Google Tools — New Templates

Many of my colleagues are reluctant to use google docs, spreadsheets, or presentation slides because of perceived limitations — but they have improved steadily over the past few years. And now there are some great templates available to make collaborative work easier and more professional. Visit,, or to check out what’s available.

Google Search Stories

By now, everyone’s probably seen this charming video:

Of course, Google now makes it unbelievably easy to create search stories by plugging in some search terms, selecting music, and voilá! What a great project to do with kids – quick and simple story-telling, 21st century style (and a great way to teach inference!)

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Google Image Swirl is Pretty Sweet

Google Image Search is useful, but depending on your search terms, might require tremendous sifting through extraneous images.

Now there’s Swirl … enter a key word and get a screen with example images. It being that time of year, I entered the word “turkey.”


Choose the image that represents the concept closest to the one you want (choosing the Thanksgiving turkey, rather than the map of Turkey). Now you’ll get a concept map like this:

turkey2You can then explore any subgroup in the cluster. It’s a pretty nice way of searching for images.

More on Swirl at the Official Google Blog.