Friday, 12 December 2008

Google Lively - the protest spreads

I'm a big fan of Google, I think they do some great things that impact hugely upon teaching and learning. We've used loads of their tools at Kellett... Earth, Sketchup, Maps, Docs, Picasa, and sometimes students even use it for searching!

However, their recent decision to shut down Google Lively at the end of December has caused dismay amongst many in education who see the opportunity to extend classrooms into virtual environments as an important strand of 21st Century Learning. Whilst it's true that major virtual grids exist elsewhere, such as Second Life, the ability to create your own rooms and customise them for your own students offers huge potential.

Education is still only just dipping it's toe into the possibilities that virtual worlds afford us, but it's companies like Google with it's track record of creating innovative tools for educators that should be leading the way, not bailing out without giving leading innovaters time to experiment and share their practise.

A huge well done to Vicki Davis in leading the way on this. Her students have been using Google Lively as a means of investigating aspects of Digital Citizenship and quite rightly they are dismayed at Google's decision to pull the plug. They have recently held a protest to try to convince Google that they should change their minds and they have the full support of our Year 8 students who have begun to explore Lively.

Education takes time to discover, investigate and formulate strategies for using new tools. They can't just be adopted because they look good, they need an educational context to justify their use. Two years ago we looked into setting up a Kellett Island in Second Life but the cost was prohibitive. Lively offers us the opportunity to do it for free but we need more time to structure our approach.

Please give us the time, Google. You can sign the Google Lively Petition here.
What do our Year 8 students think?


Guy said...

Lively is amazing, google cant shut it down! it can basically be a virtual classroom, so if someone is off sick or when we need to do some e-learning from home, we can use lively as our classroom.

one reason it shouldnt be shut down is because it has so many possibilities and things you can do with it.

Jessica said...

Lively can be useful for learning the safety of the internet. Sometimes,people come up to you and ask your e-mail, or msn address, and we can learn not to respond to them.
One reason it shouldn't be shut down is because lively is not just a computer game, it can be a source of learning too.

Claire said...

Lively could be fun and also educational, they can't shut it down!! It could help us in homework: a teacher goes on and we could ask them questions when we are at home.

A reason it shouldn't be shut down is because, they can help us in different subjects, e.g. Art - when designing rooms etc.

Mira said...

Lively is great! It can be useful for learning about internet safety and how to communicate with people all round the world. We can use it from home, at class, everywhere!

One reason it should not shut down is becasue it has so many fun things to do and it can let you become more social

Jake said...

Lively is really good because we can use it when someone is sick or if we all want to talk together where we can do stuff too. One reason it shouldn't be shut down is that it can be used in schools all over the world and bye shutting it down they might mess up lots of lessons, and it is really fun and cool.

Anonymous said...

Lively is fantastic. Lively could be useful for learning about internet safety. Also if we need help with our homework the teacher can help us.

One reason why they cant shut down Lively is that it is a learning sours and in is fun .

Meg said...

Lively is fantastic!!! It could almost be our new way of learning. Think of it as a way to interact with people virtually! This would help us learn more about using our ICT skills. It cant shut down because so many people enjoy it!

Anonymous said...

Lively CANNOT be shut down as it is amazing. It can help you with your homework, the safety of the internet e.t.c.

One reason it shouldnt be shut down is because lively is for everyone to enjoy. It has so many fun things to do.

Sean said...

Google makes such amazing things, it is a very rare event in which they would make such a stupid decision. Lively is incredible, and it probably costs nothing to keep it going. Lively is educational, so if it shuts down then the education circle gets smaller. People need time to explore things, not less than 5 months! Save Lively! Please!