Monday, January 28, 2013

Google Search Features You Might Have Missed

Google Search is a great tool.  Being able to use it appropriately is a whole other issue.  Luckily, Google has realized this and provided a great resource for Educating how to use Google Search.  Most of us that have done a Google search recently know about Google Instant which provides results as you type.  But, there are also several other Google Search features that you might not have been aware of.

Google Handwrite lets you write your search right on the Google homepage and it is available on a mobile device and is activated in your mobile search settings. I can't say it is accurate unless you are good and writing with your fingers or a stylus, but still an interesting feature.  See the video below.

Google Voice Search is an option for Android and iPhone devices which allows users to search using voice commands and then get the answer to a search question spoken back to you.  Also, have you noticed the microphone on the search window recently on your browser?  You can also doing a voice search if you have a microphone hooked to your computer.  See the video below for more information.

Related Search Previews is another search option that shows previews for related searches in the search results.  This can be helpful when looking for information that could be related to each other.  Just mouse over "Related Searches" for a preview of the new set of results and click through to see the full results for that search as well.  When I was conducting research I would always "right click" and "Open in a New Tab" these related searches so I would not lose them.

Search by Image is a great way to find copyrighted images or find when your photos or images have been used without permission.  This is a valuable tool for teachers and students looking for where other images are posted on the web and to see if they can be printed or copied without permission.  To search for an image users can "Drag and Drop," Upload an Image, Copy and Paste the URL for an image, or right click and image on the web with an extension for Chrome and Firefox.  See video below for more information.

Google Knowledge Graph is a way to discover answers to questions you never thought to ask and explore collections and lists.  The purpose is to help you research a topic faster and with more depth.  Knowledge Graph allows users to use the search on any type of device.  Depending on the search users can get an image based list that relates to the original search.  See video below for more information.

If looking for some other Google Search information, I highly recommend checking out their Tips and Tricks.  If wanting to get the latest information about Google Search, check out the Inside Search Blog.

The Super Bowl Across the Curriculum

The other day, this Super Bowl Interactive came across Twitter from Larry Ferlazzo and it got me thinking about ways teachers could use the Super Bowl as a "Teachable Moment" and make content relevant to students.  Below are some of the ideas I came up with.

Art: Take a look at the Super Bowl Interactive above and have students draw their own version of a Super Bowl Ticket for this years Super Bowl using previous versions as examples.

Practical Living - Make a comparison of the history of football uniforms and how they have changed over time.  Cooking classes could also have a Super Bowl Party and prepare food that is most commonly prepared for Super Bowl Parties.  A great place to start for recipes is Pinterest.

Economics/Math - An interesting take would be a comparison of the cost of tickets to the Super Bowl through the years and how it is adjusted for inflation.  Here is another link with Super Bowl Ticket Prices.  The same could be done for the cost of advertising during the Super Bowl.  Here is another resource about the cost of advertising.

English - Teachers could use images from the Super Bowl Interactive (page 2) as a writing prompt.  English teachers could also have students write a paper where they take a stance on whether spending money for Super Bowl advertisements is worth it or not.  Ask students to reflect on commercials they might remember and why.

Physical Education - Teach the Fundamentals of Football (Page 4 of the Super Bowl Interactive) on the days leading up to the Super Bowl and play flag football on the day of.

History - Check out the Super Bowl Quiz on page 3 of the Super Bowl Interactive for a quiz about the history of the Super Bowl.  Students could also do a "Day in History" for events that happened on and or around the dates of the Super Bowls.

Government - Part of government is teaching propaganda and the studying of Super Bowl Commercials (the cleaner ones by the beer commercials) would be an interesting investigation into the impacts that super bowl commercials have.  Here is an interesting article about impact of Super Bowl Commercials

Science/Physics/Geometry - An interesting addition to a lesson would be the football related videos of Sports Science by ESPN.  Teachers could focus on videos related to football.  Ray Lewis is playing in the Super Bowl and they have a Sports Science video with him related to Force.

Foreign Language - Teachers could have students research articles about the Super Bowl and then have them translated into the language they are studying.  Students could also research the impact of the Super Bowl in the country of the language they are studying as well.

Agriculture - An examination of field turf and how it has changed might help understand how equipment has changed and how the game of football has changed.  Agriculture could do a project to try and get field turf on the schools football field if it does not already have it.

Music Education - Various artists have performed the National Anthem at the Super Bowl.  Have students do a "Then and Now" presentation about the performers.  The same could be done for the half time performances.

Anatomy/Health - Students could do a study on the impact of concussions on sports and how helmets have changed to help with concussions.  Students could also discuss the symptoms of concussions.  A simple Google Search will help teachers find information.

What other ways could you use the Super Bowl as a "Teachable Moment?"

After writing this post, Edutopia had a great article as well sharing Seven Super Bowl Lesson Plans.