“How to effectively use Google™ services for maximizing learning?” (ICT Fundamentals)
Hassan Farouk, Abdul Hannan
Table of Contents
- Importance for Electrical Engineers
- Explanation & Illustration of Google Services:
- Google Scholar
- Google Maps
- Google Reader
- Google Search
- Google Earth
- Google Image Search
- Google Book Search
- Google Docs
Google Inc, is an American corporation which offers a number of services related to Internet, for example: web search, email (Gmail), online mapping, office output, social networking, online shopping, news and online video streaming etc. Google has been offering these services (here in referred as “Google Products”) since its inception in 1996 as a result of a research project undertaken by two students, Larry Page & Sergey Brin, at Stanford. The different products can be categorized into desktop, mobile, web, hardware, advertising and enterprise products. The renowned products of Google are Google Scholar, Google Search, Google Books Search, Google Image Search, Google Reader, , Google Maps, Google Earth and various online video sharing and social networking services like YouTube, Google Videos and Orkut respectively.
Importance for Electrical Engineers:
Electrical engineers can take benefits of Google Products. Google Search, Google Scholar, Google Book Search and Google Image Search are a very constructive amalgamation of handy services which can be of special interest for Electrical engineering professionals. Google Scholar can provide scholarly piece of writings, critiques and research articles related to electronics, electromagnetism, power generation, signal processing, control systems, telecommunications, networking and telephony, microelectronic circuits and the list continues. Google Book Search provides the engineering specialists with the digital versions of the textbooks related to the subjects mentioned above and many more. Similarly Google Image Search searches for the pictures, figures and images of the relevant subject.
a) Google Scholar is a complimentary (gratis) Web Search tool that categorizes the full text of scholarly literature available on internet. It is the scholarly search tool of the world’s largest and most powerful engine: Google. Its index incorporates most peer reviewed online journals, periodicals, magazines and catalogues of the significant scientific publishers. This product of Google enables the user to search for digital copies of articles from online libraries which is an enormous database.
The Google Scholar’s interface search screen is one simple-search box. The search strategies can be combined with a variety of keywords, article title, author name etc. This combination of actions allows the researcher to find articles by author name, title, keywords or the magazine title. Hence one can look at the context of citations made within and to a specific article.
A special feature of Google scholar is “Group of” feature which displays the available links to the relevant journal article being viewed.
The “Cited by” feature helps the user retrieve the abstracts of articles that have cited the article being viewed.
The “Related Articles” feature in Google Scholar displays a key list of closely related articles which are graded on the relevance to the original article and also by taking into account the significance of each paper.
Hence, Google Scholar is an incredible tool allowing researchers to locate a wide array of scholarly literature on the web including scholarly journals, abstracts, theses, dissertations, books, technical reports from universities and Microsoft PowerPoint presentations from research groups and professional societies.
b) Google Maps is a very interesting technology provided by Google that gives many map based services. It is a free web mapping service. Google Maps Interface is currently available with full functionality in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. There's also full Maps functionality in Japan, with the exception of driving directions, and limited functionality for China as well.
Google Maps also provides satellite imagery for the entire world at varying levels of resolution. The user can explore the whole of a city using this amazing product including book stores, banks, restaurants, hospitals, anything. One can get direction guidelines from one place to another. The best thing about Google Maps is that it gives a three-dimensional street view which makes this application very interesting and useful. For those who have a slow internet connection, may also use the basic HTML version of Google Maps which, although, has less features, but gives a quick service.
c) Google Reader is a web-based feed reader which reads ATOM and RSS feeds online or offline. (ATOM syndication format is an XML language used for web feeds).
RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is a family of web feed formats used to circulate frequently updated works like blogs, news, and other audio and video formats. RSS document comprises of full or abridged text. This benefits the publishers as they can group content automatically and it provides an advantage to the readers who may subscribe to timely updates from the diverse World Wide Web all into a single place.
Google Reader is hence termed as an aggregator. It is still in its beta status. One can use Google Reader interface for synchronizing news headlines, blogs and podcasts for easy access and viewing.
Google Reader is quite useful for electrical engineers. They can subscribe to numerous feeds and can get updated by the latest news and revolutions in the engineering field. They can subscribe to journals and receive the latest editions. Engineers can even find blogs online regarding relevant subjects and fields of electrical engineering. It is therefore a unique product that aggregates all information available on the web particular to a subject. Once subscribed to a particular feed, Google Reader automatically checks for new content and retrieves the update. Electrical engineering is a very vast subject covering many topics. Taking SONAR (Sound Navigation and Ranging) as an example, when Google Reader is subscribed to a particular feed of a website of SONAR, the engineer will get all updates in the interface which is an advantageous way of combining updates at one place.
d) It is a web search tool designed to search for information on the World Wide Web (WWW). Google Search is hence a Web Search Engine. According to Wikipedia, it is the most used search engine on the Web which renders tonnes of information searched daily by millions of users. Google Search user must have a handle on it to make the most of learning & amplifying his knowledge. One must ascertain a suitable way of using Google Search so that it shows the most pertinent results. Google Search, the world’s largest and most powerful search engine is the core tool of Google and is termed as the website that is most frequently used on the Web 2.0. Google Search Engine finds its applications in every field of life whether it’s engineering, medical science or business. A user can find any information about anything just in seconds.
e) Google Earth is a geographic information program that maps and plots the earth by the images obtained from Satellite. The different terminologies that Earth (here in referred as Google Earth makes use of are Aerial Photography, Satellite Imagery and Superimposition of images. Google Earth was earlier called Earth viewer and is active in service since 2004. Google Earth displays images of various parts and terrains of earth and includes various features which add up to its functionality in mapping the real cities, towns and landscapes. Google Earth is a very useful service for Civil Engineers, Astronomers, Space Researches, Trainee Pilots and Geography Students. Using Google Earth thoroughly elucidates that it is a great source of knowledge and enhances our information.
Google Earth is quite useful for the electrical engineering domain as well. Nowadays researchers are using this tool to monitor individual transmission lines and place the system as a whole in the context of potential impact on population, transportation and critical infrastructures. The researches mash Google Earth with electrical data to predict national grid problems. Engineers can use this application for GIS (Geographic Information System) designing and utilizing other GPS (Global Positioning System) resources as well.
Google Image Search:
f) For effective learning, visual demonstration is considered to be one of the most fruitful tools. Google provides its users another very beneficial product named Google Image Search which searches for images, diagrams, pictures, and illustrations etc of relevant topic/subject on the web. It not only lists the images but also gives the links to the sites from which they had been taken so as to satisfy the needs of the learner as much as possible. As obvious, there is a tsunami of images on the web so it may become difficult for the user to find the desired image, therefore, Google has come up with another advanced feature called Advanced Image Search, using which the user can search for a specified image providing detailed information about the image of the interest like related words, size, content type, coloration etc. This tool not only saves the time but gives the best desired results as well.
Google Book Search:
g) Google Book Search is a service that searches the for books that Google scans, converts to text using optical character recognition and stores in its digital database and catalogue. These books are scanned at a rate of 1000 pages per hour. Till the end of year 2008, Google had made it to 7 million searchable books. These books are available in different views. If the book is out of copyright or the publisher has allowed, the user can enjoy full view of the book. These books are 1 million in number. The books in public domain may also be downloaded in PDF format. The books which are still not available for full view can be bought or borrowed online following the link provided by Google Book Search. It opens an interface in which the user may view content-related commercials and links to the publisher's website and booksellers. It also provides the user with information about the author, book reviews and web references etc.
h) Google Docs is free cloud-based software (Cloud Computing). Cloud based software is termed as that type of software which provides web-based services. Google Docs is web based word processor, spreadsheet and presentation software. Documents, spreadsheets, and presentations can be created within the application itself. Documents can be shared, opened, and prepared for publication by multiple users at the same time. In the case of spreadsheets, users can be notified of changes to any specified regions via e-mail and IM devices.
Google Inc is a major and foremost corporation in the market which has been providing high quality, advantageous and helpful web based and other services which are very helpful for the entire world. The Google Products that have been discussed above are very useful for engineers, doctors, medical experts, business executives, students and researchers. Google Products are even useful for school going children and it is revolutionising the process of learning every day. Google Products like Google Earth, Google Scholar, Google Maps, Google Search Engine, and Google Books & Google Image Search play a constructive role in the learning process of humankind greatly. They are very convenient to use quite expedient. The online video sharing, social networking and miscellaneous products offered by Google are very nifty and informative for young students and engineering students. Google proffers Cloud based services like Google Docs which endow with online word processor and presentation software which benefit a lot to university students. Concluding our analysis of Google Products we are of the view that GOOGLE INC is providing hi-tech web services and similar software which is greatly benefiting the entire community on the internet. Google Inc also aims for providing better services in future as well.