Today there's an article in our local paper, raving about a teacher who has the new credential "Google Certification," earned by "teachers who gave up part of their summer vacation...picking up tips on ways to work technology into their lessons."
Now she gets to sport the Google logo; I haven't felt this kind of jealousy since I coveted the Chuck Taylor athletic fetishware back in junior high.
And now one of my favorite bloggers Clay Burrell is singing praises for a creative use for Google Maps in a wonderful idea inspired by John Larkin. (Amazing how the more commonly creative we get, the more attributions I stumble over. Ahem. )
Perhaps all a lucky coincidence, more likely some orchestrated convergence in which all of us get to play bit parts. So today a few thoughts on Google and the classroom.
Google is a wealthy corporation. A very wealthy corporation.
Google has over 12 billion American dollars in cash.
True, they have a kick-butt search engine, and lots of folks bought of piece of their action in their Dutch auction IPO a few years ago.
Still, you don't get that wealthy just on search engines alone. Now excuse me while I go get my tinfoil hat.
I love Google. I fear Google. Having a whole class of students type in information from various sites is powerful data.
Google’s not getting rich just because of a fancy pants search engine. A good chunk of their “value” comes from big investors who get the data thing.
How confused am I? I want to be a Google certified teacher. I use Google in the classroom, and not just the search engine. I get lost for hours playing with a variety of their tools.
Google knows more about me than my mother did.
Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.
And from their terms of service (which I may have inadvertently broken when I temporarily put their Google Teacher certification logo on this post a minute ago):
By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive licence to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services.OK, so that language makes you itch a little, but hey, everybody's doing it.
Wait, there's more--here's where I here the opening cash register in Pink Floyd's "Money":
You agree that this licence includes a right for Google to make such Content available to other companies, organizations or individuals with whom Google has relationships for the provision of syndicated services, and to use such Content in connection with the provision of those services.Cha-ching!
I have no idea why they use the British version of of "license" here when they use the American version elsewhere--I have enough tinfoil hat issues to distract me as it is--but this is what it says in the Google Terms of Service.
And I'm a little nutty about privacy (but not so nutty as not to enjoy all kinds of "free" services from this gentle giant).
To be fair, Google maintains you hold the copyrights for your own material, but when one of the largest media companies on the planet has already claimed it can do what it will with your material, well, what's the point?
Oh, by the way, if you use Google for anything, you've accepted their terms.
I very much want to use Google in my classroom, but I won't purposefully compromise the privacy of my students, even if they do not know what the fuss is all about.