The simple web-based application allows users to ask questions and vote on existing questions. The most popular questions move to the top. The product worked so well for the tech talks that Google launched it internally to help organize meetings. Not only can users submit questions, they can also submit ideas or suggestions which are displayed for others to vote up or down. Those who submit questions also have the option of including a short YouTube video. In April of 2008 Moderator was made publicly available.
|This is an example of a moderator idea on which users can vote.|
The most public display of Google Moderator came during the 2008 elections when then candidate Obama used Google Moderator in his "Open for Questions" campaign. Over 4.7 million votes were cast.
|Moderator on the iPad.|
One thing that I don't like about Moderator is that you must have a Google Account in order to submit or vote on ideas. Even if you setup your series as allowing anonymous submissions, users must be logged in to submit votes or ideas. If you are a Google Apps school, this isn't a big idea as your students will already have accounts that will work however if you are not, managing the logins for a class so that they can use moderator is daunting.
Despite this challenge, there are some great applications for moderator in education. Instead of posting these ideas below, I've created a Moderator "series" in which you can view my ideas, vote on them, ad add your own. We'll see which one is the most popular! Don't be shy, vote and submit ideas!
|Click to view and vote on ideas!|