Google Tools for Use Across the Curriculum

Professional Development Series - 2014

  • Learn what Google has to offer for use in your classroom.
  • Generate ideas how Google apps can be used in your classroom.
  • Get hands-on experience with some of the tools.

Pre-Session Activity - Please Do!
  1. Go to
  2. If you already have an account, go ahead and log in. (Note: if you have associated your District email address with your Google account, you will want to disassociate it now.)
  3. If you don't have a Google account, click on Sign in with a different account and then Add an Account and then Create an Account. (Note: Please do not use your District email address to create your account. Use another personal email address; preferably not an AOL email address.)

Google Apps for Education vs. Google Personal/Consumer

Google Earth

Google Maps

  • What is it? *Video: Google Maps - An Introduction
    • Google Maps is an intuitive service for navigating global maps information. It enables you and your students to look up and study addresses anywhere in the U.S. and in many other countries and get point-to-point, draggable directions plotted on an interactive street map.

  • Why use it?
    • Students can use Google Maps to:
      • Keep track of class pen pals.
      • Take virtual tours of countries where a language they are studying is spoken. (Include planning for local transportation, site-seeing, dining and hotel reservations!).
      • Learn about animal and plant life by embedding information in maps of different habitats.
    • Teachers can use Google Maps to:
      • Plan a field trip with students.
      • Create a map of the school or school events for parents.
      • Teach history by embedding primary documents into interactive maps for students to explore.

Activity One

*Video: Google Maps - How to Create a Custom Google Map

*Note: Google Maps has recently changed. You can still find the classic version of creating a custom map - as per video - however, in the activity below, you will use the new online version of creating a Custom Map using

Google News

  • Why Use it? *Video: Google News, More than Just Top News Stories
    • Students can use Google News to:
      • Compare and contrast current events from a variety of sources.
      • Find primary documents related to historical events over the past 200 years.
      • Access the news from their mobile phones – no computer lab required.
    • Teachers can use Google News to:
      • Personalize their news page to stay informed on topics they teach.
      • Search the news for stories relevant to a particular day’s lesson.
      • Model for students how to examine bias and reliability in the news.

  • Instructional Ideas:
    • Create a "The World This Week" photo poster.
    • Students compare and contrast articles on a single event from different sources - nationally and/or internationally.
    • Provide foreign language reading and translating material from authentic sources.
    • Twenty-five Great Ideas for Teaching Current Events


  • What is it? *Video: Introducing Picasa 3
    • Picasa is a free application that helps you instantly organize, edit and share all the pictures on your PC or Mac.
    • Get Picasa:
    • Picasa is also integrated with Google+ on the web

  • Why use it?
    • Anything you can do in iPhoto, you can do in Picasa.
    • Picasa is free for both Mac and Windows.
    • Many students are visual learners.
    • Students can use Picasa to:
      • Organize and manage photos for projects and reports.
      • Quickly edit photos and other images.
      • Share photos of school events with friends and family.
    • Teachers can use Picasa to:
      • Create an album for each student.
      • Quickly create a slideshow for open house.
      • Share field trip photos online for parents.

  • Instructional Ideas:
    • Take pictures of student work, presentations, or field trips throughout the year and quickly turn them into a slideshow that you can play at open house or during parent conferences.
    • Students can create a historical photo album by taking pictures of themselves in historical costumes and settings.
    • Journalism students can keep all photos for each edition of their newspaper or magazine in one location on their classroom PC, adding descriptions and captions that make them easy to find, re-use, and share.

Activity Two


  • Why use it? *Video: Create Cool Stuff with Google SketchUp
    • Students can use SketchUp to:
      • Visualize geometry and other mathematical concepts.
      • Model buildings and learn about architectural design and engineering.
      • Design interiors, landscapes, and buildings in 3D.
      • Easily share their designs with others via the web.
    • Teachers can use SketchUp to:
      • Engage students who are more adept visual learners.
      • Introduce the world of 3-dimensional design.
      • Illustrate geometry and other mathematical concepts.
      • Help students learn to model existing real world buildings, such as local historical or school buildings, and geo-locate them in Google Earth.

  • Instructional Ideas: *Video: Getting Started with Google SketchUp
    • Students design and create their own castle.
    • 3D Vinci
    • Teach 2D and 3D geometry concepts in math.
    • Students design and create green living spaces.

Additional Resources

Google for Education
Google Educator Resources
Google for Education Training
More Google Products