Google CloudCourse – a Matrix for new Online Education Startups?

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.

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  • http://twitter.com/johnmclear John McLear
    • http://kirstenwinkler.com KirstenWinkler

      Will read and answer you over there. ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/gmachlan Louis George Machlan

    I wish there was some more buzz about this cloudcourse thingy. I found another article here: http://xolotl.org/blog/xolotl/more-or-less-google-cloudcourse which basically finalized my decision that I need not investigate further. I am very frustrated with the scheduling and student tracking functions at my home on WizIQ. But they never sold themselves as a LMS, so I can't really complain. The Moodle gang continue to plug away at making their thing more refined. But, Moodle is so geeky and the GUI is still as ugly as they come. It seems that everyone is trying to create the biggest and the bestest when I just need some nice functionality. I will stick with my simple blog based LMS and hope that someone gets it, we don't need the coolest and most technically enhanced, just a nice little app we can plug in.

    • http://kirstenwinkler.com KirstenWinkler

      What would the app need to do for you?

      • http://www.facebook.com/gmachlan Louis George Machlan

        Not sure, because this is new territory for me. I am beginning to reformat the Karaoke ESL method for paid students. I would like to track their progress and their registration (paid customers).

        Also will be setting up a TV like network which would be similar to a cable channel of several game-show like offerings and other traditional teaching classes. This would simply track the daily “TV” listings like “TV guide” and who would have paid access.

        Still in the dream weaving stage but there will be many structural problems as we try to grow this “network” (double entendre) approach.

  • http://www.bedroomfurniturewhs.com/ Platform Beds

    That seems new from Google.