What I learned at the GTA: Episode 1

Well, this is the first in what I hope is a series of blogs that combine Google presentation and podcasts to discuss and explore all of the different Google Tools I learned about at the Google Teacher Academy.
I decided to start with Google Reader since this particular tool really is one of the ones I use most often after Gmail. I began using Google Reader well before I attended the GTA, but I didn’t realize all of the implications for classroom instruction until I went to Google. In terms of having an impact on students’ new media literacy, as well as facilitating student blogging, I really like the way Google Reader works. Before I stumbled upon Google Reader, I had two other RSS aggregator accoutns with Bloglines and with Newsgator. While those were both fine services, I like the way Google Reader integrated with the other Google tools I was using, plus I hate logging into multiple accounts.
That being said, Google Reader has a number of fine features that I enjoy. First of all, I like that every day, I can open up my iGoogle page and note the new feeds coming in. I also love that I can then share interesting posts along with my own annotations and tags. This shared items page can then itself be shared as a webpage, or, as you can see on the top of this blog page, I can embed a widget of all the items I’ve shared with Reader. I love that I can see what my friends have found useful, interesting or funny and see their annotations. I also think that the Reading Trends option is a wonderful way for students to reflect on their own reading.
So, listen to the podcast for more on all of this. In addition, I’ve created a Google Presentation so you can get a sense of what all this looks like, before you take the plunge.
Since this is my first crack at this, comments and feedback of what you would like to see in the future are greatly appreciated.