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.
Curated by Huey O'Brien
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As Its Partner Ecosystem Expands, Box Taps Google Health Founder To Lead Its Cloud-Based Assault On Healthcare

As Its Partner Ecosystem Expands, Box Taps Google Health Founder To Lead Its Cloud-Based Assault On Healthcare | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |

Over the last year, Box has been ramping up its efforts to bring its cloud storage platform into new verticals. That began in April, when the seven-year-old company began making a major push to bring its cloud collaboration and storage tools to the healthcare industry, which, given the mayhem around the launch of the new healthcare exchanges, seems like it couldn’t have come at a better time.


Behind a roster of healthcare partners, HIPAA compliance and an equity investment in drchrono — a doctor-facing EHR platform built specifically for the iPad — Box has been looking to leverage its cloud collaboration platform and growing ecosystem of mobile apps to give doctors and healthcare providers a better way to do business.


Said another way, Box’s real mission is to become the glue that can help stick a fragmented industry back together. As an increasing number of doctors adopt mobile devices and Obamacare forces the market to move toward a digital future, the lack of interoperability between care providers, businesses and patients has become increasingly apparent.


Through its new secure cloud collaboration platform, Box wants to help medical teams access health information from a secure, connected cloud. What’s key is that, with Box’s scalability, collaboration and data sharing between doctors and nurses can happen anywhere, which also has the added benefit of removing the fax machine and paper trail from healthcare.


“What we’re really going after is the unstructured data in healthcare,” says Google Health founder and Box's new  Managing Director of Healthcare and Life Sciences -- Missy Krasner. “Box can help secure, store and share all those images, video, documents and forms that tend to get lost in the archaic infrastructure and workflow that prevails in healthcare today.”



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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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Mozilla’s Web Literacy Standard, a framework for learning online, to launch in beta on June 26

Mozilla’s Web Literacy Standard, a framework for learning online, to launch in beta on June 26 | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |

Mozilla plans to launch the beta version of its Web Literacy Standard, a new online framework drawn up to help people read, write and participate on the Web, on June 26.


The project is an expansion of Webmaker, an initiative originally set up to help millions of people create new tools and content for the Web, rather than simply absorbing it as a passive user.


Doug Belshaw, Badges and Skills Lead at the Mozilla Foundation, says that the ideas and groundwork created for Webmaker could apply to all sorts of projects. There’s no overarching system, no way of clearly seeing the user’s skillset that needs to be addressed on the Internet.


“There’s so many people and organizations doing such excellent stuff around Web Literacy, but it’s a fragmented landscape,” Belshaw said. “Learners don’t know what they don’t know, and organizations providing learning content aren’t usually in a position to offer a comprehensive range of learning activities. The work needs joining-up.”


The first draft of the Web Literacy Standard was released on April 26 with a competency grid, split into three sections, which cover the fundamentals such as navigation, privacy, sharing and collaboration.

Andre Alipio's curator insight, June 3, 2013 3:32 PM

Never too many!

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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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Mozilla Launches Open Badges 1.0, A New Standard to Recognize and Verify Online Learning and Education

Mozilla Launches Open Badges 1.0, A New Standard to Recognize and Verify Online Learning and Education | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |

As web-based learning platforms proliferate, and education increasingly happens in formal and informal settings and in both real and virtual classrooms, there is a growing need for a new form of credentialing that reflects these changes. Traditional, paper-based diplomas and certificates are no longer enough, but designing a meaningful, universal replacement for the old standard doesn’t happen over night. Luckily, Mozilla is on the case.


The Open Badges framework is designed to allow any learner to collect badges from multiple sites, tied to a single identity, and then share them out across various sites, including personal blogs to social networking channels. It is critical for this infrastructure to be open to give learners control over their own learning and credentials, allow anyone to issue badges, and for each learner to carry their badges with them across the Web and other contexts.


Its goals further elucidate Mozilla’s mission, which is simply to provide a system “for alternative accreditation, credentialing, and recognition” and help those alternative credentials “expand beyond siloed environments to be broadly shareable” and to “truly support learners learning everywhere.


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How to Help Mobile Education Go Global

How to Help Mobile Education Go Global | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |

For many of us, the conversation around mobile learning has shifted from asking whether mobile devices present educational opportunities to how they might best do so.


From that second question, a new initiative has been launched: SMILE, the Stanford Mobile Inquiry Learning Environment, an idea, which, in practice, is almost staggeringly simple. Essentially, SMILE is a learning management system that allows students to create, share, answer, and evaluate questions in a collaborative manner through the use of cell phones.


Students use mobile devices — typically android phones that are connected to the same network — to create their own multiple-choice questions about a given topic. Their classmates answer those questions, and evaluate them based on their difficulty. While the devices need to be connected to each other, they don’t necessarily need to be connected to the outside Web, which is a key issue for some communities around the globe, said Paul Kim, the assistant dean and chief technology officer of Stanford University’s Office of Innovation & Technology and SMILE’s creator.


The drive to make questions that score higher on their peers’ difficulty index ultimately spurs students to think about the subject material in a deeper way, Kim says. And while there are some shortcomings—such as the lack of allowance for longer-form responses like written answers and essays, and a reliance mostly on more simple content elements such as texts and still photographs—the system’s simpleness allows it to be used in a variety of educational environments, ranging from a rural village in southern Africa to a medical school classroom at Stanford itself.


But creating such a project is one thing. Actually putting it into practice is another. So Kim, who has also helped launch SMILE in India, Argentina, and suburban Northern California, shares some of his tactics and lessons learned about how best to launch this project even in communities that are unlikely to have Internet access — or sometimes even electricity.

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Wikipedia expects to offer SMS-based access within months

Wikipedia expects to offer SMS-based access within months | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |

Wikipedia has long been pushing for access to its communal knowledge among those who can't afford the latest technology, going so far as to strike deals with carriers to deliver free mobile web viewing.


It's set to expand that reach to those for whom any advanced cellphone is out of the question. In part through the help of a Knight News Challenge grant and South Africa's Praekelt Foundation, the non-profit's Wikipedia Zero effort will offer its content through SMS and USSD messages in the next few months. Curious users will just have to send a text message to get an article in response, with no web required at all.


It's a big step forward for democratizing online information for those who may not even have access to a smartphone, although we're curious as to how it will handle large articles; we can only imagine the volume of messages when trying to look up the known universe.

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U.K. MOOCs Alliance, Futurelearn, Adds Five More Universities And The British Library — Now Backed By 18 Partners

U.K. MOOCs Alliance, Futurelearn, Adds Five More Universities And The British Library — Now Backed By 18 Partners | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |

Futurelearn, the U.K.’s first large-scale alliance between traditional higher education institutions aimed at testing the waters of MOOCs (massively open online courses), has bolstered the number of partners signed up to offer free courses. Five more universities are joining the original 12 announced last December, along with the British Library — which has signed an agreement with Futurelearn to develop online courses using BL resources.


The British Library’s addition to the roster is interesting, being as, although it runs some workshops and training courses, it’s not a traditional higher education institution — underlining how MOOCs’ campus-less, remotely delivered education model broadens the pool of potential education providers, as well as widening access for students.


The five new university signs-up to Futurelearn are the universities of Bath, Leicester, Nottingham, Queen’s Belfast and Reading. The original 12 who formed Futurelearn are:  Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, East Anglia, Exeter, King’s College London, Lancaster, Leeds,  Southampton, St Andrews and Warwick, along with UK distance-learning organization The Open University (OU).

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Realtime Analytics For Education: Ontract Wants To Do For Student Data What Did For Financial Data

Realtime Analytics For Education: Ontract Wants To Do For Student Data What Did For Financial Data | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |

Many teachers and administrators believe that the fragmentation of educational platforms and opacity of student data is crippling the system. The last thing that education needs is more “comfortable” or “sexy” data silos with decent UX/UI, Ontract's founder, Julian Miller says. And while there are a lot of edtech platforms out there attempting to aggregate data, the founder believes the advanced analytics, collaboration element and personalized learning engine is what could give OnTract a leg up.


Ontract, a realt-time analytics platform for K-12 schools that aims to do for educational data what did for financial data. Ontract’s reporting is designed to give teachers and administrators quick visibility into a range of information from individual students all the way to a federal level. Teachers can access standard reports generated by Ontract, create their own based on particular data subsets, view charts, graphs and infographics and tap into the startup’s predictive technology which aims to help them get a sense of what all this data means.


As to how it works: After schools register to use Ontract, the company connects the school’s core learning systems to its platforms and teachers can then connect their personal tools. The startup applies its analytics to identify trends, patterns or outliers, and notifies teachers when there’s a problem or aberration.


The startup’s personalized learning engine generates a playlist of resources to help, which teachers can then push to parents in the same way they’d respond to an email. And parents, in turn, have instant access to those resources to help their children in real-time, rather than having to wait for teachers to find time to walk them through it.



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The next move in enterprise social is enterprise scrapbooks

The next move in enterprise social is enterprise scrapbooks | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |

We’ve watched so many ideas move from the consumer world to the workplace in the past several years. Search, iPhones, apps, and social networks have all become standard in the enterprise. The consumerization of IT has had a major impact on the the working world and there’s no reason to believe it is over. So where does it go next?




Here’s one likely direction…social ‘scrapbooks’ are already an established way to discover and display a consumer’s interests in digital format. Users can find others who share their passions and can give and take content that builds out each others’ boards.  This ‘pinboard’ model has proven immensely popular in a short time and now 10′s of millions of consumers are users. Pinterest is a well-known example, but there are others like PinchIt that take a geographic approach to digital scrapbooks. This is a rapid growth area that will be interesting to see develop.


And it makes sense. There’s something very satisfying about being ‘represented’ by the things we are passionate about. Go to any tech company, or any company for that matter, and notice the creativity applied just to the cubicle as people strive to personalize even their own workspace. Using a digital scrapbook is a logical next step.


Talking to PinchIt cofounder Aneel Ranadive, he says, “In the consumer space, we’ve created a product that provides for social scrapbooking. It allows people to discover and collect things they’re interested in. We see that the same rules apply to the enterprise where employees discover and capture relevant details about their company, their customers and their work through an interface that’s very easy to pick up. This is a content collaboration tool that is fun to use and helps people to be more productive than traditional platforms.”


It’s a different thing


When asked if this idea competes with other social media tools, Ranadive points out that, “Enterprise social networking tools are great for ongoing communication. We offer content collaboration and discovery via the scrapbook. It’s a different thing.” In the same way that Pinchit organizes consumers around cities, their product allows organizations to align around geographies or functions. Where it gets especially interesting is the gamification that PinchIt uses that allows the users with the most influence to be branded as a “tastemaker”. The same concept applies to the working world but with other terms to describe the most influential workers., like “dealmaker”.

And it doesn’t stop with the pinboard. By using search, workers can find other employees that share the same interest, whether that be a technology, work function, customer, product or project.

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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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The Future of Education: Recombining Elements = Innovation

The Future of Education:  Recombining Elements = Innovation | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |

What will the future of education look like?


KnowledgeWorks Foundation has just released the third edition of its education forecast, called Forecast 3.0, Recombinant Education: Regenerating the Learning Ecosystem. The document highlights five disruptions that will reshape learning over the next decade.





>> Democratized Startup


Transformational investment strategies and open access to startup knowledge, expertise, and networks will seed an explosion of disruptive social innovations.


>> High-Fidelity Living


As big data floods human sensemaking capacities, cognitive assistants and contextual feedback systems will help people target precisely their interactions with the world.


>> De-Institutionalized Production


Activity of all sorts will be increasingly independent of institutions as contributions become more ad-hoc, dynamic, and networked.


>> Customizable Value Webs


Innovative, open business models will leverage complex networks of assets and relationships to create ultra-customer-centric experiences across industries.


>> Shareable Cities


Next gen cities will drive social innovation, with urban infrastructure shaped by patterns of human connection and contribution.


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Udemy Unveils A Teacher-Focused Redesign

Udemy Unveils A Teacher-Focused Redesign | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |

One of the big names in online learning has just unveiled some new tools that teachers of all kinds should try out. Earlier today, Udemy introduced a new version of its platform that’s specifically tailored to teachers. It’s main goal is to empower teachers of all abilities to share their knowledge and expertise with the world.


Udemy has refocused on creating a more robust curriculum and toolset in order to start driving the best educators to their site and therefore a larger audience. The new curriculum editor on Udemy places less emphasis on starting a class and more instead on actually creating an outline for your course.


In other words, they don’t want to throw you in the deep end of a Massive Open Online Course and watch you drown. Thanks to a better curriculum and preparation, it’s easier for teachers to adapt their teaching style and lesson plans into an online format.


There are also improved support forums on Udemy’s new redesign. The ‘Udemy Faculty Lounge’ lets all instructors virtually congregate and share best practices, content, tools, and more.


Udemy has been growing quite steadily over the past 9 months. Bali says they’re seeing a steady 20% growth month-over-month and that instructors have published more than 5,000 courses on Udemy. 1,500 of those courses were paid courses. That’s about 7 times the number of paid courses from 2011.

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Scooped by Huey O'Brien! - The Social Networking Platform For Researchers - The Social Networking Platform For Researchers | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |

For about five years, Richard Price and the team at have been quietly building a social networking platform for academics and researchers.


For years, it was slow going. It took three years for the company to get its first million users while mainstream consumer social networking platforms like Twitter were taking off.  But now, boasts 4.3 million users — perhaps around one-quarter of an estimated 17 million academics globally. They have been picking up about 1 million new users every three months.


The ultimate goal is to change the way scientific research is distributed and validated. Price envisions a platform where every research paper ever published will be freely available to the public.


“More outsiders will be able to come in and bring that beginner’s mind thinking to research,” Price said, pointing to 16-year-old Jack Andraka who studied papers from Science on applications for nanotubes and used that research to invent a new test for pancreatic cancer that is 26,000 times cheaper than previously existing tests and 400 times more sensitive.



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4 Social Learning Facts You Should Know

4 Social Learning Facts You Should Know | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |

Social media giants like FaceBook and the like demonstrate the possibilities that we have available to us when it comes to social learning. To help you get a bit more acquainted with social learning in 2013, see some of the facts below:


1. It’s On the Rise: Learning by informal, social methods is more and more common. Learning development professionals have traditionally used tools to help learners collaborate, usually by leveraging discussion forums.  New APIs and slick gamification tools enables more complex ways for social interaction.


2. From “2.0″ to “3.0″: Some argue that social learning “3.0″ is all about the blending of formal learning methods and informal methods through social experience. No more is learning defined by the data stored in an Learning Management System (LMS), it is about leveraging and evaluating real experiences.


3. Software Offerings: We are now seeing more platforms emerge that present feature-rich learning management capabilities. Learners can now interact with the content instead of just have it delivered to them.  Quizzes are becoming more dynamic within these programs as well.


4. Big Business: With the rapid growth in learning management, social learning, and new APIs, the learning industry is attracting some big players. Recently, IBM bought out Kenexa, and are expected to make more strategic acquisitions within the learning industry.

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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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Coursera partners with 10 universities for online classes

Coursera partners with 10 universities for online classes | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |

Online learning startup Coursera has formed partnerships with 10 public universities and university systems to develop courses that can be taken for credit either online or in a blended classroom-online environment.


By exploring new uses for massive open online courses (MOOCs), the partnership aims to improve the quality of the education, as well as expand access and increase graduation rates for up to 1.25 million students at the schools, the Mountain View, Calif.-based company announced Wednesday.


The hope is that the program will encourage new teaching methods, as well as enhancing existing approaches by creating a "blended learning" experience that combines online video lectures with on-campus instruction that stresses classroom engagement. The platform could also allow instructors to access already-developed content and adapt it to their own needs.


Collaborating with Coursera in the program are the State University of New York (SUNY), the Tennessee Board of Regents, University of Tennessee System, University of Colorado System, University of Houston System, University of Kentucky, University of Nebraska, University of New Mexico, University System of Georgia, and West Virginia University.

Other online education providers have already developed programs with public universities.EdX launched a not-for-profit joint venture last year with Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to make education material available online for free. Udacity partnered with San Jose State University in January to offer San Jose State Plus, a pilot program that presents seemingly unlimited class size to students often hobbled by oversubscribed courses. One Udacity computer science class currently has 250,000 students enrolled.

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Can a mobile game help find the cure for cancer? Amazon, Google and Facebook hope so

Can a mobile game help find the cure for cancer? Amazon, Google and Facebook hope so | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |

We already know that data is integral to finding the cure for cancer, but some of that data needs the attention of human rather than machine eyes to be properly interpreted. To that end, the charity Cancer Research UK has teamed up with Amazon, Facebook and Google to create a mobile game for analysing genetic mutations.


The aim of the game is simply to harness more eyes – cancer researchers already trawl through genetic data to try to pick up on subtle irregularities, but the task would be a lot easier if more people were involved. The charity has already created a web-based game called Cell Slider for looking through archived tissue samples, but the new game is supposed to make the search for a cure more fun, and more suitable for on-the-go usage.


Cancer Research UK is holding a hackathon called GameJam this weekend, at which 40 coders – including Facebook engineers — gamers, graphic designers and “other specialists” will hopefully come up with a suitable format — the goal is a game that can be played for just 5 minutes at a time. The result will be hosted on Amazon Web Services, and Google is hosting the event and providing financial support for the scheme.


“We’re making great progress in understanding the genetic reasons cancer develops. But the clues to why some drugs will work and some won’t, are held in data which need to be analysed by the human eye – and this could take years,”  said Professor Carlos Caldas, senior group leader at Cancer Research UK’s University of Cambridge facility, in a statement.


“By harnessing the collective power of citizen scientists we’ll accelerate the discovery of new ways to diagnose and treat cancer much more precisely.”

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Technological telepathy: brain-to-brain communication achieved

Technological telepathy: brain-to-brain communication achieved | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |

Telepathy has long been a subject of controversy in physical and psychological circles, offering the potential for removing the material and sensory walls between individuals, and allowing the direct transmission of information without using any of our known sensory channels or physical interactions. Although true telepathy still appears to be pseudoscience, futurists have long predicted that some form of technologically-based telepathy would eventually emerge ... and, it would appear, it has.


Researchers at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina in the U.S. report in the February 28, 2013 issue of Scientific Reports the successful wiring together of sensory areas in the brains of two rats. The result of the experiment is that one rat will respond to the experiences to which the other is exposed.


Neurobiologist Miguel Nicolelis and his colleagues have been experimenting with direct electrical stimulation of sensory areas in an attempt to extend the reach of our senses. "Our previous studies with brain-machine interfaces had convinced us that the brain was much more plastic than we had thought," said Nicolelis. "In those experiments, the brain was able to adapt easily to accept input from devices outside the body and even learn how to process invisible infrared light detected by an artificial sensor. So, the question we asked was, if the brain could assimilate signals from artificial sensors, could it also assimilate information input from sensors from a different body."


The Duke University group is pushing forward with additional experiments, most notably by trying to interconnect several rats at once. The main question is if emergent properties might come out of such a "brain-net," perhaps leading to mental abilities not possessed by any one rat. Professor Nicolelis even suggests that an "organic computer" capable of solving puzzles in a non-Turing way might emerge from a brain-net, which could avoid many of the limitations of traditional computing systems.


Whatever the future holds, what has already been accomplished is worth a certain amount of wonder. Imagine what it might feel like to be a unit in a multiform brain having many bodies. The benefits and potential dangers of such entities deserves contemplation.

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Sokikom Wants To Use Social, MMO Gaming To Help Kids Learn Math

Sokikom Wants To Use Social, MMO Gaming To Help Kids Learn Math | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |

The cool part about Sokikom, which sets it apart from other cool animated, learning gameslike MindSnacks is that it’s a MMO, allowing an entire class of students to play the same math game in realtime, where half of the class on the Red Team, and the other is on the Blue Team, for example. The teams can play a game for three minutes, in which the one with the highest cumulative score wins. Patel says that, beyond being fun for students, it actually has utility in terms of improving the learning experience.


MMOs are, by nature, social, so rather than the typical classroom scenario where the more advanced students can actually help other students get up to speed, the idea is to create an experience where students help each other learn math naturally to help lead their teams to victory. In addition, the fact of the matter is that math can be a little dry (sometimes an all out Snooze Fest), and it’s tough to get young students excited about it and motivated to study its core concepts. But Sokikom has found in classroom tests that students care more about how they perform in game settings because they feel that they can be active contributors to the success of the team. That means higher motivation, thanks to serving the bitter Math pill with a more sugary coating.


The other piece of Sokikom’s equation, which teachers (and users) can set up separately from its math program (read: Game world) or use in combination, is its classroom management tool.Tackling the same problem as startups like ClassDojo, Sokikom helps teachers try to get rowdy classrooms under control by, simply put, reinforcing positive, in-class behavior. When students aren’t acting a-fool, the service allows them to earn “class cash” that they can spend on virtual rewards in its game world.

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Wikimedia Foundation launches travel site 'Wikivoyage'

Wikimedia Foundation launches travel site 'Wikivoyage' | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |

Want to know more about the German spa city called Baden Baden, or "Bathing Bathing?" Or how to get to Khajuraho -- an Indian town known for its ancient erotic rock carvings? All this and more will be in the Wikimedia Foundation's new travel site, called Wikivoyage.


A bare-bones version of the site has already been up and running since September, but the official launch of the filled-out site is tentatively scheduled for January 15.  Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales appeared on The Colbert Report yesterday and confirmed that the site would be launching "soon." Wales told the show's host that the site does not have a business model and will not have any advertising -- as is the case for all sites run by the Wikimedia Foundation.


The goal of Wikivoyage is to provide users with information on travel destinations and recommendations on restaurants, hotels, nightlife, and more. The site's content is filled out with the open source wiki tool that lets users create, update, and edit any article on the site.


"Wikivoyage is a project to create a free, complete, up-to-date, and reliable world-wide travel guide," the site says. "Whenever travellers meet each other on the road, they swap info about the places they came from and ask questions about places they're going. We want to make it easy to share that knowledge and let others share it."

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How does social meet processes?

How does social meet processes? | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |

Communities of practice, intranets and team collaboration are not the only scenarios through which social media are percolating inside the enterprise.


More recently a number of pundits have suggested an additional and quite diverse opportunity for injecting peer-to-peer interactions inside work practices by marrying traditional business processes and collaboration. One year ago, Ray Wang and its Constellation Research Group summed up the key targets of this transformation mentioning areas such as Customer Service and Sales, HCM, Marketing and PR, Project Management through 43 use cases.


Social and processes come together following different levels of maturity to introduce a number of benefts:


>> Exception handling as an efficiency lever:


According to Forrester, 50% circa of employees consider existing processes too rigid to facilitate adoption and effectively allowing them to reach process goals. Rigid, a-priori designed processes break down in front of an increasing uncertainty, volatility, competition and power consumers get thanks to social media. That’s where being reactive quickly, constantly learning, anticipating issues when they present and improvising becomes important as processes.


>>Social in the flow:


Switching between tens of not integrated enterprise applications and adding load to existing responsibilities is not something employees are looking for. Deploying social media in the flow of current work practices is thus a clear adoption pattern project and community manager shouldn’t forget.


>>Improving knowledge work.


According to McKinsey 20% to 50% of knowledge work is inefficient or totally wasted while knowledge workers are the quickest growing and most expensive part of our workforce. An opportunity of making them more productive is at hand. The value locked in internal collaboration is two times bigger than in customer facing engagement.


>>Building the agile enterprise:


Empowering rank and file by pushing decisional power lower in the hierarchy at the very point where issues arise it’s the possibility for the organization to become more agile and reactive to change. Adding collaboration on top or inside processes gives employees the right to accomodate customer’s requests, to fix inefficiencies, to circulate and aggregate all the knowledge available while minimizing barriers to change management.

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The 4 main Elements of Enterprise 2.0

The 4 main Elements of Enterprise 2.0 | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |

Enterprise 2.0 enables many opportunities for companies and organizations. Relevant information can be quickly and globally distributed to all employees. Information, knowledge and networking take place on a single platform which all employees have access to. Employees, partners and customers can work together; start networking and exchange ideas within and outside the company. Modern structures are highly motivating for employees; it can boost creativity and innovation and transform the whole enterprise into a more agile one.


In order to unleash the potential of Enterprise 2.0 for companies and organizations, a brief look at the four main elements of Enterprise 2.0 is worth: Communication, information, networking and collaboration.




Communication is essential for success. If employees generate ideas, thoughts and opinions, companies can gain moods and opinions very fast. Enterprise 2.0 services with comment functions require an open communication culture. The so called “social pressure” sets the necessary framework for an internal corporate network. Applications for file sharing, and personal profiles with contact details enriches the corporate communication options





More information thanks to networks. The intuitive design of Enterprise 2.0 services enables different networks in any company and organization. These networks are made for different departments, groups or teams. Networks are also evolving for coworking spaces or seminar groups in schools, colleges and universities. Thus, it´s automatically controlled who gets which information. By #topics such information can be automatically clustered to an ever growing knowledge base.




Based on the principles of social networks, Enterprise 2.0 provides the ability to maintain personal profiles, individual networks and operate smaller networks for special or temporary topics or team work. The social web is made for employees who share expertise, information and opinions with colleagues – as well as with customers and partners in external networks. Employees and their know-how can be searched and found in an innovative way like traditional hierarchical structures would not do so.




Through proactive collaboration in the Enterprise 2.0, collaboration with maximum freedom across departments, locations and companies is possible. Internal corporate networks and an expert search engage people to work together, share knowledge and experiences. Basis for planning and implementing appropriate tools and processes is the question, whether a company or organization wants to remain competitive in the future.

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Social collaboration improves team efficiency by 20%

Social collaboration improves team efficiency by 20% | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |
Social collaboration is becoming increasingly important within organisations. This infographic shows how collaborative software can improve team efficiency.
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Why Community Matters

Why Community Matters | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |
What makes enterprise social networks and communities relevant and valued today? It’s useful to look back slightly on a significant market dynamic that occurred in the last two decades of the 20th century.




At the start the 21st century the economy shifted towards a service-oriented and knowledge-based economy which predominantly rests with added value: returns beyond the costs of capital, through innovative work in strategic management, product and market development and by creating deeper and expanded relationships with customers, business partners, employees or ecosystems of contingent workers.


In this kind of economy, it’s the talent and knowledge of people, and the results of their productive interactions that create value - the ability to solve complex problems or invent new solutions, and engage with customers in more authentic and compelling ways.


In the ensuing first decade of the 21st century the proliferation of Web 2.0 technologies has fostered the emergence of a category of company that McKinsey called ‘the networked enterprise' reflecting the connectedness externally with customers as well as internally with employees.


A 2010 McKinsey report, The Rise of the Networked Enterprise: Web 2.0 Finds Its Payday, showed quantitatively that networked companies showed significant margin share gains, higher operating margins and advanced their market leadership position.The companies that are fully networked, on the inside and the outside are the real winners.




Communties possess a unique set of dynamics that in turn yield value. The quality of participation is catalyzed by a clear sense of purpose for the community, with the dynamics of transparency, persistence, the sense of both independence of contribution as well as collective engagement all reinforcing a positive flow of participation.


In this era of networked engagement, there are emerging models to assess and understand how value is achieved through community dynamics and participation mobilized to a purpose.


Depending on the nature of a community the value can be various forms such as the immediate value from the interactions and activities or the potential value of various forms of knowledge capital (i.e., sharing personal assets [human capital], developing relationships [social capital, gaining access to resources [tangible capital], collective intangible assets i.e., the prestige of the community or profession [reputational capital] or the transformed ability to learn [learning capital])


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