The new Google CloudCourse project hasn’t gotten that much chatter online. At first glance around the project page, you can easily see why. There are only a handful of functions that basically just do what Google employees have found helpful around the office (because apparently the whole thing started as an internal project). This basically spells “yawn” for most educators. CloudCourse does have a few things going for it:
- Open-source: we may see more interesting functions arising… if the right people get involved.
- Part of the Google family: we might see connections to Google Docs, Wave, etc.
- It already connects to Google Calendars.
Right now, it really is a management system and not much more. Add in a grade book and the ability to embed or import content from other sites and you pretty much have all you need for an Open Learning Environment. Connect it with a Google Reader-like system for aggregating tags and RSS feeds, and you have the New Vision ideas we have been kicking around here at EGJ. Sounds like just a few easy steps, but that will only happen if we have educators jump into the development of the project to wrestle it away from the business training mindsets that seem to rule it now.
Which could also pretty much describe other large LMS programs that shall remain nameless….
Matt is currently the Learning Innovation Coordinator with the UT Arlington LINK Research Lab. His research focuses on Learning Theory, Innovation, and learner empowerment. Matt holds a Ph.D. in Learning Technologies from the University of North Texas, a Master of Education in Educational Technology from UT Brownsville, and a Bachelors of Science in Education from Baylor University. His research interests include instructional design, learning pathways, sociocultural theory, heutagogy, virtual reality, and open networked learning. He has a background in instructional design and teaching at both the secondary and university levels and has been an active blogger and conference presenter. He also enjoys networking and collaborative efforts involving faculty, students, administration, and anyone involved in the education process.