Google Takes Aim

I recently noticed that I’m more and more frequently opting to use Google Docs rather than my locally installed software as I’m taking notes in focus groups sessions and create spreadsheet for a survey tool comparison project, and as a result I’m paying an increasing amount of attention to “New Features!” and Google Labs to see how my user experience has changed or will change very soon. In looking through the new features list yesterday, I noticed several items listed that strengthen my belief that Google is quietly taking aim and positioning itself to take over the educational web technologies market.

Is Google planning on creating its own Learning Management Systems? Old news! (See Matt’s post from earlier this year.) Over a year ago, the Wall Street Journal hypothesized on the Five Companies Google Might Buy Next, but as I look through new features and those that Google says are “keeping us busy”, I wonder if Google would even consider acquiring a company like Bb. Why would they? They already have (or are working on) manyof the pieces that come together to make an LMS, and with Google’s tendency to gobble up companies, they could easily acquire the missing pieces.

LMS features and how they relate to existing Google technologies



  • discussion boards/listservs (Groups)
  • email (Gmail)
  • IM/chat/audio conferencing (Talk)
  • annoucnements (Alerts)
  • web-based calling, voicemail (Voice)

Class Management

Recent tweeks Google is making that seem more “education-friendly”

  • Improved view of revision history in documents (gradable collaborative documents)
  • Upload several different file types and either convert to google docs format or view in google docs viewer (universal file type – instructor can view document submission whether created in Word, Word Perfect, PDF, Google Docs, etc.)
  • Upload different versions of a file (assignment submissions, including rough drafts)

Google Labs, acquisitions, “keeping us busy” items and New Features! and how they could eventually effect education

Future Google Conquests Predictions

  • Prezi (mind-mapping)
  • TechSmith (testing) – however…
    Google could create a secure testing browser by modifying Chrome
    Google already is working on Breadcrumb, which could eventually become an alternative to StudyMate
  • Epsilen (learning outcomes measurement and portfolios)
  • Survey Monkey (advanced survey functionality)

Future Educational Google Site Name Predicitons

  • Google Edu – Google’s LMS, including all of the above
  • Google Meeting – Google’s web conferencing system that combines Talk (chat, private messaging, audio conferencing) with Docs (live document sharing/collaborating, collaborative drawing and whiteboard, file sharing) and Moderator (event moderating)

It’s only a matter of time.