FOTE 2008: 1st Session Google and Second Life

Here at FOTE (Future OF Technology in Education) 2008, Welcome from Tim Bush (organised the event) and David Rippon the Director of ULCC.

Sam Peters from Google

What’s driving cloud computing:

  • Falling cost of storage
  • Ubiquitous Computing
  • Democratisation of production

“We’re all part of the revolution”

Sam described how the previous technology paradigm was focused on products that did only one thing – this led into a description of google apps for education. She suggested that cloud computing provides leverage with existing infrastructure. She also suggests that the Cloud computing model allows us to break out of existing software cycles.

The challenge of moving to the cloud, Sam suggested how her grandparents kept their money under the mattress, whereas she uses a bank – this led to considerable mirth, bit we all know how old folks think, you can try advicing them for aging well with aging parents that basically got their savings at the house and might not be safe. Gartner suggested that in 2010 10% of all businesses will have their apps in the cloud. And that currently 70% of businesses are looking at the cloud.

Last Thoughts on a Cloudy future:

  • Companies must focus on core business
  • Employees need better tools
  • The move to the cloud is imminent…
  • …many are there already

Pauline Randal on Second Life

Pauline started by posing the question “Why am I in there?” followed by what are “we trying to achieve?”

Students will not be entranced by watching powerpoint slides whilst in Second Life

The killer question – is there a better tool? Pauline’s talk appears to be asking us to focus on user needs.

Her project is focused on bring mature buisiness  students together to familarise?

How to engage students:

  • clear purpose to being there
  • make it interesting and challenging
  • have definite outcomes

Not that impressed with her case studies – but good on the user stuff.

Final thoughts:

  • students need a proper induction, base it on your experience – how long did it take you to become familiar?
  • Don’t make the activities too simple (average age of an SL user is 35 – are we sure?)
  • Ask students for help

Hand’s up who’s using Second Life to teach?


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