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Tech Integration Tips and Web Links to Increase Your Teacher Nerdiness Levels Today is Monday, May 29, 2017

Google Features That Make Teachers' Lives Easier Part 2 - Wonder Wheel and Timeline


Today I’m sharing with you a couple of my favorite Google treasures, and these have the potential to finally make searching for students less stressful as they turn searching into a visual – Hooray!  I’m hoping this will eliminate some of the “being lost in the web” time teachers and students face and help to find better results more efficiently.  Honestly, I cannot wait for school to start and see how students interact with these features.  I hope you have fun playing with them and even more importantly, find great uses for them with your students.


Google’s Wonder Wheel

I am so pumped about this new feature from Google, which makes searching visual.  Even if students start with a general topic like civil war or a famous person’s name such as Amelia Earhart the Wonder Wheel helps guide students to a better search.  Here are the steps:

  • Type in the search topic: civil war and press search
  • Above your search results look for the “Show Options”

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  • Scroll down and find Wonder Wheel

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  • Now the wheel shows up in the center with suggestions and your search results have moved over to the right.

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  • The wheel is interactive, so simply click through the suggestions to narrow down your topic.  The results will change on the right and your search query will automatically change at the top.

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  • Continue to narrow down your topic through wheels – doesn’t that make searching easier?
  • Now here is the cool part – the Google Boolean logic qualifiers still work with the Wonder Wheel.  Students can still type in good queries such as “civil war” +battles site:edu to find more reliable results and utilize the Wonder Wheel features.

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I honestly believe this will take some of the “getting lost in the web” problems all students face and also help teachers to guide students through a more successful search. With any luck, even students as young as third grade will be able to start making successful Google searches with the Wonder Wheel.

PS - the Wonder Wheel does work for any search topic such as : lesson plans, novel guides, or even chocolate cake recipes.

Google Timeline Feature

The timeline has been around for a while under the Google Labs experiments, but now it’s easier to find and utilize.  This feature provides a timeline where students can narrow down search results by year. 

  • Type in your search query such as civil war
  • Click on Show Options and scroll down to Timeline

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  • The search results will be in chronological order.

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  • It still makes sense to utilize good search terms for better results.  With a completely general term, Google is pulling results for any civil war.

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  • Then narrow down your results by clicking through the timeline if you know the dates of your event.

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  • Looking for the most recent information posted on an event?  Look back over to the left and notice Any Time.  Here you can choose recent web publications about the topic.

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Now think about those research papers that deal with timely information.  If a student is researching something on current technology, he can pull results within the last year and filter out the dated information.  Talk about easy!

Next post will feature Google Squared, a new feature that allows students to compare information side by side - yep, it's another cool one!





posted by

Awesome Googleness! I am an addict myself, and am always looking for the nearest Google School for Teachers in the summer to me (being Canadian, I'm not even sure I could be eligible to attend...but I'll try!) I look forward to reading more from you here and on Delicious! I am SnyderSensei and a math/science middle school teacher in Manitoba, Canada. You can also find me at Twitter by the same username. Hope that I can share more about ICT with you!

posted by

Hi Snydersensei - if you're a google addict, then we are kindred spirits! I'm glad you liked the Wonder Wheel and Timeline tools as much as I did. Thanks for stopping by Making Teachers Nerdy, and you can count that I'll be following you on Twitter. ;)

posted by

Google FeaturesTaht Make Teachers' Lives Easier Part 2
Mrs. Smoke
Wow! I'm so glad that I was truned on to your site! the reason for the above info. is that you are part of a PD class that I'm taking. So here's the comment: I really appreciate this article because I too, anm a big Google fan. The Wonder Wheel uses the same technology as Visual Thesaurus, which I can't afford right now-only because I don't have my own classroom. My students would never have time to acces it in a 45 min. intervention block. I'm wondering if it functions the same and I can use it for vocabulary development. I can't wait to try it! Thaks you so much! M. Marquis

posted by

Thanks for the great hints. I now can help my students narrow down info they need for research. The time line feature was interesting also. I never opened the "show options" before. What a treasure!

posted by

I am thrilled to find your blog. I love google. I am always researching new ways for my third grade class to research. I used the wonder wheel today with my class to show the many avenues that a web could extend our inquiry. I simply began a search of Helen Keller and the results were amazing. I was then able to click timeline to show her lifespan. The students loved it. Our novel came alive. Thanks for the great tips.

posted by

I attended a great Google session at FETC and learned about Wonderwheel and Timeline. Just love it and I have blogged about it also. Any chance I get I show it to teachers! Interesting though...at home I get the wheels and when I expand, I see all of them. At school I only can see the new wheel. The old one disappears. I've scrolled down to look and have tried everything I know to find it but to no avail. Missing! Any ideas???
BTW...have you tried typing in define: any word and google will give you the definition. COOL Beans!!!!

posted by

I think I have found a site with many Google Addicts like myself! The Wonder Wheel and Timeline are 2 of my favorites in the search area. Google Forms and Self Graded Quiz's are also a favorite!
Google Books is great too! Keep up the great work!

posted by

Great article. Lots of good statistical information found right there. Interesting to see how much all those big blogs are making and Interesting breakdown. I hope I see all of you on that list one day.


posted by

I really enjoyed your article! I am taking a class called teaching with technology at Michigan State University and I used this blog post for one of my projects! I just wanted to let you know that stuff like this is really helpful for me as an aspiring teacher! Thanks!

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