Igoogle in the classroom

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Can you imagine internet without Google ? Oh my , I can not even take in the idea . Google has placed itself in the priority benchmarks in all the online traffic . This is a natural fruit of the continous hard labour of google’s developers and engineers who are stunning us with their steadily sporadic innovations in the world of ICT and educational technology .Thanks to google services that we can now make sure that technology is secured education’s facilitator .There are several educative tools and applications google has offered for educators , some I have already talked about in my previous posts namely : Google alerts , Google buzz , Google reader , Google documents , Google bookmarks and in this one now I will talk about another one just equally important called igoogle .
I know some of you are using it already and some have heard of it and some have no idea what it is .I will walk you through this step by step tutorial and show  you how we can use this application to the fullest in education .

What is Igoogle ?

igoogle is a very personalized homepage that allows users much more flexibility to customize, add and delete elements and gadgets and place key info all in one handy single page .igoogle homepage
For us as educators this utility means a lot . We will no longer run after knowledge online , it will come to us instead .In the fast-paced world of today time is highly important and there is just so much content online that it seems time consuming to go about looking for stuff you have already checked before but could not remember where it is online . igoogle saves you so much of this wasted time and provides you with a smart internet navigation .
To start using igoogle you need to have a google account , if you have a gmail account then you have a google account if not you need sign up for a google account .
Now go to www.google.com/ig you click on sign in on the top right hand corner ; provide your info and there you are in your igoogle page . As you can see , igoogle has already placed some basic and standard gadgets on your page , you can change the overall theme and install a theme that suits you and then go to the gadget gallery and choose from several predefined and third party gadgets to add to your homepage .For example as a teacher , you can select these gadgets :
  • To do list
  • Quotes of the day
  • Rss feed
  • Google docs
  • Dictionary.co word of the day
These tools have a direct relationship with our profession so why not use them . Of course there are plenty of other gadgets you can use personally or with your class .
You can also add additional pages by clicking on the “home” tab on the left part .You can show your students how to create interesting tabs for games , puzzles , jokes , etc . to add elements or gadgest to your homepage just click on the “ add stuff” button on the right side of igoogle homepage as shown in this screenshot

When you click on add staff you will be directe to thos page where you can choose your gadgets .

Whenever you click add on a gadget it automatically appears on your igoogle homepage . you can use drag and drop options to change its placement later on .



Applications of Igoogle in education

For students
  • Create , customize , and add tabs for tasks , activities and share it with others using the “to do list” gadget .
  • Be informed of breaking news and current events
  • Add educative gadgets like , class calendar , to do lists, encyclopedia , and dictionaries .
For teachers :
  • Useful tol for professional development and self training .
  • Plan and organize instructional activities
  • Using gadgets to stay in touch with professional learning networks .