Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning
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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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iTunes U hits 1 billion downloads

iTunes U hits 1 billion downloads | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning | Scoop.it

That old college try seems to be working. Content downloads from iTunes U have surpassed 1 billion.

 

Apple today announced the passing of the milestone for the repository of free educational content from schools, libraries, museums, and other sources. iTunes U hosts more than 2,500 public and thousands of private courses from over 1,200 universities and colleges, and 1,200 K-12 schools and districts.

 

"There are now iTunes U courses with more than 250,000 students enrolled in them, which is a phenomenal shift in the way we teach and learn," Eddy Cue, Apple's senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, said in a statement.

 

The service is widely used around the world. More than 60 percent of app downloads from iTunes U come from outside the United States, Apple said.

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How aspiring knitters at Craftsy could inspire online education

How aspiring knitters at Craftsy could inspire online education | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning | Scoop.it

You might not be into hemming skirts or stitching quilts, but if you’re interested in online education, you may still want to keep an eye on Craftsy.

Unlike many of its peers in Silicon Valley, the Denver-based startup clearly doesn’t have designs on disrupting formal education. Its core students are women over 40 who want to learn how to knit with beads, make handcrafted sugar cookies or master pants-fitting techniques. The next step for graduates of its classes is more likely to be an Etsy storefront than a better job or degree program. But given that Craftsy created its learning experience to be discipline agnostic, its success so far is worth noting by anyone with an interest in the growing field of online education.

 

Launched in 2011, the company offers classes on all kinds of handcrafts — from crocheting and sewing to bread baking and cake decorating — for about $20 to $50. But founder and CEO John Levisay, a former eBay executive, said it places a premium on the production of the class, including the quality of the video, the experience of the teacher and the structure of the course itself.

“The platform we’ve built wants to capture the benefits of asynchronous consumption — the anytime, anywhere ability to view a class — but similarly harness the magic of a live classroom,” he said. The company, which has raised about $20 million from investors including the Foundry Group and Tiger Global Management, spends more than $15,000 to create and film each class, including flying the best teachers it can find to its Denver studios. So far, it’s put more than $5 million in technology to enhance the learning experience with user-friendly features, motion graphics and other effects.

 

Simple features make a difference

 

Many of those features, in addition to Craftsy’s focus on production quality and an approachable aesthetic, are what make the site particularly interesting to me. They’re fairly simple and other online sites offer variations of some of these but, in total, they seem to make remote learning easier for an audience not known for being especially tech-savvy. For example, one feature allows students to stop a video at any point to quickly replay the preceding 30 seconds. Another feature enables students to ask questions timed to specific points in the video. Even after professors or other students answer the question, the archived video includes the time-synced questions. Craftsy’s courses also come with closed captioning and the option to make video notes (or text notes that correspond with bookmarked sections of the video courses).

 

Craftsy’s approach seems to be paying off. In the past year, it’s earned about $12 million in revenue, 80 percent of which is from its classes, with the remainder coming from an online store that sells fabric, yarn and other materials. And last year’s revenue is up from $2 million in 2011. The company said it averages about one million unique visitors a month and had 750,000 class enrollments in 2012.

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CourseTalk Launches A Yelp For Open Online Courses

CourseTalk Launches A Yelp For Open Online Courses | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning | Scoop.it

Today, CourseTalk is what you might expect — an early stage Yelp for MOOCs — a place for students to share their experiences with these courses and a way to discover new courses they’d enjoy. Given that it’s still nascent, the platform’s design is simple and its user experience is straightforward: Visitors can use the general search bar which is front and center, or peruse through “Top Rated,” “Popular” and “Upcoming” verticals, or search by category, like Business, Computer Science, etc.

 

The site has also begun to compile a (growing) list of the universities offering MOOCs and offers a vertical for the Top Reviewers, as well. As to which platforms it supports? Ultimately, CourseTalk wants to list all of them, but for now the focus remains on publicly available courses that anyone can take from anywhere — free or paid.

 

The platform is currently in the process of adding courses from Canvas.net as well as a bevy of classes from Khan Academy. The usual suspects — Coursera, Udacity and edX — are all there. Down the road, the founder also plans to add vertical services, such as Codecademy and Duolingo.

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CreativeLIVE: Free, Online Classroom For Creative Entrepreneurs

CreativeLIVE: Free, Online Classroom For Creative Entrepreneurs | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning | Scoop.it
With the rise of massive online open course platforms (a.k.a. “MOOCs”) like Khan Academy and Coursera, a new model of online learning has emerged, promising quality, affordable education at scale. This new generation of educational platforms offer alternatives to expensive degrees programs and physical classrooms in the hopes of ushering in Education 2.0 by emphasizing interactive, personalized and skill-based learning.

 

CreativeLIVE is hardly the first to attack this space. Khan, 2tor, ShowMe, Udemy, Udacity, Coursera, EdX, StraighterLine, TED, Knowmia, Educreations and many more are in a variety of ways using video and digital platforms to offer more frictionless access to continuing education and affordable learning. Collaborative learning platform SkillShare and PowHow, a startup we recently covered that is building a marketplace for live, webcam classes in subjects like fitness, cooking, music, arts, DIY, and crafting.

 

The best parallel for creativeLIVE would be Lynda.com, which has been offering a virtual video library of courses taught by industry experts since the ’90s. The company hit $70 million in revenues in 2011 and now offers over 1,200 educational, how-to videos, providing paid learning content to individuals, Ivy League schools and companies like Disney, Time Warner and Pixar. In particular, one thing that has set Lynda apart from today’s emerging DIY online video models is the fact that it produces most of its content in-house.

 

Like Lynda, creativeLIVE takes video quality seriously and has become a video production operation in addition to simply being an online distribution platform. The startup has its own studios in Seattle and San Francisco, which allow the startup to offer live, streaming classes in cable-quality, HD video, which stands out when compared to, say, the pile of user-generated how-to videos on YouTube.

 

In addition, while Lynda.com users can unlock its videos for a monthly subscription fee of $25, creativeLIVE offers its classes for free. The startup’s courses are streamed live, all of which can be accessed for no cost, and if viewers want to watch the class again, or re-watch particular sections, they can purchase the video at prices that range between $29 and $149, depending on the course.

 

CreativeLIVE’s instructors now include names like Tim Ferriss and Ramit Sethi, photography instruction from Pulitzer Prize winner Vincent Laforet and filmmaking classes by Gale Tattersall, the Director of Photography for House. But it’s less about finding celebrity teachers than it is about creating a highly curated experience with content provided by those who are best at teaching their particular subject, the company said. The real impact, going forward, will be made by those that can empower people to learn real skills to enhance their career or hobby to help them move up in their field, or turn their true passion into a day job

 

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Udemy Launches Teach2013 To Bring Big Names To Online Courses

Udemy Launches Teach2013 To Bring Big Names To Online Courses | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning | Scoop.it

Could the future of education be taught by industry experts in an online setting? Udemy is trying to find out thanks to their new Teach2013 tool. It’s basically a call for experts and thought leaders to teach their own online courses.

 

They’re hoping a crowd of people will encourage people like Bill Gates, Michelle Obama, Richard Branson, and Biz Stone to answer the call. Udemy would of course stand to benefit from getting these big names, but it’s an interesting approach and it may not work. Only time will tell.

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Knowmia Now Offers 8,000 Video Lessons For High Schoolers

Knowmia Now Offers 8,000 Video Lessons For High Schoolers | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning | Scoop.it

We’ve been tracking Knowmia since it got underway over the summer. Co-founded by the creator of the Flip video camera, Knowmia has seen tremendous growth and you should start checking it out. Boasting more than 8,000 videos, the site offers video lessons by teachers to anyone.

 

The intended audience is high school students but that doesn’t mean they’re the only ones who can benefit from brushing up on Algebra, Biology, and other courses. In fact, I found many videos that are simply worth viewing in their own right, whether you’re a student or not.

 

How It Works

 

If you’re a teacher or want to at least help educate the young minds of the world, you can create a video lesson on Knowmia and then upload it. It’s like YouTube but with a laser-like focus on high school students. So, plan ahead. Don’t post a video lesson about learning your ABCs and 123s (although let’s be honest … who couldn’t use a quick review of that stuff too!).

 

They also have an iPad app called Knowmia Teach that lets you easily create your own lessons and add them to Knowmia.But there’s more to it than just uploading videos. Knowmia wants to help YOUR students in particular. They offer in-person workshops to, for example, help you flip your classroom. They also want you to focus on teaching your students and then just add your lesson to their pool of resources for others to benefit from.

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Ebook Publisher Inkling Launches Its Own Online Store: An Amazon For Illustrated Learning Content

Ebook Publisher Inkling Launches Its Own Online Store: An Amazon For Illustrated Learning Content | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning | Scoop.it
Since its launch in 2009, Inkling has been on a mission to reinvent publishing for the mobile, digital era by building engaging, interactive learning content from the ground up for the iPad.

 

Not wanting to be outdone by South Korea and others, which mandated the use of digital textbooks by 2015, earlier this year the FCC and the Department of Ed released the Digital Textbook Playbook to help accelerate digital textbook adoption among American schools. According to a recent report from the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA), it’s not a matter of if this transition will happen, but when.

 

Since its launch in 2009, Inkling has been on a mission to reinvent publishing for the mobile, digital era by building engaging, interactive learning content from the ground up for the iPad. Initially focused on higher ed, this year Inkling has been expanding its scope, moving into consumer-facing titles and continuing education, along with making its content available on other platforms like the Web.

 

Today, Inkling continues that expansion with the release of the “Inkling Library,” an online store that will feature curated digital eBooks from a range of genres and proposes to serve as a one-stop shop where consumers can find hobby and interest-specific learning materials. According to Inkling founder and CEO Matt MacInnis, the library is akin to Amazon for illustrated learning content and will feature 300 titles from categories like Travel & Adventure, Food & Drink, Arts & Photography, Music, etc.

 

By the end of the year, Inkling hopes to have 400 titles published to the library, with some of that content being exclusively created for Inkling, some of it familiar and published already (like “For Dummies”) and some of it augmented for the library — but all of it intending to demonstrate what’s possible now in the digital textbook market — for both indie and established publishers

 

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