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Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning
Collective intelligence is a shared or group intelligence involving knowledge creation and flow. Pooled brainpower emerges from the collaboration and learning actions of a community of connected individuals empowered by social media, participatory tools, and mobile platforms.
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Box Launches Education Platform to Bring Collaboration to the Classroom

Box Launches Education Platform to Bring Collaboration to the Classroom | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |

Box is one of those companies that is reinventing itself so quickly, it's likely that it will be something quite different within a couple of years. This week, the Los Altos, California-based content sharing service announced a new ecosystem for education-based collaboration.


The company said that more than 100 universities and hundreds of K-12 institutions already use Box for sharing, and that its sales in that sector grew more than 119 percent in the past year. But, while students and faculty are embracing technology, Box said that only 38 percent of students at U.S. colleges and universities can get their class materials online, and only 34 percent of faculty are using education apps.


Box's strategy is to focus on content management for sharing educational materials, collaboration tools for students and teachers, access to content and tools for mobile devices, and integration with existing educational tools.

 One part of the evolving ecosystem is a new, education-focused program of OneCloud app partners to encourage the creation of learning materials, the management of classrooms, and communication between students, instructors and parents. 


OneCloud partners include grading app Engrade, Nearpod for creating and sharing interactive lessons, a group texting service called Celly, the note-taking and handwriting app Fluid Notes, an iPad word processor for large documents called UX Write, and a video presentation-builder, 9 Slides.


Box is adding to its ecosystem through a new relationship with a cloud-based learning management system, Canvas by Instructure. Canvas will integrate the suite of collaboration and management features in Box Embed, a HTML5 framework. Students and teachers will upload and collaborate on their content within Canvas, and the content will be centrally managed within Box.

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We need to use technology to get smarter about care

We need to use technology to get smarter about care | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |

According to the Institute for Alternative Futures, healthcare accounts for only 10-25% of the variance in health over time. The remaining variance is shaped by genetic factors (up to 30%), health behaviours (30-40%), social and economic factors (15-40%), and physical environmental factors (5-10%).


Too often, every stakeholder in the system views care through their own lens – the data they collect and the interventions they can sponsor. Doctors want to identify symptoms and treat them. Hospitals want to bring patients in for procedures that will cure them. Pharmaceutical companies want to find people who might benefit from their medication. Public health specialists want to cut the number of premature births or the incidence of diabetes. Social workers want to change harmful behaviours.


Unfortunately that information is scattered in various databases and departments, making it hard to achieve a holistic picture of the patient. Healthcare organisations can magnify their impact on individual health by dealing with issues beyond office visits and hospitalisations.


There's an opportunity to dramatically improve the care ecosystem (Smarter Care), making it more efficient, by applying analytics to data generated at every point in the care cycle. This phenomenon, known as big data, would develop a fuller understanding of individuals and the factors affecting their social and physical health.


Smarter Care systems have five common attributes:


• Intervention – Discovering the points in their lives where individuals can be influenced, and the most effective intervention strategy


• Knowledge – Assessing what has worked and applying that information to improving the system going forward


• Collaboration – Leading individuals to work with the right care-givers to make healthy choices or change their social determinants


• Coordination – Sharing care, knowledge and accountability across clinical and social boundaries


• Learning – Using analytics to study communities and understand who is at medical risk and how those risks are created, whether by medical, psychological or social factors


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Five Ways Social Media Has Forever Changed the Way We Work

Five Ways Social Media Has Forever Changed the Way We Work | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |

Collective intelligence

Organizations have the ability to leverage the experience and wisdom of an entire workforce to solve a problem or identify an opportunity instead of just relying on a specific team. After speaking at a conference recently someone from a large oil and gas company told me how they couldn't solve a problem of a drill melting at extremely hot temperatures. They posed the problem on their collaborative platform for the thousands of other employees to try to solve and received a solution which was worth over a billion dollars.



Being able to come across a person or piece of information that can be used to improve a situation is a valuable thing. Organizations who deploy collaborative solutions greatly improve the chances of this happening. Employees have the ability to discover information which they can contribute to in a positive way. Lowe's Home Improvement saw this first hand when an employee asked for more of a product to be delivered to a store which other stores were not selling much of. Eventually this employee shared a demo she was doing at one of her stores to sell out of the product and other locations quickly followed. This employee who was asking for additional product happened to share her demo which resulted in over a million dollars in additional revenue.


Easy to find people and information

Email and static intranets are the default forms of communication and collaboration within many organizations. This leads to around 25-30 percent of an employees work week spent in front of email and a large amount of duplicated content. Enterprise collaboration platforms have enabled a much more effective way to find people and information. A way which is self-sufficient (meaning you don't need to ask anyone for anything) and empowering to the employees.


Anyone can be a leader and employees have a voice

When most employees think of a leader at their company they typically think of an executive. Social media has changed what it means to be a leader. Employees now have a voice where they can share their ideas for anyone within the company to see and read. These employees have the ability to become leaders in their own right on any topic that they care about. One of the world's largest consulting firms in the world (hundreds of thousands of employees around the world) has seen this happen first hand where junior and mid-level employees have the most widely followed internal blogs in the company. These employees are not executives but they are leaders with a voice that everyone listens to.


Transparency and flatness

Most organizations in the world are hierarchical and not transparent. It's analogous to climbing a ladder where only the first few rungs are visible and the rest are hidden. This is changing and many organizations are no longer using this as the way to work. Employees (including managers and executives) are now sharing what they are working on, how they are feeling, who they are meeting with, and what is happening with their department or the company as a whole in a discoverable and public way. There is greater insight for employees to understand not just what is happening in their organization but how their individual contributions are impacting something greater. 

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Get Satisfaction helps small businesses engage on social media

Get Satisfaction helps small businesses engage on social media | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |

Community platform Get Satisfaction has launched a new service for small businesses that it hopes will enable them to build thriving customer communities. Starting today, for $49 per month, small businesses can receive the same set of core features and one community management seat that's similar to services at the enterprise level.


With Get Satisfaction for Small Businesses, those companies that fit the profile will be able to handle customer experiences through this tool chest, priced specifically for them. Calling 2013 the “year of the community manager”, CEO Wendy Lea, says Get Satisfaction wants to enable any company to understand the impact and potential of this “transformational role”. She adds that “by fostering customer-to-customer interactions, community managers bring tremendous business value to multiple departments across their company — lowering support costs, bringing better products to market, and acquiring new customers.”


Last November, the company revived its free product and added new features to make it appealing to small businesses. There are over 67,000 communities on the Get Satisfaction network that are free, not all of which are active. Each business receives one seat to utilize moderator tools, the service’s Engage Widgets, and partake in its Hootsuite integration. Get Satisfaction’s launch of its small business plan is surely an attempt to try and separate itself from its industry competitors, including UserVoice, Zendesk, SuggestionBox,, and others — many that have free plans as well

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Bing Adds Social Sidebar Mod

Bing Adds Social Sidebar Mod | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |
Yesterday Microsoft’s Bing released an all new design for their social sidebar, a version less cluttered and better linked to friends and trends.

Designed to present Bing users with relevant results of friend networks via Foursquare, Twitter, Facebook, and Klout, the social side of search is still located on the right side of a user’s desktop, but with more minimalist style and ease of use too.

Besides a cleaner and edgy look, Bing users no longer have to hover over people to catch on to added and deeper content. A little + icon lets users drill down to get more info, which is a nice touch. The Official Bing Blog tells more of these improvements, and while not exactly what anyone would call “sweeping innovation”, the incremental change is nice. Regardless of what anyone thinks of Bing, the practicality of social sharing and suggestion come through with some of these refinements
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Socialize Me: IBM Fully Behind OpenSocial

Socialize Me: IBM Fully Behind OpenSocial | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |

OpenSocial is an standard formed by a set of common application programming interfaces (APIs) and containers to create web-based social network applications supporting social interaction and gadgets  (Social Apps).  


Based on HTML and JavaScript, as well as the Google Gadgets framework, OpenSocial includes multiple APIs for social software applications to access data and core functions on participating social networks.


When OpenSocial 2.0 was shipped late last year it was declared ready for the enterprise and that's no surprise since a big push towards OpenSocial 2.0 was driven by companies such as IBM.  In the latest release of IBM's social collaboration platform, IBM Connections 4.0, IBM has included support for OpenSocial 2.0, OAuth2, and The latest release also features something called "Embedded Experiences" which was a concept invented by IBM and donated to the open source community.


With IBM and other social collaboration vendors adopting OpenSocial it presents a prime opportunity for developers who want to build apps on top of these platforms. They build once and they can use anywhere!

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Apple - iTunes U - Learn anything, anywhere, anytime.

Apple - iTunes U - Learn anything, anywhere, anytime. | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |
iTunes U gives educators an easy way to design complete courses with audio, video, and other content and distribute them through the new iTunes U app. (RT @rehabrajab: Great #iTunesU App free course for teaching and learning with #iPad!


An entire course in one app.

The free iTunes U app gives students access to all the materials for your course in a single place. Right in the app, they can play video or audio lectures. Read books and view presentations. See a list of all the assignments for the course and check them off as they’re completed. And when you send a message or create a new assignment, students receive a push notification with the new information.


Everything works together.

The iTunes U app integrates with iBooks, iCloud, and other apps to make it easy for students to keep up with your course. For example, new iBooks textbooks2 and other books for the course are available right from the app, where students can tap them to start reading the assigned chapter. Notes taken in iBooks are consolidated for easy reviewing in the iTunes U app. If an assignment includes watching part of a video, one tap goes straight to a specific spot in the video. And iTunes U keeps documents, notes, highlights, and bookmarks up to date across multiple devices.


Building a course is easy.

To create a course, simply gather all the materials you need and follow the easy step-by-step instructions in the iTunes U Course Manager — a web-based tool accessible from a browser. Courses can include a syllabus, handouts, quizzes, and other items. All of the course materials that you upload will be hosted by Apple and available to anyone taking your course. You can pull content and links from the Internet, iBookstore, App Store, and iTunes Store. Or you can gather material from among the 500,000-plus resources at iTunes U, including audio and video content from museums, universities, cultural institutions, and more. Once the course is ready, it’s a snap to distribute it to anyone who’s interested in the topic — whether in your class or anywhere in the world.


Share your content with anyone. Anywhere in the world.

When you create and distribute a course on iTunes U, you’ll join a large and growing community of schools and institutions that are sharing their content with students and lifelong learners all over the world. iTunes U includes Stanford, Yale, Oxford, and UC Berkeley, along with other distinguished institutions such as MoMA, New York Public Library, and more. Students can use iTunes on their computer or the iTunes U app on their iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch to browse and download over 500,000 free lectures, videos, books, and other resources on thousands of subjects.



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Chris Anderson: How YouTube is driving innovation

TED's Chris Anderson says the rise of web video is driving a worldwide phenomenon he calls Crowd Accelerated Innovation -- a self-fueling cycle of learning...

Huey O'Brien's insight:

A must see  "Collective Intelligence" classic from 2010... 

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LinkedIn gives users the ability to share photos, documents and presentations in their status updates

LinkedIn gives users the ability to share photos, documents and presentations in their status updates | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |

Less than a month after it introduced multimedia content to users’ profile pages, LinkedIn has rolled out similar functionality today for status updates posted from the homepage.


Users can now upload images, documents, presentations and other file types to any post that they want to share with their LinkedIn network. The idea is to give users a much broader and richer feature set for communicating with the people they know, thereby increasing user engagement and public perception of the service.


Whether it’s a thought-provoking presentation about the future of big data or it’s a picture of an inspirational quote, or perhaps it’s an infographic showing the top trends impacting your industry, the possibilities are endless for what you can share on LinkedIn to add a richer and more visual component to your professional discussions,” Itamar Orgad, senior product manager at LinkedIn said.

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Tuning in to psychology

Tuning in to psychology | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |

"Thanks to iTunes U, free psychology lectures are pumping through the earbuds of thousands of students, professionals and curious laypeople around the world."


Last spring, Daniel Stokols, PhD, of the University of California–Irvine, video recorded his environmental psychology lectures as a first foray into developing an online course. A proponent of face-to-face interactions with students, Stokols saw the videos as a useful supplement to classroom-based learning, not a substitute for it. He uploaded the videos to iTunes U, a component of the iTunes music store that features free academic content, and proceeded with his course as usual. "I thought maybe 100 people would view the course," he says. Fast forward a few months. Apple had featured Stokols's course on its iTunes U homepage. By late July, the course had more student enrollments per week than any other. By September, it had reached 100,000 subscribers and, for months, it remained one of iTunes U's top 10 courses. In November, subscriptions topped 170,000 students.


"It's mind-boggling," says Stokols, who has taught at UCI for nearly 40 years and has "never come close" to reaching that many students. Now, he's heard from a photographer in Germany who says the course has changed the way she interprets her photos; a nurse anesthesia student in Pittsburgh who learned that surgical patients require less pain medication if their beds face windows; and a professor in China who had never heard of environmental psychology before.


"The gratifying part is the feedback from people around the world who are enjoying the material and finding it useful," he says.


Stokols is just one of a growing number of professors turning to iTunes U to host content for their students and share high-quality educational material with the public. Apple launched the platform in 2007; Stanford, UC-Berkeley, MIT and Duke were among the first to sign on. Professors can upload syllabi, handouts, quizzes, slides and links to online resources in addition to audio and video lectures. Students, professionals and curious laypeople can access the courses for free via their computers (PCs included) or with an iPod, iPhone or iPad. The iOS application, which launched in January 2012, had been downloaded more than 14 million times by the end of the year.

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Explania: A Useful Source For Free Educational Videos

Explania: A Useful Source For Free Educational Videos | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |
Explania Offers Free Educational Videos for your classroom on a variety of topics. Videos are animations to help explain a topic or take you step by step on a how-to.


Whether or not you prescribe to the idea that there are different types of learners  there are some scenarios in which a visual explanation is extremely helpful in understanding the subject matter at hand. I stumbled upon a site the other day that offers a number of free educational videos that can be useful to teachers who are addressing certain subject matters.


Explania describes itself as a place to watch “hundreds of animated explanations, interactive tutorials and instructional videos, and feel free to embed them on your own web pages.” It is free to watch and embed the videos, so if you find one useful, you can easily share it with your classes or even on a class website. Many of the videos are technology how-tos, which may not be useful for your class, but can help you teach your mom to use Twitter, for example. For classroom use, the ‘health’ and ‘ecology’ channels are probably the most likely to contain content that will overlap with classroom topics, but the technology sections are definitely worth checking out – either to find something new for yourself or to help you teach your students to use something new in class.

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BetterLesson To Bring The Magic Of Great Teaching Online

BetterLesson To Bring The Magic Of Great Teaching Online | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |

As the influence of technology grows in education, many have started to predict the coming obsolescence of classroom fixtures like textbooks, chalkboards, standardized testing — and even teachers. While technology will no doubt transform and replace some familiar pieces of education (for the better), the ideal outcome is not one in which teachers are replaced or marginalized, but one that empowers them and allows them to do their jobs more effectively.


Technology has yet to unlock the essence of what makes great teachers great. This is a problem BetterLesson wants to help solve by bringing effective teaching online. Founded in 2008, the Boston-based startup is building a platform on which educators can connect and share the best curriculum, allowing them to search for and browse through different types of files, lesson plans, units and courses and network with fellow teachers.


In a recent blog post, BetterLesson said that it has spent the last few years trying to “crack the nut of curriculum sharing,” and in so doing has come to some important conclusions. Chief of which are the facts that curriculum is truly a critical component of effective teaching (and it must continue to be). However, teaching is more than just “great curriculum.” As a result, the project will focus on the “how” — instructional strategies and classroom management approaches — just as much as it will on curriculum.


What’s more, it’s important for the project’s participants to be actual classroom teachers who are sharing their best practices from the classroom —  And because the startup wants it to be a two-way street, the project will also seek to recognize and compensate its “Master Teachers” for taking the time and energy to share what they’ve learned in terms of what works and what doesn’t and how to create the optimal context for learning.


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Mobile Game Encourages Real-World Sharing

Mobile Game Encourages Real-World Sharing | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |
The sharing economy is built on reputation. So is online social gaming. Now the two are coming together.


From informal neighborhood tool libraries through for-profit car sharing to online sharing platforms like StreetBank, sharing seems to be all the rage these days.


But the further away people get from their immediate social circle, the more important trust becomes in facilitating sharing.

That's why systems for reputation building have become such an important part of any new collaborative consumption venture, with members being rewarded for model behavior and finding themselves disadvantaged when they don't honor agreements or otherwise misuse or abuse the system.


A new venture called Favortree is taking that idea to its logical conclusion—turning sharing into a social gaming experience by allowing users to trade favors or goods with each other, growing different kinds of "fruit" on a virtual tree—which can then be exchanged for more favors. PSFK has an interesting interview with Favortree founder Micki Krimmel about how it all works:

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