Douglas Crets

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Giving Credibility to the Shadow Education System

#Google+ Disrupts Social Learning Arsenal

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Educators are spending a little more time looking at Google+ as a possible online teaching tool, especially since Facebook has proven to be an unwieldy and less nuanced social networking platform.

From the article at the Chronicle of Higher Education:

B.J. Fogg, director of Stanford University’s Persuasive Technology Lab and a consulting faculty member for computer science, says he plans to use Google Plus to collaborate on research projects: “Probably every project in my lab will have its own circle.”

As I detailed here last week, Google+ is a great new platform for teachers, because it gives teachers and students flexibility and better choices in how they communicate with each other.  It also operates in a way that allows learners a chance to go outside the constricted space of the classroom and use the social web to connect to other learners.

A professor at Lehigh University gets it: he thinks educators must use Google+ to further socialize the classroom experience.  He sees variety and flexibility in conversation and learning analysis as being hallmark features of the new service.

The professor, Jeremy Littau, thinks the service will defeat other existing social learning tools like Blackboard and Moodle:

Already I can see Plus having a bunch of advantages over Blackboard or the Moodle learning system we use here. About the only advantage those products have is the gradebook. Every other interactive tool those offer is inferior to what we have on Plus right now. Facebook has some great collaborative tools, but the privacy interface is so clunky that I rarely used the tools in classes for fear of being seen as infringing on their personal space. Circles changes everything. We’ll be using GPlus in my multimedia courses as perhaps the most essential course-management tool.

Finally, the university should look at Plus because there is more coming. A lot more. Google is looking to connect its myriad apps, products, and widgets with Plus. That means this thing is going to evolve a lot. I, in particular, am looking at Blogger integration, but that’s just one example. The staggering array of tools Google has already is great for education, but when folded into a social tool made for collaboration then they have much greater potential.

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Filed under: Digital Learning, Tech, Work, , , , ,

One Response

  1. […] Basically, as media goes local, it fits very well with the mobile technology that we use to communicate with each other. It also goes very well with mobile web apps and company launches like the Foursquare and American Express deal.  Learning and sharing information will become more and more about relationships: see Jon Bischke and Skillshare, growing in popularity with avid users and teachers.  We also have the highly praised rise of Google+. […]

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