Today I am reposting about iGoogle. Many of you are probably very familiar with iGoogle but for those of you who are not, it is a wonderful tool. iGoogle is a customizable homepage. It allows you to have one page with many mini-pages, gadgets, widgets, and applications feeding into it. You can have your email, news, blog updates, weather, jokes of the day, and countless other apps delivered to one place. Here is a copy of my page:
As you can see, I have my gmail, weather, top news stories, and RSS feeds among other applications. I can rearrange, add or delete from these any time. I can also change my theme to fit my mood. Once you have added several apps, you can begin tabbing. I set mine up with categories- home, games, teaching. I have seen some set up with Now, Soon, Never or Politics, News, Blogs. You can have more than just three tabs, or you can just stick with the one homepage.
So, how do you sign up for iGoogle? Simple! Go to iGoogle. Click on “Get Started” and follow the prompts. Once your account is set up, experiment with different themes and adding “stuff”. Reset this page as your homepage so that you can see it each time you open your internet browser.
For those of you familiar with iGoogle, here is a tip that I just learned while at Google. You can share tabs with other people. You simply click on the delta on the tab you wish to share. It will give you the option to “share this tab”. When you click on that, a box will pop up with directions for sharing. You simply type in the email address, choose what you want to share, and add a message. The recipient will then be able to add your tab to their own iGoogle account.
How does this apply to the classroom? I have heard several teachers who are using various gadgets in the classroom. Those who teach kids under 13 (the age to have their own account) will use their teacher iGoogle to present information. Many have election tabs that include countdown timers, quotes from the candidates, videos of speeches, campaign trail maps, and much more. By using the tab sharing feature, teachers of older students can have a class each download the tab and it can become a classroom or virtual discussion topic.
For a couple of great tabs on the election go to Googlitics and click the links just under the picture on the home page.
Next week I will post on Google Reader. iGoogle and Google Reader are the 2 Google tools I use more than anything!