Friday, October 14, 2011

Google+ Wants to Educate You for Free

Clearly Google and Facebook are in a competition to take over the world. They'll be coming for the education world next. Actually, Google has already started, as I mentioned in Google vs. Blackboard, here and here.

The Online Colleges blog has a list of 25 tips for how to use Google+ for education. Google's agenda is embedded within this list. For example:

Move your learning management system to Google+: David
Parry, assistant professor of emerging media and communications at the
University of Texas at Dallas, believes that Google+ can be an alternative to
learning management systems like Blackboard.

Hey, why not? Most papers are written by Google these days. I am, however, in agreement with this bit:

Be careful not to put walls around educational content: It’s one thing to protect photos and grades, but it’s another to keep educational content out of the public eye. Be careful about restricting access to educational materials.

The typical Facebook member over-shares. (Did you really need to tell 400 people, including your pastor's brother's cousin, that you just checked-in to Chuck E. Cheese's?)

The typical educator under-shares. Only a few people hear what the expert has to say.

In an ideal world, the conversations that occur on college campuses would be available for everyone. This is what MIT has been doing for ten years, what iTunes University is doing, and, to a certain extent, what the internet is all about.

Limiting access to knowledge only stymies innovation.

In the past, our personal learning networks were limited by geography and by proximity to a good library. Today, for those of us fortunate enough to be living in the developed world and with high-speed internet access, no such boundaries exist.

The sky is not even a limit.

The only question left is: what do we do about it?

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