Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Google Apps and the Open University

One of the reasons I set this site up with Google Apps was because of the opportunities the system seems to offer for online collaboration, which, in the context of working people and our socialisation, I'm most interested in exploring.  Google Wave itself is still in its infancy - if ever there was a time that it became a mature product, it would most certainly blow most of the competition out of the water.  That time is, however, some while away.  In the meantime, we have Apps.

Another project I've recently been involved in is www.thesmallprint-book.com.  There, I felt Apps was most suited to a potential second part - if, at any time, it was decided to create a second collection of short stories and poems, Apps would be a most suitable playground for organising complex teams, communications and documents in one place.  This may or may not happen in the future - the potential, nevertheless, is already built-in to the site should the need and desire arise.

Interestingly, a most significant player in education here in Britain has just announced that they also see value in Google's offering.  This from the Open University yesterday, and which came to me via John Naughton's Memex.  Fascinating days for Google in its battle to convince the big customers that it has viable technologies to replace traditional - and rather more proprietorial - offerings.  (Would that my local further education college take notice.  When you log on to their intranet, you get a rolling series of adverts in the top right-hand corner of the screen, one of which encourages you most forcefully to buy Microsoft's Office suite.  I do wonder, in a world where OpenOffice.org is freely available for download and Google Apps Standard Edition costs around $12 a year with domain included, how any training organisation can justify acting on behalf of Microsoft's marketing and sales department?  Shouldn't there be a law against it somewhere?)

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