I'm not sure if Googlizing is a word but the way this steam engine is rolling I'm sure it will be soon.
David Grebow's recent post (Wait a minute, let me Google it ...) really got me thinking and since I hate the fact that comments do not get seen by those receving RSS feeds of this blog I decided to do a follow-on post rather than a comment.
Breaking News! Google is doing all kinds of interesting stuff, much of which will have an impact on learning. One of their latest endeavors is Google Base:
Google Base is Google’s database into which you can add all types of content. We’ll host your content and make it searchable online for free.
Sounds like a potential learning object repository to me. Read more about it. Couple this with their free Google Desktop (to index and search your computer and intranet files) and you may have a pretty decent knowledge management solution.
No doubt about it, Google is great especially when it comes to connectng people to content. However, as a learning resource, it falls quite short. Fundamentally the quality of the content is often suspect for just because something appears on a web page does not mean that it is correct. And ironically today's search engines are almost too good - there is simply too much content available now.
To me learning is always made up of content AND collaboration. I learn more from reading a book and discussing it than just simply reading it.
Content + Collaboration = Learning
(see my post on Search sucks - where's the context?)
So you can see where I'm going to go with this ... Google needs to add a way to explicitly rate the content (Google's PageRank implicitly ranks the popularity of a web page) and Google needs to add a way for people to add comments to the web page links that result from a search query.
"Who creates it? Who maintains it?"
Easy. Those who use Google. They have the option to rate the pages and the option to leave a comment. Google has a large enough (massive) user base to make this work. Think of this as a 'people filter'.
This ability to connect people to people through content I think is critical. I often go to Amazon.com and read the book reviews for I what to know what actual people think of the content. Those that have validated identities I trust more than those that don't. A search is not always going to give me the answer I am looking for - this approach gives me the option to tap into the collective knowledge of other users.
Content is so Web 1.0; People is Web 2.0. (grin) Google has the opportunity to start connecting people to people - let's see if they will take advantage of it.
Is this the poor man's version of Jay Cross' workflow learning? What do you think - is Google becoming the best way for rapid, informal learning?