Hipster Google — Tools You Probably Never Heard Of

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Participate and share : Interactive lecture

Eric Curts  
You know about Google Docs, Gmail and Search, but what about other hidden Google gems? Learn about educational tools including nGram, Trends, Story Speaker, AutoDraw, Music Lab, Toontastic, Canned Responses, Landlines, Poly, Meme Buddy, Reverse Image Search, Instant Search Cards, Mystery Animal, Science Journal, Semantris, Grasshopper, Art Palette and more!

Audience: Coaches, Curriculum/district specialists, Teachers
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Android, iOS
Laptop: PC, Chromebook, Mac
Tablet: Android, iOS
Participant accounts, software and other materials: Attendees will need to have a Google account (personal or G Suite for Education) and a Windows laptop, Mac laptop, or Chromebook to fully participate in the session. Optionally attendees may benefit from an Android or iOS phone or tablet to try out some of the mobile tools covered.
Topic: Online tools, apps & resources
Grade level: PK-12
ISTE Standards: For Students:
Creative Communicator
  • Students create original works or responsibly repurpose or remix digital resources into new creations.
  • Students communicate complex ideas clearly and effectively by creating or using a variety of digital objects such as visualizations, models or simulations.
  • Students publish or present content that customizes the message and medium for their intended audiences.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

The purpose of this session is to explore a wide range of lesser known Google tools that educators and students can use for teaching, learning, creating, collaborating, exploring, and expressing their knowledge. Throughout the session I will explain and demonstrate each tool, giving examples of how they can be used in schools, and allowing the attendees to explore the tools as well if they wish.
In this session we look at over 50 lesser-known Google tools. Even though these tools are less known than Docs and Slides and Sheets, they provide students with fun, engaging, and powerful tools for learning. Students can expand and deepen their searching skills with tools including nGram, Google Scholar, reverse image search, Trends, Google Arts and Culture, and more. Students can also express their learning through creativity tools such as Tour Builder, Tour Creator, Autodraw, Toontastic, Chrome Music Lab, Story Speaker, Meme Buddy, and more. This wide collection of tools empowers students to have so much greater choice when selecting how they want to learn, explore, collaborate, and create to share their learning.

Attendees will:
Learn about a large variety of Google tools they can use right away with their students for teaching and learning.
See creative ways the online tools can allow students to be creative, work together, and communicate their learning.
See the benefit of free resources that can be used by any school.


In this session we will cover a wide range of lesser known Google tools. For some tools we will spend several minutes to try out the tool and see how it can be used in schools. For other tools we will mention them briefly to expose the attendees to the tools. New tools are added frequently, so this list may change, but at the moment the tools to be covered would include the following:
Ngram Viewer, Google Scholar, Instant Search Cards, Reverse Image Search, Google Trends, Google Alerts, Power Searching with Google, Be Internet Awesome, Google Dictionary, Art Palette, LIFE Tags, Talk to Books, Tour Builder, Tour Creator, Google Earth, Landlines, Timelapse, Google Maps Planets and Moons, Access Mars, Google Fonts, Quick Draw, AutoDraw, Toontastic, Poly, Cardboard Camera, Meme Buddy, Androidify, Chrome Music Lab, Groove Pizza, Mix Lab, AI Duet, Inside Music, Semi-Conductor, Story Speaker, Chrome Canvas, Just a Line, Canned Responses, Google Translate Mobile App, Share to Classroom, Google Cast for Education, Data GIF Maker, Google Keep, Google Arts & Culture, Mystery Animal, Science Journal, OK Go Sandbox, Semantris, Grasshopper, Applied Digital Skills, Digital Garage, Tune

Supporting research

The tools addressed in this session cover such a wide range of resources, there would not be just one specific supporting research source. However, the value of these tools can be seen in the article I wrote on this topics on my blog at:
This post has consistently been one of the most accessed resources on my site with close to 100,000 page views for this article. In addition, the video training I recorded for this content at has over 4,000 views.
In short, schools are often limited by budgets and struggle to find resources to allow their students to learn and create with technology. This session helps address this common need by demonstrating over 50 engaging, but free, lesser-known Google tools that can be used in schools.

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Eric Curts, Stark Portage Area Computer Consortium

Eric Curts is a veteran educator who started his career as a math teacher in Ohio. After teaching middle school math for seven years, Curts became a technology integration specialist in North Canton Schools where he supported teachers in integrating technology into teaching and learning, and oversaw the district’s technology initiatives. He’s currently the technology integration specialist for the Stark Portage Area Computer Consortium (SPARCC) and the Stark County Educational Service Center where he supports teachers and all schools in the consortium through tech implementation guidance and training, and assistance with G Suite for Education tools, as well as online learning programs and other technology initiatives. He also oversees and manages the annual SPARCC Educational Technology Conference that draws educators from throughout the state. Curts is a G Suite Certified Trainer and Innovator, and co-leader for GEG-Ohio, the Google Educator Group of Ohio. He shares tech resources, including training videos, help guides and podcasts, on “Control Alt Achieve,” his award-winning blog. For over two decades, he’s traveled the U.S. to provide training, keynotes and consulting.

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