Thursday, February 9, 2012

Google+ and Customizing Learning

The idea of customization has exploded since Web 2.0, and continues to catch on every today. An example that immediately comes to mind is Google+. Working at a campus that utilizes Google Apps for Education (DePauw University) and attending a university that also utilizes Google Apps for Education (IU), seeing this shift has been slightly amusing.

You mean I can have circles?! (Adaptive Customization based on Experience Economy)
Google Plus allows users to manage large quantities of interactions by arranging people (friends, coworkers, arch-nemesis) into circle. These circles immediately customize the user's experience gathering information. Just because someone puts you into a circle and shares (or spams) information and articles does not immediately place it into your stream. You have to place them into one of your circles to begin gaining this information.

You mean my Google search results will be customized? (Cosmetic Customization based on Experience Economy)
Google's search engine has integrated EE and customization as well. Google search plus your world allows search results from those in your circles to filter into your results. This organization of information by most relevant to you, occurs without any interceding on your part. Want to search for "photos", do so and you will see your photos and those of your friends before others (given that you are using Google+ and have circles).

How does it apply?
So my examples so far have dealt with the experiences and things that I am seeing in the world of Instructional Technology and how it is impacting my job as an Instructional Technologist (DePauw currently does not have the search plus your world activated for privacy reasons). How do these experiences relate to C-M-O and instructional design in theory? Customization of information and learning in these ways allow the method of delivery to change dramatically. Why not create a circle for a distance education classroom and provide relevant materials for them. When they conduct a Google search for an article, your will be sure to pop up first! The amount of relative information will increase the overall experience of the learning in this way.

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