I suspect by now you’ve heard about Google Course Builder. It’s the course system that powered the Google Power Search course that Dan Russell put on not long ago.
I spent a few hours figuring it out and seeing how it works. I wanted to share some thoughts with you…
1. It’s complex and requires a good bit of code editing. There’s no nice GUI to change course content, etc. It’s all a pretty big bunch of code.
2. It requires Google App Engine (appspot.google.com) which is not necessarily a bad thing, but could get into $$ if you use too much in the way of computing power for your installation.
3. It’s not terribly robust yet (it’s still in its infancy). It could theoretically work nicely for something like the Google Course, but not sure it’s ready for K-12 (or has much of a use in K-12 unless you were planning a huge MOOC.
It’s fun to play with this stuff, but I’ll likely stick with Haiku for my LMS needs, especially since they recently gave us more users, space. etc.
If you have any questions, let me know.
Back in December of 2009 I attended the Google Teacher Academy in Washington, D.C. This post serves as my final reflection of my participation. First, take a look at the video I used to apply for the event.
I heard recently that my video was used as an example of getting a point across well without overly flashy transitions or video effects. Nice to hear.
Once I got to the Google Teacher Academy I was delighted to run into many friends. Some I previously knew, some I was just meeting. This entire process delights me more in terms of the people I met than the content I learned.
As a result of the GTA, I performed several activities. I posted to our school’s private blog tips and tricks about Google. I am not certain how fruitful that was since not many of my teachers read that blog much. Perhaps had I done it via email it would have been more fruitful, although we get so many emails I can’t swear it wouldn’t get lost in the mix.
The item I am most proud of is our group project. A few of us came together and decided to create an online video repository specifically geared towards Google products. It turns out that Google Certified Teachers often deliver training to their teachers on many of the same topics. Rather than reinvent the wheel, we created TechTrainingWheels.com. It hasn’t received the buy in I had hoped, but it may pick up.
So overall the GTA was a wonderful experience but moreso because of the wonderful folks I met and continue to interact with.