iLearn – Science Session

Creating a Google Account and Using Google Notebook

(To be reviewed before the session begins.)
At this point, participants have been introduced to Google Earth, and installed the various weather and storm tracking tools for Google Earth. Google Earth is not going to be used in this session.

Session Overview
In this session, participants will learn how to keep a science notebook using Google Notebook, an online tool that allows people to browse, save, and organize information in one online location. It can be shared with other users for collaboration, and it can be organized into different sections.

Session Objectives
• Create a Google Account
• Create a science notebook using Google notebook
• Develop a notebook into an information resource for a final weather project

Focusing Questions
Why do scientists keep a notebook?
Why should we keep a Google science notebook?

The following materials are used in this session:
• Laptops or tablets with Internet access
• Projector
• Interactive whiteboard (optional)



Framing the Session
"Let's begin by considering our Focus Questions as a group. Turn and talk to a partner about the first question (on the slide). Then we will discuss as a large group and I will type our responses into the powerpoint."

Do that now.

"Keeping a notebook is a good, basic, scientific practice. All scientists have one, whether they are doing cancer research or developing a new organic compound. Having our students keep one in middle school establishes a good practice that they will likely maintain in science classes for the rest of their life. In this session, we’re going to go through how to use Google notebook in our classrooms. After learning how to actually use Google notebook, you will be making a notebook just like the one your students would keep throughout the year, and start gathering and collecting data for it.”

There are six teaching objectives:
1) How to open Google accounts
2) How to download Google Notebook
3) How to create different sections of your notebook
4) How to collect data into Google Notebook
5) How to make comments on GN
6) How to share your GN with other users

Note to presenter: Usually, you would jump right in with teaching a mini-lesson. Before teaching "How to use Google Notebook", however, we need to download and set up the accounts. Thus, the first part of the the session is Pre-Minilesson.

"First let's set up a Google account:
1) Direct users to, and click on “No Google Account? Sign Up”.
2) Go through the steps, filling out the appropriate information until finished.
3) Download Google notebook onto your computer. Click on Take a Tour of Google Notebook. From there, you click on Try it Out. Mac platforms have to be rebooted in order for GN to work properly.
4) Open Google notebook by opening up your browser and clicking on “Open Notebook” on the bottom right hand corner of the browser.
5) Create the different sections of your notebook by clicking on the “New” button on the top left hand corner:
  • Simple and Complex Machines
  • Weather
  • Diversity of Life
  • Interdependence

Minilesson Begins Here
Note to instructor: Make sure that the "weather" folder you just created is already open. "Now that we have all of the programs set up individually, we are going to begin today's lesson: Using Google Notebook to Collect Data.

Direct your browser to Watch me as I add data into my notebook. The data I'm using is data that I am collecting from I right click on this image of the map, and see where it says “Note this (Google Notebook)?” I click on that, and it will be saved in my Google Notebook. Since I already had the Weather Folder I created earlier opened, the data saved into that folder. If I accidentally save it to the wrong folder, I can move it by dragging it into the folder I intended.

Now, iIf I click on the bottom right hand corner where it says Open Notebook, I can now add comments to the image that I saved. Watch me model this quickly.

After I have collected the data I need, I can share my whole notebook with others. Watch this. With my Google Notebook open, I click on Sharing Options. I type in the email addresses of the people I want to share my notebook with." Instructors, ask for one vounteer to call out their email address. Type in the address. Say, "If you don’t have a Google account when you are invited to view my notebook, when you get the invitation, Google will prompt you to set up your new account (they’re so nice). You have the option of making it a public webpage, which means everyone can see it who chooses to, or you can just keep it so that only the people you invite will see it. After you type this all in, you’ll click on Save Settings, and you’ll be brought back to your notebook."

Guided Practice
“Now I want you guys to give it a try.
Go through these steps:
  • put stuff on your notebook (anything at all, we are just practicing)
  • make comments and notes
  • and share it! I’ll be going around to help people set themselves up.”

WORK TIME(Typically lasts about 60–70% of session.)
During the next 30 minutes, participants will use their GNs to gather weather information for the next 5 days on their hometown. Participants will gather information about the temperature, precipitation, humidity, and any instance of extreme weather. Model this to the participants, and explain that they also want to go through objectives 3-6 in this activity: Put pictures/information on their GNs, add comments and make notes, organize it, and share it with their partner. Participants will use and as weather resources.

Participant Activity
Participants will spend the next 30 minutes working with their notebooks.

STEP 1: Use GN to gather weather information from your hometown for the next five days:
- temperature
- precipitation
- humidity
- any instances of extreme weather
STEP 2: Organize all of your data into your GN. Try changing the order around and moving notes around in your folder. While you are working, I'll come around and show you a few fun tips and tricks like changing text color, highlighting, fonts, etc. [Instructors, this is just like in Word.]
STEP 3: Share your notebook with your partner

Facilitator Conferring
Move around the classroom to make sure that all participants are on task. If there are advanced users, have them create different notebooks for units that go beyond their weather unit. They can create notebooks for other lessons, planning, etc. After creating several notebooks, they can sort them from A-Z, edit the comments to make them easier to understand (changing fonts, colors, etc). If there are users who need extra help, work individually with them, and also refer them to the advanced users.

SHARE (Typically lasts about 10–20% of session.)
3 sets of partners will be chosen to share their GNs with the class. Project their GNs on the screen, and go through the list of objectives to discuss how each step worked for the participants.

“Now that it looks like most of us are done or almost done, let’s start sharing our work! One of the great things about sharing out is learning tips and tricks from other people. As great as our own work is, there is usually something that someone picked up that we didn’t. Lets get a volunteer to have their GN projected on the screen, and lets see how he/she collected and organized his/her data.”

Author: Elissa Seto
School/Employer: CIS 339/NYC DOE
Title: Secondary Science Teacher