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February 28, 2008 / Ben Chun

Google Sites

It looks like Google is finally doing something with JotSpot: Google Sites. I think we’re starting to reach the point where it’s so easy to get things up on the web that managing and organizing all of our various pages and sites and blogs and wikis and whatnot becomes a significant task in itself. The cognitive load involved in selecting the correct site or medium for information (should we make a Google Doc or a Google Site? Or a new blog?) becomes an obstacle larger than actually building the page itself. And if you put it up, will anyone look? I have to say, it’s nice that no one is talking about teaching teachers to “build web pages in HTML” anymore.

But now we’ve got a different problem, one that thankfully seems to be closer to the essence of communication: instead of how to say what we’ve got to say, the question is where. This question has, by its nature, a more socially-driven answer. So for schools trying to establish a culture of technology use, it becomes essential that we select and use and promote a reasonably small and therefore learnable number of solutions. Instead of only having a hammer through which we see the world as nails, we suddenly have a giant toolbelt through which we see the world as confusing. Does Google Sites make that more or less clear? One thing is sure — it’s better than Google Pages.


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