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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

When doodling in class is okay...

Google is very educator-friendly - at least for this educator. But they also take care to support education whenever possible. They provide versions of Google Apps (their web- and email-hosting plan, which I use for techieteacher) and Google SketchUp (a 3D-modeling program, with which you can create models to integrate into Google Earth). The Google Education Summit brings Googlers together with representatives of higher education institutions. And now they're getting K-12 involved...well, sort of.

Have you ever seen some of the Google doodles that appear in place of the logo for holidays or significant historic dates? Did you catch the 25th anniversary of TCP/IP this past New Year's Day? Or the 2007 holiday series? The 2006 World Cup? Louis Braille's birthday? Or one of my favorites, National Teacher Day from May 2005? (Want to see more? Go here.) Well, now it's students' turn. Doodle 4 Google gets school-age kids involved in asking "What if...?" and incorporating their answer to the question in a doodle using the Google logo. The grand prize is a $10,000 scholarship, computers for the winner and his or her school, a trip to the GooglePlex, and more. And, of course, their artwork displayed on the Google homepage - how many people are going to see that? How cool...

It's a very interesting idea... I'm going to run it by teachers and administrators at my school to see what they think. A little extra technology couldn't hurt.

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