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Back to School Help From Google

My older kiddos have cell phones, I joined Zac in getting an Android. It’s amazing how much technology is packed into a tiny thing! I’m older so I have this huge learning curve. Zac has the same android as I do and yet his seems far superior…it’s the user I’m certain, still I whine.

Tweeting, tagging, texting – kids seem to spend all their time socializing on their cell phones and computers. While uploading photos of their summer vacation and tweeting about the crazy beard Mr. Hamilton grew over the summer is fun and entertaining, it doesn’t exactly promote learning or enrich their understanding of the world.

Now Google allows me an upper edge, smartphone tools that make time on the phone educational and efficient. Who can’t use that? Google is even helping parents stay organized with activities–from soccer practice to music lessons and everything in between–not to mention shopping smarter this school year.

Here are a few ways Google can help students this year:

  • From the Tale of Peter Rabbit to the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, your reading list just got easier to access with Google Books. Available to read on Android and iPhone, desktop and e-readers, never again will a book left at school mean a late book report.
  • Use Google Search to easily find articles on current events, languages, and more –  perfect for help with book reports!
  • Sitting next to a foreign exchange student in Home Economics? Use Google Translate to help you communicate with your new friend! Simply speak in English and it’ll speak your phrase back to you in Spanish, French, Chinese, or a variety of other languages.

Here are a few ways Google can help parents this year:

  • Whether it is books, electronics, or school supplies, make sure you are getting your child the best of everything with the Google Shopper mobile app. With Shopper, you can say or type the name of a product, or scan its barcode, and get online and local price comparisons, availability information, product info, and reviews from around the web.
  • From PTA meetings to soccer practice, keep track of all your whats, wheres, and whens with Google Calendar. You can set up your calendar on the desktop, and it will sync with your phone’s built-in calendar, letting you view, add or edit appointments when you are on the go. You can also share your Google Calendar with your family or set up shared calendars (say, who is bringing snacks for each week’s sports game) with wider groups.
  • Trying to keep your budding Einstein busy? YouTube EDU helps universities around the world broadcast a college education to anyone with an Internet connection. It is one of the world’s largest classrooms with more than 64,000 videos and more than 350 courses available. While the content can be as advanced as upper-level computer science classes, there are also videos that are great for younger kids, like catching and studying turtles.
It’s an exciting time as cell phones progress.
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