I'm a big fan of Google, I think they do some great things that impact hugely upon teaching and learning. We've used loads of their tools at Kellett... Earth, Sketchup, Maps, Docs, Picasa, and sometimes students even use it for searching!
However, their recent decision to shut down Google Lively at the end of December has caused dismay amongst many in education who see the opportunity to extend classrooms into virtual environments as an important strand of 21st Century Learning. Whilst it's true that major virtual grids exist elsewhere, such as Second Life, the ability to create your own rooms and customise them for your own students offers huge potential.
Education is still only just dipping it's toe into the possibilities that virtual worlds afford us, but it's companies like Google with it's track record of creating innovative tools for educators that should be leading the way, not bailing out without giving leading innovaters time to experiment and share their practise."
If you speak out, leave us a message and let us know so we can share your thoughts.
Will Google listen to educators who think they've really done a GREAT job with Lively or will they move ahead and make a decision that will impact their future profitability?
I wonder if perhaps Google will look back in 5-6 years on this moment like the Big 3 automakers look back with chagrin on their decision not to invest in eco-friendly cars in their Research & Development.
Virtual worlds are the emerging future - how is Google going to search and index them without some sort of beta test bed to work on those algorithms?
This is a great tool for education, speak out!