Thursday, October 7, 2010

Google improvements

I logged on to write that Google is now advertising "real-time collaboration" in Google Docs! WooHoo! I was disappointed to see the Google Wave experiment disbanded,, not because I liked the Wave, but because it did allow real-time collaboration that Docs did not. And now! Google to the rescue. They poured the Wave technology back into Docs to make it better than before!

So my next dilemma, why can't I get teachers or our computer services department as excited about these tools for students and especially for group projects? Well check out the white horse that rode into town on my Google Reader yesterday.

Google Apps Now In A New York State Of Mind

Washington Post - Oct 5, 2010
This deal will give 3.1 million students access to Google Apps for Education?including Gmail, Docs, Sites and Calendar.

Google Apps Now Available in New York Schools  

PC Magazine - Leslie Horn - Oct 5, 2010
... to providing schools the deployment and professional development resources they need to make Google Apps for Education - including Gmail, Docs, Sites, ...

New York schools go Google with Apps announcement

Fortune (blog) - Seth Weintraub - Oct 5, 2010
... they need to make Google Apps for Education—including Gmail, Docs, Sites and Calendar—a powerful tool for teachers and students across the state. ...
OK, so these are talking about state level decisions.  Not sure how they actually affect our district, but certainly should begin to give some credence to my mantra, "like it or don't, Google is real world and offers tools our students need to learn and use."

Is Google taking over the world?  Should we be scared?  Well these are questions for a different day, but for now, I see it as important that we teach users how to harness the power of the available tools as a step toward continued advancement and understanding of the digital world and how we can use it to learn and improve ourselves and our real world situation.