Friday, August 19, 2016

Is Google Positioned to become the Dominant Education Platform?

Interesting article from The Clayton Christensen Institute reflecting on the transition underway in Education from Apple and Microsoft to the open technologies provided by Google:
And yes, Google’s suite of office tools lacks the raw functionality of Microsoft Office’s suite, but Google has taken advantage of two key dynamics. First, most users are overserved by Microsoft Office. Most don’t take advantage of at least 98 percent of the functionality in Word, Excel, or PowerPoint, for example. Google’s office tools get the basic functionality right, enable new features like collaboration—which is custom made for the Web, and keep getting better with more and more functionality. Second, Google’s apps are free for educators, whereas Microsoft makes you pay. Faced with the decision, it’s become increasingly a no brainer for educators to opt for Google. If trends continue, a whole generation of children may never know what PowerPoint is.
What would be great to see is Microsoft move away from just focusing on the content creation marketplace of its traditional Office suite and instead leverage its acquisition of LinkedIn and to do three things: support competency-based learning—through badges, portfolios, and rich profiles for all students; invest in building students’ social capital—a key determinant of life success that education typically ignores—in a deliberate way; and, through both of these efforts, help students discover and cultivate their true passions.

1 comment:

Inkling said...

I read the Clayton Christensen Institute article and it left me distinctly unimpressed. I've live through the entire computer era it discussed and the article's history is inaccurate enough to raise doubts about its conclusions.

Tech platforms matter little. I certainly hope that education never becomes dominated by any of the tech giants—Apple, Microsoft or Google. Good education is about teachers and has little to do with the tools being used, whether the platform is Apple II or a Chromebook is virtually irrevant. What he says about "badges, portfolios, and rich profiles for all students" is silly beyond belief. Education is about acquiring knowledge and skills not passing out the social media equivalent of smiley face stickers.