Google I/O, the company’s sixth annual developer conference, got officially underway in San Francisco on Wednesday, and it was an eventful day. It took the company every minute of its epic three-hour keynote to unfurl a laundry list of announcements and updates, seemingly across every product category in its arsenal — from Android, Chrome and Search to Maps, Google+ and Hangouts — each with a fresh coat of paint. We even saw the arrival of Google’s very own subscription music service, today, which is already being touted as a potential Spotify killer.
Amidst Larry Page’s triumphant return to the stage (after addressing his much-discussed vocal issues yesterday), Google’s soaring stock price and sexy smartphone demos, it was easy to miss an important announcement concerning Google’s foray into a considerably less sexy market: Education. (And K-12 education, no less.)
Android Engineering Director Chris Yerga took the stage to introduce Google Play for Education, through which Google hopes to extend Play — its application and content marketplace for Android — into the classroom. The new store, which is scheduled to launch this fall, aims to simplify the content discovery process for schools, giving teachers and students access to the same tools that are now native to the Google Play experience.
I’ve spent many years referencing Wikipedia’s list of cognitive biases whenever I have a hunch that a certain type of thinking is an official bias but I can’t recall the name or details. It’s been an invaluable reference for helping me identify the hidden flaws in my own thinking. Nothing else I’ve come across seems to be both as comprehensive and as succinct.
However, honestly, the Wikipedia page is a bit of a tangled mess. Despite trying to absorb the information of this page many times over the years, very little of it seems to stick. I often scan it and feel like I’m not able to find the bias I’m looking for, and then quickly forget what I’ve learned. I think this has to do with how the page has organically evolved over the years. Today, it groups 175 biases into vague categories (decision-making biases, social biases, memory errors, etc) that don’t really feel mutually exclusive to me, and then lists them alphabetically within categories. There are duplicates a-plenty, and many similar biases with different names, scattered willy-nilly.
I’ve taken some time over the last four weeks (I’m on paternity leave) to try to more deeply absorb and understand this list, and to try to come up with a simpler, clearer organizing structure to hang these biases off of. Reading deeply about various biases has given my brain something to chew on while I bounce little Louie to sleep.
Source: Cognitive bias cheat sheet
Roughly every ten years there’s a shift to a new computing paradigm. The computer hardware and process optimization of the 80’s gave way to the Microsoft-dominated software and productivity of the 90s. Google-dominated web-based information retrieval of the 00s yielded to the Apple–Android mobile duopoly and the warehouse of apps paradigm of the 10’s.
The maturity of the web, intelligent cloud computing, advances in AI and the mobility of our digital experiences are setting the stage for the next shift to more ambient computing via the Internet of Things. By 2020 the number of connected devices is expected to triple to 34 billion (with a global human population of 7.5 billion).
Android has overtaken Apple in the world of apps. Look for the same thing to potentially happen in the near future as well. You can’t talk about tablets in education, smartphones in the classroom, or really education technology in general without mentioning Android.
Whichever platform you prefer, it’s worth always knowing what’s out there. Don’t wall yourself into an Apple-only or Android-only environment. It’s hard to switch, for sure.
But it’s worth knowing what the competition is doing.
Remember, you are probably not an Apple or Google employee. You aren’t obligated to use one operating system over another. Both of the leading OSes are so darn hard to switch out of, however, that it can seem like an insurmountable task. The mere thought of having to re-purchase all your apps for a different platform is enough to make most never even consider switching.
So if you’re an Android user or perhaps an Apple user looking to stay in the know about education apps for Android, check out this useful list and stay informed.
There has always been an issue with data mining on the internet. The number of times I’ve heard the phrase “Well, Google told me so it must be true” is, to say the least, disheartening. It’s worth reminding students that Google is not infallible.
Google’s search algorithm appears to be systematically promoting information that is either false or slanted with an extreme rightwing bias on subjects as varied as climate change and homosexuality.
Following a recent investigation by the Observer, which found that Google’s search engine prominently suggests neo-Nazi websites and antisemitic writing, the Guardian has uncovered a dozen additional examples of biased search results.
Google’s search algorithm and its autocomplete function prioritize websites that, for example, declare that climate change is a hoax, being gay is a sin, and the Sandy Hook mass shooting never happened.
Summarises the changes and discontinuities that are shaping student experience expectations.
Overviews the changes contained in the Government White Paper, “Success as a Knowledge Economy“.
Outlines ten significant problems of the National Student Survey.
Defines six key principles for defining and managing student experience.
This excellent resource from Mark Anderson is a good jumping off point if you are just starting to use Google Chromebooks. And if you haven’t you absolutely should consider them as a potential learning tool.
A while ago I created an infographic featuring 30 apps for the paperless iPad classroom. Today I’ve created a similar type of infographic but with essential Chromebook tools and apps for the classroom.
It features 18 different tools that I have used with children in my classrooms over the years that have had an impact on different areas related to learning: creativity, engagement, learning and progress.
Within the 18 different tools and apps there are lots of different types of activities you can complete using them. From managing your classroom to assessment for learning, to surveying children to creating presentations to positive engagement involving the children in your classroom and their parents and much more. There’s a lot here to unpick.If you’d like to know learn more about the tools and apps below or are interested in how you can work with me, or want to learn more about how you can utilise Google Apps for Education, Android tablets or Chromebooks in your school to assist with learning, please get in touch.
I hope you find the tools below as useful as I have.