Welcome to iHCPL: The Next Generation. This site was created as the next step in Harris County Public Library's iHCPL Learning 2.0 Program; a discovery learning program designed to encourage staff to explore new technologies. The original iHCPL program was adapted from The Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County's Learning 2.0 Program.

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Web According to Google #85: Resistance is Futile

In 1996-1997 two Stanford University students started a little project that became Google. In the 14 or so years since its launch it has added numerous other products, starting with the toolbar in 2000. A major milestone in the creation of new products was the release of Google Labs in 2002. Google Labs is a place where Google tries out beta technologies some of which have gone into production. Because Google has become such an integral part of many people's lives, we're going to take a look at several of the more popular applications over four posts. Completing all four posts is worth 2 training hours. This module is available through June 30, 2010.

Google has a variety of products available. We've previously covered Blogger and YouTube in the original iHCPL. Blogger and YouTube were developed independently and later purchased by Google. Several other applications to be aware of are:

  • Google Mail or Gmail, the popular email client
  • Google Books - Search the full text of books. Allows the user to either search or browse by subject. With a Google Account, you can create your own bookshelf with favorites, which you can share with the world. Back issues of some magazines are also available (Weekly World News anyone?) Keep in mind that not all books have full text available due to copyright.
  • iGoogle - Acts as a launch pad for wide-variety of widgets that you can install. You can also customize the look with a variety of themes. Depending on the widgets you install, you can view and launch Gmail, your Google calendar, YouTube (owned by Google), Google Reader, and get news and weather. iGoogle is an application that came out of Google Labs.
In the past several years, Google has developed several products that require a download rather than being strictly web-based. These include:
In upcoming posts we'll be covering Calendar and Docs, Google Reader, and the newer apps such as Buzz and Wave in depth.

In your blog, respond to the following:
  1. What Google products do you use on a regular basis? Why do you use them and what makes them better than a competing product?
  2. Check out Google Labs. Did you see any new products that you want to try?
  3. Search or browse Google Books. Do they have the book or magazine you looked for? Did you find any gems? How can this be used in the library?
This post brought to you by Grace Lillevig (ADM) & Abigail Buchold (ADM).

Image: Flickr CC: Google Logo 50th Anniversary Inspiration: manfry

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