May 28, 2010

Google TV for Education

Earlier, Google showed their new Google TV solution. Some pundits dismissed it due to the fact that much of this technology exists, but I think that Google has a pretty good feel for timing. I think the timing feels right for integrating television programming with web-browsing. There are so many factors that play into how TV is consumed and how people use the Internet in that same environment. The Google solution may address that many people are trying to find a comfortable way to jump between the internet and TV in a simple way.  In addition the physical considerations, Google has taken a search-centric approach to content. I think that this represents a shift in culture that many won't "get" for some time, but eventually, they will really come to appreciate the simplicity of the Google approach. True, Microsoft Media Center tried to pull this off and was able to do some cool things, but it just seems to be a completely different environment from the web, that it just doesn't always feel right.

Of course for me, I immediately started thinking about the learning implications of GoogleTV.  Can you imagine every student with a tablet at their desk and the teacher controlling the large flat panel TV at the front of the room? Then have the students push their work to the front of the room or the teacher by selecting it.  Seth Godin's Blog post: iPad killer app #2: fixing meetings  talks about making meetings better by suppling every attendee with an tablet with certain functionality, most of these ideas would work in the classroom as well. Then, having GoogleTV integrated in for the instructor would be awesome. The ability to search for rich video content, bookmark it, and pull it just at the right time during the lesson or presentation. Have students respond to the video by answering the 10 questions on their Google Site.

I know, there is a lot of infrastructure required for such a scenario, but it is a lot closer then it was before.  Google continues to work to bring things to consumers to drive technology use. Yes, they want to sell advertising and we have to monitor what our learners are exposed to, but if GoogleTV turns out to serve as a centralized search tool connecting content on television with content on the web, our world probably just got a little more integrated.

If you are not familiar with what Google is proposing, check it out here.

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