes in leadership development and all things Google. She has served as an instructional technologist, instructional designer, and an online learning specialist, supporting districts all over Texas and in state government.
Diana earned Masters of Education in Educational Technology from Texas State University – San Marcos. She also holds two bachelor’s degrees, one in Spanish and the other in Political Science, from Texas State.

Get more exceptional edtech ideas and info
in your inbox

Join our email list to ensure the hottest new content gets delivered to your inbox.