Google Lens FTW!

Google Lens may have saved the day after a series of unfortunate events. Or at least made a less-than-desirable day okay. Let me set the scene for you: it’s 4 am, all lights are off, and a sleepy teacher walks into her bathroom and steps on the ‘squishy’ rug. Said rug should NOT be squishy. This can only mean 1 of 2 things. Neither is good. Option 1: one of the dogs peed. Unlikely, as this is out of the norm for them, and it would have been A LOT of urine. Option 2: I have a leak. Alas, after opening the cupboard door under the sink, I was presented with Option 2. Oh, joy.

Fast forward to me calling the plumber after school today, he tells me that he may or may not be able to fix it depending on the problem. We agreed he would return tomorrow to fix it (or not). Side note: it was close to 6 pm and not an emergency. Fair enough, he’d been working all day. This led to a discussion on what to do if it can’t be fixed. Seeing as I like the faucet and it matches the others in the bathroom, I have little choice but to find another one. It’s a unique waterfall faucet. So a Google Search will take a while.

Enter Google Lens! What is Google Lens? It is an app that allows you to point your camera at something, like a waterfall faucet for a bathroom, and does a Google image search for that thing! So being the big brain thinker that I am, I used it to locate where it could be purchased. And Bingo! I now have the name and places where I can buy a replacement.

Google Lens can be found using your Google App (iPhone), and tap the camera icon in the search bar. On Android, open the camera app and tap the Lens icon (pictured above). There are several options, including translate, shopping, and search.

Searching Google Drive

If you’re anything like me, you’ve been using Google for a while. This means that I have A LOT of items in my drive. For the most part, things are organized. However, there are those times when I can’t find what I want. I have somehow organized it in a ‘unique’ way: some way that made sense to my crazy brain that day. Thankfully, Google has my back.

On occasion, typing in the name of the document, spreadsheet, etc. yields me a quick search. Make sure you are in Google Drive to start your search:

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However, more often than not I need to do an advanced search. At times, I know who shared the item with me. Other times, I know I am the owner, and sometimes I’m looking for a particular type of item (doc, draw, etc). In these cases, I click on the small down arrow to the right in the search bar.

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This brings up a wonderful array of options:

Search by ‘Type’

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Search by ‘Date Modified’

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I can also search by ‘Item Name’, or if I can’t remember the name and I know it has a specific word or phrase in it, I can search by that too in ‘Has the Words’.  Finally, I can search ‘Shared with’ if I know who I shared it with.

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I love the search by owner feature. Often times, I can remember the person who shared it with me – secretary, principal, or fellow 5th-grade teacher.

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Lastly, the ‘Located in’ search has come in handy. I often ‘star’ my original items or important ones.

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Hope this helps you find what you’re looking for!

Point of View

In Social Studies, my 5th graders have been learning about the causes of the American Revolution. Recently, they were researching ‘The Boston Massacre’. Being that we are in the US, the texts that we have, have a colonist/American point of view. This lead to; what was the British take on it? This lead us to a Google Search. However, we didn’t want to view anything that was written in the US, we wanted information from the UK. So how did we find out the UK point of view?

We navigated to a new tab, which brought up Google. While being logged in, we typed our query ‘Boston Massacre’. Now to filter our results for information from the UK. Located on the upper right side is a ‘gear’. Choosing it brings up a drop down menu. From this, click on ‘Advanced search’.

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This sends us to a new page with several search filters. For our Boston Massacre example, we located ‘region’. This allowed us to narrow the region in which the information was published. We chose United Kingdom (this lead to a side conversation about ‘What is the United Kingdom?’). Then clicked the blue Advanced Search button on the lower right side.

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This brought up the search results with the filter in place. All results were from the UK.

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This, of course, led to an interesting discussion on why the accounts that we had been reading about and the accounts according to the UK were different.It was a great opportunity for my students to experience different points of view, why they exist, practice critical thinking skills, and begin to learn to question what really happened.