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Google Announces "Classroom"

Unknown Lamer posted about 3 months ago | from the anything-is-better-than-blackboard dept.

Google 143

theodp (442580) writes "Meet your new 'Room Mom', kids! On Tuesday, Google announced a preview of Classroom, a new, free tool in the Google Apps for Education suite. From the announcement: 'With Classroom, you'll be able to: [1] Create and collect assignments: Classroom weaves together Google Docs, Drive and Gmail to help teachers create and collect assignments paperlessly. They can quickly see who has or hasn't completed the work, and provide direct, real-time feedback to individual students. [2] Improve class communications: Teachers can make announcements, ask questions and comment with students in real time—improving communication inside and outside of class. [3] Stay organized: Classroom automatically creates Drive folders for each assignment and for each student. Students can easily see what's due on their Assignments page.'

Addressing privacy concerns, Google reassures teachers, 'We know that protecting your students' privacy is critical. Like the rest of our Apps for Education services, Classroom contains no ads, never uses your content or student data for advertising purposes, and is free for schools.' After the recent torpedoing of Bill Gates' $100M inBloom initiative, Google might want to have a privacy pitch ready for parents, too!"

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143 comments

"For advertising purposes" (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46939315)

But we'll log your interactions forever, freely available to anyone with a subpoena or NSL.

They just got caught doing exactly that... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46940441)

They've been secretly building ad profiles of Google Apps for Education student users even if ads were turned off by the administrator to show them ads on other Google sites. They give schools free Chromebooks and all, but they should atleast declare what kind of profiling they're doing to the students who are forced to use the Google cloud for student email. They denied it when asked, but couldn't get their employees and lawyers to lie in federal court, silently removed language about not tracking from their site and finally a few days ago turned it off! If not for a lawsuit, this tracking would've not come to light. Couple that with massive spending on lobbying compared to Apple and MS makes me feel uneasy. The below article makes me wonder if they use paying Google Apps for Business email accounts to build ad profiles too? Anyone know?

http://www.edweek.org/ew/artic... [edweek.org]

"As part of a potentially explosive lawsuit making its way through federal court, the giant online-services provider Google has acknowledged scanning the contents of millions of email messages sent and received by student users of the company’s Apps for Education tool suite for schools. In the suit, the Mountain View, Calif.-based company also faces accusations from plaintiffs that it went further, crossing a “creepy line” by using information gleaned from the scans to build “surreptitious” profiles of Apps for Education users that could be used for such purposes as targeted advertising."
"A Google spokeswoman confirmed to Education Week that the company “scans and indexes” the emails of all Apps for Education users for a variety of purposes, including potential advertising, via automated processes that cannot be turned off—even for Apps for Education customers who elect not to receive ads. The company would not say whether those email scans are used to help build profiles of students or other Apps for Education users, but said the results of its data mining are not used to actually target ads to Apps for Education users unless they choose to receive them." ...

"Student-data-privacy experts contend that the latter claim is contradicted by Google’s own court filings in the California suit. They describe the case as highly troubling and likely to further inflame rising national concern that protection of children’s private educational information is too lax."
"Mr. Thiele said his district has used Google Apps for Education since 2008. Officials there have always been aware that the company does “back-end processing” of students’ email messages, he said, but the district’s agreement with Google precludes such data from being used to serve ads to students or staff members. As long as the company abides by those terms, Mr. Thiele said, “I don’t have any problem with it.” In an emailed statement provided to Education Week, Bram Bout, the director of Google Apps for Education, said that “ads in Gmail are turned off by default for Google Apps for Education and we have no plans to change that in the future.”" ...

"Those plaintiffs in the California lawsuit allege that Google treats Google Apps for Education email users virtually the same as it treats consumer Gmail users. That means not only mining students’ email messages for key words and other information, but also using resulting data—including newly created derivative information, or “metadata”—for “secret user profiling” that could serve as the basis for such activities as delivering targeted ads in Google products other than Apps for Education, such as Google Search, Google+, and YouTube."

"The plaintiffs allege that Google has employed such practices since around 2010, when it began using a new technology, known as Content Onebox, that allows the company to intercept and scan emails before they reach their intended recipients, rather than after messages are delivered to users’ inboxes, regardless of whether ads are turned off."

"While the allegations by the plaintiffs are explosive, it’s the sworn declarations of Google representatives in response to their claims that have truly raised the eyebrows of observers and privacy experts. Contrary to the company’s earlier public statements, Google representatives acknowledged in a September motion to dismiss the plaintiffs’ request for class certification that the company’s consumer-privacy policy applies to Apps for Education users. Thus, Google argues, it has students’ (and other Apps for Education users’) consent to scan and process their emails."

"In November, Kyle C. Wong, a lawyer representing Google, also argued in a formal declaration submitted to the court in opposition to the plaintiffs’ motion for class certification that the company’s data-mining practices are widely known, and that the plaintiffs’ complaints that the scanning and processing of their emails was done secretly are thus invalid. Mr. Wong cited extensive media coverage about Google’s data mining of Gmail consumer users’ messages, as well as the disclosures made by numerous universities to their students about how Google Apps for Education functions."

Re:"For advertising purposes" (4, Insightful)

neorush (1103917) | about 3 months ago | (#46940555)

...well at least for the next 3-5 years until we decide to cancel this project.

Re:"For advertising purposes" (1)

Curmudgeon420 (1092149) | about 3 months ago | (#46941469)

This.

Re:"For advertising purposes" (1)

davester666 (731373) | about 3 months ago | (#46941061)

there probably also is a "...while they are students under the age of 18" clause in there somewhere... so once they hit that magic date, they can start putting all that data they mined into making some money.

Local Infrastructure (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46939327)

I'd like to see locally hosted servers so that I have some confidence that it's separated from the hive.

Re:Local Infrastructure (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46939675)

This. If only Google got in to selling hardware again for that.

I'd not entrust my education to a system where the internet can easily be broken or awful, or the various services on it can fail for reasons. Even Google with their impressively large operation has some nasty failures at times. Amazon as well. Microsoft.

The Cloud won't be a thing for many decades when crash-proof, catastrophic-failure-proof computing and networking becomes more standard.
Well, it will, but nobody will like it until the above exists everywhere.

Re:Local Infrastructure (4, Interesting)

i kan reed (749298) | about 3 months ago | (#46939681)

Yeah, and I'd like to see volunteer teachers, so that I have some confidence it's separated from greed.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that completely reasonable pragmatic constraints happen within the confines of education all the time.

Re: Local Infrastructure (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46939797)

Think through very carefully your proposition. Volunteer teachers would be ideologues.

Re: Local Infrastructure (2)

LordThyGod (1465887) | about 3 months ago | (#46939877)

Think through very carefully your proposition. Volunteer teachers would be ideologues.

Pretty sure that was making a point with sarcasm. And I think making a valid point.

Re: Local Infrastructure (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 3 months ago | (#46939897)

And those disconnected from "the hive" would have reliability problems and maintenance costs associated with having just a local school board's IT staff taking care of it.

I wasn't actually agitating for the thing I mentioned, I was drawing a parallel to another naive attitude.

Re:Local Infrastructure (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about 3 months ago | (#46940915)

Teachers get paid. Most places their salary ranges are a matter of public record. If they don't get paid, they stop teaching. It's an exchange where everybody knows what they're getting, and at what price.

Google is a for-profit publicly traded company with a legal obligation to make as much money as (legally) possible for their shareholders. They insist they're giving this product away for free, no strings attached. See the difference?

Re: Local Infrastructure (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46940333)

Local infrastructure - or at least local to a given country - is important for this to be successful outside the USA. For example, in Canada, privacy laws require confidentiality that cannot be guaranteed for data held in the USA due to the Patriot Act. Even before the recent NSA revelations, it was technically illegal in Canada to use Google services for teaching purposes.

Re:Local Infrastructure (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about 3 months ago | (#46940889)

Dude, it's Google! This for-profit, publicly owned company (owned by the likes of Fidelity, Black Rock and Vanguard), is of course giving things away for free with no strings attached! Everyone is so cynical.

weasel words (4, Insightful)

jbmartin6 (1232050) | about 3 months ago | (#46939385)

"never uses your content or student data for advertising purposes" isn't exactly reassuring. Let's see. Could be used for research purposes so that someone else can make money off the results. Could be used to recommend mind altering drugs. Could be used to report "violent tendencies" to the government. Could be used to refine profiles for making advertising more effective on kids outside the class setting.

Re:weasel words (3, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | about 3 months ago | (#46939719)

It's too bad the way Google shot their credibility to hell. A decade ago, there was boundless enthusiasm for everything google did, and now they've made it clear that they're trying to funnel you into their advertising-revenue-maximizing subsystems, regardless of what you actually want.

Re:weasel words (3, Informative)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 3 months ago | (#46939769)

right - no sensible or aware person would willingly choose to get involved in yet another google boondoggle product.

privacy is NOT what they exist for; in fact, they exist for 100% the opposite! to collect, sort, analyse and market your info to their real customers.

businesses that choose to get in bed with google 'data' are either ignorant or on the take, one way or another. no one with any respect for users will ever voluntarily choose to do business with google ever again.

Google doesn't sell your information. Period. (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46940867)

privacy is NOT what they exist for; in fact, they exist for 100% the opposite! to collect, sort, analyse and market your info to their real customers.

First: It is not YOUR INFO in the first place.
Secondly: It isn't YOUR INFO they are selling.

What Google does is they do next kind arrangement:

User (you) - Google - Third party Corporation

The third party does not get anything about you from the Google. But they get A LOT from you when you visit the third party sites like microsoft.com or slashdot.org.
When third party wants to show ads on their sites, Google gets to know that you have seen or clicked X, Y and Z ads. And then Google bills the corporation whos advertisements you have seen.
The third party doesn't get to know what ads you have seen, they only know you have visited on the site and how you have behaved on their site.

Google does collected your data of your BEHAVIOR. Like what URL you type, what links you click, what ads you see.
And then it sell the anonymity behavior data to researchers corporations and to own use. Example that 24 million unique users made search query with keywords of X, Y and Z. Or that 65% X, Y and Z services users are directed to sites via Google search.

Google DOES NOT sell anything about you. They don't sell your name, your address, your email subjects, your email content, how many person you know, who you know, information what ads you do click, or are you cheating your gay friend. So don't worry, your wife doesn't get to know it.

It is just sad that Google gets lots of lies from people like you claiming that they sell your info to their real customers. YOU ARE THE CUSTOMER, and every third party is GOOGLE CLIENT.
Google doesn't sell your information, it sell only behavior analytic data (big data as some people might say) just like governments do sell such by how many people lives in specific district and how often people move to there and out of there. Or how many cars move between specific points on the county roads. What is the income tax level on specific areas, how many stores and malls are on area and how people behave by criminal records by amount of arrests and convictions on specific areas. But government isn't selling or gathering YOUR INFORMATION but information of citizens and so on.

Sure if you are paranoid, you can believe you are so important that someone at government really starts to focus at you and follows you. It can be true as even your neighbor can follow and spy at you or you can stalk specific woman for a search of fuck buddy.

What you should be angry about, is what your bank is doing. What big corporations what those banks own are doing. What insurance corporations are doing. As they track you, the identify you as well as they can, they follow what you buy and when you buy and then they target ads to you and new sales or they deny your insurance benefits when action happens because the bank sold the credit card data to them.

Banks are the biggest evil there, you can't do anymore anything without having a bank account in western country. You can't rent a apartment, you can't get a tax returns, you can't get a contract for mobile phone as others can. Sure you can get a ticket from government to be assigned at your name to your wanted bank so you can withdraw your tax returns but it is huge hassle. Sure you can get prepaid phone but getting more credits to it is hassle.
Finally sure you can go and pay bills via bank without bank account but when you are paying 15€ per each bill for the bank, you do not want to go to bank and pay 4-5 bills what total worth is just around 80-100€ as you pay extra for that almost same amount.
Hell, in many countries you can't anymore even do a withdraw from banks or put money to any account as most banks don't anymore handle cash. And if you go to bank what is 80km from your location what still handles the cash, you need to pay 5-7€ to a bank from it.

There are thousands of cases every year where insurance corporation (what is owned by bank) denies the insurance because your credit card shows you bought six pack of beer day before your accident when you fall of from your ladders when you were climbing to get the kids kite on the tree and you fall and broke your arm. Then you go to court and in court the bank say that there is very high probability that you were drinking before the fall and it is totally your fall that happened to you.

Or that one day you get a phone call from the food importer that food what you bought from local market is withdrew because possible food poisoning and it is suggested to be returned to local market. And there you are thanking them because you were just going to eat it on that night. Withour realizing that the market from where you bought the food keep few years tracks of your billing history and behavior and use it to send ads flyers to your mailbox.

A another huge privacy breach are every bonus card, they track you around every possible place and build very complex and accurate dossier about you and your family behavior and state.

And here you are, blaming that Google is selling YOUR INFORMATION.
There is no such thing as YOUR INFO what Google sell. There is big data about how x millions of people have behaved on web on specific time.

I am not Google fan. Because I dislike them for specific reasons and one of them is Google+. What is huge threat to peoples privacy, even if you wouldn't belong to that service. But blaming Google for selling your information is a pure lie and unacceptable because the truth hurts more than lies what people like you spread around.

Re:weasel words (1)

LordThyGod (1465887) | about 3 months ago | (#46939899)

It's too bad the way Google shot their credibility to hell. A decade ago, there was boundless enthusiasm for everything google did, and now they've made it clear that they're trying to funnel you into their advertising-revenue-maximizing subsystems, regardless of what you actually want.

Kinda the way television, radio, newspapers and other media work, just on a bigger scale.

Re:weasel words (2, Informative)

jbmartin6 (1232050) | about 3 months ago | (#46939987)

TANSTAAFL

Re:weasel words (4, Interesting)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 3 months ago | (#46940147)

A decade ago, there was boundless enthusiasm for everything google did, and now they've made it clear ...

Unless you were a complete retard, it was totally obvious what they were doing a decade ago as well. I don't see the big deal. Google offers lots of free services in exchange for targeted advertising. That is the deal, and they are very open and upfront about what they are doing and always have been. If you don't like it, then don't use their services. It is childish and silly to whine that they are not spending billions to provide you with something for nothing.

Re:weasel words (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46940323)

A decade ago, there was boundless enthusiasm for everything google did, and now they've made it clear ...

Unless you were a complete retard, it was totally obvious what they were doing a decade ago as well. I don't see the big deal. Google offers lots of free services in exchange for targeted advertising. That is the deal, and they are very open and upfront about what they are doing and always have been. If you don't like it, then don't use their services. It is childish and silly to whine that they are not spending billions to provide you with something for nothing.

Yeah, you did have to be a complete retard to miss Google's business model being that of an ad agency - on steroids. An ad agency on a PCP bender on steroids.

But to say Google is " very open and upfront about what they are doing and always have been"?!?!!?

Then why the carefully-presented weasel words "never uses your content or student data for advertising purposes"? Doesn't that make you want to read the fine print and see what EXACTLY Google means by "content or student data"? And what about purposes Google can somehow claim are not "advertising"?

Why is Google lobbying so hard to prevent restrictions on data gathering [washingtonpost.com] in the wake of Snowden's revelations?

...

Today, Google is working to preserve its rights to collect consumer data — and shield it from the government — amid a backlash over revelations that the National Security Agency tapped Internet companies as part of its surveillance programs. ...

Re:weasel words (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46940829)

And unlike services like FB, Google doesn't actually resell your data to anyone. They accept $ and targeting info from advertisers, but they never, for example, deliver YOUR info TO the advertiser unless you actually click on through, at which point you hit the advertiser's site and they "know" who you are through the normal means.

They sell advertising that they run and match. They don't actually sell your info to 3rd parties.

Re:weasel words (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46941007)

Right, those who collected bounties off letting the SS know where the Jews were hiding in Nazi Germany didn't actually kill the Jews themselves so I guess they're kinda ok.

Re:weasel words (2)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 3 months ago | (#46941411)

Right, those who collected bounties off letting the SS know where the Jews were hiding in Nazi Germany didn't actually kill the Jews themselves so I guess they're kinda ok.

Showing people ads relevant to their interests is not quite the same as gassing them.

Re:weasel words (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46940885)

A decade ago, there was boundless enthusiasm for everything google did, and now they've made it clear ...

Unless you were a complete retard, it was totally obvious what they were doing a decade ago as well. I don't see the big deal. Google offers lots of free services in exchange for targeted advertising. That is the deal, and they are very open and upfront about what they are doing and always have been. If you don't like it, then don't use their services. It is childish and silly to whine that they are not spending billions to provide you with something for nothing.

The downside to this is that Google tends to drive competitors that charge for services out of business, because they can't compete. That then raises a question: do we want to live in a society like that? If so, then carry on. If not then you can elect representatives that will pass laws that make providing free services like this in exchange for targeted advertising illegal.

Re:weasel words (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about 3 months ago | (#46940953)

Except for their education apps they insist they're NOT doing targeted advertising. Or at least, they insist they're not doing a list of specific things that might make you assume they're not doing targeted advertising.

Re:weasel words (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about 3 months ago | (#46940937)

Google is a giant advertising company. They rode an overly credulous public (led by geeks) to a market dominating position. Job well done, shareholders happy.

Re:weasel words (2)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 3 months ago | (#46939761)

"never uses your content or student data for advertising purposes" isn't exactly reassuring.

Yup - if a for-profit company like Google is offering a service for free, you can be darn sure they think there's going to be a financial return one way or another.

My guess is they are building a currently-latent profile that will be used for targeting ads once the kid leaves school - that's twelve years of information, and now they'll have a running start. They're almost certainly also building shadow profiles of the kid's contacts.

Re:weasel words (3, Insightful)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 3 months ago | (#46940257)

My guess is they are building a currently-latent profile that will be used for targeting ads once the kid leaves school

Maybe. My guess is that this is an attack on Microsoft. By getting an entire generate of young people used to Google Docs, they can kill Microsoft Office, and deprive Microsoft of their main cash cow. My son is in 4th grade in a California public school, and they already use Google Docs to do much of their school work. The teacher can see their progress, and track their work from outline, to draft, to polished report. It seems to work well, and I am glad to see Google putting more effort into it.

dont worry (1)

goombah99 (560566) | about 3 months ago | (#46940183)

like every other project google has started they will pull the plug a 2 years.

journalists-are-overwhelmingly-liberal (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46939387)

Boy, didn't see this one coming.

http://thefederalist.com/2014/05/07/another-survey-confirms-journalists-are-overwhelmingly-liberal/

"If a newsroom has a good chance of not even having someone of the Republican variety within its confines, it’s a newsroom that probably struggles to even come close to understanding the perspective of GOP voters. It’s a newsroom that might struggle to fairly cover or might completely ignore stories about tax burdens on families, systemic failures of the welfare state, the benefits of gun ownership, or the evils of a serial-murdering abortion doctor in Philadelphia (just speaking hypothetically here)."

So in other words, it's not fair. Republicans get misrepresented by journalists in a big way. Oh and we all know the bias we find in educational institutions don't we? Oh and don't even think about any bias towards socialism in the popular media. It's almost like a plot!

It's no wonder that Republicans are so hated around here, where so many of you geeks and nerds are young and have barely begun paying taxes and a often fresh out of university. But I still have to ask, what is so bad about individual liberty, natural rights and limited government huh? Why are you all so gung ho for the nanny state, big government and the welfare system?

Do any of you realize you are biased against conservatives because you have been *trained* to be? No one thinks it might be a good idea to unplug that cable from the back of your heads for a few minutes and let reason take over for a bit, and to see what comes from that?

No one?

Re:journalists-are-overwhelmingly-liberal (-1, Flamebait)

Wookact (2804191) | about 3 months ago | (#46939483)

Judging from the right leaning news channel (FOX). I am not really interested in any new republican news hosts. Fix the crazy and we can talk.

Re:journalists-are-overwhelmingly-liberal (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46939543)

Sorry to burst your bubble but FNC is not conservative by any stretch of the imagination, I am also kind of at a loss for what you believe is crazy there.

This is what I am talking about, you are responding like a parrott and you really don't know a thing about what you are saying.

Re:journalists-are-overwhelmingly-liberal (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46939663)

This,
If you compare what is ignored by FNC with the world news, you'll see that FNC is clearly in the center-left category. Sure, the rhetoric is tuned to draw in people on the right side of the aisle, but the bias is clearly in what is not said.

Basis for this assertion -- reading the president's daily intelligence summary (the world is a much shittier place than you can imagine) and runderstanding why Obama quickly turned into Bush3 on foreign policy.

Re:journalists-are-overwhelmingly-liberal (0)

qbast (1265706) | about 3 months ago | (#46940179)

Reality is overwhelmingly liberal.

Re:journalists-are-overwhelmingly-liberal (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46940305)

You sound like a trained monkey. Please try and support this, use facts, references, logic and reason.

You cannot.

Never trust Google (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46939433)

They will end up shutting it down in 2 or 3 years from now.

Re:Never trust Google (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 3 months ago | (#46940565)

Two or three years? Aren't you being a little too optimist?

Google must be stopped (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46939435)

Google is too big and its emerging power rivals that of any government by and for the People.

This is just another example of a massive corporation become more massive, except now your kids' minds are directly in play.

At what point will Google Curriculum be announced?

'We scoured the best teachers to find the best information to teach you how to be a good consumer and not ask questions.'

Another misfit project? (4, Insightful)

metalmaster (1005171) | about 3 months ago | (#46939437)

This has that misfit stank all over it. Google will be all excited to get it out into the world. They'll let you play with it for a semester or 2 and then it'll get the axe or be absorbed as feature bloat into some other project.

Re:Another misfit project? (0)

cyborg_monkey (150790) | about 3 months ago | (#46939783)

Says someone without a clue.

Re:Another misfit project? (2)

swillden (191260) | about 3 months ago | (#46939837)

This has that misfit stank all over it. Google will be all excited to get it out into the world. They'll let you play with it for a semester or 2 and then it'll get the axe or be absorbed as feature bloat into some other project.

Google Apps for education is already several years old, and going strong. Besides being a way for Google to "give back" at almost zero cost, it's a great way to encourage enterprise sales (a non-trivial and fast-growing component of Google's revenues), since it gets the future workforce comfortable with the tools. This is a minor extension which may or may not be truly specific to education. I'd say the odds of it getting axed are basically zero, unless schools that use Google Apps don't like it and don't use it.

Re:Another misfit project? (2)

mcrbids (148650) | about 3 months ago | (#46940159)

I just remember how critical everybody here on /. was about the iPod. How many years ago was that?

Re:Another misfit project? (2)

edremy (36408) | about 3 months ago | (#46940703)

Yeah, well, have to looked at iPod sales lately? Falling like a stone; so bad, in fact, that Apple's rumored to be cancelling it altogether. Clearly /. is just a bit ahead of the curve.

Re:Another misfit project? (2)

fermion (181285) | about 3 months ago | (#46940657)

Back in 2009-2010, Google promoted Wave to many groups, including educators. It was released over the spring of 2010 so that anyone could use it, and was implemented by many educators over that summer. I know of one group of thousands of educations that were planning to use it so their students, from around the US, could collaborate on creative and technical projects. Of course, just as educators were about to implement these resources, Google announced that Wave would be discontinued. It was available for the year, but it is hardly cost effective to develop and implement a program for a single year, so if Educators are bit untrustworthy of Google, it is not without evidence. The statement that Google, cannot, in general, be trusted to maintain projects is not "without a clue." Just for completeness, Google Hangout is significantly different and cannot be used like Google Wave. It is not even that useful. I know some teachers who have tried to some collaborative things on it, and from what I hear it is mostly a bust. Even Google Docs, which is still available, has not been developed into a true competitor of MS Office. All the changes have been to integrate it better into Google Drive, not provide a better user experience. I have looked at Google for education, and primary problem is that it is aimed at an organizational level. A teacher with a school email address cannot set up an education account. This is suboptimal as the way technology enters an organization is for a single person to use it, then the entire organzation adopts after it's value is proven. To require a single teacher to pay for the use is just dumb. So why is it beneficial for Google to give away these services. Because students are taught by teachers who adopt the Google technology to use the Google technology. Because email accounts are created by students with the supervision of teachers, these may be the only 'professional' email accounts the student has, i.e. not bigdick809@yahoo.com. Because when students enter work or college life without the free copy of MS Office, they will go to Google for resumes and work life. Because they will be familiar with the Google stack, so they will be more likely to go for an Android phone. Because it builds brand recognition in loyalty in the same that beer companies use the Superbowl to build loyalty for when young children reach an age when they have to choose which beer to steal and be seen by other friends drinking in the alley.

uh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46939441)

In 10 years they'll sell stats on your previous school work to businesses.

Please be a viable Blackboard competitor (5, Informative)

Galaga88 (148206) | about 3 months ago | (#46939469)

As somebody whose job is to work with Blackboard on a daily basis, I really really hope this puts the fear of God into Blackboard.

I don't even necessarily want to switch to this, just introduce some competition that Blackboard can't buy out, and has to step up their game to match.

Re:Please be a viable Blackboard competitor (2)

sandytaru (1158959) | about 3 months ago | (#46939659)

My uni finally got rid of Blackboard last year. They put in something called Desire2Learn. I graduated so I don't have direct experience with it, but I've heard it's not really any better.

Re:Please be a viable Blackboard competitor (4, Informative)

i.r.id10t (595143) | about 3 months ago | (#46939793)

I am the LMS Admin at the college I work for... when BB bought WebCT support dropped. We moved to Angel, things weren't much better and then BB bought Angel. When we started looking at new LMSes (LMSii ?) 2 years ago, it was decided that BB is a company we didn't want to do business with. Our short list got down to Canvas and D2L. We went with Canvas. It is Open Source (AGPLv3), it works much better than Angel did, and they actually fix bugs and implement features that teachers and admins want.

Re:Please be a viable Blackboard competitor (3, Interesting)

Kaptain Kruton (854928) | about 3 months ago | (#46940195)

Are there any specific reasons you went with Canvas instead of D2L? I work at a local college and we are going to switch LMSs and we are currently considering those two.

Re:Please be a viable Blackboard competitor (4, Informative)

i.r.id10t (595143) | about 3 months ago | (#46940433)

The work flow of creating classes, and the overall initial impression of the look and feel. We had a committee of almost 60 people - an instructor or two from every academic department/discipline, our IT department, my department (academic technology)

The big thing that convinced me to vote for Canvas was that in Canvas the HTML editor that is present basically everywhere you can input text has a widget that allows you to record voice/video direct from your computer (mic for audio only, webcam for audio and video), gets saved directly to Canvas, gets converted on the back end by Kaltura, and is served up in an appropriate format for whatever device is being used to view it. This is a big game changer for foriegn language, public speaking, any course that requires a student to make a presentation. Even changes math instruction - instructors can point a webcam at a piece of paper on the desk and work thru a problem, giving a voice over while showing the work being done.

Re:Please be a viable Blackboard competitor (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46940725)

Take a look at QuestionMark they have some good stuff rolling around out there

Way better than Blackboard or Moodle echh!

Please be a viable Blackboard competitor (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46939741)

The only advantage of blackboard is that it's so fucking horrible that they can't possibly be successfully datamining.

Re:Please be a viable Blackboard competitor (1)

rgbscan (321794) | about 3 months ago | (#46939983)

It could be worse. You could be stuck with Moodle.

Re:Please be a viable Blackboard competitor (2)

Kaptain Kruton (854928) | about 3 months ago | (#46940265)

Unless they implement things like attendance tracking, a gradebook, a solid method for it to interact with the school's SiS, and several other things, no school will consider it to be an LMS and Blackboard will have nothing to worry about. This will only be useful to individual teachers that want to use tech in their classes instead of their school's LMS (assuming it has one).

Re:Please be a viable Blackboard competitor (2)

i.r.id10t (595143) | about 3 months ago | (#46940811)

If Google really wants to create a LMS, the critical thing will be an exam/testing engine. Everything else - communications, presenting docments in a variety of formats, etc. can be done using thier existing tools. But giving a student a test, that is the tricky part.

could hardly be worse than the status quo (1)

Trepidity (597) | about 3 months ago | (#46939471)

I'm a bit skeptical, but the existing stuff is so bad that I might look. Google would have to actively spend many person-years of engineering effort to produce a system as bad as Blackboard.

Re:could hardly be worse than the status quo (1)

Entropius (188861) | about 3 months ago | (#46940375)

This is so goddamn true.

I hate Blackboard. So do the students.

Is anyone buying Google's "Free App" BS anymore? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46939473)

I'm not. Every single "free" thing they offer has huge strings attached. Oh now they're interested in education? I'm sure they're going to HEAVILY mine it for the personal data of anyone using it.

Re:Is anyone buying Google's "Free App" BS anymore (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46939733)

I think their greater advantage would be the lock in effect.

All your children are belong to us... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46939573)

It's like skynet meets firefly virtual classroom, scary and yet you want to see just how far the rabbit hole goes. An advertising company that happens to have a good search engine becomes the defacto name in classroom apparatus and is in control of all your data and grades. Let's call it a pre-employment screening process shall we...

Hope it gets Blackboard to suck less. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46939577)

I've tried to use Blackboard and it is a horrible waste of time and energy for little benefit. If Google can get something straightforward and simple out there, I'll be happy to take it for a spin.

Excellent... (1)

eLKosmonaut (2889449) | about 3 months ago | (#46939637)

My college currently employs moodle, but all of my teachers already link to google docs for their assignments, powerpoint presentations used with the Smart Board; all pushed into ppt and pdf to look at and study from later.. This would work perfectly as a substitute for moodle, which is terrible in some aspects. By the time schools incorporate it, i'll be done. Still, cool to see. I'm not too worried about my grades being mined, but then again I'm also not a privacy nut.

Re:Excellent... (2)

BiIl_the_Engineer (3618863) | about 3 months ago | (#46939723)

I'm not too worried about corporations knowing everything about me, but then again I'm also not a privacy nut.
I'm not too worried about the government and corporations tracking everything I do, but then again I'm also not a privacy nut.
I'm not too worried about getting molested by the TSA, but then again I'm also not a privacy nut.

I guess "privacy nut" is a term that describes people with a bit of sense, because with how often I see people defending egregious privacy violations, nothing else makes sense.

Re:Excellent... (1)

eLKosmonaut (2889449) | about 3 months ago | (#46939925)

Lol, is that what I said? No.. Nice try though..

Re:Excellent... (1)

BiIl_the_Engineer (3618863) | about 3 months ago | (#46940011)

You strongly implied that you don't give a fuck if some corporation has all this data about you. Unless you misspoke, that would make you ignorant.

The other things were merely things I've heard your comrades (other ignoramuses who mock privacy advocates) say.

So unless you meant "privacy nut" to be a good thing, which seems unlikely, I have to presume you were insulting privacy advocates.

Re:Excellent... (1)

eLKosmonaut (2889449) | about 3 months ago | (#46940095)

I'm not too worried about my grades being mined Yes, this statement definitely implied all data about me. Oh wait.. You're just making assumptions now...

Re:Excellent... (1)

BiIl_the_Engineer (3618863) | about 3 months ago | (#46940543)

What it implied was that you don't give a fuck about privacy, considering the amount of data they'd be able to collect. What, because you don't care about a certain type of privacy, it doesn't matter? It's not just your grades (assuming they stop at grades, which they won't) that will be mined.

If you're willing to hand over random data to corporations, it is a very good assumption that you probably don't care all that much about privacy to begin with.

Re:Excellent... (1)

PvtVoid (1252388) | about 3 months ago | (#46939985)

I'm not too worried about corporations knowing everything about me, but then again I'm also not a privacy nut. I'm not too worried about the government and corporations tracking everything I do, but then again I'm also not a privacy nut. I'm not too worried about getting molested by the TSA, but then again I'm also not a privacy nut.

I guess "privacy nut" is a term that describes people with a bit of sense, because with how often I see people defending egregious privacy violations, nothing else makes sense.

Let's see: lots of universities are already using Gmail for university accounts [ecampusnews.com] . The sky has not (yet) fallen.

Whether is pleases the tinfoil hat brigade or not, universities are moving to outsourced and cloud-based services for a lot of things that used to be done in-house. It's hard to see this as anything besides a net plus for education, since (in my experience at least), most university IT departments couldn't find their own asses with both hands and a special ass map. And their funding is getting cut, not increased.

If you go with an outsourced provider of email, classroom services, whatever, that provider is going to have access to the data. There's really no way around that. Google, at least, tends to make highly usable products. Sounds like a win to me.

Re:Excellent... (1)

BiIl_the_Engineer (3618863) | about 3 months ago | (#46940483)

Let's see: lots of universities are already using Gmail for university accounts.

Which is a terrible idea.

The sky has not (yet) fallen.

Many things which don't cause the sky to fall are still bad.

Whether is pleases the tinfoil hat brigade or not

Once again, people mock privacy advocates despite the fact that it has been shown many times over that the government and corporations collect a massive amount of data on everyone they can, and abuse it whenever possible. Especially after the Snowden leaks, such people should not be said to be wearing tinfoil hats, but even before that, it was obvious that surveillance was going on.

Both governments and corporations are filled with evil scumbags; there's no way around it.

There's really no way around that.

Except to not use that garbage. For educational institutions, there is no fucking excuse to give in to cloud garbage, or for them to hand over data to asshole corporations.

I don't care how convenient or useful it is to you people; I have principles.

Re:Excellent... (1)

PvtVoid (1252388) | about 3 months ago | (#46940531)

For educational institutions, there is no fucking excuse to give in to cloud garbage, or for them to hand over data to asshole corporations.

I don't care how convenient or useful it is to you people; I have principles.

I certainly hope those principles involve being willing to pay the required costs, either in the form of tuition, or taxes. TANSTAAFL.

Re:Excellent... (1)

BiIl_the_Engineer (3618863) | about 3 months ago | (#46940577)

Yes, they do (though it's not as if there was nothing before all this cloud garbage).

Never uses ... for advertising ONLY (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46939677)

never uses your content or student data for advertising purposes

So your content and student data will be collected, stored, mined, aggregated, sold for all other purposes Google can profit from?

Ranging from giving them all to NSA, selling the homework reports for every students to anyone who pays, selling identities of students with poor grades to law enforcements to flag as potential future criminals, etc? Contrived as some of these were, none was prevented by their statement.

Paranoid? Or just reasonable prediction based on Google's MO?

Except if ty don't want to respect privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46939683)

Go look at Google'ss T&C's for this.
They reserve the right to go looking through customer accounts if their corporate interests (such as copyright) *might* be infringed.
Just like Microsoft, so you have to ask yourself "is it possible that Google (or one of the firms it owns) may feel that some student in my school may have infringed copyright ?

Also the T&Cs are the standard "if at any time we decide to have new T&Cs we can just do this by making some vague attempt of leaving a note that you probably will miss and in any case we get to choose where you can sue us.

Catch 'em young (2)

axlash (960838) | about 3 months ago | (#46939735)

Looks like Google wants to get children used to the idea of using Google Docs when they're young so that they keep on using it as they get older.

Glassroom (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46939795)

What about "Glassroom" , I hear transparency is big these days...

weve had this for a while now havent we? (1)

nimbius (983462) | about 3 months ago | (#46939811)

Moodle has been around since 2002. its open source and pretty easy to install and maintain. Google classroom, like most other google apps, ablates the responsibility of servers, networking, and an IT staff and in turn allows educational institutions to experience the full wealth of googles Software As A Service. Just imagine, your proctoring a major exam when suddenly your application just disappears in a fashion not unlike the massive gmail outage on 1/24/14. Google has no technical support, no publically available points of contact and zero fucks to give about your students or your lesson plan because you arent the consumer, you're the product.

the SaaS classroom is the ultimate opportunity to determine what a target demographic understands and how they understand it in the context of the larger world. If kids are all learning about the importance of the american revolution, but failing homework and exams, Google can take advantage of this by incorporating answers into its search results. Maybe iced tea companies would see their advertisements placed more prominently for this specific social studies class so as to exploit the subconscious link between the boston tea party and their product. More importantly, the ability to understand mathematics and science could be used to determine a basal comprehension level, which in turn may affect whether your advertisements are for TMZ and blingies or private colleges and bookstores. This is no different than a pharmaceutical company studying how angus cattle chew their cud so as to better learn what varieties of grains will best deliver their antibiotic.

Re:weve had this for a while now havent we? (1)

LordThyGod (1465887) | about 3 months ago | (#46940123)

Moodle has been around since 2002. its open source and pretty easy to install and maintain. Google classroom, like most other google apps, ablates the responsibility of servers, networking, and an IT staff and in turn allows educational institutions to experience the full wealth of googles Software As A Service. Just imagine, your proctoring a major exam when suddenly your application just disappears in a fashion not unlike the massive gmail outage on 1/24/14. Google has no technical support, no publically available points of contact and zero fucks to give about your students or your lesson plan because you arent the consumer, you're the product.

https://support.google.com/a/t... [google.com] : "Phone support is available for administrators of Google Apps for Business, Education, Government, and Nonprofit accounts." Not sure how that compares to their Google Apps for Business stuff, but that has gone from mediocre to pretty good. I didn't loose anything in the great outage of 2014, despite having 3 gmail accts and using google docs with it. In fact, I've never lost a google doc in 6-7 years. And when you hear rants like this, there never seems the possibility that something can disappear in other ways besides a "google outage", or some "cloud cluster fuck". Users never delete things accidentally, or rename them, dogs no longer eat homework, and non-cloud servers never seem to crash, or if they do, there is super-IT man at the ready, and the backups are alway good and easy to pull that one file out that no one can find all of a sudden, and no one ever overwrites a file with an older version, and of course no one would care to backup stuff thats in the google, or other, cloud even though the tech for that exists.

My Use (1)

hhawk (26580) | about 3 months ago | (#46939851)

I use Blackboard (9.1) and do like it. I also use Google Docs with my students (I use it for virtual office hours), so we can review papers together (while talking on the phone, make mutual edits, Etc.). One issue I have with Blackboard is there isn't a great way to hand in assignments; I do it in a discussion forum. I'm really eager to see what Google comes up with.

That said, given Google's track record, I'm really concerned that this system might not last long. I can't imagine what would happen if/when it goes away in the middle of a term; I wonder if Google is willing to guarantee Classroom for X # of years.

FYI I am an Adj. Instructor at a College in NYC. I also provide commentary about Technology in Higher Education for the FIR Higher Ed Podcast (http://forimmediaterelease.biz/index.php?/weblog/C20).

Google account mandatory (3, Insightful)

Blaskowicz (634489) | about 3 months ago | (#46939879)

This is obviously to get people hooked at a younger age and create a generation of even more dependant people.
You used to be able to do classwork and homework with just paper, no tech giants involved, no e-mail sent to you by the teacher, no real time data of what everybody has done by the minute.. If you had to write an essay till Thursday, nobody would know before Thursday 2 AM that you've not written anything yet.

The pupils (I don't think you're a "student" at high school) will be tied to a keyboard or tablet for the most basic of interactions, and in the folowing years will be incapable to live without tech gadgets in direct reach at all time so smart phones and the reduced capability computer that are tablets will be virtually mandatory if you don't want to end up as beggar on the street, just like a car got mandatory in the second half of the 20th century. Google services and Android will profit (and a few competitors and fuckbook). Extreme consumerism will be unescapable. You will need more and more dirtily-made LCD displays and li-ion batteries to not get shunned.

The privacy is not limited to advertisers.. With such systems the teachers and parents will have too much data already, or even the pupils themselves. Data will leak in various ways (if only by way of copy-paste, screenshots, forwarding and looking at something entering their password)
Then when you leave high school you have to take a conscious approach into not using Google services and such, else you will get data mined, as Google effectively promises it.

Re:Google account mandatory (1)

Blaskowicz (634489) | about 3 months ago | (#46939913)

(I meant "looking at someone entering their password". Though the word "something" is almost acceptable there, if the children and adolescent are button-pushing drones devoid of critical thinking)

Re:Google account mandatory (2)

ledow (319597) | about 3 months ago | (#46940727)

Google Apps for Education is Google Apps for Domains, rebranded and with more controls.

You can't even tell externally that it's Google if you do it right. It uses your mail domain and your logo and nobody is any the wiser.

The only tell-tale... if you go to GMail.com and use your school address, it logs you straight in.

By what I've seen, the Google Accounts for Education are not "normal" accounts either - you can lock them down the same as on your domain - and even prevent user X sharing their drive with user Y, control email settings, etc.

They are a managed, rebrandable service provided by Google. It's not "just a Google Account"... there are a lot more controls and customisability that basically removes all mention of Google except for to the administrators.

Leave My Outside the Classroom Alone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46939883)

Whenever some service talks about 'outside the classroom' it's a giant mess. Teachers forget that students have their own lives with their own concerns, not to mention a whole mess of other classes. Leave people alone when they're not in class, let them work on their own time.

In related news ... (1)

PPH (736903) | about 3 months ago | (#46939991)

... a trend of students taking notes and doing work longhand [slashdot.org] seems to be gaining momentum.

Never again (1)

John Jorsett (171560) | about 3 months ago | (#46940191)

Considering how many services Google has started then discontinued over the years, getting this one embedded in your day-to-day life sounds foolish, no matter how cool it might be.

Re:Never again (1)

weave (48069) | about 3 months ago | (#46940485)

Yeah, I was just going to say I wonder how many April 1st's will go by before this one is retired.

Why do we need this? (3, Informative)

Entropius (188861) | about 3 months ago | (#46940355)

[1] Create and collect assignments: Classroom weaves together Google Docs, Drive and Gmail to help teachers create and collect assignments paperlessly.

To "create assignments", I make a pdf in my favorite pdf-maker, then post it on the course website (a plain HTML page with links), then tell the students about it.
To "collect assignments", I tell the students to email them to the course submission email -- shared between the lead instructor and the grader, if there is one.

They can quickly see who has or hasn't completed the work, and provide direct, real-time feedback to individual students.

I don't have the time to play policeman ("I see little Susie hasn't even started coding yet and the homework's due tomorrow"); if Susie wants my help she has my email.

[2] Improve class communications: Teachers can make announcements, ask questions and comment with students in real time—improving communication inside and outside of class.

I can best "improve class communications" by talking to the damn students. If they want to talk to me and I'm around, there's email or coming by my office; if I don't respond to either, then chances are I won't be reachable by google widget, either.

[3] Stay organized: Classroom automatically creates Drive folders for each assignment and for each student. Students can easily see what's due on their Assignments page.'

They can easily see what's due by visiting the course website and seeing "Homework 4 (link) -- due Monday, April 14".
Sorting things by assignment and by student is as simple as asking them to include their name and the assignment number in their submission, and running a perl script. For less technically inclined teachers, use whatever file-sifting features your OS of choice has.

I've seen highly-technologized courses run way off the rails, because there's a delusion that fancy computerization can take the place of talking to the students. It can't. The only instructional technology I really have a need for is:

1) The computers that we actually use (I teach computational physics)
2) A projector, so I can show them examples
3) A website, where they can download shit (pdf's of assignments and notes) and see what's due
4) Email

Re:Why do we need this? (1)

PvtVoid (1252388) | about 3 months ago | (#46940499)

I hate to tell you, but Google is On Your Lawn this very moment.

Re:Why do we need this? (2)

ledow (319597) | about 3 months ago | (#46940683)

Because not all education is to young-adults.

To the rest of the work, "school" means something that only children go to.

There, parents do have to supervise their homework schedule. They do have to be hand-held into completing assignments. They are managed by teachers who can barely login (so a plain HTML page is out of the question).

What Google has broken into is the VLE market - a growing, required trend in UK education sector, for example. And, yes, Google Apps for Education is available over here too - I know, I deployed it in an independent (private) primary school (kids up to age 11).

Just because it doesn't fit your usage, doesn't mean that someone, somewhere wouldn't be extremely glad of having this. Most schools in the UK pay £1000+ a year to their VLE provider to give them this sort of functionality. That's one of the reasons I put an entire school on Google Apps for Domains - no Exchange Server required, free office suite available outside school too, free cloud storage with UK-DPA compatible controls, free calendaring and email, no ads, device control over Android tablets, and no end of other stuff like this.

Google just upped the ante and targeted lower-age schools with a free product backed by one of the world's largest Internet names.

The Microsoft solution is "do it in Sharepoint / Exchange". They are clearly targeting business-only. And though education discounts are good, they aren't free by a long shot. The home-brew method is beyond just about every school that doesn't have a full-time team of people.

P.S. I'm working in an independent school now. There was definitely a feeling of having missed the boat when I described what Google Apps for Education does for free, after they'd paid for several years worth of services from their suppliers.

Re:Why do we need this? (1)

i.r.id10t (595143) | about 3 months ago | (#46941173)

The Microsoft solution is "do it in Sharepoint / Exchange". They are clearly targeting business-only. And though education discounts are good, they aren't free by a long shot. The home-brew method is beyond just about every school that doesn't have a full-time team of people.

The college I work for just went from locally hosted/managed Exchange to Office 365. According to our CIO, currently enrolled students are no cost, students who aren't currently enrolled are $3/month to keep active accounts for, and employees are $5/month.

Considering that we have 15k enrolled students per term (comes out to about 11k FTE) while not free it is certainly darn cheap.

Re:Why do we need this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46940827)

But that all takes effort and know-how. This way, any schmuck of a teacher can just log in with their google account and do everything you just posted with no knowledge of computers at all.

Re:Why do we need this? (1)

Udigs (1072138) | about 3 months ago | (#46941139)

I'm pretty sure teaching also takes effort and know-how too.

Re:Why do we need this? (1)

Udigs (1072138) | about 3 months ago | (#46941119)

[1] Create and collect assignments: Classroom weaves together Google Docs, Drive and Gmail to help teachers create and collect assignments paperlessly.

To "create assignments", I make a pdf in my favorite pdf-maker, then post it on the course website (a plain HTML page with links), then tell the students about it. To "collect assignments", I tell the students to email them to the course submission email -- shared between the lead instructor and the grader, if there is one.

They can quickly see who has or hasn't completed the work, and provide direct, real-time feedback to individual students.

I don't have the time to play policeman ("I see little Susie hasn't even started coding yet and the homework's due tomorrow"); if Susie wants my help she has my email.

[2] Improve class communications: Teachers can make announcements, ask questions and comment with students in real time—improving communication inside and outside of class.

I can best "improve class communications" by talking to the damn students. If they want to talk to me and I'm around, there's email or coming by my office; if I don't respond to either, then chances are I won't be reachable by google widget, either.

[3] Stay organized: Classroom automatically creates Drive folders for each assignment and for each student. Students can easily see what's due on their Assignments page.'

They can easily see what's due by visiting the course website and seeing "Homework 4 (link) -- due Monday, April 14". Sorting things by assignment and by student is as simple as asking them to include their name and the assignment number in their submission, and running a perl script. For less technically inclined teachers, use whatever file-sifting features your OS of choice has.

I've seen highly-technologized courses run way off the rails, because there's a delusion that fancy computerization can take the place of talking to the students. It can't. The only instructional technology I really have a need for is:

1) The computers that we actually use (I teach computational physics) 2) A projector, so I can show them examples 3) A website, where they can download shit (pdf's of assignments and notes) and see what's due 4) Email

I so agree and you have my mod points. The only, and I mean only feature I actually like about these products is that I can see the grade distribution (as a student). For some reason I always like to see what the highest and lowest scores are, also, how much I beat the average by. The only blackboard one needs is an actual blackboard.

So how come, yanks are stupid? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46940941)

So how come, yanks are stupid with all these HIGH TECH classroms et al.? Why are the lower tech countries BETTER than them at education?

In my class, laptops closed (unless it is a practical lesson by example) and eyes forward and ears open and participation.

Re:So how come, yanks are stupid? (2)

walterbyrd (182728) | about 3 months ago | (#46941193)

Who says yanks are stupid? Seems to me, only those with an agenda.

1) Pissy jealous foreigners
2) Teachers unions *always* saying teachers need more money, smaller classrooms, and no accountability.
3) Corporations looking for an excuse to hire more visa workers.

When you bottom-line it, yanks don't look so stupid at all.

1) US Corporations: Apple, Cisco, IBM, GE, Microsoft, Intel, and on, and on.
2) US inventions - real inventions, inventions that changed the world, US has way more than it's share.
3) Universities like MIT.
4) Nobel prizes in sciences

I could probably think of more. I suppose you can use some meaningless standard, like standardized tests, to "prove" whatever you want. But when it comes to real science, tech, inventions, and money; the US does not look so stupid at all.

nig1ga (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46940981)

BUWLA, or BSD support GNAA, *BSD is dying It is Of OpenBSD versus seesion and join in over a quality member. GNAA (GAY long term survival are tied up in prima donnas to

Is slashdot owned by Microsoft now? (1)

walterbyrd (182728) | about 3 months ago | (#46941201)

Sure seems like it.

Not until there is a guarantee of LTS (1)

itamblyn (867415) | about 3 months ago | (#46941211)

I will not try this nor recommend it until Google states clearly that this service will be maintained for X years. I understand that nothing is forever, but too many projects have been created by Google only to be abandoned within 2-3 years.

inBloom NOT ended (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46941343)

After a short testing period, the inBloom database tracking system created by a partnership between Bill Gates and Rupert "Fox News" Murdoch (yes, Slashdot never tells you betas that supposed enemies and opposites of the political spectrum are actually the closest of allies) has been moved to the NSA full surveillance program.

inBloom data gathering now targets the online database information of most schools- much of which is stored in 'cloud' services run by partners of the NSA, like Google, Amazon and Microsoft. The inbloom database (which, remember, tracks every aspect of every child's life in the USA) no longer has an obvious 'public' access point, but government officials, including law enforcement, can indirectly get information from this source under various programs.

Despite what the owners of Slashdot attempted to propagandise, inBloom had NOTHING to do with education services. This nonsense arose from yellow journalism, when disreputable technical writers finally dared to talk about inBloom to their readers, and actually WRONGLY drew conclusions of their own about what inBloom was 'obviously' about.

-Common Core
-inBloom (which Slashdot's owners only now allow discussion about, because they can lie to their readers about its demise)
-the NSA spy platform, Kinect 2, bundled with every Xbox One console, and originally a compulsory device in any use of the console (before the public backlash).

Bill Gates was the driving force behind each of these initiatives. And why? The greatest reason is his desire to out do Google in usefulness to the NSA, the US war machine and the full surveillance police state. But Google cannot be beaten. And Google is currently designed the battlefield autonomous war machines of the near future, so that the US will never again have to hesitate in the Holocaust of a nation like Iran. Google, of course, is the R+D arm of the NSA, and wants to be a primary R+D arm of the US war machine as well.

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  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
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