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Google+ combined with GApps for Edu = FTW!

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+…

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The Augmented “Social Media” Reality

February 28, 2011 Leave a comment

When I saw Pranav Mistry describe his Sixth Sense Technology on TED back in 2009, Facebook was the clear winner in the social media space. Today, Facebook is nearing the 700 million user mark. In the TED video, Mistry described the potential of his technology by showing the social media implications. The Sixth Sense Technology was used to project Facebook type messages onto the live person’s shirt. It was definitely a ground breaking concept that I didn’t spend too much time thinking about until now.

Recently, I came across a new augmented reality company called Viewdle, which uses facial recognition software to automatically tag people for photos and videos on your mobile camera device. While the concept is not new, the reality has sunk in that an evolving form of social media is upon us. One that can quite possibly merge online social media with live social interactions. Viewdle is one in many new augmented reality software that will enhance the mobile experience and change the social media game. Could you imagine walking up to a friend and using your mobile device to display all their social media messages seconds before giving him/her a hug?

Just to play this out, I wanted to describe a positive and negative scenario using this new augmented “social media” reality. I decided to avoid the bar scenario…

Scenario 1: Imagine being at a conference and you wanted to connect with other participants. Since most people nowadays backchannel at conferences, you could use this new augmented “social media” software to recognize people through your phone and see their live tweets. Connections could surely be simpler, as you would quickly know what people are thinking [tweeting] as you walk the halls.

Scenario 2: Imagine being at school and all of sudden being surrounded by peers pointing their mobile device in your direction. You are wondering why everyone is laughing and pointing their phone at you. You check your Facebook home feed to find people tagging you with “photoshopped” pictures with inappropriate content. The cyber bullying implications can be amplified with this type of augmented reality.

There will be without a doubt one for sure outcome in this new form of augmented reality, social media will be magnified to the nth degree. There will be those who embrace it with fervor and find beneficial value in enhancing human relationships. And there will be those who despise it as a gross violation of privacy. Whether you agree or disagree with it, augmented “social media” reality has arrived.

As @mrdatahs pointed out on a response to my Viewdle tweet, “If privacy wasn’t dead before…welcome to 2011.”

Last week, I wrote a post called The Digital Footprint Eraser, and this new augmented reality only confirms that another industry will emerge as well: The Social Media Eraser. One of these companies called SocioClean, claims to be able to clean your Facebook, Myspace, and other social media from inappropriate content.

Microblogging Dilemma

November 4, 2009 Leave a comment

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.

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