Saturday, December 01, 2007

New Google Tools for 2008?

The Google Tool Box has just gotten a little fuller with the anticipation of the inclusion of JotSpot, wiki tool that Google acquired last year. It looks like the new JotSpot will replace or enhance the current 'Google Page Creator' and allow individual users or companies to build out their own sites with custom domain features. This is starting to sound a little more like an online version of 'Joomla' than a wiki tool, but it does look like it is going to be the container that the rest of the Google Apps can 'live in.' In the two different articles, there was a fair amount of supposition as to how and when Google rolls out all of these tools, but both expected there to be a big move towards integrating 'Google Gears' (offline use of web applications) in the new and improved Google/JotSpot wiki too.

Google has also recently acquired 'Grand Central,' a company that is working on a new cell phone tool that will allow users to greatly reduce the number of 'separate connections' users would have to have at any time. What does this mean? You will soon be able to manage all of your technology devices through your cell phone. Want to see all of the things Grand Central can do? Click here! This connected to Google's new Android mobile phone platform will make cell phones the way most people will access their 'digital assets.'

What does this mean for education? It really means that the tool that is ubiquitous to all high school and middle school students, the cell phone, will be the connecting device for all of a person's digital assets. This will allow all students to be connected to every piece of media instantaneously and will dramatically lower the point of entry to the information age for all students. Talk about leveling the playing field? Absolutely!

I was fortunate enough to be in Monterey last weekend at the CLHS/CUE conference and listen to Will Richardson speak. He did much of his usual presentation regarding blogs and wikis, but added in a section about Cell Phones and 'Open Phone Tests,' which he had blogged about last week. Then I remembered, especially since I had recently seen it on HBO, the prominent role cell phones and text messaging played in "The Departed." There were at least two scenes where either Matt Damon or Leonardo DiCaprio used their cell phones to text message their superiors during tense situations. The video below is one of those situations. This is only the first part of the scene.... just after this scene, Matt Damon text messages, without looking at the key pad at all, Jack Nicholson's character to let him know there is a police informant in his group.

So, where do you think cell phones are going? Should we start the process of integrating them into our schools as tools that allow students to create and have access to a rich supply of media that can enhance the teaching and learning process? I'd like to hear your comments!

1 comment:

.mrsdurff said...

"Should we start integrating cellphones into our schools as tools allowing students to create and access a rich supply of media that can enhance the teaching and learning process?" You bet!