First I looked at the Google Alerts for this Thing. I immediately added four topics of interest and then went straight to my inbox and viewed all of them. That's awesome. :) I will get updates on anything regarding dyslexia - which is my professional area of interest. I will also get my Zumba and Yoga new videos as they are available for my MISD Wellness Aerobics Instructor profession. My son and most of my dyslexic students have ADHD, so that is the other alert I will receive. Should be very helpful.
Then I went to the Google Calendar. It could be used for my aerobics schedule (even if it's just one for me personally to keep up with the classes I teach) as well as personal dates/events. Click the link to see an example of one I created with the rest of July's classes on the calendar.
Then in less than 30 seconds I made my own iGoogle home page with MY interests on it.
Then I went on to the Picasa Albums and looked at several photos. I don't have my own digital camera yet nor do I have my own computer to download pix to my own file, so I will skip this one for the time being - but am glad to know about it.
I love Google Book Search. I can read through the books as if I were at the book store and decide if it's worth reading or not. I can also read my kids favorites books right here on line. I LOVE THIS!!!! Here's one of our favorites, Love You Forever. Oh my, I spent sooooo much time on this book search. That is probably going to be a new hobby for me.
I hope the students are able to check it out as well. They won't have the excuse of not having any books at home - if they have access to a computer.
Google Earth was really cool too and I'm sure the students would love to go anywhere they are interested in on that site. They can read it in a book, but seeing it on the videos or the 3D images this site offers would really catch their attention.
I didn't delve as deep into the Google Sites or Google custom search at this time but I'm sure glad to have it as a resource to come back to later. I might be interested in starting an MTA class page for my students, the parents, the regular classroom teacher, and other dyslexia teachers on the Google Sites.
Google Sketch Up is not a tool I can see myself using, but my husband probably would love it. So would my own children. Sometimes, dyslexic students are gifted in the right brain talents; therefore, they would probably enjoy this site and create amazing sketches. I'm passing this one on to them.
I share publicly to MISD23things a couple of things I tried. I also added links to them in this post.
I checked out several of the Google Labs as well. These are the ones I thought were interested and could be used either for my students or for me personally: Google Transliteration, Google City Tours, Google Aardvark (ask any question to be answered), Google Listen (can listen to news/magazine), and Google Squared (this one is certainly worth you checking out).
I was amazed at all the great tools Google has to offer. I never knew it was anything more than just a search engine until this class. I'm feeling more empowered and tech savvy now. COOL.