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18 OCTOBER 2011

Pearson launches their OpenClass learning environment

"Pearson today made a major move to increase access and collaboration in higher education by launching OpenClass. A key component of Pearson's vision to increase access, achievement and affordability, OpenClass offers institutions and instructors the ability to engage and interact with their students using the collaborative technologies that students are embracing – at no cost.

OpenClass is a new kind of self–service learning management system (LMS) delivered from the Cloud. It is easy to use and completely free. There are no hardware, licensing or hosting costs, thus enabling widespread adoption of new learning approaches that encourage interaction within the classroom and around the world.

'Now, educators and students are able to communicate and collaborate in new ways across institutions and around the globe – providing a richer, more personal and more connected learning experience. At no cost,' said Matt Leavy, CEO of Pearson eCollege.

OpenClass integrates seamlessly with Google Apps for Education™ and will be available starting this week in the Google Apps Marketplace™, Google's online storefront for Google Apps™ products and services. With single sign–on and a unified navigation bar, instructors and students can launch OpenClass from within Google Apps or access their Google applications from OpenClass. Launching OpenClass in the Google Apps Marketplace™ provides institutions with the easiest path to adoption and an avenue to reach institutions already familiar with the benefits of cloud–based solutions.

'We're excited to have OpenClass in the Google Apps Marketplace,' said Obadiah Greenberg, Google's Business Development Manager for Education. 'OpenClass is tightly integrated with Google Apps for Education, our free suite of communication and collaboration applications. Through the Google Apps Marketplace, schools will have access to OpenClass. We are happy to offer this complementary learning management system to the millions of students, faculty and staff already using Google Apps.'

'OpenClass has huge potential for higher education,' said Adrian Sannier, Senior Vice President of Learning Technologies at Pearson. 'OpenClass accelerates what technology will do for learning with a free, open and innovative platform that easily scales and lets students work via social media, with an intense focus on learning that elevates achievement.'

Pearson, working closely with its design partners, will rapidly advance the capabilities of OpenClass to leverage the rich data and social foundations of the platform and the ability to release new functionality frequently. Design partners include Abilene Christian University, Arizona State University, Central Piedmont Community College, West Virginia University at Parkersburg, Monash University, Kentucky Community & Technical College System, Rice University, the University of Wisconsin Extension and Columbia University. Many of these institutions are already teaching courses on OpenClass this fall.

'We truly believe that OpenClass is a disruptive technology for education,' said Kevin Roberts, Chief Planning and Information Officer at Abilene Christian University. 'Pearson's commitment to providing an open and free platform is monumental. The days of 'business as usual' in higher education are gone. OpenClass is a powerful tool to help us move forward into the connected, mobile and open world that we live in.'"

(Susan Aspey, Pearson press release 13 October 2011)


2011 • Abilene Christian University • across institutions • Adrian Sannier • Arizona State University • Central Piedmont Community College • classroom • classroom interaction • cloud computing • collaborative technologies • connectedconnected learningconnectivismdisruptive technologieseducatorGoogle Apps • Google Apps for Education • Google Apps Marketplace • Google Inchigher educationICT • Kentucky Community and Technical College System • Kevin Roberts • Learning Management Systemlearning platformlearning technologiesLMS • Matt Leavy • Monash University • new learning approaches • Obadiah Greenberg • online education provider • OpenClass • Pearson • Pearson eCollege • personalised learningRice University • self-service • social foundations • studentstechnology platform • University of Wisconsin Extension Columbia University • West Virginia University


Simon Perkins
12 FEBRUARY 2010

Google Buzz: more sharing and integrating through Gmail

"Google Buzz ...automatically brings social networking into Gmail and the rest of the Google–sphere. Whether or not you're big on social networking sites like Twitter or Facebook, Buzz offers a somewhat new and intriguing approach."

(Adam Pash, 9 February 2010, Lifehacker)



annotationAPIbloggercommentaryconnectivityconvergencediscontinuedemailfeedsFirefoxFlickrGmailGoogle AndroidGoogle Apps • Google Buzz • Google Inc • Google Mobile Maps • Google Profile • information in contextintegrateInternetiPhonenetwork • personal technology • Picasa Web • sharesocial networkingsocial softwaresoftwaretechnologyTwitterYahoo!YouTube


Simon Perkins
19 AUGUST 2009

Google Docs: the networked computer classroom?

"The networked computer classroom has always held out the promise of improved collaboration and peer review of documents. The foundational work in this area was based on social constructionist theory ( e.g., Barker & Kemp 1990; Cooper & Selfe 1990; Hawisher & Selfe 1991): scholars saw networked writing as a concrete application of social constructionism, which emphasized collaborative writing, and consequently produced collaborative tools (such as the Daedalus Interactive Writing Environment and the enCore MOO). More recently, content management systems and wikis have joined the list of ways to collaborate. All allow participants to review, co–edit, and comment on a single text in a single space.

However, these technologies have tended to fill relatively narrow niches, due in part to the learning curve for using them (most people don't want to learn special markup) and the need for specialized hardware and software to run them (most people don't have dedicated servers to run a CMS). Not surprisingly, most documents –– in university settings and in business collaborations –– are still created in Microsoft Word or another word processor, and emailed from collaborator to collaborator (a practice known as "ping–ponging"). This solution is a variation of the timeworn solution of handing drafts from person to person. And it has the same drawback: it's impossible for multiple people to work simultaneously on the same draft without versioning problems. Nevertheless, people limp along with this solution because it has a shallow learning curve and leverages existing services.
In August 2006, Google launched Google Apps for Your Domain, a suite of tools that includes email, calendar, and website design software (Google Mail, Calendar, and Page Creator), and is aggressively marketing the suite to the education market and small businesses. In essence, these organizations can outsource a chunk of their information technology to Google, and Google brands these services for each organization. This service is particularly valuable to the education and small business markets since these relatively small organizations frequently devote considerable IT resources to electronic collaboration and publication, and they have trouble holding on to people with deep IT expertise.
Eventually the product relaunched as Google Docs, integrated with Google's spreadsheet offering
Google Docs Features The headline news about Google Docs is that the application supports easy parallel collaboration. Once you've logged in, you see a list of the most recent documents (word processor files and spreadsheets) and the collaborators who have been working on them. You can choose to share your own documents with collaborators at a variety of permissions levels –– and they can similarly choose to share theirs with you. "
(Clay Spinuzzi, University of Texas at Austin)

Barker, T. and Kemp, F. (1990). Network theory: A postmodern pedagogy for the writing classroom. In Handa, C., editor, Computers and Community: Teaching Composition in the Twenty–First Century, pages 1–27. Boynton/Cook Publishers, New York.

Cooper, M. and Selfe, C. L. (1990). Computer conferences and learning: Authority, resistance, and internally persuasive discourse. College English, 52:847–869.

Hawisher, G. E. and Selfe, C. L. (1991). The rhetoric of technology and the electronic writing class. College Composition and Communication, 42:55–65.



authoringauthorshipclassroomCMScollaboration • collaborative writing • Daedalus Interactive Writing Environment • DIWEeducation • electronic literacy • enCore MOO • Google AppsGoogle DocsGoogle Inc • Google Spreadsheets • interactionlearningMicrosoft WordMOOpaedagogyparticipatory learningpedagogypeer review • ping-ponging • scriptible • versioning • wikiWritely (Upstartle)writing


Simon Perkins

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