Google I/O Reflection

Google I/O Reflection

Now I have admitted before that I am a google fan boy. I love Google, I love their products, I love the way they take risks in development, I love the future they are trying to make a reality. So it should be no surprise that on Wednesday I prepared myself for the 3 hour Keynote that kicked off Google I/O Developers Conference this year. The conference has now ended and it is time to write my own reflection on the event and how I think this all relates to education. Let’s start with the educational announcements: Facts from the above video: Google Apps 25 Million educational users all around the world In the US, 74 of the top 100 Universities use Google Apps and 7 of the 8 Ivy League Universities use Google Apps. Love that they released these figures as just two weeks ago I had an IT Director tell me students still needed to know how to use Word as that was the standard. According to Google itself over 5 million businesses use Google Apps. What this tells me is platform no longer should be the focus. Wordprocessing the skill should be. It’s Google’s Job to Fix It Now I understand that this is Google trying to sell a product. But really isn’t that exactly what we hear educational institutions say? If only it was easier, faster and of course cheaper. What I love is Google is taking on those challenges and is continuing to try and knock down the barriers of technology in the classroom. At some point educational institutions will run out of reasons not to fully integrate technology. The only reason that will be left is fear….and fear is no way to run a school. Google Play Store for Education Two things here that make this a game changer: 1) The easy of use to volume purchase an app for a school/district or classroom. 2) No syncing of devices or management needed. The next time the device connects to wifi the new app, books or the video is instantly downloaded to the device. This is HUGE and those of you who are in charge of managing iPads in schools know just how huge this is. No need to sync, no need for one computer to manage all the iPads. Just buy and done. WOW! Of coures this is a direct shot at the iPad. The question...

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My Google Chrome Extensions

Last week Google Chrome updated itself on my MacBook and now allows Chrome extensions. I’ve almost completely moved over to Chrome as the speed of the browser just blows both Firefox and Safari away in my experience…and the way it handles gmail, gdocs, gwave, and the rest of G is just smooth. What’s been holding me back from making the full switch were the Firefox extensions that I have come to rely on. But now that I have most of them, I use Chrome 90% of the time. Extensions slow a browser down as it’s extra code that needs to be loaded, extra things sometimes running in the background, so I’m committed to keeping my extensions to a minimum and keep the Chrome speed a priority. So, here’s my basic package: FaceBook for Google Chrome: Extension which lets you read your Facebook news feed and wall. You can also post status updates by clicking on your profile picture. (Simple and Quick, just how I like my updates, now only if it supported pages) Google Apps Shortcuts: A simple extension that allows you to quickly create a new Emails, Calendar Events, Document or Spreadsheet with minimal clicks. (Link seems to be gone at the moment but there are a ton to choose from find one that works for you.) Google Tasks: A simple Google Task extension for Chrome. (I’ve tried using Google Tasks off and on, but I think I finally found my extension that will put those to dos right in front of me!) One Number: Check GMail, Google Reader, Google Voice, and Google Wave. Four sources, one number. (Not sure I need this and Google Apps Shortcuts so I’m testing both. What I really need is one that will check and log me into different Google accounts like the Gmail Manager extensions does in Firefox.) That’s it….I do also have the Bit.ly URL shortener on the toolbar. If you have a bit.ly account it’s an easy way to share web pages to Twitter as you are reading them. I also have the Diigolet link on my toolbar as well. Diigo now has a Chrome Extension, but I like the way this toolbar extension works and once again it takes a load off my browser and only loads when I need it. The one extension that keeps me coming back to Firefox is the one I’m using to write...

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