I have always been curious about why the Google Search Engine/web company took the name "Google." In math, a google is an extremely big number... a 1 followed by 100 zeros. There is a book called "G is for google." I thought maybe the company used "Google" to signify the amount of information you can find on the web... not just thousands of sites, but a google (1 followed by 100 zeros) of sites.
I focused mostly on Google Alert, Google Advanced Search and Google Scholar.
Google Alert... I think that would be really neat for the Model UN group. Students could create alerts for their country and their issue, since they need the most up to date information in their research. I started off with two items in my Google Alert. I chose Bulgaria and comprehensive to see what an MUN student could get if he/she used it as part of their country research. I also chose my favorite baseball team and news, just for fun.
Google Scholar was interesting. I put in League of Nations. I have always taught a unit about the League as part of the 12th grade IB curriculum. Starting next year, the League will be an even bigger topic, because it will be part of the Document Based Question, so I wanted to see what I could find on the web. Google Scholar gave me a long list of books about the League. I never thought there was so much information. But, I didn't really want a huge list of books. There were very few articles in Google Scholar. The few I saw were mostly on Jstor, so I could not access them from home. I did find an article about a documentary. I'm going to look up the documentary... it sounded pretty interesting.
Better that Google Scholar was Google Advanced Search. I have been using Dogpile as my primary search engine for years, because it gives information from a combination of search engines, not just one. I have never used Google Advanced Search before, but it will now replace Dogpile when I am looking for sites for students to use in assignments or when I'm looking for information for my own research. They had over 10 pages of sites for the League of Nations. It was so amazing! Many were university .edu sites and they were so neat. I made a list of some of the sites and a description of the information on the sites to have for the fall.
I also started thinking of an assignment I could have the students do using Google Advanced Search. I'm working on it!
Another tool on Google is the Google Docs. I would like to learn more about that. Two of my students last year created one of their assignments using Google Docs.