On June 15th, 2010, President Obama addressed the nation about the oil spill in the gulf. Following the address, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs answered questions submitted by thousands of people worldwide who used the free website Google Moderator. To date on the page, “Gulf Coast Oil Leak: What Are Your Suggestions?” 15,835 people have submitted 7,468 suggestions and cast 106,190 votes.
I’ve used Google Moderator in face-to-face workshops, videoconferences, and online webinars with good results. It’s free, and very similar to the commercial service UserVoice which ISTE used this year to solicit input for keynotes this week in Denver.
See my April 2010 post, “Discussing Digital Literacy with the New Literacies Collaborative at NC State” and podcast recording for a recent personal example of using Google Moderator in a professional development setting.
If Google Moderator is “good enough” for the White House to use for a national Q&A forum on the gulf oil spill, it certainly should pass muster as a classroom communication tool. Give Google Moderator a try this year! There’s no better way to help students understand the possibilities presented by crowdsourcing than by using a tool like Google Moderator together for a meaningful purpose!
As of June 25, 2010, press staff for President Obama had uploaded 1,151 videos to the official White House YouTube channel. We have never had as many opportunities to hear directly from our President and Commander and Chief as we do today, thanks to social media and the way the Obama administration continues to embrace it. It’s remarkable to contrast those uses of social media with the ways many of our school leaders continue to avoid the topic altogether, and seemingly pretend like communication platforms like YouTube are irrelevant to learning in the 21st Century.
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