Google Notebook/Clip websites to view anywhere!

I really enjoy what I do. I get to work with and have access to all kinds of cool technology, am surrounded by people who interact with and know a lot about even more cool stuff, talk to faculty about how they use technology, and get to work on projects that are engaging and exciting. Just the other day I met with a faculty member here at BSU who is really knowledgeable about and very interested in emerging technologies. He reminded me of “Google Notebook,” where you can actually clip content from a web page and view it online, on any computer. Why would this be necessary, you might ask, since you already bookmark your sites? Well, how many times have you gone to a bookmarked site only to find out it is no longer there? Or maybe the information you need is just one paragraph, not the whole webpage. And you also might want to make comments about that clipping. That’s what Google Notebook is all about.

With Google Notebook you can annotate and store your collection of web clippings. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. If you don’t have a Google account, get one. (You’ll use it, believe me.) Next, go to google.com and select register for an account.
  2. Log in to Google Notebook: http://www.google.com/notebook
  3. You will be prompted to install a notebook add-in for Firefox (or Internet Explorer if you must). Click the Agree and Download button.
  4. Now you can add a web page clip to your Google Notebook.
  5. Here’s an example of how you can use this service:
    • Say you’re collecting information on using blogs in education. You have some websites bookmarked, but you only really need to save certain information from those sites. From your delicious bookmarks (http://del.icio.us/boisebarbara) you access the webpages you want to copy. (I’m going to the following article http://lttf.ieee.org/learn_tech/issues/october2006/#_Toc148658494, and selecting the second paragraph. Then, I right-click and choose “Note this” (Google Nootebook) from the context menu, as shown below, to save the clipping.

      note this

    • As you can see above, in the bottom right of the current page, a Google Notebook dialog box appears. To add your own notes to the clipping, scroll down and select “Comment.” Type in your comment and then select Save or the X to close the dialog box. Your clippings, the address of its source page, and your comments are stored in your notebook for later reference, viewable and stored online.

    At the google Notebook site, you can manage your Notebook. To get to this site, go to your Google account and under “My Services” you should see Notebook. Select Notebook and then you will see your online Google Notebook. An example of my Google Notebook is shown below.

    notebook

At this site you can create multiple notebooks, edit and rename your current notebook, add section headings, notes, and move, edit, and delete current clippings. You can click, drag, and drop any content to other notebooks or sections you create.

IDEAS FOR TEACHING: You can make your Google Notebook public, which would be a great way for students to research, share, and collaborate on a project. They could use Google notebook as Bruce Ballenger’s double entry research system, clipping the actual research notes along with bibliographic citation/information and then use the comments area to react to that clipping. Students could collaborate on a project using this system, and use it for all sorts of final projects, such as structuring a debate, writing a pro/con paper, brainstorming for a solution to a problem, constructing a “found poem,” or any number of creative ideas that teachers seem to come up with.

Advantages of Google Notebook:

  • You can access your clippings anytime, from any computer
  • You can use Google’s excellent indexing capabilities
  • You can collaborate using its public feature
  • You can access other public notebooks on your topic
  • You can organize all sorts of notebooks and make comments on the clippings

Personal Aside: I will tell you that using Google Notebook takes some practice and getting used to. You can also access Google Notebook by clicking a little icon on the lower right-hand corner of your web browser (I used Mozilla Firefox almost exclusively) that says “Open Notebook.” It IS a great program, however, and one of the many new tools available. I would highly recommend downloading the plugin, using it, and thinking of great ways you can use it in your teaching.

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