education technology

In Beta and sunsetting consumer Google+

Action 1: We are shutting down Google+ for consumers.

This review crystallized what we’ve known for a while: that while our engineering teams have put a lot of effort and dedication into building Google+ over the years, it has not achieved broad consumer or developer adoption, and has seen limited user interaction with apps. The consumer version of Google+ currently has low usage and engagement: 90 percent of Google+ user sessions are less than five seconds.

I don’t think it’s a surprise to anyone that Google+ wasn’t a big hit although I am surprised that they’ve taken the step to shut it down for consumers. And this is the problem with online communities in general; when the decision is made that they’re not cost-effective, they’re shut down regardless of the value they create for community members.

When Ben and I started In Beta last year we decided to use Google+ for our community announcements and have been pretty happy with what we’ve been able to achieve with it. The community has grown to almost 100 members and, while we don’t see much engagement or interaction, that’s not why we started using it. For us, it was to make announcements about planning for upcoming episodes and since we didn’t have a dedicated online space, it made sense to use something that already existed. Now that Google+ is being sunsetted we’ll need to figure out another place to set up the community.


twitter feed

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2012-04-16

twitter feed

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-12-05

  • @dgachago17 it was a wonderful week, i learned so much from everyone I spoke to, must chat about collab project #
  • @LenSteenkamp Staying at the Beach Hotel, SAA paying for everything, so thats not too bad. Was just a disappointing end #
  • Flight home canceled, spending another night in PE. A bit pissed off with #SAA for stuffing up what had been a good week at #heltasa11 #
  • #pencilchat on Twitter has been a lot of fun. Thank you everyone for making the point in a way that I can only describe as delightful 🙂 #
  • RT @timbuckteeth What if the students break them? They won’t be able to write! #pencilchat #
  • RT @philipgreen #pencilchat Give me a pencil and a place to stand, and I could move the world #
  • RT @timbuckteeth Pencils will dumb down education. Keep the oral traditions alive! #pencilchat #
  • #pencilchat Just bought an accessory to look flash in meetings – a pencil grip – boss is asking where I got it #
  • RT @sangsterphil: Students at our school spend more time customising their pencils than writing with them #pencilchat #
  • RT @GuyJudge: @timbuckteeth Pencils criticized in plagiarism study. They make it too easy to copy. #pencilchat #
  • RT @GuyJudge: Don’t press down too hard when you use a pencil as you may leave an imprint that other people can read #pencilchat #
  • RT @johnmayo: I sure hope someone is going to use all these #pencilchat tweets in a presentation at some stage What about copyright? All CC? #
  • RT @GrahamBM: We have found that 1:3 pencil sharing has improved learner collaboration #pencilchat #
  • @timbuckteeth Poets among early pencil adopters. Now even builders use them. #pencilchat #
  • RT @HeidiSiwak: Pencils: anywhere, anyone, anytime on anything writing! The future is now! #pencilchat #
  • RT @briankotts: There is no evidence that the pencil makes learning faster, easier or better. #pencilchat #
  • RT @aangeli: RT @dughall: 2B or not 2B? That is the question. #pencilchat #
  • RT @noblerod: #pencilchat privacy concerns arise when students discovered using pencils to record friend’s antics during lunch #
  • @sandynay sorry, #
  • RT @heidisiwak: RT @mgraffin: Check out the #pencilchat trend map 🙂… #
  • RT @wholeboxndice: RT @delta_dc: Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Give him a pencil and he can draw a fish. #pencilchat #
  • #pencilchat is what Twitter was invented for #
  • RT @johntspencer: Violent games do not lead to violent people. I played hang man numerous times and I’ve never hung anyone. #pencilchat #
  • RT @edutechhannah: I’ve doubled my productivity by sharpening both ends #pencilchat #
  • RT @ekendriss: RT @pammoran: Can pencil immigrants teach pencil natives? #pencilchat #
  • RT @ekendriss: RT @bhsprincipal: Pencils are always broken. They never work when I need them. #pencilchat #
  • RT @raventech: Anyone know if the added weight of an external eraser slows down todays graphite pencils? Concerned re. mobility #pencilchat #
  • RT @ronhoutman: @timbuckteeth If you didn’t grow up with pencils, then you will find them too hard to learn how to use. #pencilchat #
  • RT @webenglishteach: If we start using pencils, when will the kids learn keyboarding or the value of different fonts? #pencilchat #
  • RT @erinneo: refuse to use pencils in my classroom until manufacturers figure out a way 2 limit what [they] can write with them #pencilchat #
  • RT @vghathaway: RT @timstirrup: have you seen the things kids write about each other using pencils? this just HAS to stop! #pencilchat #
  • RT @heidisiwak: My school is adopting pencils but going to keep them in 1 room, each class allowed 40 minutes a week to use them #pencilchat #
  • RT @edutechhannah: Just spotted a student ‘doodling’ with one in class. Surely this will just become another distraction? #pencilchat #
  • RT @rebeccaradics: RT @Justgosailing: We are preparing students for pencils that have not yet been made. #shifthappens #pencilchat #
  • RT @tmartinowen: Time to drop pencils out of helicopters on all villages -one pencil per child #pencilchat #
  • RT @timbuckteeth: I’m resisting pencils at present. If I adopt them, I’ll have to change the way I teach. #pencilchat #
  • RT @heidisiwak: RT @markuos: #pencilchat Apparently you can use one ‘pencil dock’ at the front of the class to keep 30 pencils updated #
  • RT @dgree132: #pencilchat I’m worried about my son, he sits writing or drawing by himself for long periods of time. I think he’s addicted. #
  • RT @johnmayo: Data recovery for erased data with a pencil is very difficult #pencildata #
  • Apple marketing appeals to emotion, not features. That’s why everyone loves them. You need to switch off your heart to be immune #heltasa11 #
  • I hate it when marketers (esp. from #Apple push something without context i.e. iPad = good for education with no validation #heltasa11 #
  • @ronaldarendse To be fair, it’s only 1 person from #UCT who isn’t keen on sharing. I’m sure it’s not an institutional policy to censor 🙂 #
  • This “panel discussion” is actually a series of short presentations by 5 people. There’s no discussion happening? #heltasa11 #
  • @ronaldarendse Isn’t the point of coming to a conference to share practices so that we can all learn? What’s going on at #UCT #heltasa11 #
  • @ronaldarendse @LenSteenkamp So, attendance = success. Students say they attend. Therefore intervention = success? Mmm, seems shaky to me 🙂 #
  • @ronaldarendse What are you talking about, I’m in a great mood #
  • @ronaldarendse Maybe the student attendance figures were a minor component of the study. Was attendance relevant for the conclusions drawn? #
  • @ronaldarendse Sorry, let me help you…sarcasm = “The use of irony to mock or convey contempt” #
  • So far the panel discussion at #heltasa11 has been about (insecure) researchers trying to justify what they do. Am I missing something? #
  • @ronaldarendse There’s nothing wrong with basing conclusions on self-report. Students always tell me they “learn a lot” #heltasa11 #
  • @ronaldarendse Are you saying that the UCT presenter isn’t sharing? Sounds about right 🙂 #heltasa11 #
  • @ronaldarendse Always sets off alarm bells when someone tells me that I’m about to be amazed with something I’ve never heard before #
  • @ronaldarendse Never mind, it was meant for the moment, which you clearly missed 🙂 #
  • @ronaldarendse How can you not like this guy? #
  • Check out interesting way for students to present information in an online poster. Uses flash tho & no collaboration #
  • This looks like a useful tool for student collections of content around a topic? #
  • RT @alexisangelus: @LenSteenkamp Congratulations on ur 2011 Award in National Excellence in Teaching & Learning!!! Bravo! Bravo! #HELTASA11 #
  • RT @ronaldarendse: Prof Delia Marshall of the Faculty of Science wins the teaching and learning excellence award! #HELTASA11 #ProudlyUdubs #
  • RT @jackiesredpath: Big shout out to @LenSteenkamp! Congrats on winning the award! From Dine and the NWU ladies #HELTASA11 #
  • Daily Papert: should encourage a deeper understanding of technology, beyond searching for information and communication #
  • Congratulations to Prof Delia Marshal from #UWC on her T&L award at #heltasa11 #
  • @carinavr No problem, glad to know that someone else finds them a little bit useful #
  • @dgachago17 Cool, will stick with the Laurillard book for now, otherwise I’ll just end up with 20 that I never read #
  • @dgachago17 Any suggestions? Too much to browse, need to have specific things to look for #
  • @dgachago17 Just got the book you mentioned, thanks for pointing it out. Will have a look at it later #
  • Excellent presentation by @dgachago17 on the disruptive nature of emerging technologies #heltasa11 #
  • @LenSteenkamp not at all, it’s just semantics 🙂 #
  • @LenSteenkamp good point, but then you’re not replacing an LMS with G+, you’re talking about using Google as a platform #
  • @dgachago17 They’re not equivalent & therefore 1 can’t replace the other. U can’t use G+ for admin, & an LMS has little to do with learning #
  • @ronaldarendse Not saying that’s my opinion, but why would they say anything different? We need to decide if it’s a viable / useful tool #
  • @LenSteenkamp I think they have different functions. G+ is social / communication. LMS is about management #heltasa11 #
  • @lensteenkamp I use G+, never liked FB much. We use a WordPress/Buddypress social network for coursework, I don’t intrude on students’ SN #
  • @dgachago17 Google will say: “Use Google+ because it will fulfill all of your educational needs and it is a magical experience” 🙂 #
  • @dgachago17 Why wait for Google? What are we doing to promote it’s use? Are we even sure it has a use? #heltasa11 #
  • #heltasa11 day 2 is proving to be intellectually stimulating. Loving the presentations so far #
  • Naude: challenge students to imagine a future that doesn’t exist, then help them develop knowledge & skills to create it #heltasa11 #
  • 1st speaker of the day says using technology in teaching isn’t as good as a good lecturer. Clearly he’s missing the point #heltasa11 #
  • @RonaldArendse I think it is viable #
  • @vivboz some people think he’s a big name, judging from comments I’ve heard. Not my opinion #
  • @RonaldArendse sorry, typing mistake, just pointing out Jansens ignorance…or was it a lie 🙂 #
  • If students can pass without attending class, you have failed as a teacher. Best point of #heltasa11 so far #
  • @RonaldArendse Brian O’ Connell is a trained teacher. He’s not a VC though 🙂 #
  • @dgachago17 a bit caught up in his own story though #
  • @dgachago17 @RonaldArendse battery going to die soon, will see you around #
  • @dgachago17 first keynote presenter was a “big name” #heltasa11 #
  • @RonaldArendse Maybe because the wifi doesn’t work? Or maybe because it’s not interesting? #heltasa11 #
  • @RonaldArendse Try to find one take away message from each presentation. Agree that this could be a challenge 🙁 #
  • Thought we’d moved the conversation away from Prensky’s millenials? Why are we still talking about about how they’re “different”? #heltasa11 #
  • Interactive workshop on web-based clickers using cellphones with. Low cost approach for resource constrained environments #heltasa11 #
  • Everyone at #heltasa11 #heltasa – lets choose 1 hashtag for consistency. I vote for #heltasa11 Thoughts? #
  • I prefer “relationships” rather than “networks” #heltasa11 #
  • After Gutenberg learning was about “place”. After the 60’s it was about “technology”. Now it should be about “networks” #heltasa11 #
  • Disappointing keynote at #heltasa11 Too much “management”, not enough “learning” involved 🙁 #
  • Here’s a post on some of my thoughts on my PhD process. I’m not sure how (or even if I can) push posts from my blog… #
  • I’m at a meeting for a research project that is looking at the use of “emerging technologies” in higher education.… #
  • @mah_asf40 no problem, maybe next year. Come spend some time in cape town 🙂 #
  • @mah_asf40 it’s a conference for a group of south african educators to discuss approaches to teaching & learning in higher education #
  • @mah_asf40 it’s a higher education conference in Port Elizabeth #
  • Theoretical frameworks are just different ways of looking at the world. You can use different frameworks to look at… #
  • #heltasa11 begins tomorrow, anyone want to meet up? #
twitter feed

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-07-18

  • Some beautiful photos from around Cape Town over the past few days (not mine) #
  • Amazing weekend at the #caperoyale hotel. Recommend it for any special occasions / celebrations. Friendly staff & great food. Thanks #
  • Beautiful day at Greenpoint Park, can’t believe what amazing weather we’re having #
  • Over 1 billion items shared every day on Google+ #
  • @GoodTasteMag loved the rib eye steak 🙂 Service was fantastic, really good experience #
  • @ShanLatimer sitting outside at #1800 in the middle of winter at the #caperoyale Cape Town is fantastic 🙂 #
  • View from the pool deck of the #caperoyale #
  • Staying at #caperoyale for the weekend, really impressed so far, great service ( #
  • On social networks: “If you’re not paying for it, then you are the product” #
  • Hey Google — being social is not an engineering problem #
  • Does Google+ solve the privacy problem or make it worse? #
  • Further Thoughts on Blogging Profs. #
  • Slow Academia « The Thesis Whisperer #
  • Learning with ‘e’s: Going the extra mile #
  • “Analytics” interventions « Gardner Writes Indictment of standardised testing #
  • Learning with ‘e’s: Going the extra mile Too nervous to try and step outside the box #
  • “People who live in the intersection of social worlds are at higher risk of having good ideas” (Burt, 2005) via Anderson, ALT-C presentation #
  • “Relationships, more than information, determine how problems are solved or opportunities exploited.” (Looi, 2001) via Anderson, ALT-C prez #
  • Championing open access to research #
  • Applications for FAIMER / SAFRI Fellowships in 2012 now open at #
twitter feed

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-07-11


Posted to Diigo 07/06/2011

    • three forces at play when it comes to education and social media
    • first is a lack of force
    • second is the force of fear
    • third force is that of more and more educators who are embracing social media and advocating its use on- and off-campus – for student learning and for teacher professional development alike
    • a lot of potential with Google+: better student collaboration through Circles, opportunities for blended learning (a combination of offline and online instruction) with Hangouts, project research with Sparks, and easier school public relations with targeted photo-sharing, updates, and messaging
    • granular level of privacy afforded by Google+ that is the key to making this a successful tool for schools
    • while Twitter has been embraced by many educators – for both professional development and for back-channeling in the classroom – there’s still that “always public” element of Twitter that makes many nervous
    • sharing online isn’t simply about weighing privacy concerns; it’s also about sharing with the right people
    • many teachers are already talking about the possibility of not just face-to-face video conversation but the potential for integration of whiteboards, screen-sharing, Google Docs, and other collaborative tools