Google's Open Course Builder: A Giant Leap into 21st-Century Online Learning | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning | Scoop.it
"Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful." -- About Google

Google is the most powerful nonhuman teacher ever known to actual humans.

 

Implicitly and ceaselessly, Google performs formative assessments by collecting the following data: the content, genre and media that interests you most; when and for how long you access your external cloud brain; what your hobbies and routines are; with whom you work and communicate; who will get your November vote; and whether you prefer invigorating clean mint or enamel renewal toothpaste. By continuously refining the nuance of your sociogram, Google has already customized your next web exploration and taught itself to teach.

 

You Are Now Entering the Learning Management System

 

Months ago, Google entered the massive open online course (MOOC) space by introducing the free Power Searching with Google course to 150 thousand self-enrolled students (shocker: Google is not particularly concerned with enhancing your use of dozens of alternative search engines). More recently, Google gave away Open Course Builder -- tools that were used to construct its popular course -- and further disrupted traditional notions of who gets to play teacher (anyone) and how many students can take a class for free (1 or 100,000).

 

If you are an advanced geek, you will be able to author and publish your own e-learning space using Open Course Builder. If you don't know the difference between a .txt file and .jpg, choose a different learning management system (LMS) for now.

 

I enrolled in Power Searching to assess how Google's tools support 21st-century skills: critical thinking, collaboration, and creativity.With his gray beard and soothing demeanor, Senior Research Scientist Daniel M. Russell donned an avuncular professor role on streaming video as he explained the course's organization and tests: pre-class, midterm and culminating.

 

Online learning modules should be intuitive, persuading learners to forget that an infrastructure is unobtrusively guiding their knowledge and skill acquisition. Power Searching is pure course craftsmanship, what you might expect from a team of well-paid (and fed) content geniuses and instructional design experts.  The six 50-minutes classes were easy to navigate. An overview to each class was followed by five or six lessons featuring short introductions to content chunklets. After completing an exercise, students were invited to access supplementary resources and participate on discussion forums facilitated by teacher assistants.