Hey, the last class was Gmail, too. Why are you doing the same thing twice?
Actually, Gmail and iGoogle aren’t quite the same thing. Gmail is Google’s free email program.
iGoogle is a powerful yet easy to use startpage that you can customize almost endlessly. Love photography? Facebook? Are you a news or sports junky? Want to look at your email in a quick glance? The weather? iGoogle can show you all of this and more.
Once you set up a Gmail account, you have access to both Gmail and iGoogle (and all of the other Google applications).
However, if you don’t want to get a Gmail account, or if you don’t want yet another email account, or if you didn’t do the last class and you don’t feel like going back, you can set up an account just to access iGoogle.
And what will Michael, Erin and Sean do with an iGoogle account?
Michael’s decided to ramp up his job search by using iGoogle to bring news of new jobs to him each day.
Erin tracks business trends and science and technology news to find new sales leads and to see how the yurt market is faring.
Sean uses his as a social planner and communications feed, where he can read his email, watch his Facebook and Twitter accounts, and see that hilarious new video on YouTube (you know, the one where the spider does that thing with its leg, and…well, maybe you had to be there.).
Let’s explore a little further…
What you’re about to click on is a link to a Prezi presentation. What’s a Prezi? It’s a presentation tool that allows you to follow the text as it moves, turns, and zooms. If you haven’t used it before, here’s what you do:
Click on the link below and wait for the Prezi to load.
Once the Prezi is loaded, click on the “Play” button.
After you’ve read the text on the screen, click the “Play” button again to go to the next part. Keep clicking to go all the way through the presentation.
When you get to the end, click on the blog link to go back to the class.
That’s it! No, really that’s all there is to it. Enjoy.
- Click on the Play button (in the box below) to start it.
- Once the Prezi is loaded, click again on the “Play” button each time you want to move forward through the slides.
- When you get to the end and the Play button disappears, scroll down to the “Discovery Exercise” below the Prezi to get back to the class. That’s it! No, really that’s all there is to it. Enjoy.
Prezi artwork, “Sacred Geometry,” created by Eric Murrietta.
Not working for you? Here are some Prezi alternatives:
- Are you using an iPhone, iPod or iPad? Download the free Prezi Viewer app and go to the iGoogle Prezi online, then return to this blog when you’re finished.
- Is the Prezi too zoom-y? You can also view the iGoogle Prezi as a PDF [link is coming soon], which has no motion.
By the end of this class, you’ll be able to do all of this as well, including putting tabs on your pages so you can be extraordinarily organized. Sound intimidating? Don’t worry. We’ll walk you through it.
Setting up an iGoogle account:
- Go to iGoogle.
- Click on the link on the far right called “Sign in.”
- Over on the right, there’s a link that says “Create an account now.” Click there!
- It’ll ask for an email address so you can verify your account. It’s painless. Now then. You do not need a Gmail account to use iGoogle. But if you try your iGoogle and decide you want to get Gmail, too, there’s a way to do that.
- Sign into your iGoogle account.
- Look in the upper left, where it says “Mail.” Click on that.
- Follow the directions for signing up for a Gmail account.
- Start exploring! Google tends to be user-friendly and easy to explore, so take some time to look around!
Try it now!
One fun thing to do is to change your theme. Near the upper right you’ll see a link that says “Change theme.” Click there and prepare to be amazed at the sheer number of choices you have to decorate your page.
You can also use different themes for all your different tabs. Can’t decide what to do? Search for “Theme of the Day” and use that.
Here are some ideas for some gadgets you could try to get organized and increase your productivity:
- A fun and useful to-do list.
- A clean, straightforward time and date gadget.
- A gadget to give you the weather forecast and one to warn you about nasty storms.
- A great and easy to use currency converter.
- If you need directions, Google Map Search is an excellent choice.
- For down ‘n’ dirty translation help, try Google Translate.
- You can get Wikipedia or YouTube right in your iGoogle!
- And of course don’t forget Facebook or Twitter, which you can also watch from your iGoogle.
Aaaand, here are some ideas for some gadgets you could try to waste time and decrease your productivity:
- Funny, strange, or unusual photos people have found in Google Maps.
- A cutie little hamster you can feed, play with, or just watch run on a wheel.
- Remember PacMan? Play it on iGoogle. Warning: Namco loyalists may be annoyed.
- Comics! Comics are fun.
- Spy on the world with a gadget that gives you random images from webcams around the globe.
Sit and watch the clouds go by. Literally.
MORE INFORMATION FOR THE CURIOUS
We promised in the introduction of this thing that we’d show you how to add a tab to your iGoogle homepage. Never let it be said we don’t live up to our promises. Behold:
- Start by clicking on the down arrow on the left-hand side, next to “Home.”
- Click on “Add a tab.” You’ll get a little pop-up box that asks you to name the tab. In this case, we’re going to do a job search tab, but you can do something else if you’d rather.
Time to interrupt you here for a sec. What’s that “I’m Feeling Lucky” whosit all about?
- If you check this box, Google will automatically add gadgets to your tab based on the name of the tab. So, say, if you add a tab called “football,” Google would add sports- and football-related gadgets. Don’t like that idea? Make sure that box is unchecked.
- At this point your job search tab is ready; now let’s make it more powerful. A good gadget to add is Craigslist Monitor. Once you add it, click on the down arrow on the title bar of Craiglist Monitor and click on “Edit settings.” Where it asks for a URL, you can put in the address of whatever page you’d like. For example, to watch all Craigslist jobs in Tucson, you’d put in: http://tucson.craigslist.org/jjj/. You can also pick how many jobs at a time you’d like to see.
- Another job search gadget to try is this job search engine. It’s fast and easy to use.
Other ideas for gadgets you might put on a job search tab: Gmail, time zone clock (for calling those out-of-town companies), to-do list, word-of-the-day (trying to brush up on another language? Improve your vocabulary?), Google Maps (for finding that interview location quickly), and Yellow Pages. What else would be useful to you?
That’s a lot to think about, so let’s take a break here. We’ll come back next week with…
Cloud computing! It’s not as nebulous as you think. See you then.
Drop-in Sessions: get help or ask questions about these classes: Schedule.
Comments & suggestions welcome: Jenn and I welcome your comments about these classes! Comment in the “leave a Reply” form below or via the tech help comment form at: http://www.library.pima.gov/contact/tech.php