5 February 2009 Leave a comment
I’ve been in a few interesting discussions recently with people about the creation of viral learning environments or the development of more personalised, social and informal learning. Which happens anyway and which we (the OU) could be involved in wrt improving affordence.
Martin Weller did a piece about Creating Virality in Education which brought up some interesting ideas.
We recently had a presentation by Samantha Peter, New Business Development Manager for Google Enterprise (Education) their education vision is not centred around advertising but rather bums on (virtual) seats, so it’s a more viral model and more adaptable. This means they evolve products quickly to meet demand and the Google Apps for Education suite shows this, the Spreadsheet and Forms components have been significantly improved over the past year (who said they couldn’t do pivot tables!). Microsoft are playing catchup in the cloud computing arena, and Googles products are much more fully formed than they were when I last explored them. This means that Universities are jumping into bed with Google, I recently met with reps from five UK Universities who have made the decision in the past twelve months to use Google Apps for their students and the number of institutions involved is growing rapidly. As the Director of IT at University of Westminster put it ..
“We had a bizarre conversation with Google where they were offering all these well tested, easy to use, fully supported, free products for us to use and our IT folks were trying to pick holes with them. In the end we asked the students and they we 95% in favour of going with Google”.