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Using Internet Browsers and Email
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Using Internet Browsers and Email Activity: Using Email and Google Drive

Instructions for Your Students

It's a Google world we live in. Google is one of the biggest digitalzillas out there (and they're native to the San Francisco Bay Area, just like Shmoop). 

Between providing free email with almost unlimited storage space (that's right, you never have to throw away another picture) and access to shared Google Docs, Google certainly has your number, so you might as well have theirs. That's why today you're going to learn more about two of Google's most popular services: Gmail and Google Drive. 

Step 1: Riddle us this: When in your life would you need an email address? Talk it over with your classmates and your teacher for a minute and see just how many examples you can come up with.

Step 2: Take a poll in class. How many of your classmate already have an email address? How many of them use that address to: shop online? write to friends? write to parents? apply for jobs? correspond with teachers?

Step 3: Sharing time. If you have a username (on YouTube, Xbox Live, your blog, etc.) or email address, now's the time to shout it out. While you shout, your teacher can list some of them on the board. Take a look at the list. Would any of these be good email account names? Why or why not?

Step 4: Now imagine that you're about 35 years old and in charge of admitting students to a private high school. Imagine that the email addresses below are the email addresses of students "applying" to your school.  

  • smurf1999@yahoo.com
  • chillinlikeavillin@gmail.com 
  • christina.johnson@hotmail.com 
  • 2bored2care@aol.com
  • krazeekris@hotmail.com
  • bigben2000@yahoo.com
  • jperez99@gmail.com
  • ynghotstud@gmail.com

(Please note that these are not real email addresses... as far as we know. We made them up for this activity.)

With your class, go ahead and brainstorm a list of adjectives to describe each of these students judging them solely by their email addresses. When you're done, take a vote to see whether or not each of these students would be admitted to your school. Again, base your decision solely on each person's email address.

Get the picture? Sometimes your email address can make an impression before you get a chance to.

Step 5: All right. Now let's get you an email address. Watch the video "How To Set Up A Gmail Account" (6:21)—yes, even if you already have one. Why? Because by the end of the activity, everyone will have a Gmail account, and some of your buddies might need help getting theirs set up. If you've already got one, you can help someone who doesn't. 

Step 6: After watching the instructional video, go ahead and create your own account by going to www.gmail.com and following the video's instructions.

Remember: choosing your username is very important. You don't want to be blushing or embarrassed every time you give out your email address to a teacher.

Step 7: Once everyone has created Gmail accounts, we'll move on to Google Drive. Watch this Intro to Google Drive video for a great overview (15:32). Then, to review what you learned from the video take a quick tour of Google Drive

Step 8: Now that you have all of that information swimming around in your head, let's talk about how you might want to use Google Drive. Brainstorm the uses of Google Drive with your class. Why would you want to use Google Drive instead of MS Word (or Excel, etc.)? Can you think of situations in which it would be helpful to share your document or work with someone else and for both of you to edit together?

Step 9: Just for fun, watch this quick video, Google Docs: A love letter, as an example of when and how sharing features on Google Docs can come in handy.