I got this interesting information via Stefan Wolpers, Founder of the Twittwoch – a meeting for entrepreneurs to learn about social media from / with each other – on Twitter.
If you are interested in social media, tech and entrepreneurship I highly recommend following Stefan’s tweets as they are always relevant.
But now back to Google CloudCourse.
CloudCourse is a new application that is part of the Google Apps for Education project. It is a course scheduling tool which is fully integrated in the Google Calendar app and provides tools like approval process, waiting lists, room- and student profiles.
The app is released as open source so developers are invited to take it and build extensions to the tool. And this could be the interesting part for startups. With the apps that are already included in the Google for Education package you have a very mighty set of bricks to build up a teaching platform similar to Sclipo, WiZiQ or Udemy. Of course, a virtual classroom is missing but on the other hand who says that you absolutely need one?
Taking the case of an online school that would target conversational lessons only, or expert advice on relationships, topics that don’t need visualization. You got Google Sites for your homepage, the scheduling tool with CloudCourse and Google Calendar, Voice / Video chat with Google Talk, asynchronous messages with Google Voice and if you really need it a whiteboard alternative with Google Docs where you can work on texts and presentations together.
The interesting thing about CloudCourse is also that it wasn’t designed for education from the start.
“We actually didn’t design this system with universities in mind – we designed it as a course scheduling tool for enterprises.”
Another interesting quote comes from an educator
“I would love something from Google. Moodle is still very basic, Blackboard is worse. It’d be nice to have something that is free, cleanly designed, and integrated with other solid programs.”
I really think that this could be a good basis for small schools or even individual teachers to build their online branch upon. Of course this is in a very early stage but I will keep an eye on it for sure.
- Read Write Web: Google Releases CloudCourse, an Open Source Learning Platform
- Google Open Source Blog: CloudCourse: An Enterprise Application in the Cloud