Here's what you can access with just using GOOGLE text messaging listed by "Search Feature" and "Sample Query" below.
Search Feature - Sample Query
Weather - weather boston
Glossary - define zenith
Sports - score red sox
Movies - movies 94110
Zip Codes - zip code 72202
Directions - directions pasadena ca to 94043
Maps - map 5th avenue new york
Flights - flight aa 2111
Area Codes - area code 650
Products - price ipod player 40gb
Q&A - abraham lincoln birthday
Airlines - united airlines
Translation - translate hello in french
Web Snippets - web hubble telescope
Calculator - 1 us pint in liters
Currency Conversion - 8 usd in yen
Stocks - stock tgt
Airports - sfo airport
METAR - metar khio
Help - help local
You can see a demonstration of how this functions at http://www.google.com/mobile/default/sms.html and you can watch the below video. I would recommend showing this to your students in class before sending them off to use this tool.
As Marc Prensky explains in his piece What Can You Learn from A Cell Phone? – Almost Anything, and as I shared in my post Pockets of Potential: Using Mobile Technologies to Promote Children’s Learning research shows that phones and texting are valuable educational tools. I've thought of a few ideas for using this resource as an educational tool with your students. Of course, once you discuss this with your students, I'm sure they'll be able to come up with even better ideas.
Five ideas for using Google SMS to enhance learning.
- Have students compare their neighborhood with one they’re learning about in social studies or in a book they’re reading.
Possible tools: “Currency,” “Local,” “Weather”
- Have students create a city guide. I’d recommend first modeling this by creating a guide to the school neighborhood, then let students use this model to create a guide to another neighborhood such as creating a guide to the neighborhood of a great grandparent.
Possible tools: “Web Snippets,” “Currency,” “Local,” “Translation,” “Weather”
- Recommend that ELL and foreign language students use the translate tool when they come upon a word they don’t know.
Possible tool: “Translate"
- Recommend students use the define tool to look up a word or concept they don't know when reading.
Possible tools: "Define," "Web Snippets"
- Incorporate the tools into a math lesson.
Possible tools: “Calculator,” “Currency Conversion,” “Stocks”