The announcement that Google Social Search is now available to everyone in beta was an exciting development I stumbled upon yesterday while looking for web-based resources on courtly love to support the database and print materials in a research pathfinder I’m developing for two of my English teachers.
This new search feature represents what I think is the evolution of the web as mainstream websites and social media/social networking become more integrated in search results. On a personal level, the integration of my social network associated with my Google Profile into a Google search gives me yet another seamless and powerful way of tapping into the collective knowledge of my personal learning network. Now that the social media tools associated with the Google Profile of my colleagues are part of my Google search results, I can access information and materials (original or that from others) they are sharing and posting through the cloud. Take a look at this sample search and results when I search for ipad.
What are the implications for the students I teach in the library? The integration of Google tools has been a major push with ninth and tenth grade students this academic year. I think this new search feature of Google will reinforce the idea of collaborative learning and knowledge construction as students can now “network” through their Google Profiles. This new search feature also presents the opportunity to underscore the importance of establishing a positive digital footprint and to expand our existing conversations about social scholarship. As my Media 21 project gears up for an unofficial phase two on February 23, I am looking forward to integrating this new search feature into our “toolbox” of information seeking strategies; I am also eager to show students the possibilities for sharing information sources through Google Profiles and Google Social Search.
After reading this post on the New Node in the Personal Learning Network and taking a look at your Media 21 Project, I was really inspired by what students can be doing to direct and explore their own learning. It is really a high tech approach to the I-Search idea of the early 90’s, but with so many more enriching resources and options available.
I love, love, love the idea of students (and teachers, too) developing their own personal learning networks, but my biggest question is whether or not you have encountered any privacy issues when students’ thoughts, ideas, profiles, process, and product are all out there in the cloud.
Another question, as well, is where is a good place to start with students in developing a PLN? Any advice on what would be a good basic (not as in depth as the Media 21 Project) place to start would be helpful in framing ideas for future planning. Thanks!