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Can you imagine a world without Google? Are we doing students a disservice by becoming to relient on one company?
I am very fortunate that this year the students in my grade level were given their Google accounts..  This would allow me to teach the students how to use Google’s suite of apps to collaborate amongst themselves and others and to help them learn how to manage their e-mail and calendars.  So far this year the students have learned how to use Gmail (sending e-mail, adding attachments, creating contacts, labels, filters) and Google Calendar (creating their own calendar, adding events, sharing calendars, hiding calendars).  This has been an extremely rewarding experience for both my students and myself.  It has been wonderful to see them catch onto these tools very quickly.  After reading the following articles I began to think of a world without Google:

Here’s Why Google and Facebook Might Completely Disappear in 5 Years

Why Google Could Disappear in Five Years

Analyst:  Google Could Disappear in Five Years

Why Google Could Disappear in Five Years

Essentially the argument is that Google and other Web 2.0 sites like Facebook are struggling to find a way to make profits as effectively on mobile platforms as they did a few short years ago on standard platforms.   The main person referenced in the articles above refers tech companies that were popular during the early days of the consumption only web but struggled with the switch to the more social aspects of Web 2.0.  He argues that he is seeing many of the same difficulties with web-sites that thrived in the Web 2.0 environment but are struggling to monetize as we continue to move towards mobile platforms. .  While this may be a valid argument, I don’t think Google is going to go anywhere anytime soon and here’s why:

Google has successfully integrated its way into our cultural much like Microsoft, Monsanto, and Apple.  It started off simply as a search engine and slowly added services by buying companies that either competed directly with them or provided a service they thought would be useful.  With each purchase, Google become more than a search engine, it became a way for people to communicate with each other (Gmail), work collaboratively on documents (Google Documents), organize our lives (Google Calendar), share photos and videos instantly (Picassa and YouTube), and take virtual tours of the world (Google Earth).  In the education world this service is changing the way we communicate and work with our students, parents, and colleges. 

However, there is always the possibility that Google will fold.  Looking back at the past 20 years of technological innovation is like looking at a massive graveyard.  There are many examples of companies that people thought were to big to fold.  Should I instead of focusing on one suite of applications be focusing on teaching a variety of methods to do the same thing?  When does it all become too much for the students?  When does it become too much for the teacher?  Can we effectively teach and assess the use of a variety of tools?  What is the best way to teach a multitude of tools?  Do you teach them all at once or do you focus on a few key programs at each grade level and allow them build upon their knowledge from years past?

11/3/2012 07:46:30 pm

Hey Brendan,

I trust you are still loving the new life?
I really enjoyed this post. Thought-provoking. I, too, wonder about such things as over-reliance for too many things on one source. Thanks for the linked readings.

As for thoughts on when we teach what I think it is important that integration be taken as any other cu

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11/3/2012 07:48:50 pm

Curriculum in that it needs alignment both horizontally and vertically in order for the development of skills to bevtracked, built upon and logically arranged with no gaps.

A big job that all schools need to take in. Another thought that I often

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11/3/2012 07:48:58 pm

Curriculum in that it needs alignment both horizontally and vertically in order for the development of skills to bevtracked, built upon and logically arranged with no gaps.

A big job that all schools need to take in. Another thought that I often

Reply
11/3/2012 07:49:06 pm

Curriculum in that it needs alignment both horizontally and vertically in order for the development of skills to bevtracked, built upon and logically arranged with no gaps.

A big job that all schools need to take in. Another thought that I often

Reply
11/3/2012 07:51:40 pm

Curriculum in that it needs alignment both horizontally and vertically in order for the development of skills to bevtracked, built upon and logically arranged with no gaps.

A big job that all schools need to take in. Another thought that I often share is that, no matter what skills students learn, they better prepare them to tackle whatever comes next as new technologies are built on old. Sorry for the double-response, iPhone acting up. (At least I didn't Siri it!)

Good to keep in touch.
BTW, ended up Flattening with #twowaystairs at #NISTschool

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    Brendan is an international school teacher.  He currently teaches grade 4 at Busan International Foreign School.

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