Microsoft and Google Heighten Competition in the Classroom

Microsoft and Google appear to be preparing to do battle in theeducational marketplace.  I believe Microsoft has  always seen schools and teachers as their primary clientele, and Google has more recently developed more tools that are attracting new users to their services.  Microsoft spent the last year in efforts to refocus and renew their classroom efforts.  Microsoft spent the last year talking to thousands of teachers and designing high-tech experiments that require mostly low-cost parts.  It will give the designs to schools for free so teachers can use them in their lesson plans.

Google has gained ground in public schools by offering a tightly connected system of free classroom apps, lower cost laptops called Chromebooks and a web-based console that allows schools to remotely manage thousands of student devices.  Industry analysts said Microsoft’s initiative was the company’s first credible response to Google’s recent encroachment into education.  Microsoft executives are looking forward to seizing  the chance to make an updated impression on future consumers.

So the classroom has become a new battleground for these giant tech companies to clash for future customers.  Let’s just hope that America’s students and teachers come out the winners.

Ray Myers

P.S.  I will not be posting a blog on Monday, May 8, but will return on Wednesday, May 10.  Enjoy your weekend.


Teachers Will Not be Replaced by Robots!

Just a quick note for all of those who might be getting worried that computerization is going too far.  Researchers have calculated the likelihood of various professions being computerized.  Teachers have been rated as one of the top two professions with the lowest probability of being computerized.  The other is physician/surgeon.  Both jobs require a high degree of social intelligence, and for teachers I am confident that much of this could would include the ability to use the right (e.g., tech) tools in “assisting and caring” for their students.  Just like their medical colleagues, they also need a sense of social perceptiveness and an ability to care for others.

This should be very welcome news for all the participants at the International Society for Technology in Education convention in Philadelphia this week (#ISTE2015).  Sounds like things are off to a good start after the opening sessions on Sunday.

All the best for a great convention for the ISTE attendees, and please continue to advance the professional dialogue on the best uses of educational technology in our schools for all students.

Ray Myers