April 26th, 2010
Welcome to this morning’s Daily Research Update. Today’s themes are YouTube, Facebook, and e-books. If you want more context for this research, take a look at our Education and Technology Trends for 2010. You may also be interested in our Weekly Research Index, or you can follow our live, daily research on our Current News page.
(Click here to see a simple listing of today’s suggested reading)
I’d like to start the week off with a bit of Happy Birthday to YouTube. YouTube’s First Video Uploaded Five Years Ago
Although YouTube’s birthday is officially February 14, 2005, the first video was actually uploaded to the site exactly five years ago, on April 23, 2005. The video is titled “Me at the zoo.” It was shot by Yakov Lapitsky and it’s only 19 seconds long, showing one of YouTube’s (YouTube) founders, Jawed Karim, at the San Diego Zoo. The video doesn’t look like much, but it sparked a revolution; by July 2006, more than 65,000 videos were uploaded to the site every day. In October that same year Google (Google) acquired YouTube for $1.65 billion — a reminder of how fast things move in the age of the Internet.
Speaking of things growing quickly in the Internet age, what about Facebook? Mark Cuban asks if Facebook isn’t really the new Internet and the future of Web technology (which is why Microsoft would try to buy it).
Everything that the net was 5 or more years ago, Facebook is today. The interesting thing is that Facebook knows it. Slowly but surely they are extending their tentacles into traditional websites, mobile apps (android/iphone/Ipad) and soon your HDTV . It started with Facebook Connect. It extended with search from inside the Facebook Platform. Now they are accelerating their extensions through Virtual Currency (a future goldmine as it extends to business), allowing websites to add a Like button with user pictures through a simple widget and much much more. In other words, your favorite website doesn’t know it yet, but Facebook is in the process of annexing it. Brilliant in its simplicity. Facebook is putting out trojan horse after trojan horse and no one seems to care. The only thing FB has not done is create a mobile operating system ala Android/Iphone as a platform for applications.
Speaking of Facebook’s new Open Graph protocol, FactoryCity has this post discussing issues related to the new service. “While I agree that the web is transmogrifying from a web of documents to a web of people, I have deep misgivings about what the Open Graph Protocol — along with Facebook’s new Like button — means for the open web. There are three elements of Facebook’s announcements that seem to conspire against the web: 1) A new format; 2) Convenient to implement; 3) Facebook account required”
And, don’t think for a second that e-books won’t have their day in education. For further proof, consider this news that the start-up company Kakai is busy creating an e-reader specifically for students. And, “rather than focusing on making an old business better via the Web, as Chegg does, Kakai is plunging right into the competitive tablet market that now includes Amazon (AMZN), Apple (AAPL), Samsung, Dell (DELL), Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) and, reportedly, Google (GOOG). While these efforts, including Apple’s iPad, for example, are mostly aimed at broader media markets, sources said Kakai’s effort focuses solely on the educational niche, offering a Linux-based foldable double-screened device. Gesture-based and portable, it is designed to feel like a mix of a notepad and a book.”
Rankin said this next generation of learning involves a flexible kind of book that will fuel the type of learning the university is encouraging through the mobile learning initiative: interactive, connected and truly digital. The project will involve focus group testing, although Rankin said it is difficult to tell exactly what this will look like. More of the project will be solidified during the summer before the team selects focus groups to test the idea. Groups will include a few classes on campus taught by professors who are comfortable with the new technology.
I have enjoyed reading Graham Attwell’s recent posts on informal learning, and his latest installment is also worth the read. Here is his overview. “In this series we have argued that the present ‘industrial’ schooling system is fast becoming dysfunctional, neither providing the skills and competences required in our economies nor corresponding to the ways in which we are using the procedural and social aspects of technology for learning and developing and sharing knowledge. We have gone on to propose that the development and use of Personal Learning Networks and Personal Learning Environments can support and mediate individual and group based learning in multiple contexts and promote learner autonomy and control. The role of teachers in such an environment would be to support, model and scaffold learning.”
Elsewhere in education, I’ve referenced results from this Kaiser Foundations study before, but here are the actual slides full of great research on the amazing media habits of 8-18 year olds. Also, here are some great takeaways from a study by Common Sense Media on smart phones and kids
Common Sense Media, released a study this week, Do Smart Phones = Smart Kids? that helps put some numbers around the anecdotal evidence that kids love cell phones and use them differently than most adults. The fact that 83% of 17 year-olds owns a mobile phone was not surprising; the fact that they send or receive an average of 3,146 text messages a month was. It will be interesting to check back with these students after they enter college and/or the workplace and see if this phenomenon persists. I’ve been hearing for years now that “email is dead and only for old fogies”… but often wondered if the choice of technology is dictated more by financial constraints and peer group than by age alone.
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