Others of you may have advanced to setting up your own default page, maybe Google.com for search, Msn.com or Aol.com for email, or NYTimes.com for news. This might make you a bit more advanced but you are still seeing content created by others and limited by a specific company or News Media Service.
With IGoogle.com you can create your own personalized homepage that includes all of the content that is interesting to you. You can get this content can come from Google gadgets or RSS feeds. For example, your Igoogle homepage can include headlines and articles from your favorite newspapers, the comic strips that make you laugh, your Gmail and Google Docs accounts, the weather in your hometown, your Google Bookmarks, even feeds from your favorite blogs. To set up an Igoogle account just follow these instructions from Google. Here are some more detailed instructions from EduBlogger: setting up Igoogle for your personal learning.
Besides specialized content, some other great advantages of Igoogle are it's ease of use and portability. By ease of use I mean that once you set up your Igoogle page (or have someone else set it up for you) and make it your new default homepage, all you have to do to read your content is open up your web browser. You should have everything you need directly on your homepage without having to navigate to any other website. For example, I set up an Igoogle homepage for my grandparents who are well into their 80s Bli Ayin Hara with their Gmail, newspapers, the weather, and stock portfolio and that is basically the only webpage they go to.
By portability I mean that all you have to do to get your Igoogle homepage on any computer in the world is go to Google.com and sign in. This is especially useful for me when I am on someone else's computer and want to show them my bookmarks. Since my bookmarks are saved in Google Bookmarks on my Igoogle homepage and not in a specific browser on my computer I can access these bookmarks anywhere just by logging into Igoogle.
So what's in my IGoogle? Unfortunately, I cannot send a link to view my entire Igoogle homepage as it only exists using my Google login. However, I can share with you the web addresses for the various tabs that I have added. After your sign in to setup your Igoogle page, just copy and paste any (or all) of these links into your broswer and there should be an "Add to Igoogle" button. Press this button to add them to your homepage. Here are my tabs with a brief description of each:
- Blogger This gadget allows me to post to my blog directly from my homepage.
- TechBlog by Dwight Silverman of the Houston Chronicle.
- Edublogger by Sue Waters.
- 2centsworth by David Warlick.
- TeachersLoveSmartBoards by James Hollis.
- ActiveHistory by Russel Tarr.
- PearlsBeforeSwine my favorite comic strip by Stephan Pastis.
- FreeTechnologyForTeachers by Richard Byrne.
- FriendFeed FreeTechnologyForTeachers more from Richard Byrne.
- The Wall Street Journal
- Jerusalem Post Headlines
- Google Docs
- Google Bookmarks
- Driving Directions