I’ve shared a lot of practical ideas and research about the importance of having students write for an audience beyond their teacher (see The Best Places Where Students Can Write For An “Authentic Audience” and The Best Places Where Students Can Create Online Learning/Teaching Objects For An “Authentic Audience.”

Yesterday, Google announced they were testing what might be an ideal tool for students to do just that.

It’s called “Bulletin,” and they are experimenting with it in Nashville and Oakland:

Google appears to be testing a new tool for people to report and publish local news stories, called Bulletin.

website first spotted online Thursday describes Bulletin as “an app for contributing hyperlocal stories about your community, for your community, right from your phone.” It’s designed to make it “effortless” to tell “the stories that aren’t being told” via your smartphone. It’s not just for techie early adopters: “If you are comfortable taking photos or sending messages, you can create a Bulletin story!”

If they make it available to everybody, it seems to me that it could have great potential!