Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Google: Changing the Game

Google has done it, again and again and again...

Just when you think Google couldn't get any better it always hits you with the next best thing. If you only know Google as the best search engine-- I have news for you, it's even better! I was aware of a few of the great features, such as the calculator, or the "I'm Feeling Lucky" feature; but recently in my Exploring Your Digital Portfolio class I was amazed to see all of the amazing extra applications and features that have formed into a total luxury for the people of this highly digital era. 

What are these applications and features?

As you can see in the picture to the right, Google has had a ton of time to grow and add additional features. This has become so much to the point where it's hard to keep track of it all! Fear not, there is a google search that will help you out with that! One document Google left for its users in a public Google Drive that Professor Calderwood shared with us was a nice and explanatory slide show called 31 Ways to Use G in Higher Education . The slideshow shows a huge basis of ways that students and faculty alike could utilize google in their classrooms. For students like myself, it mentioned an awesome feature called circles where you can organize your different contacts into different groups to mimic your real life groups. This makes it easy to get together, virtually. Google calls these get togethers Google Hangouts. This makes it easy to keep in contact with your classmates, families, and coworkers. The hangouts even have an awesome chat feature where up to 10 people with webcams can virtually chat at once, blowing other webcam programs like Skype (where you are limited to two webcams), out of the water.

Google Circles
As for the lesser known things about Google, there was another awesome article called 16 Secrets of Google Drive by David Chartier. One of the best things I saw on there was the option of working in 65 different languages. Having a ton of family in the Dominican Republic and speaking mainly English, it was really cool to me that Google could almost entirely minimize our language barrier, and if there was any translation issues--they could be solved in the click of a button. Something else I found really helpful was that Google has the option of an app so that any of your Google Drive documents could be edited without actually having to be on the internet. If it isn't amazing enough that Google Drive has all types of document programs that mimic huge expensive programs like Microsoft Word or Excel to use as an alternative, they decided to make them better! Writer Charles Cooper covers this in his bold article:

How I learned to say, 'Hi, Google Docs; bye, MS Word'

While he gives due credit to Microsoft Word, he also brings up several great points as to why the winner between the two is a no-brainer . One of my very favorite points? It's FREE! There are no updates nor installation process, and no huge amount of space taken up in your computer. Google also stores your files to avoid having to take up any space on your hard drive if you don't want to. Up to 15GB free. If you're anything like me with space-sucking editing software or tons of videos and images, this thing is a dream. 

What Else is New? 

In my last blog post I briefly touched upon the class text book, in which we touch based with Personal Learning Networks. In honor of building one I have now found myself on Twitter, HOORAY! I am currently in the process of finding some great tweeters in the field of communications so expect to me to keep you updated! As for now, make sure to follow me here @AlexaSearyEdu !

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