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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.
One week after Wikipedia launched its HTML5 video player, its for-profit counterpart Wikia has released its very own new multimedia streaming player, and a slew of content syndication deals.
Just to recap, while Wikipedia is the non-profit, crowdsourced encyclopedia; Wikia is his Web-hosting service for crowdsourced wikis, free for readers and editors, but funded by advertising to make money.
Now, Wikia is unveiling a new Lightbox multimedia player for the site’s 50-million-plus monthly global visitors. The new Wikia player will feature nearly 100,000 videos and 14 million photos, including content from its new syndication partners AnyClip, IDG, IGN, RealGravity, and ScreenPlay. This will give users access to 5,000 hours of premium content.
>> VIDEO TRENDS <<
Wikia’s strategic launch is consistent with the general trend across the online media sphere, with video playing a far more prominent role. “The new video library, and Lightbox player will amplify Wikia’s naturally strong community creation and curation activities by enabling the assembly and packaging of user created and premium photo and video content in one place,” says Wikia CEO, Craig Palmer. “This also gives us the opportunity to bring our users the best professional video content available on the Web. Like the recent redesign of our Home Page and Hubs, these efforts will make it easier to showcase the passionate pursuit of knowledge through collaborative storytelling.”
Through the new Lightbox player, Wikia users can stream trailers, previews, clips and studio videos at up to 1080p (HD) quality. They can also curate professional, licensed content for integration with original wiki content. During its beta phase, the Lightbox player offered multimedia collections on wikis such as Shrek, Mortal Kombat, Hunger Games and Lord of the Rings. It’s now available to all 250,000+ Wikia communities across its video game, entertainment and lifestyle categories.
The interactive player can be triggered from any photo or video thumbnail, or users can navigate directly to the collection of videos on a given wiki by selecting the standalone video collection page in the navigation bar. Interestingly, users will soon be able to embed these videos on their own websites, which will be a huge development given the network effect this will help create.
I don't always play social games, but when I do, I like them to help me pay for my education.
I don’t always play social games, but when I do, I like them to help me pay for my education. If “The Most Interesting Man In The World” were to endorse Grantoo, this might be his conclusion. Grantoo is a social gaming platform that allows college students to compete against each other to win tuition grants and donate to charity in brand-sponsored gaming tournaments.
Grantoo launched in beta this spring, opening its platform to all students with an “.edu” email address. During its trial run, the company gave away over $30K in tuition grants and raised over $10K for charity, with institutions like Yale, Duke, Stanford, UC Berkeley, UCLA, and USC participating. Grantoo lets college students earn grants to help pay for those costly tuitions and, in turn, requires them to donate between 10 and 100 percent of their winnings to a charity of their choice (which includes The Hunger Project, Partners In Health, Pencils of Promise, MAMA and Engineers Without Borders, to name a few).
The startup has also increased the stakes considerably, as it plans to distribute over $100K in rewards this fall. Under this model, students win, as do charities. While the overall impact on the colossal student debt problem is minimal at this point, but with Grantoo’s obvious no-brainer value for students, if it can encourage brands to continue signing by continuing to refine incentives, with scale that impact grows.
Traditionally, brands don’t get much credit for the donations they make to academic scholarships and other charitable causes, say Grantoo’s co-founders, so the startup is working to provide them with ample branding opportunities on its platform, allowing companies to customize the tournament interface to reflect their brand’s ethos. To date, Grantoo has hosted tournaments sponsored by WePay, KRED, Grooveshark and AVG, and Sillam says that 10 Fortune 500 companies are currently in the pipeline to sponsor tournaments this year
An estimated 135 million people play video games, spending three billion hours a week glued to a screen. But that’s not necessarily bad news. In fact, playing video games may be part of an evolutionary leap forward, according to Howard Rheingold, educator and author of the book Net Smart: How to Thrive Online.
Rather than characterizing them as hapless drones wasting time, Rheingold’s book contends that this massive population of gamers is part of a growing group of “supercollaborators,” as described by Jane McGonigal, director of game research and development at the Institute for the Future, who’s interviewed in the book.
Rheingold connects the dots on collaboration literacy and what he calls “Social-Digital-Know-How.” Multi-player games in particular, and virtual communities in general, are technologies that require cooperation. And when you consider the cumulative amount of technical knowledge, these gamers could be the first wave of people who possess what scientists have started calling “collective IQ.” Already, gamers who play the online game Foldit have cracked the code of the structure of a protein-cutting enzyme from an AIDS-like virus, which has eluded scientists for years, and could lead to a new drug.
It’s hard to think of a realm of human behavior that has not been influenced, in some way, by a form of mass collaboration.
This idea of collective intelligence and digital culture came from French media scholar Pierre Lévy, who argues that a networked culture gives rise to new structures of power, stemming from the ability of diverse groups of people to pool knowledge, collaborate through research, debate interpretations. Together, these groups refine their understanding of the world.
Rheingold has dedicated years to studying human potential and the species’ capacity for cooperation. The outlines of his perspective, breaking the old school “every man for himself” narrative, stem from a distinctly utopian lens. Rheingold’s findings and admonitions serve as a tonic for some of the dystopian views in the mix that predict digital communication will spell doom for humanity.
What Is Learnist?
Learnist lets you create learning boards that are essentially digitally curated silos of information. But since Learnist was built with education in mind from the start, the learning boards are easy to use in the classroom, assign as homework, or simply share on other social networks.
Until now, Learnist has been a web-based tool that is still in beta mode. But as of the publishing of this article, Learnist apps are officially available for iOS (iPhone and iPad). The iPhone app reminds me of Instagram (in a good way) and the iPad app reminds of Pulse (again, in a good way). Both apps are intuitive, easy to browse, and fun.
The iPhone app is all about content creation. It lets you quickly snap a photo of anything and then create a board around that topic. Traveling to Paris? Snap photos of your trip and use it as chance to come back and learn more about each place you visited.
Best of all, the social aspect of Learnist means people from all over the world can see your photos in real-time and comment, enhance, or even add your photos to their learning boards.
The iPad app is all about content discovery. The iPad is well known to be a lean-back device that’s perfect for finding new and interesting information. Same with the Learnist iPad app. You can watch videos, browse rich media, and take full advantage of basically all Learnist has to offer.
Why These Apps Matter To You
But the real story here is that Learnist and other high-end edtech tools are starting to dictate the future of education technology. They’re doing it by creating high quality apps that leverage the hard work and expensive research already done by other companies. For example, the Learnist design resembles Pinterest for a reason. It’s image browsing resembles Facebook for a reason. It’s apps resemble popular apps for a reason. These designs are proven to work and that’s exactly what a lot of developers and designers forget. Education technology companies are constantly trying to reinvent the wheel. Learnist has simply taken the best spokes from the current wheel and combined them altogether. Not a bad idea.
Spigit has launched ICON as a free service to promote the use of mass crowdsourcing with the purpose of innovation and growth. It combines best practices and knowledge gained from delivering Spigit’s solutions to the market. It lets employees connect with their entire organization by posing questions and challenges and getting immediate feedback from coworkers.
ICON presents a serious of questions or challenges. You can decide which ones to take on. Contrary to typical voting mechanisms every idea in ICON gets equal assessment as coworkers and employees engage in a pair-wise comparison game of selecting this one or that one. The solutions the crowd finds valuable then bubble to the top of the leaderboard. There is room for comments and the forced choice method allows for more precise comparisons. Once you decide between one pair, a new one comes up to further refine your perspective. Over time you get a rank order of answers for an individual and for a group.
There is also a gamification aspect as users can earn points and top leaderboard status by posting challenges, voting, commenting and “gifting.” The screen also shows the top answers, the top experts (people most active), and the question activity. The latter is an activity stream for a question so you can track what is happening. The system is dynamic and is constantly being updated based on new input. As an idea moves to the top, an alert is sent to the activity stream. You can also see who is voting and when this occurs.
Knowledge used to be the sole domain of the individual, highly educated expert. A professor with a PH.D. or a carefully researched and written book were the best sources to find out about something.
Peer to Peer U (P2PU) employs a model of free online learning that relies on this community-based knowledge creation approach to make learning accessible to anyone with an Internet connection. Even more interesting, P2PU allows those who have successfully completed at least one course (they call them challenges) to build and offer their own to other members of the community. While some have raised concerns about the efficacy and accuracy of this model, it provides an interesting snapshot of the intersection of education and crowdsourced content that offers some clues about what the future of education may look like.
The P2PU Model
Read More at the Blog Post...
Slowly but surely, health care is becoming a killer app for big data.
In a field where controlled experiments can be expensive and sometimes ineffective, it’s turning out there might be no substitute like the real-world data.
Probably the most widely known company in this space is PatientsLikeMe, a social network designed to let individuals share their medical conditions so they can learn from others like themselves what treatments might work best in their particular circumstances. As a side effect, the company is able to conduct observational trials based on data users willingly volunteer.
Founded in 2006, 23andMe set out with an ambitious goal: To one day make the human genome searchable by becoming the go-to resource for personal genetic information.
Founded in 2006, 23andMe set out with an ambitious goal: To one day make the human genome searchable by becoming the go-to resource for personal genetic information. Leveraging DNA analysis technology and web-based interactive tools, the company developed a “Personal Genome Service” that allows anyone and everyone to access and better understand their genetic data, including their ancestry and predisposition to certain diseases.
But the company believes that its true differentiation and value proposition today derives from a novel research model. Along with providing users with 200+ health and traits reports and ancestry info, the service enables users to opt-into sharing their medical and family history, lifestyle and other phenotypic data, contributing it to genetic research or participating directly in studies and surveys.
So, when 23andMe was recently awarded its first patent for determining a user’s risk for Parkinson’s Disease, it was naturally seen as big validation for its crowdsourced and community-driven approach to genetic research.
With its patent representing both a validation of its research and model and a potential new revenue stream), 23andMe now wants to double down on patient and community-driven research. And what better way to follow your first patent than with your first acquisition? On Tuesday, the company officially announced that it is scooping up the four-year-old CureTogether, a similarly-focused startup that aims to give people the tools they need to create their own research studies, learn about their health, and connect with experts and others who suffer from similar conditions.
When Open Innovation leads to Collective Intelligence
As far as we consider the Open Innovation and Collective Intelligence correlation, there is a common supposition that Collective Intelligence assumption culminates into Open Innovation initiatives, under certain conditions, of course.
But what if we reverse the equation? Does an Open Innovation (in general or a concrete initiative) lead to Collective Intelligence sprouting within the organisation ? When, if so? If we scrutinise the Open Innovation approaches, they seem all to conclude with placing the new product on the market, I think there is “life” beyond that.
The Wikimedia Foundation, the steward organisation behind the Wikipedia project, has concluded its annual fund-raiser with the announcement that $25 million have been raised from 145,573 donors to keep the online encyclopaedia advertising-free. The money raised will pay for improvements to the MediaWiki software that runs the site, server infrastructure and projects to increase the number of Wikipedia editors globally.
This year's fundraising campaign ran on the English version of Wikipedia in the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand for nine days, which constitutes the shortest fund-raising campaign initiated by the Foundation to date. Last year, a similar campaign raised $20 million in 46 days.
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.
Udacity wants to go beyond an English-language audience - and it's asking its users to help: The e-learning startup has partnered with Amara to add crowdsourced captions to its video assets.
E-learning startup Udacity has partnered with Amara, formerly known as Universal Subtitles, to use crowdsourcing for closed captioning of its video assets. Volunteers can use Amara’s web-based captioning editor to add subtitles to more than 5000 Udacity videos, and Amara co-founder Nicholas Reville told me via email that he expects “thousands of volunteers join over the next month.”
“We hope that by engaging our users with Amara’s platform, we can make our content more accessible by adapting to our international population’s languages. That is ultimately the core purpose of Udacity. We want to democratize education by broadening access and delivery of high quality university learning and content.”
For Amara, the partnership with Udacity means that it is expanding its footprint in the e-learning space. The crowdsourced captioning platform has already partnered with Coursera, TED and the Khan Academy. Reville told me that altogether, the platform has seen more than 68,000 volunteers subtitle over 200,000 videos in more than 100 languages.
A startup wants to turn video lessons into something more interactive and immersive. It's like a Skype chat on steroids. Harvard Professor Michael Sandel is on board and his popular video lectures are now in a must-see iPad app.
One of the biggest problems many people have with Khan Academy and YouTube Edu is simply the format. It’s not the fault of Khan or YouTube … it’s just that the passive video format is just that. It’s passive. Khan and others are introducing more interactive technology that acts as an added level of learning to the lessons but no one has nailed it quite yet.
A San Francisco-based startup called Net Power & Light Inc. wants to change that. And they’re working with one of the most popular (in terms of YouTube views at least) Harvard professors to show off what they can do. Net and Professor Michael Sandel have partnered to offer a more interactive way to learn using the Apple iPad.
Net’s software is called ‘Spin‘ which essentially turns passive video watching into interactive group learning. It’s like project-based learning but with the entire planet instead of just your classroom. Right now, Spin lets you remix and interact with content from Harvard, Stanford, TED, and the National Geographic Channel. “Teachers felt web-based learning wasn’t giving them the full experience,” Tara Lemmey, Net Power & Light’s co-founder and chief executive officer, said in an interview. “Education shouldn’t live by itself. It’s a world of together.”
So How’s It Work?
The Spin software lets you, like any video player, fast-forward, rewind, skip chapters, and pause videos. But it’s more than that. The software overlays video conferences you’re having simultaneously with other people in your group. You can pause the video and discuss it. It’s like a collaborative Skype session with the background being an informative multimedia presentation. Start the video, get your group to join in, watch a bit, then discuss. This could be a great tool for any distance learners or students doing PBL remotely.
The software also features a shared chalkboard so all the members of your group can draw right on the screen. It also lets you have individual audio controls since there will likely be more than one conversation happening simultaneously. In a fun twist, you can actually shrink or enlarge a person’s picture on the iPad screen to lower or raise their respective volume.
"FixYa, the Q&A site for products where where amateur product experts give repair advice to consumers, is debuting a new app today that allows people to shoot a video of a product problem with their iPhone and get a real product fix ..."
FixYa, which says it has an online community of 25 million users and 700,000 experts, essentially crowdsources product troubleshooting from consumers. The idea is that consumers can get better help from fellow users than from spending time with manufacturer call centers or from paying support fees. To date, FixYa’s community has answered 15 million questions across eight million products.
In the new iOS app, you can choose the product category from 36 general groupings, shoot a video from your smartphone explaining the issue, and receive a response from a FixYa expert on how to solve the issue. FixYa’s product categories span from cell phones, to coffee makers, and from cars to motherboards.
Lectures from Stanford, Rice, Duke, UCSF and a dozen other schools are being made freely available worldwide in dozens of languages, thanks to a partnership between online education startup Coursera and crowdsourced captioning service Amara.
Crowdsourced captioning provider Amara announced a partnership with Coursera Monday morning that will result in volunteers transcribing and translating more than 1,200 lectures from Coursera’s partner universities. Lectures are being translated into dozens of languages, and Coursera’s co-founder Andrew Ng said in a release sent out Monday that this approach has been key to making the site’s content available to non-English speakers.
Coursera isn’t Amara’s first partner in the field of online education: The service, which was previously known as Universal Subtitles, launched a partnership with the Khan Academy last summer. The partnership with Coursera could take crowd-captioned education to the next level: Coursera has more than one million registered students, and it announced in July that its courses are already taken in 190 different countries.
When peer-to-peer learning startup Skillshare launched early last year, it very quickly became a marketplace for knowledge, allowing anyone to create classes based on his or her individual expertise.
When peer-to-peer learning startup Skillshare launched early last year, it very quickly became a marketplace for knowledge, allowing anyone to create classes based on his or her individual expertise. The idea was to create a platform through which people could come together and learn new skills. But it was limited in that users could only participate in classes that took place in their local area.
Now Skillshare is allowing teachers to create classes through which that will be available globally. With the launch of its new hybrid classes, students will be able to take part in collaborative learning through local classes as well as online. While its existing model has proven incredibly successful, with more than 5,000 teachers signed up on the platform, founder and CEO Michael Karnjanaprakorn believes that the hybrid model of learning will make the platform available to a much wider range of students. Since classes are no longer tied to a specific city or geography, practically anyone will be able to participate in a hybrid class.
Teachers will also have more flexibility to have more project-oriented classes, rather than lecture-oriented classes that it currently offers. It’s a step toward what Skillshare like to call “collaborative learning.” That is, lessons aren’t dictated to students from a teacher, with students expected to memorize facts verbatim or to execute on projects alone. Instead, Skillshare is seeking to make learning more of a many-to-many experience, with students collaborating on projects, and thus learning from each other as much as they learn from the teacher.
The launch of hybrid classes follows the recent introduction of Skillshare’s new “Classroom” tools, which make it easier for students and teachers alike to share notes with one another and to collaborate on various projects. In many ways, the Classroom is at the center of the new hybrid classes, as it was an online extension of classes that were previously being taught offline. And it also helped move forward Skillshare’s collaborative learning agenda, by creating a place where anyone could exchange notes and thoughts.
What exactly is Reddit?
To further turn the firehose of information into a manageable stream, users can up-vote or down-vote questions. As a result, for users sorting the queue of questions by popularity, the cream generally rises to the top and the most off-topic questions end up at the bottom.
According to the translation firm Smartling, native English speakers only represented 3% of the total Internet population in 2011. Yet, 56% of online pages are English-only.
So how do we break language barriers online? Well, here are a few tools that can help you browse content in a language you don’t speak – pages of course, but also video and even speech.
Open innovation intermediaries are becoming increasingly mature and specific in the services they offer.
Research firm Forrester recently conducted a study – sponsored by open innovation company Innocentive – that polled 229 open innovation decision makers. Of those, only 17% described their open innovation initiatives as “mature,” while the great majority figured that their endeavors were “experimental,” or “emerging and expanding.”
I spoke with a handful of open innovation leaders and found the path to expansion and eventual maturity lies in the potential of collaboration and building like-minded and motivated communities of problem solvers...