I’ll admit, I like goofy things. Apparently, so do the folks at Google, who have several tools we can use to bring chuckles and (hopefully) better research skills to our students. Here are three easy-to-use resources that have recently found a place in my classroom rotation:

1. Google Gravity
The next time you need to google something while your screen is being projected to the class, go to this modified search engine site and chuckle as you break the internet.

jumbled

2. Smarty Pins with Google Maps
This geography-based trivia game is a great option for early finishers on days when we’re working in the computer lab.

SmartyPins
Encourage students to research answers they don’t know in a separate window instead of just randomly guessing. Be sure to share this link with any history/geography teacher friends.

3. A Google a Day
To reinforce research skills, occasionally start the period with A Google a Day, either modeling the research process for the class or, later, having student teams take turns solving the three daily questions in front of the whole class.

agoogleaday
For more competitive groups, you could also make these three questions a tech-based race with one team at the front of the room on the projected screen while everyone else tries to log the fastest time on cell phones and classroom Chromebooks.

Bonus Tip: Use Google Maps to visit the TARDIS
Ok, this extra tidbit is just for Dr. Who fans. Using the streetview mode of Google Maps, go here, “walk” to the X in front of the Police Box, and enjoy a mini-tour that will fill any Whovian’s heart with mirth.

TARDIS

I’m sure many of us use Google Drive, Docs, and Slides to help take care of business, but are there other fun Google-based sites or Easter Eggs you’ve enjoyed using in class? Leave those url links in the comments below and let’s share the fun!

Teach on, everyone!

Join the conversation! 12 Comments

  1. Sooooooo much fun!!!!!! Laura- LOVE this!!!!! Google Gravity is a HOOT!

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  2. I know, right?! 🙂

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  3. I work in a district that prides itself on innovation and 1:1 and I haven’t heard of any of these things. Awesome! And my husband and I are now addicted to playing SmartyPins so thanks for that!

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  4. My pleasure, Courtney! Spread the word, my friend.

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  5. Some of the fun things I like to use with Google are:
    1. Rubik Cube maker in Chrome Cube Lab https://www.chrome.com/cubelab
    2. Playing with digital Legos in Build with Chrome https://www.buildwithchrome.com/m/
    3. Playing a competitive geography game with others in Geoguessr http://geoguessr.com

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  6. Love these hidden jewels, Jaime! In fact, one of my girls is doing a Rubik’s Cube-based project right now for 20Time. I can’t wait to give her this link today. Great stuff!

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  7. This is awesome stuff and I can’t wait to use it with my 6th grade Social Studies class this year! How did you find out about these?

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  8. These are definitely fun, Janette. I discovered these through a series of professional development workshops. Great teachers sharing great stuff – that’s my kind of Saturday! 🙂

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  9. Thanks for sharing! I’m the Tech teacher at my elementary school and I would love to share this with my teachers! Can I ask you how you were able to hyperlink the Google Earth location in your paragraph above?

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  10. Sure, Lacie, share away! For the hyperlink, I just navigated through Google Maps’ streetview mode and grabbed the url once I found what I wanted. WordPress does all of the fancy tech stuff for me, so I’m not sure if it required something special on their end of things. Basically, I just treated it like any other webpage url and voila!
    🙂 Laura

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  11. A few more to add to the fun? 🙂

    Go to google.com and search for the word “askew” or try, “do a barrell roll”

    And love this story builder, kids love creating dialogues… https://docsstorybuilder.appspot.com/

    Enjoy and thanks for sharing!

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  12. Awesomesauce, Michele! These suggestions are great and I GOTTA find a way to fold in that StoryBuilder activity into my freshman class. Maybe with Romeo & Juliet… 🙂

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