Tags // Google
Recoding the Classroom
Nice article from ThinkGoogle on what is going to bring about change in the classroom. “Though our world is changing, the spaces in which we teach are stuck in a time warp. According to some forward-thinking experts, only by embracing new technology and ideas can twenty-first-century schooling stay up to speed with the kids.”
Google Wave’s Best Use Cases
Life Hacker asked people: How would you use Google Wave? They got over 600 responses. Here is a list of their top picks. Cool!
“Dozens of teachers, students, and academics of all stripes wrote in saying that they need better and faster ways to communicate and collaborate in and out of the classroom…”
Google enhances search results to include page sections in snippets
Google announced yesterday that they’ve enhanced their search results page to include page sections of long pages in the snippets area. Here is an example they’ve given.
The rationale is that we can do directly to a section in the page if that’s what we’re interested in. That’s a nice idea—it’s an attempt at auto-indexing the page using page sections. It provides more information on the page, assuming that the page sections are labeled properly.
But what’s really interesting that is the fact that this is another opportunity to reveal sequence, like in a table of contents. Showing a sequence in a page really gets to the guts of what the page is all about. Google already shows a sitemap in the search results, which gets to what a site is all about.
Now the only thing Google needs to figure out is how to reveal sequence across pages and sites. So for example, if I were to search for “diabetes” then I should get a sequence that links to different pages and sites and the sequence includes what is diabetes to treatments to living with a diabetic to home remedies. Guess that was what the Knol was supposed to do.
Google Wave mania begins
The just announced Google Wave is getting a lot of people interested. The Wave is not just another application, it's a whole new way of using online information. If you have not seen the demo yet, you should. The Wave takes collaboration to a whole new level. When I was watching the collaboration demo, I felt the entire experience was more like an extension into multiple minds rather than the 'switch-type' collaboration we see in the likes of Sharepoint and Lotus Notes. The engagement just felt more organic, more emergent, more fun. There are many people thinking along these lines, Gabor Cselle, for one talk about how to build a business using Wave, and he has some pretty viable suggestions. There are going to be many more ideas around the Wave in the coming days as more people come to grips with a new mental model of working online. These are definitely interesting times.
Google is good but it’s not God
Gerry McGovern nails with this piece:
"Almost every search result in the first page of search results for practically every important search has worked really hard to get into that first page. The owners of these websites have worked hard to make their content search friendly. They have worked hard to make their metadata search friendly. They have worked hard to get as many links as possible, knowing that every link increases their search rankings.
Having good search does not mean you shouldn’t have a good classification and navigation. In fact, a good classification will make for even better search results. Search and navigation are interdependent in many ways. People often use search to jump a couple of levels down into a website. Then, they like to navigate."
Google apps - team edition
This was kind of expected: a secure team-based use of Google apps like document, spreadsheet, calendar and messaging. In the intro video, you can see that this is targeted at small companies and schools. Going by the crappy stuff out there in schools and universities, this should be widely embraced by teachers and students alike. Now only if they included Blogger into the fold.
"Google Guide is an online interactive tutorial and reference for experienced users, novices, and everyone in between. I developed Google Guide because I wanted more information about Google's capabilties, features, and services than I found on Google's website. --Nancy Blachman"
Google Lays Out Its Mobile User Experience Strategy
Google breaks down mobile user behavior into 3 groups: "repetitive now", "bored now" and "urgent now".
The "bored now" are users who have time on their hands. People on trains or waiting in airports or sitting in cafes. Mobile users in this behavior group look a lot more like casual Web surfers, but mobile phones don't offer the robust user input of a desktop, so the applications have to be tailored.
The "urgent now" is a request to find something specific fast, like the location of a bakery or directions to the airport. Since a lot of these questions are location-aware, Google tries to build location into the mobile versions of these queries.
At Google, the Workers Are Placing Their Bets
Google is doing some interesting stuff on predictive markets, trying to forecast possible events in the future:
"In Google's system, employees can bet on how the company will perform in the future, forecasting things like product introduction dates and new office openings. It was devised under a program that allows engineers to spend one day a week on a project of their choice."
Google Earth is now free. But Windows only; Mac version in the works.
" Want to know more about a specific location? Dive right in -- Google Earth combines satellite imagery, maps and the power of Google Search to put the world’s geographic information at your fingertips."
Google ScholarI've used this new Google service a lot in the last few days and I find it really cool. I used to spend hours looking up citations of old or arcane academic works, but now its a breeze. Check it out: Google Scholar.
Dan Gillmor: `Google effect’ reducesDan Gillmor: `Google effect' reduces need for many domains
The most interesting from a domain-name point of view is this: With the rise of search tools that unerringly bring you to the page you want, the need for a highly specific domain name -- one that a casual Web user would be able to guess -- has practically disappeared.
Knowledge@Wharton: A Search for GoogleKnowledge@Wharton: A Search for Google
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