In our schools, we have implemented both Apple and Google Apps for students and faculty. I see these two companies offering extremely valuable tools for education. Apple integrates education-focused software seamlessly together in easy to use ways. It provides a fantastic platform to demonstrate understanding and learning. Apple provides a creation tool, which is at the top of Blooms revised taxonomy. It is also built to readily share these creations.
Google adds a component of communication and collaboration. Although largely text-based in many aspects, the power of collaboration comes out in this suite of applications. The opportunity to be a learning community and share the learning can have dramatic impacts on a classroom.
In my last post, I talked about being overwhelmed. Although we have many more tools available at our schools, these two companies provide the core for using technology to enhance learning. I continue to see huge benefits as both an Apple school and as users of Google Apps. Teachers can start at this core and develop a foundation for technology integration in their classroom. So much of what we want students to do can be accomplished with this core software without chasing the ever-changing Web 2.0 apps. I'm not opposed to Web 2.0 options and their are some great ones out there. I just advocate going deep and learning the core of what you have at your fingertips to increase the depth of learning taking place. In technology, it is hard for people to know what they don't know and as a result, they can often move to new things without accomplishing the full potential of what they already know or have started to learn. Wherever you focus, do not lose sight of the learning and the student benefits.