Friday, October 13, 2006

Why Is Google Popular with Educators?

Andy Carvin, in his blog, asks if there is really anything to get excited about with the newly-announced Google for Educators program.

I think there is. (I posted this reply on Andy's site as well).

I was asked to help publicize the one-day pilot of “Google Teachers Academy” in Northern California. I was literally shocked at the number of responses I got from all over the country—and the world—from people asking: when will Google do this in our area?

I’ve been thinking about why the response would be so strong, and I’ve concluded that Google has at least three things really going for them.

First, they are a trusted name in the web arena, which means a lot. They are trusted because they provide services which are free to use and work well. And they are trusted because they seem to have a genuine desire to make a difference with their success.

Second, their product are generally simple to use. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to use them, but you feel that you are on the cutting edge. Teachers have so much that they have to juggle already that it must feel great to find technology that helps in practical ways and is simple to use.

Third, Google has staying power. They don’t have to start out providing the best of all services, because they have the resources to stick around and keep working at it until they do.

I think it’s likely that we’ll see a lot more of Google in the education world.

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