Monday, March 11, 2019

15 More Instant Google Searches for You and your Students

A while back I shared a post on 20 of my favorite instant Google searches (you can see that post and those resources at this link.)

The idea is that when you do a Google search, sometimes Google goes above and beyond the normal list of search results and provides instant search cards at the top of the page. These cards contain the information you searched for, but also include interactive controls to let you dig deeper, branch off, or experience the information in a more engaging manner, which can be valuable for both teachers and students.

In my earlier blog post we explored search tools for rolling a die, setting a timer, defining a word, calculating areas, running a metronome, and more! Since then Google has added many new interactive instant searches, so I thought it was time to share a second installment. See below for 15 new searches with details on how they work and how they can be used in school.

#1 - Spinner
Type - "spinner"
Description - Gives an interactive fidget spinner, but can be switched (thankfully) over to a number spinner. When in "Number" mode you can click the "Wheel size" menu to choose a spinner from 2 to 20 numbers.
Uses - Picking random numbers, learning about probability, playing games

#2 - Random Number Generator
Type - "random number generator"
Description - Generates a random number between a "Min" and "Max" number that you set.
Uses - Picking random numbers, learning about probability

#3 - I'm Feeling Curious
Type - "i'm feeling curious"
Description - Generates a random educational question, and provides a brief answer, as well as a link to go learn more about the topic.
Uses - Writing prompts, research prompts, class discussion starters, learn something new!

#4 - Earth Day Quiz
Type - "Earth Day quiz"
Description - Provides a 5-question quiz to find out which animal you are (like one of those online personality quizzes). The result tells you a little about the matching animal, and then provides a link to search for more information.
Uses - Fun way to learn about animals, could be used for a research or writing prompt

#5 - Breathing Exercise
Type - "breathing exercise"
Description - Provides a 1-minute breathing exercise that takes you through several cycles of breathing in and out.
Uses - Helpful break for students and teachers to help promote mindfulness, relaxation, and calmness.

#6 - Tip Calculator
Type - "tip calculator"
Description - Calculates the tip and total price for one or more people when you enter the amount of the bill, the percentage to tip, and the number of people splitting the cost.
Uses - Math topics including percent of a number, decimals, multi-step problems, as well as good for life skills

#7 - Hex Color Picker
Type - "hex color picker"
Description - Allows you to get the Hex code and RGB values for any color you select. Alternately you can type in the Hex code or RGB values to see what color they generate.
Uses - Choosing colors for graphic design projects, learning how colors of light combine for science, exploring colors for art

#8 - Speed Test
Type - "speed test"
Description - Runs a bandwidth test for your Internet connection to see your upload and download speeds, and a general evaluation of the quality of your connection.
Uses - Helpful to diagnose if you are having connectivity problems when running into issues with websites and web tools

#9 - Bubble Level
Type - "bubble level"
Description - Note: This only works on mobile. Uses your phone's internal sensors to display a digital bubble level with angle readout. Can be used for any side of the phone, or even when laid flat on a surface.
Uses - Works as a clinometer to measure angles for math problems, such as indirect measurement problems in Trig. Also useful for makerspaces when building.

#10 - Spin a Dreidel
Type - "spin a dreidel"
Description - Spins a virtual dreidel to play the traditional Hanukkah game.
Uses - Learning about Jewish culture and tradition.

#11 - Play Solitaire
Type - "play solitaire"
Description - Play the classic solitaire card game, with "Easy" and "Hard" difficulty levels.
Uses - School-safe game for students, counting and number recognition for young students

#12 - Play Minesweeper
Type - "play minesweeper"
Description - Play the classic minesweeper game where you try to determine the location of mines in a grid.
Uses - School-safe game for students, deductive reasoning

#13 - Play Pacman
Type - "play pacman"
Description - Play the classic arcade game Pacman.
Uses - School-safe game for students

#14 - Play Snake
Type - "play snake"
Description - Play the classic arcade game Snake.
Uses - School-safe game for students

#15 - Play Tic Tac Toe
Type - "play tic tac toe"
Description - Play tic tac toe against the computer (on different difficulty levels) or against a human opponent.
Uses - School-safe game for students, learn the futility of global thermonuclear war.


With instant search cards, Google moves beyond simple search result links to interactive, engaging tools. These don't just provide an answer, but encourage the student to dig deeper and explore more.

Are there other search tools you or your students use to impact teaching and learning? Feel free to share your ideas and resources in the comments below.

Post by Eric Curts. Bring me to your school, organization, or conference with over 50 PD sessions to choose from. Connect with me on Twitter at

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