I suppose as long as Google continues to give its employees a free day a week to invent new gadgets, we shouldn’t be surprised when they always seem to be coming up with cool stuff. I just ran across a new Google Labs tool that looks like a no-brainer for current events teachers and, well . . . just about any other social studies teacher for that matter.

Called FastFlip, it’s

a web application that lets users discover and share news articles. It combines qualities of print and the Web, with the ability to “flip” through pages online as quickly as flipping through a magazine. It also enables users to follow friends and topics, discover new content and create their own custom magazines around searches.

FastFlip displays live pages of online news sources in four major categories and over 30 smaller ones. You “flip” through pages by clicking on arrows on each side if the screenshots. The app allows you to personalize the sources and pages that you see and also works on both iPhones and Androids. You can also share stories on a variety of social media sites as well as emailing them.

As you begin using more social media and texting with your students, FastFlip can become a nice tool for encouraging students to engage with current events. It could also become a quick way for you to browse news stories at a personal level.

All in all, a nice addition to your Google toolbox.

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