Archive for the ‘Google’ Category + OER = Mmmm Good!

June 3rd, 2011

If you’ve already tried searching Google for recipes (try crepes), you know that along with the search results you get a nice list of ingredients with check boxes on the left of your search. That’s all due to a schema that allows for common criteria that Google or any other search engine can read. When web sites follow these standards for recipes, users can filter results in various ways. In my crepe recipe example below, I have the option of limiting search results to recipes under 100 calories (although you won’t find any crepe recipes  with whip cream and nutella in that list.)

But schemas are good for more than finding specific recipes. It will change educational search, learning, and OERmagine you could do the same fine-grain sorting and filtering with educational resources. Check one box for pre-college and another box for open, modifiable resources only. This is why metadata (the tags and other hidden stuff that describes the content) is important in educational materials, especially OER. Those who use the proper metadata schemas will be included in the search results. Teachers and learners will be able to drill down and find *exactly* the materials they want at the proper grade level. This is a BIG deal for education and OER stands to gain a LOT more attention as a result. Keep your eyes on

Google search results for "Crepe Recipes"


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YouTube + Creative Commons = Awesome!

June 3rd, 2011

Google’s YouTube started supporting  for the CC-BY Creative Commons open license yesterday. Awesome news, and just in time for our Open Course Library phase 1 videos, which we will be captioning and moving to YouTube very soon. Here’s the announcement from the Creative Commons blog:

YouTube has added the Creative Commons Attribution license (CC BY) as a licensing option for users! Now when users upload video, they can choose to license it under CC BY or to remain with the default “Standard YouTube License.” Users may also change the license on existing videos by editing each video individually.

In conjunction with the implementation, YouTube has launched a Creative Commons video library containing 10,000 videos under CC BY from organizations such as C-SPAN,, Voice of America, and Al Jazeera. The library will serve as a base catalog of videos for users to access, edit, and incorporate into their own video projects. The YouTube Video Editor now contains a CC tab that allows users to search the Creative Commons video library and select videos to edit and remix. Users may remix videos directly on the editor platform, and any video that is created using CC BY-licensed content will automatically display the linked source videos’ titles underneath the video player. Since CC BY is enabled as a licensing option, the library will grow as more users choose to license their work under CC BY.


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Why Google will *never* buy Blackboard

December 6th, 2010

I recently read a blog post about why Google should buy Blackboard (instead of paying $6 billion for Groupon). Buying Blackboard seems like a really bad idea to me, and here’s why: Google tends to buy companies with (1) GREAT software and (2) a large and growing user base. The “great software” requirement probably explains why Google hasn’t made a bid for Blackboard. In fact, the *only* reason for anyone to buy Blackboard is for the user base. But these are not happy users, so really you are just buying a (very expensive) problem.

Some folks may want a Google to buy Blackboard because they think that somehow being owned by Google will make everything easy (like Google Docs) and cost nothing (like Gmail). But think about it: If Google bought Bb they would then have the nightmarish task of changing/improving *almost everything* about the software while trying to keep existing customers happy. Doesn’t exactly sound like “low-hanging fruit” that someone should quickly snatch up, does it?

If you want to see an example of great GDocs-LMS integration, have a look at Canvas, by a company called Instructure. It’s a great, new LMS that integrates tightly with Google Docs and other great apps (like DimDim for videoconferencing). Google could buy Instructure instead, make it totally free and open, and then pull customers away from Bb. Five years later you’ll have the same result (lots of folks switched over to Google’s LMS), without the nightmare transition for Google… and without spending $1.5 billion. And we’ll all live happily ever after (as long as you don’t mind a few Google Ads for Viagra during your Human Anatomy course). ;-)


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eLearning, Google

Dear Google…

February 10th, 2010

(Note: This blog post is meant to be read while listening to Midnight Oil’s “Sell My Soul.”

Dear Google,

I just want to say thanks for the wonderful Buzz you have given me. Not that you haven’t already cached and parsed every tweet I ever made on Twitter, but Buzz has helped me to recognize and accept my sole reliance on you. You know who I email. You know who my friends are. You know where I am all day long thanks to the GPS in my Android phone. I’ve sold my digital soul to you in every possible way (except photos — Flickr is still better). Now I’ll be coming to you every few minutes for the Buzz I need to get me though my day. Finally, I look forward to the day when you will use all the information I have happily given you to serve me ads for all sorts of wonderful things — before I realize how much I need them. I thank you in advance for this. You already know how much I hate shopping.

Your Truly,


PS – I am not kissing up because my Gmail storage is more than half full. Of course, if you magically added, say 10 gigabytes, it would help me to know that you are really listening (or parsing, at least).


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Rooting your Android G1 or MyTouch phone just got a lot easier!

August 23rd, 2009

The folks at recently wrote this great tutorial showing how to use FlashRec app to root your Android G1 or MyTouch in about 6 minutes. Here is the video:

Update: I have switched from JF 1.5.1 to the latest Cyanogen ROM (v.4.0.2). You should NOT use Apps2SD with this ROM because it already has built-in support for using your microSD card for app storage (you still need to set up a separate ext partition so it will work). More details are available here:

(v4.0.2 – stable version, updated 8/22):

MD5Sum: 9c316180ca61d5cb8728ad3c4f43bc97


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Android, Gadgets, Google, How To's