Sunday, November 23, 2008

Google Notebook

Google has lots of applications to peak educators' interests so I suppose it is no surprise this company makes one of the the early posts here. I recently ran across Google Notebook. Like many Google tools, it is entirely web-based although a browser plugin can be installed for most browsers which is a nice enhancement. (If you don't know what a plugin is, don't worry about it.)

What is it?
Google Notebook allows you to store websites and "clips" from anywhere while you are surfing. Sure, bookmarks can store web addresses, but Google Notebook allows you to classify them into folders and "clip" relevant parts. If you select a part of a website, it will store that clip with the web address. Later, I can go back and easily reference the part of the website I found useful and click on the link to see the whole page if I want. Additionally, I can also write comments about the site and whatever notes I care to make regarding my clip.

So why is this so great for myself or my students?
The cool part comes in because not only can I store things in my notebook with relevant material and notes, but I can also share notebooks.

To give a real life application, I am currently working with some colleagues to research and develop some resources on digital citizenship and what we should be teaching our students about online behaviors. We have created a shared notebook to store our research and resources. We will be able to go back later and coherently put the ideas together. Think of it as compiling research resources or a bit of research brainstorming.

If you have students working in groups on a project, perhaps they could use Google Notebook to collaborate together and even write notes to each other about the sources they find. For example, if ES students are preparing for their PYP Exhibition project, they could use it to collect resources and share them among the group and their teacher. A great benefit is that is stores the link automatically which is often needed for proper citing.

I can even publish these notebooks on the web. So not only can I collaborate and store up this information, but I can share it via a weblink to those that may want to access it.

Other resources such as Evernote are around and may offer some additional features. I can't comment on other programs because I haven't used them myself, but I found Google Notebook to be easy and intuitive with few bumps on the learning curve so far. It follows my principles of user-friendly and reliable. Check it out...


  1. The multi user feature and collaborative features make this a fun and easy tool, by the sounds of it. I use onenote which came bundled with my personal copy of MS office. I find it very easy, especially the print to onenote feature which is when I am on a web page or email and "print" to onenote. Then I can write on and alter to my hearts content in onenote. Only thing is I cant easily collaborate in onenote. Trust google to have collaboration tools.
    Will future articles include anything about building your own search engine where you colaboratively build a resource of websites with your personal learning network? (Not sure I got the terminology correct) Ken

  2. I've heard good things about OneNote. The hitch is 1) you have to pay for it, 2) it's on the local computer so unaccessible on the web. I often come across things to grab for later when I'm not on my work computer so both have prevented me from exploring it further. However, OneNote is a powerful tool if you have it. Anyone have any other programs they would suggest along this vein?

  3. Very correct about "onenote" Darren