iGoogle is hands down the best Home Page on the Internet. With the ability to customize what information is added, users have the ability to personalize their own web portal with news, games, apps, email and a calendar just to name a few. Best of all...free.
With instant message one of the most popular forms of communication, Google has enabled users to communicate in real time. Google Talk also has the ability for video chat, voice chat and file transfers. It is platform independent and can be used on mobile devices making it great for communicating anytime, anywhere.
Google News allows users to be able to access subject specific news stories all from one page. With access to many different wire services, US and World news is available 24/7. Users can customize their experience by selecting subjects and topics that are relevant to their interests and studies.
As a collaboration tool, Google Docs is one of the best free applications available. Users have the ability to create original documents or import pre-made work directly into Google Docs. By inviting others, they have the ability to download, edit and re-upload files for review.
Google Calendar is a fantastic free application. The ability to have multiple calendars all tied back to a central visual interface. With the ability to share this calendar and allow others to edit it, team members and classmates can know others availability so that dates and meeting times can easily and efficiently be scheduled.
While Gmail is a great web based email system, the ability to archive messages is a welcome addition. The fact that I can clear my Inbox and still keep important messages is a tool that I can’t imagine what I did without. Gmail has become so stable, that some Universities have partnered with Google to make it the Universities’ Email client. Institutions are able to save a lot of money on archiving storage costs.
This tool is great for group work and could be used as a content delivery system (similar to D2L). The ability to share files, offer discussion pages and a specific group email address make this a fantastic application. Couple this with Gtalk and group work is a breeze.
Blogging is a very popular method of communication. Educators can use blogs as a way to offer supplemental information to students and parents. Educators can also use this to share ideas and tips to other educators.
Google Image Search is great resource that will allow presenters to find material that can be used for presentations, classes and other educational material. Search operators can help narrow the search parameters allowing for greater accuracy.
Searching databases for research materials just became easier by using Google Scholar. Using the simple interface that Google offers, researchers can get in depth for their materials searches. Google Scholar can link to University libraries so that users will be able to access materials through their respective institutions.