Welcome to The CITE -- a blog on Course materials, Innovation, and Technology in Education, created by Mark Nelson and now part of the Publications Department of the National Association of College Stores. CITE is a pun with multiple meanings - referring to cite as in citation, something people reference; site as in location, website, or place people go to; and sight as in foresight or looking ahead to what is coming. Comments, discussion, feedback and ideas are welcome.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Google Goes All-In on Education

Google is trying to create what it calls the “paperless classroom,” offering its low-cost Chromebook laptop and Google Apps for Education as part of the effort. Now, it has launched Google Classroom, free productivity tools for teachers and students that integrate with the rest of the Google Apps, such as Gmail, Drive, and Docs.

Classroom allows teachers to create assignments, make copies of Google documents, and create Drive folders for each assignment. Students are able to track homework and get real-time feedback and grades in the app.

While it all sounds fine, some are still leery. One problem is making sure each student has access to the Internet so they can use the app. Other issues include student privacy and Google’s ability to advertise itself to students with the app.

“The thing about Google is they’re a technology company, not really a solution company,” said Phil Hill, an educational technology consultant and market analyst, in a National Public Radio report. “Rather than understand the needs and build a holistic solution, Google has the ability to throw stuff out and see what happens.”

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