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Google: 1 Big Question and 2 Specific Requests

Where Google has real potential to make a difference in higher ed is not services, platforms or apps - but ideas. Google changed the economics information. A revenue model based on advertising and scale allows for (requires) the delivery of great platforms such as Google Apps, YouTube, Android, and hopefully Chromebook.

February 16, 2012
 

The Big Google Higher Ed Question:

Where Google has real potential to make a difference in higher ed is not services, platforms or apps - but ideas. Google changed the economics information. A revenue model based on advertising and scale allows for (requires) the delivery of great platforms such as Google Apps, YouTube, Android, and hopefully Chromebook.

Does Google have a role in eliminating scarcities in education? 

Can Google move up the value chain from information to knowledge, and maybe even credentialing?

I have no doubt that the answer to these two questions is yes, but only if Google decides that they are in the idea business. Google Apps for Education has been a phenomenal success, but if Google succeeded in getting every college and university on its platform this would still represent a failure. A missed opportunity to help change the fundamental underlying economics of higher education.  

Is anyone at Google interested in having this conversation with us?

Two Specific Higher Ed Requests*:

What are some specific, on-the-ground, hands-on, actionable, and concrete things that Google could do for higher ed?

1. YouTube:  YouTube is VERY close to being a compelling Media Management solution (Kaltura competitor). The major missing piece is the ability to limit access to videos in a more robust way. We need to limit access by group (via LDAP or Google Apps groups). Can you make this happen? What are the barriers?

2. Google Apps: The Google collaboration tools are compelling, but are difficult to use in an environment that uses an alternative email system. When you share a doc, Google Apps uses its own internal address list. This means a share notification would go to an email address that doesn't get checked by the user.  

This could be solved in two ways:

    a. Allow sharing to happen using exclusively an external user directory (via LDAP or similiar). 
    b. Allow a Google Apps administrator to programmatically set up email forwarding for users. (presently, the user has to do this themselves).

* Both ideas shamelessly stolen from colleague Jared Benedict.

What are your higher ed related big questions and specific requests for Google?

note:  I am on vacation the week of 2/20, returning to blog 2/27.  

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