From my previous post titled: Evolving Google Apps for Edu
Now that many classes, schools, and districts are using GA4E with their students, I find the next logical step for Google is to start partnering with educational software tools to provide a wider breadth of applications. It is a brilliant move! Google hooked us educators with a great web platform; and now they can leverage the user base to get these 3rd party companies to sell us products. I have always said, the education sector is the next big industry and technology is driving that business. Since GA4E is a simple and robust administrative platform, it will make it easy for technology administrators to bring in new education applications into their infrastructure without much overhead. If evolved strategically, GA4E can become the web platform for the next generation edtech initiatives. Can you imagine in the future, GA4E integrating with Learning Management Systems, SIS, virtual worlds, and online interactive education content? You would have to think Google had this in mind prior to launching a free Google Apps for Education…muahahah!
How Google+ contributes to the master plan?
Rather than relying on third party apps for social media, Google decided to launch their latest SM attempt with Google+. When I first signed into Google+ (thanks to @teachingwthsoul for the invite), my immediate reaction was Edmodo. It felt like Edmodo because of the groups (circles) to share certain information with. While Facebook does have this feature, it is built to be open and is a pain to manage lists. I realize Google+ is technically in beta mode, but they will need to add some core features that Edmodo provides to make it more manageable to tag, store and categorize information. Google has the user base to truly make Google+ an essential learning tool for education. By adding some education features to the platform, I can see it become the platform of choice for 21st century collaboration.
The driver to make Google+ the social media platform of choice is the soon to be integration with Google Apps for Education. I can only imagine the capabilities it would provide for teachers and students. Teachers can group students in circles and provide differentiated lessons, dialogue, and activities. It would definitely evolve the concept of literature circles and socratic seminars. If they build school and classroom management capabilities, Google+ on private GA4E domains can provide a safe and secure platform for students to collaborate and share information. If I was Edmodo, I would definitely keep my eye on Google+…
Ever since I have started to micro blog on Twitter, Facebook, and other web 2.0 apps, I have slowly lost my patience for questionnaires, surveys requesting paragraphs, and grants asking for thoughtful responses. Recently, I have been asked to fill out some applications, recommendations, and surveys for various institutions, and writer’s block is definitely in action. Maybe it is the pen, but even online questionnaires are daunting and I am almost hesitant to fill it out. Has the fast-paced real-time web 2.0 world poisoned my desire for the long-winded answers? In fact, I despise listening to my voicemail, and reading long emails now. Maybe this blog entry is too long? I wonder if my students feel the same way? Does everything have to be in bullet form? Whatever the reason, it is alarming how quickly I have changed because of 21st century technologies.