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The Google Gamut: Everything you need to get started

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Hi, my name is Kern Kelley and I will be presenting the Google Gamut or everything you need to get started in 20 minutes. Whenever I talk with teachers of students and they seem overwhelmed by how fast technology is moving I usually steer them to Google as a place to get started. With a single login and password teachers have access to dozens of services available from Google All we need is an email address and an understanding of cloud computing. What is cloud computing? Simply put, it is your information or data stored remotely and accessible from any internet enabled device, computer, laptop, cell phone, or pda The two main issues we are talking about in cloud computing, Access and Security The access can be an issue because if you are unable to get on the cloud, you are not able to retrieve your information To address this, Google has something called Google Gears This is a small program that adds on to your browser It allows you to download your information onto your local machine and synchronize back with the web once you are online again. as of now this only works for a few of the services Google offers, but ouf course they are always adding more. So that just leaves us with security and privacy concerns. It would take longer than I have time for here to outline all of the possible questions there are about this aspect of cloud computing For me, this boils down to risk versus reward. There is a risk in almost everything we do. Those of us who commute to work each day take a statistically pretty big risk. But we do things to lessen our personal risk such as wear a seat belt, drive the speed limit, obey traffic laws. I think the same is true of cloud computing. the benefits outweigh the risk involved. Okay, now let's get to the reason that you are here. Let's go to and in the upper left hand corner click on gmail. Gmail is the free email service offered by Google As you can see, there is lots of space available and still counting In the lower right corner of the screen right click on sign up for gmail. Since I already have an account, I am going to create one for my friend, Stuart Dent. Um, I go down to first name, last name and then desired login name. and when I check availability, I find out that Stu Dent at is already taken so lets put in k12 student. Check availability, and it's available. Great. Choosing a good strong password is a huge part of the security question and uh, talking about what makes a good password would probably take the entire twenty minutues so I am just going to put one in. Google does have a meter that helps you along with passwords of strenght but of course it comes back to your selection of the password, whether or not it is strong or not. Here you will notice a check box for enabling the web history. This allows Google to store all the searches made on this account. This kind of harpens back to the security or privacy question and how you want that information to be stored. It is up to you. Next we will scroll down into the security question. I usually like to write my own question, rather than selecting one of the ones they offer. So, what is my favorite conference? And of course the answer is k12 online. The secondary email is used in case you forget your password. Google can send your password to that email address. We will keep the location as the United States and then enter the word verification or the CAPTCHA. Um, this is used to make sure you are in fact a person and not a computer program trying to create an account. Now it is not unusual for it not to take the first time. I have had to enter for some a couple of times. And, you just go back up, put your password in again, scroll back down, and try a new CAPTCHA. I accept, create my account. I am not going to talk a lot about the gmail account. Uh, even though it is one of the better web based email services. Um, it integrates nicely with all of the other services we are going to be looking at. Uh, email is email and each has their own features. Uh, some have more than others. So, lets move right along. Moving to the top of the page, we'll click on web, which will bring us back to the Google home page and you will notice that in the upper right if your name is there at, it tells you that you are logged in. Um, moving over to my account, brings us to a list of the products and as we go to more and more of these services this list will grow. Over on the left side, here, you will see the edit button. And that is where you can edit any personal information you want to add, like a nickname or zipcode, where you live, time zone This will be important if you are working collaboratively with other teachers or students on a project. Back on the Google account page, uh, down at the bottom you click on more and that will give you a list of the number of services which are available to you now with that account. And it is a pretty long list here and we will need someone to manage that so the next thing we will go to is how to make our own customized homepage now that we can pull all this stuff together. We will click back to and in the upper right besides your name click iGoogle. This brings us to the default iGoogle page creater. Um, they have some some selected interests you can put in. We will click check technology. and a theme, which is a background. Um, finally a zipcode. Click see your page and up will pop some suggested gadgets. Each one of these little programs you will see is called a gadget. Now in the upper left, we click on the add a tab link, This will open up another window. We can add our own information. We will put Education in there. Click OK. You will see it will automatically populate with different gadgets mostly news or RSS feeds and we will talk more about those in a minute. Grabbing the top bar, you can move these gadgets around on the screen as you want and uh, this little down arrow which you click on and these are edit settings selection You can choose that and whatever changes you can make to that gadget, you will find here. You can also edit the entire tab. Um, With that you can change the number of columms or the width of them, or add and subtract a gadget. You can also change a theme, which is that background image behind the search bar. Um, because you have your zipcode in there, the picture changes to match the time of day in your area. To change a theme or image of the top, in the upper right, click on change theme. and you will see a whole list of dozens of possible themes to choose from. Find one you like and click "add it now." and there it is. OK, we will click back on the home tab and in the upper right, there is a link to add stuff. There are hundreds of possible gadgets. So if we search for one, click "add it now" and back to iGogogle home on the upper left, you will see it is there and we can move it around as we want. We are now going to click on the upper right where it says "classic home." This will bring us back to our classic Google homepage. In the upper left,click on the link for more and then select documents. Once I sign in with my password, this brings up a home page for Google docs. Google docs is a free online office suite and it has a word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation maker. So, let's start with a new document. As it opens, you will see that it is pretty standard for a processor. Uh, we will change the view so that you can see it in the context of a page. And type a little bit. Then we will select add text and bold it. Center it and change the font size. and now we will save it. You will notice that the menu items are pretty standard fare for a word processor. The real interesting feature comes when you share the document. You are able to share this document to edit with another person who has a Google account. Let's go to the upper right hand corner and click on share and then select "share with others". We are able to invite people either as collaborators or as viewers. As a viewer, they are read only. As a collaborator, they are also able to work on the document with you, either at the same time or at a different time. Once you have invited someone to collaborate, you can send them a message and they will see it and receive a link to that document. They can click on it and you both can work on it at the same time. So, let's go back to editing the document. Here is where you will really see the benefit of an online document. You can access it from almost internet enabled device. Maybe a pc with internet explorer, or another with Google Chrome. Maybe a Mac with Firefox or a handheld with Safari. You are all looking at the same document at the same time. I can see in the lower right that Kern Kelley is also editing this document. Let's refresh the page and see what changes have been made. Another extremely handy feature is the revision history. Every revision is stored, the time it was created, and who created it. You are able to pull it up and go back to any revision you need. Another cool feature is the ability to publish a document as a webpage. Click "Publish as document." Follow the link. Now I have a webpage with a unique URL. One of the features a lot of people don't know about is the built in Thesaurus and Dictionary. Simply select a word. Click on "Tools." "Look up word." And there it is. Then select the word you want. And click "replace." Another important feature is templates. Click on "file," "new," "form template." There is a whole selection of templates to choose from. Click on student teachers. Choose research paper. Let's go back to the Google docs home page and click on "new spreadsheet." Much like the docs, the value of the spreadsheet comes into it's collaboration abilities. We can share and collaborate with others. Or even create and online forum for anyone to enter information that gets captured into your spreadsheet. Ok, let's go back to the Google docs home. And we will click on "new presentation from template." And pick this one. This one is Latitude, this one looks good. So we use this template. Um, as you can see, many of the menu features are similar to Powerpoint or Keynote. Um, certainly not quite as robust but once again you have that ability online to collaborate with people who have a Google account. And of course you can publish the presentation as its own webpage with a built in chat feature for those people who are viewing the presentation at the same time. The final aspect of Google docs that I will mention is something that I talked about earlier, which is Google Gears. It is a small add on to your browser, which enables off-line access That means if you don't have the internet for some reason, you are still able to work on your presentation or your document or your spreadsheet. And when you connect back to the internet, it will synchronize. Let's go back to our iGoogle page for a second. And click on "add stuff" and then search for the gadget Google Docs. There you will find a gadget which we can add in now, go back to our iGoogle page and there will be short cuts to all of our newly created Google docs. Now, let's add a calander. Click up on more. Go down to Calander. And you will see that there is a week view which we have in the upper right hand corner. We will click on the month view and here is our calander. Change months. If we want to add an event, we just click on the day we want to add it. Type in what our event title is and click create event. To edit an event, we click on it's title and select "edit event details." Here we can change when it occurs. How often it repeats. Where it is located. The description. You can also add reminders. You can do email reminders for as many days, minutes, or hours you want them ahead of time. We can also add other public calanders such as holidays, sporting events. Click "add." Go to "add public calander" and then find holidays. Click "add to calander." You can also create a calander that you can share with others. Click on "create" and enter a calander name, a description, location, and click "make this calander public." Then below, underneath "share with specific people" enter in the name of the person's Google account. Select "make changes and manage changes." And "create calander." Once more we will navigate over to our iGoogle page. Click on "add stuff." Search for Google calander. And then we can see that it will pop up and we will be linked to the calanders we just created. And in fact the events that are in each calander will appear in both places. Now let's move on to the next thing. Google Reader. Click up on more. Go down to Reader. Google Reader is an online RSS feed reader. What that means is if you have a subscription, let's say to a magazine or a newspaper instead of having to go to the store each day to buy that subscription it is automatically sent to your house. In this case, we can simply click "add subscription" and then enter in a website like Click "add" and any new posts that are entered will appear in our Google Reader. In this case, if you have to go to a website or a blog that has an RSS feed, instead of having to actually go to the address each time there is an update or change, it will be sent to you. To this webpage. Back to our iGoogle page once more. Click on "add stuff" once again. Then search for Google Reader. Add it now. Back to iGoogle Home. Now you don't even have to leave your personalized home page to receive these feeds. Another quick and easy way to receive feeds, is to go to the actual website If you notice in the right side of the address bar, there is this symbol. Go ahead and click on it. And if you are logged into your account, this page will open up. where you can add directly to your Google home page or to your Google reader. What if you don't want to just read blogs you want to create your own as well. Google has a solution for that too. Go up to the address bar and type in That will bring you to Google's blogging platform. You will have to enter your password once again. Then enter a user name and a title for your blog. How about Stu's blog. The blog address will be the url. You will have to check to see if it is available. If it is, click continue. You will have to choose a template, color scheme. Click continue again and start blogging. What comes up first, is a blog post. it is very similar to an email with a subject heading and its content area in the middle. You can add links. You can add text. You can add pictures or videos. Once you click publish post, it is now available on the web. So let's say we want to add an image to our post. First we click the edit post tab. We click "edit" and we can type some more text in. Then we click on the image icon right here. And browse. Find our image. Upload image and done. We now see our image on our blog post. Click publish post and there it is. Back to the iGoogle home page, click up on more again. Go down to photos and pull up Picasso Web Albums. Picasso is Google's online free photo storage service. There is a download component which offers you some functionality of a web version. But this will store photos and you can show photo albums. To add images, click "upload". Click "select a photo album." Title it. Select the date that they were taken. Enter a description if you like. Also enter a location. Then we are going to choose "public" to show the photos online. And click continue. Now we will browse and select the pictures that we want. And once completed we will click "start upload." Going back to our iGoogle page and adding stuff, we can enter a Google slide show, "add it now". And now we will edit the settings, selecting our album to appear on the iGoogle page. Our final service is Google Sites. Click up on "more." Go down to "sites." And Google Sites is a webpage creator that brings together all of the pieces that we have learned about so far. It can be thought of as a public face to your digital identity. Click create site and enter a site name url and description. Then select a theme. Enter the CAPTCHA. You can then edit the page with a pretty standard text editor. And what's really cool is you have the ability to insert calanders, documents, slideshows, presentations, spreadsheets. All from the work that you have done so far. Let's insert the presentation that we created earlier. Select presentation. Click "save." Center it. Click "save" once more. And there it it. Now let's create a new page. Call it Research Paper. Insert the document that we made earlier. And go through that same saving process. And there it is. As with many Google's services, Sites has the ability to collaborate as well. Click on "Site Settings" in the upper right hand corner. Enter in someone's name as a collaborator or owner. Click on "invite these people." In a quick 20 minutes, we have covered eight of the many services offered by Google. And as you can see, there are more that are waiting to be explored. You can follow these links to more information about the services we have covered as well as those we didn't have time for. Thank you very much for your attention. I hope you enjoyed the Google Gamut and we will be seeing you online.

Video Details

Duration: 20 minutes and 2 seconds
Year: 2008
Country: United States
Language: English
Views: 1,080
Posted by: k12online on Oct 18, 2008

K12 Online Conference 2008
Amplifying Possibilities
Kern Kelley Maine, USA

Originally published: 21 October 2008

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