Google’s new search features …

This presentation by Karen Blakeman was given at the Online Information exhibition, Olympia, London,  1st December 2010.  It focuses on the new search features and options launched by Google this year and Google’s personalisation of results.

This is one for teachers and librarians to check out in more detail!

Shortened – by Google

Google’s URL – is now open to the public.   Take note of the fact that all URLs and click analytics are public and can be shared by anyone.  Does this mean that we should already  have been taking note of what we ‘shorten’ and which services we use?

Of course, as @khokanson reminded me – it really helps if you have the capability to customize the URL.  I often use the customization feature to create a url that is easy for my students to understand. Google url shortener doesn’t seem to offer this service – at the moment anyway.

In addition,  sophisticated users can also add a QR code (Quick Response code) which contains much metadata; a QR code can be read by scanners and mobile devices.  Is this a good thing? Yes, if you are running a website and are interested in analytics.

Create a digital history with History Pin

Want to know what was happening on the corner of your street a hundred years ago? Now a new online project will let you ‘pin’ historic photos to images on Google Streetview giving you a snapshot of that particular location throughout history.

The HistoryPin website encourages web users to upload their archive photos and ‘geo-tag’ the modern-day locations onto their modern Streetview locations. The site allows users to share images from their personal photo albums and wants them to include the stories and history behind them.

What a great project for school students to get involved with!  Combine history, culture, and geography in one fell swoop!

Read more at:  A snapshot through time: The website that lets you ‘pin’ historic photos onto Streetview

Safe online – fact or fantasy came  across two things this week that can help teachers with supporting good use of online spaces.  For some teachers  effective understanding of online spaces and places in terms of good information practice is still a bit of a fantasy tale – like finding Platform 9 3/4 for Hogwarts!

So the following guide is well worthwhile distributing to your school community.

Net Cetera: Chatting With Kids About Being Online,  gives adults practical tips to help kids navigate the online world.  Net Cetera covers what parents and teachers need to know, and issues to raise with kids about living their lives online.

What about the big student magnet  – Google?

Google published its five privacy principles for International Data Privacy Day on the 28th January.  OK, I admit that this is the other side of the coin.

However, it is important to understand exactly what our major online tools consider as important to their product – driven by business forces – as the fact that online tools are extensions of our kids brains means educators have a responsibility to keep in touch and activate the right options for online spaces and places.

Google’s Privacy Principles are:

  1. Use information to provide our users with valuable products and services. Search history informs personalized search, but users can opt-out.
  2. Develop products that reflect strong privacy standards and practices. For example, you can chat on Google Talk “off the record” so the conversation isn’t saved.
  3. Make the collection of personal information transparent. Last year, the Google Dashboard was launched to show you what info Google is collecting on you.
  4. Give users meaningful choices to protect their privacy. You can report privacy issues related to Street View. Google often blurs faces, for example.
  5. Be a responsible steward of the information we hold. Google doesn’t sell data to other companies.

You can view the published web document on Google’s privacy principles here.

(via Google  Search Engine Watch)

The Google plunge!

You thought you knew all about Google did you?

Let me tell you, I am constantly amazed at how little I know about what that behemoth organisation is up too.  I’m a google user – of course – but you’d have to wonder where it is all going!

So now you want a quick way to keep up?  Here it is – not just the RSS feed from the official Google Blog, but following the Twitter updates of your chosen tools. Seems that Google has taken the plunge into Twitter.

Very pervasive when you think about it – what other organisation toolset has so many Twitter feeds happening?

There are 12 main twitter feeds, 7 geo-related feeds, 16 ads-related, 8 developer and technical, 2 culture & people, 7 country or region.

Grab whatever you want at Google Accounts on Twitter!