Can Google Buzz Help Education 2.0? Reply

Currently I use Friendfeed in my Digital Media Across Asia class.  Friendfeed allows us to aggregate from many different sites, embed audio and video content, and host conversations where each reply can be 1500 characters each. I find this far more powerful for learning learning that Twitter which seems better for quick sharing, documenting individual ideas from class, brief comments, or updates.  Friendfeed also collects all discussion items under a single topic, making the site more organized.

So how will Google Buzz measure up?

I am still waiting for Buzz to appear in my Gmail, but I immediately notice that Buzz limits the sites we can aggregate.  Facebook, for example, is not part of Buzz.  How many students today do not have Facebook?  Posterous seems less of an issue.  Posterous will update to Twitter, and Twitter will appear in Google Buzz.  Initially, the restricted sources, such as Facebook, seems like a large limitation if you are looking at Buzz through an Education 2.0 lens.  Posterous lets me update to Facebook, but Buzz does not. 

I do, however, like that Buzz is part of Google.  We already use Google Reader, Google Analytics, and Gmail.  Some of my students may be using Blogger as well.  I love the idea of one integrated suite which allows for short messages, longer posts, multimedia content, and aggregation.  This could be a huge benefit to educators.

So I will wait until Buzz appears in Gmail before I make my final assessment.  How many characters, for example, will we be allowed when commenting?  Will the limit be large enough to allow for real discussion in an educational setting? 

Only time will tell….

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