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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Udacity looks to expand internationally with crowdsourced captions

Udacity looks to expand internationally with crowdsourced captions | Collective Intelligence & Distance 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.

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Cisco Transforms Social Media Monitoring with New Listening Center

Cisco Transforms Social Media Monitoring with New Listening Center | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |
Cisco is changing the way people connect and collaborate with social media. They recently launched their new Social Media Listening Center which enables employees, customers, partners and visitors to...


Cisco is changing the way people connect and collaborate with social media. They recently launched their new Social Media Listening Center which enables employees, customers, partners and visitors to view real-time Cisco conversations from the social web. It’s even packed with an interactive experience featuring six touch screens.  We interviewed Charlie Treadwell, Social & Digital Marketing Manager at Cisco, to learn more about the new Social Media Listening Center


Give us the logistical low down on the listening center. Who sees it?   The primary 6 screens we are visualizing help us identify first thing in the morning what conversation topics are trending and what the overall sentiment is. We identify any spikes in negative mentions we need to investigate, influencers mentioning Cisco, or has our response time slipped for our event management. We are even installing a 2-screen kiosk in front of our CEO and CMO’s offices. Typically configured to monitor brand mentions, trending topics, or influencer mentions, but this can be configured to focus on a vertical or business unit launching a new product or a new brand campaign we’re launching.


Social listening has allowed us to get closer to our customers. We believe the foundation of a strong social media strategy starts with listening. You have two ears and one mouth because you should listen twice as much as you speak. Our strategy began with the creation of a playbook. This has been critical to establishing how we monitor, respond, and triage conversations as they happen across our organization. Cisco has taken an ABC and 1-2-3 approach to listening. First we identify what the “action based conversations” are (ABCs for short). For example, is it a question, support issue, crisis or maybe just a positive mention? Cisco gets about 5 to 7 thousand mentions a day and roughly 3% of those are actionable. We then prioritize them with 1-2-3 to determine if we need a response in 24-hours, 72-hours or just when we can get to it. The conversations are then routed to the appropriate team to take action.


With over 70 Facebook pages, and 100 Twitter accounts, the listening center helps route customer conversations, both direct and passive mentions to the appropriate product teams and functions at Cisco. To maintain a positive ROI in social, it’s critical to only engage the necessary teams and individuals best suited to handle a conversion. From a customer’s perspective, they now expect Cisco to be listening, and it is our mission to ensure their voice is heard, and when appropriate, engaged by the best person to help them. In addition, we are able to amplify and update our customers with information around their care-abouts

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Google's Open Course Builder: A Giant Leap into 21st-Century Online Learning

Google's Open Course Builder: A Giant Leap into 21st-Century Online Learning | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |
"Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful." -- About Google

Google is the most powerful nonhuman teacher ever known to actual humans.


Implicitly and ceaselessly, Google performs formative assessments by collecting the following data: the content, genre and media that interests you most; when and for how long you access your external cloud brain; what your hobbies and routines are; with whom you work and communicate; who will get your November vote; and whether you prefer invigorating clean mint or enamel renewal toothpaste. By continuously refining the nuance of your sociogram, Google has already customized your next web exploration and taught itself to teach.


You Are Now Entering the Learning Management System


Months ago, Google entered the massive open online course (MOOC) space by introducing the free Power Searching with Google course to 150 thousand self-enrolled students (shocker: Google is not particularly concerned with enhancing your use of dozens of alternative search engines). More recently, Google gave away Open Course Builder -- tools that were used to construct its popular course -- and further disrupted traditional notions of who gets to play teacher (anyone) and how many students can take a class for free (1 or 100,000).


If you are an advanced geek, you will be able to author and publish your own e-learning space using Open Course Builder. If you don't know the difference between a .txt file and .jpg, choose a different learning management system (LMS) for now.


I enrolled in Power Searching to assess how Google's tools support 21st-century skills: critical thinking, collaboration, and creativity.With his gray beard and soothing demeanor, Senior Research Scientist Daniel M. Russell donned an avuncular professor role on streaming video as he explained the course's organization and tests: pre-class, midterm and culminating.


Online learning modules should be intuitive, persuading learners to forget that an infrastructure is unobtrusively guiding their knowledge and skill acquisition. Power Searching is pure course craftsmanship, what you might expect from a team of well-paid (and fed) content geniuses and instructional design experts.  The six 50-minutes classes were easy to navigate. An overview to each class was followed by five or six lessons featuring short introductions to content chunklets. After completing an exercise, students were invited to access supplementary resources and participate on discussion forums facilitated by teacher assistants.

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BenchPrep Offers Spotify-esque ‘All You Can Learn’ Subscriptions

BenchPrep Offers Spotify-esque ‘All You Can Learn’ Subscriptions | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |

Subscriptions have come to online learning. Usually, you have to pay for a single course that you want to take (much like brick-and-mortar schools).


BenchPrep wants to put a different twist on this and is now offering what is basically an ‘all you can learn’ package. It’s a silly term that I just made up, feel free to mock and / or steal it.


For $30 a month, you can take advantage of BenchPrep’s online test prep as well as a variety of courses on your laptop, smartphone, or tablet. The Chicago-based company started in 2011 and is a bit different from the bigger names like Coursera and Udacity thanks to its curriculum-based courses. They’re supplemented by textbooks from companies like McGraw Hill, O’Reilly Media, and Pearson.


Will this subscription model work for online education? Who knows. Is it great to see pricing structures start to change? Absolutely.  “This is more aligned to the education-as-a-service model,” said cofounder Ashish Rangnekar. Basically, that means students and test takers can try out related courses without having to worry about cost overruns.


BenchPrep plans on building on its current model and also focusing on tuition and ways to use data to further personalize learning. They’ve already got more than 275,000 students using their services so it will be interesting to see where they take online learning from here.

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Amazon’s New Whispercast Service Provides Organization-Wide Kindle Content Deployment

Amazon’s New Whispercast Service Provides Organization-Wide Kindle Content Deployment | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |
Amazon today unveiled its new Whispercast for Kindle service, which provides businesses and other organizations like schools a way to easily deploy Kindle content to members, students and employees across not only Amazon hardware, but also Kindle...


Amazon unveiled its new Whispercast for Kindle service, which provides businesses and other organizations like schools a way to easily deploy Kindle content to members, students and employees across not only Amazon hardware, but also Kindle apps for iOS and Android devices. Right now, it allows administrators to buy Kindle books and documents and spread them around. Amazon plans to one day add the ability to push out Kindle Fire apps to the company’s Android-powered tablets as well.


The initiative is clearly designed to give Kindle a greater foothold in the education market, where Amazon is saying that Whispercast allows not only widespread distribution of content, including free classic titles whose copyrights have expired, but also remote device management for Kindles owned by educational organizations. Already, there are programs that have seen Kindles deployed in school systems, including via Amazon’s own community outreach programs. Whispercast provides an easy way for organizations to more effectively deploy those programs, and also support students who may be bringing their own devices from home.


For business users, Whispercast offers centralized PDF distribution, and the ability to send around authorized apps to Fire devices “in the coming months,” according to Amazon’s press department. Since Amazon’s reach extends to popular BYOD options like the iPhone, iPad and Android smartphones via its Kindle app, this could be a very popular option for businesses looking to quickly and easily get everyone in the organization on the same page. Amazon also offers granularity of control, so that administrators can create different user groups and issue them different device settings (including custom network configurations) and content packages. Centralized control over purchases means that one account and payment method (including Amazon gift cards) can be used to purchase all content.


Whispercast is also completely free to use, which makes it highly suitable for not-for-profit and charity organizations as well. In general, this is an impressive offering from Amazon, and one that should help it gain a foothold in enterprise and education markets where it may lag behind other devices like Apple’s iPad and iPhone. And given the timing of this announcement, it’s likely also been hurried to market ahead of Apple’s iPad mini launch, which could itself be a very attractive device for schools and organizations looking for a low-cost tablet device to deploy more widely.

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25 EdTech Startups Worth Knowing

25 EdTech Startups Worth Knowing | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |

The education technology industry is seeing a massive influx of investment, interest, and resources. From tools to help you track grades to apps that help you find your next school, there’s a litany of resources being created on a daily basis.



Below is by no means an exhaustive list and it’s in absolutely no particular order. Each startup is doing something cool (we think, at least) and is worth knowing about.



The Chalkable app store lists the best education apps from across the web. You can browse apps by category, such as History, Math, Science, and more.



Understoodit is a web-application that helps teachers measure classroom confusion. 

Noodle recommends and connects you with the right schools, providers, experts, and tools to make your path to learning simple and fun.


Education Elements

Interested in blended learning solutions? Education Elements helps schools design and implement the right blended learning solutions for teachers & students.



A simple way to find and enroll in classes being held near you. Available in NYC and LA coming soon.



Using MyEdu helps every student tell his or her unique story in an interactive and fun web layout.


Obeekaybee is a Qualified Online Teacher Database and Resource Center.



Find, build and share resources with teachers across the hall or across the world — aligned with.



The social network for education. Simple, elegant course management meets social networking. All for free.



Learnist makes it easy to share what you know and learn new things.



Store, organize, and share your education and research for free.



Straigherline provides students with online courses and the ability to earn college credits



The Metryx Mobile Tracker is an exciting new application that gives educators an easier way to conduct formative assessments and monitor student progress on the fly!



Educating and helping students and professors write better business plans, feasibility plans, and marketing plans collaboratively in the classroom.



A must-know resource for all teachers and students. Coursera is one of the big names in Massive Open Online Courses right now.



Udacity is a digital university on a mission to democratize education. Our team of instructors, engineers and designers seek to innovate, educate and collaboratively create free classes for students everywhere.


Get immediate homework help or set up afforable online tutoring with a tutor from a top college.



Improve Student Outcomes and Instructor Effectiveness with the only Adaptive Learning Management System that can be configured to meet your specific academic and technology needs.



Knewton is a technology company that uses data to continuously personalize online learning content for individual students. Knewton analyzes data about the performance of each student and similar students on the platform, as well as the relevance of the educational content, in order to serve up the best activity for each student at a particular moment in time.



rSmart takes a different approach to higher ed technology. We make open source, community developed software easy to deploy, fully supported, and enterprise ready to lower costs, improve efficiencies, and reduce risk.



Udemy helps students make moves. Whether you want to get promoted, break into a new industry, start a company, further a passion, or just accelerate your life, Udemy helps you learn from the amazing instructors in the world, so that you can get there and get there faster.



SlideKlowd creates interaction and engagement wherever there is an audience.



EdX is a not-for-profit enterprise of its founding partners Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that features learning designed specifically for interactive study via the web.



Celly believes small messages change the world so we built a place where 140 characters builds movements inspires learning levels playing fields & promotes free speech


General Assembly

General Assembly is a global network of campuses for technology, business, and design

Ryan Sheehan's curator insight, October 25, 2014 3:56 PM

Top 25 list of apps,

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Angry Birds The Particle Physics Board Game: Rovio And CERN Collaborate On Making Learning Quantum Physics Fun

Angry Birds The Particle Physics Board Game: Rovio And CERN Collaborate On Making Learning Quantum Physics Fun | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |
Angry Birds-maker Rovio and CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, are to collaborate on developing...


Angry Birds-maker Rovio and CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, are to collaborate on developing “fun learning experiences” aimed at getting kids engaged with science. The collaboration is part of a new initiative by Rovio to use the power of the Angry Birds brand as a learning aid. The Finnish company has kicked off a learning program — under a new brand, called Angry Birds Playground (not to be confused with Angry Birds activity parks) – for 3 to 8-year-olds based on the Finnish National Curriculum for kindergarten.


Rovio said the collaboration will involve co-producing learning support materials with CERN — including, initially, books and a board game. More products will be added later.  “Modern physics has been around for 100 years, but it’s still a mystery to many people. Working together with Rovio, we can teach kids quantum physics by making it fun and easy to understand,” said CERN’s Head of Education, Rolf Landua, speaking at the Frankfurt Book Fair where the Rovio launch took place.


“It’s a great fit for both sides, combining physics and Angry Birds in a fun way. Rovio has a great platform, with a broad reach and highly engaged fans, which makes this collaboration very promising. With Rovio and Angry Birds Playground, we get a great channel to communicate what CERN does,” he added.


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New Tool Lets You Create Your Own Online School

New Tool Lets You Create Your Own Online School | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |

A new web tool is now available that lets you actually create your own online school. Designed for corporations but useful for school districts, Learn27 lets you manage and run online courses, register and accept payment for those courses, and even teach using mobile apps.


It’s not a free tool, mind you, but the sheer amount of things Learn27 does should make up for that. Here’s a few of the things you can do:


-  Develop an online academy
– Manage courses and instructor info
– Student registration & fee payments
– Promote on social media channels
– Stream content (Live or On Demand)
– Community and networking
– Extend access via mobile apps


For now, it’s mostly businesses using Learn27 with the exception of the University of Washington. You can create an online learning program that integrates polls, surveys, ticket management (for events), a mood-o-meter (awesome concept that shows live feedback of how students / attendees feel when viewing a presentation or lesson).


The biggest reason for this tool? To lower the cost of training employees, teachers, and students around the world. That’s a noble goal and I can get behind that. You can use Learn27 for just about anything from a keynote to building the entire online education version of your school. Worth a look for any principal, superintendent, or other administrator looking to grab online learning by the horns.



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CreativeLIVE: Free, Online Classroom For Creative Entrepreneurs

CreativeLIVE: Free, Online Classroom For Creative Entrepreneurs | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |
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, 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 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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New iPad App May Be The Future Of Collaborative Online Learning

New iPad App May Be The Future Of Collaborative Online Learning | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |
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.


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LinkedIn Allows You To Follow Key Influencers On The Network; Will Eventually Make Feature Universal

LinkedIn Allows You To Follow Key Influencers On The Network; Will Eventually Make Feature Universal | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |
Professional social network LinkedIn begun allowing its members to follow companies over two years ago, giving professionals a way to easily access company updates, such as job openings, new developments and more.


Professional social network LinkedIn begun allowing its members to follow companies over two years ago, giving professionals a way to easily access company updates, such as job openings, new developments and more. But the network has not allowed users to follow individuals. Today, that’s changing. LinkedIn is allowing you to follow certain key influencers from a variety of sectors, who can broadcast their news, blog posts and more across the network.


Now you can pick who you want to follow from 150 of what LinkedIn calls “the most influential thought leaders.” These include Richard Branson, Tony Robbins, Sallie Krawcheck, Craig Newmark, Barack Obama, Mitt Romney and more. You can read what they are saying, like and comment directly on their posts, and share with your network. Posts from influencers will also include videos, photos, and slideshare presentations. On the backend, influencers can see which content is trending, where followers are based and more metrics.  Over the next few months, LinkedIn says it will be expanding the list of influencers you can follow. Members who are interested in becoming an influencer on LinkedIn can submit their request to the company as well. 


Recommendations are also part of the new product—LinkedIn is going to recommend similar people to follow based on who you follow and the content you are reading but will eventually do more as LinkedIn gathers more data on user behavior.



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Google Says Apps For Education Now Has More Than 20 Million Users

Google Says Apps For Education Now Has More Than 20 Million Users | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |
Google just announced that its Apps for Education suite is now being used by more than 20 million students, faculty members, and staff worldwide.


Google just announced that its Apps for Education suite is now being used by more than 20 million students, faculty members, and staff worldwide. The company made this announcement in a blog post celebrating the upcoming World Teachers’ Day on October 5.


Google Apps For Education launched almost exactly six years ago. The service seems to be growing at a rate of about 5 million new users per year. In 2010, Apps for Education had about 10 million users and last year, Google announced that it had signed up an additional 5 million users for the service since.


The education edition includes all of the standard Google products like Gmail, Calendar, Good Docs, and Drive. In addition schools can make use of Vault, the company’s archiving and e-discovery solution that helps them to be prepared for internal investigations, litigation and compliance audits. Schools do not have to pay for access to Apps for Education, and students get up to 25GB of storage space on Google’s servers.


With Office 365 for Education, Microsoft currently offers a very similar suite of products for schools. In 2011, Microsoft said its product (which was still called live@edu back then) had about 15 million users. The company hasn’t released any new numbers since, though it recently expanded its service to Europe and announced that it had signed up more than 4.5 million students through the Catholic International Education Office there.



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Troubleshooting Q&A Platform FixYa’s App Allows You To Record And Post Videos Of Product Issues

Troubleshooting Q&A Platform FixYa’s App Allows You To Record And Post Videos Of Product Issues | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |

"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.



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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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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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Report: Apple To Highlight iPad’s Educational Value At Tuesday’s iPad Mini Event

Report: Apple To Highlight iPad’s Educational Value At Tuesday’s iPad Mini Event | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |
Apple executives will put the spotlight on the iPad's educational value tomorrow at its planned San Jose event, according to a new report.


Apple executives will put the spotlight on the iPad’s educational value tomorrow at its planned San Jose event, according to a new Bloomberg Businessweek report. The report cites “a person with knowledge of the planning” of the event as the source, but doesn’t go into further detail about how specifically they’ll be promoting it from an educational perspective. But if Apple’s introducing a lower-cost iPad mini as expected, the benefits in terms of institutional purchases are obvious.


At a reported starting price of around $329, the iPad mini would be a full $170 cheaper than the latest iPad, and $70 cheaper than the current selling price of the iPad 2. That’s bound to attract interest from educators, given that iPads are already being adopted by many school districts in the U.S., both in pilot programs and in full-scale deployment, as in the San Diego Unified School District, which is deploying around 26,000 iPads to students this year.


Apple has also been pushing education initiatives on the software side in the past couple of years, with dedicated iTunes U applications for instructors, teachers and students, and an iBooks publisher geared towards creating interactive, rich media-filled digital textbooks for educational use. That attention isn’t going unnoticed – back in August, IDC released a market share report regarding worldwide tablet shipments and noted that education in particular is a vertical where interest in Apple’s tablet is on the rise.


Promoting the iPad as an educational tool will likely involve not only highlighting the device’s past and current success in this area, but also making a concerted, forward-looking sales pitch as well. Others have clearly noticed that the education market is a clear area for promoting tablet growth, like Amazon, which recently added to the existing appeal of its bargain-basement Kindle Fire pricing (a souped up version of last year’s model retails for $159) with a new free Whispercast mobile device management platform that lets schools easily deploy updates and content to a whole fleet of Kindle hardware, with support for Kindle Fire Android software coming soon.


Apple has first-mover advantage, which is important with education markets, since the processes involved in making institution-wide IT procurement decisions can take quite a while to get rolling, and it’s hard to switch horses mid-race. But Amazon’s clearly playing hardball with education, which not only leads to higher device sales near-term, but also exposes whole new generations to a company’s devices early on in life. Education could be where the sparks really fly as Apple diversifies its tablet lineup, and it’ll be interesting to see how the company girds for that battle on stage at tomorrow’s event, should this report prove accurate.

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5 Things To Know About The BYOD Trend

5 Things To Know About The BYOD Trend | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |


The Bring-Your-Own-Device trend makes sense. It’s cost-effective and lets students use the device they already know and love. While it may present some problems for your school or district’s IT department, it’s a great start to bringing in web 2.0 tools and apps to the classroom.


BYOD is getting adopted at a rapid clip these days. But thanks to a new infographic, we have a closer look at the BYOD trend. Entarasys outlines 5 key facts (on the left side of the infographic, the right side is more business-y) that teachers, students, and school administrators should know about.


Key Findings

- 43% of parents see student use of mobile technology as a way to increase engagement


- 41% of parents see participation with mobile technology as preparation for the working world.


- Apple shipped more iPads in 2 years than Macs over 20 years.


- 67% of parents would buy their children a cell phone if allowed in school.


- 90% have disabled auto-lock for tablets; 75% for smartphones.


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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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Kidaptive To Bring Children’s Educational Apps To iPad

Kidaptive To Bring Children’s Educational Apps To iPad | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |
The iPad is the first computer a generation of children will have access to - a shift in computing which has birthed an industry of kid-focused startups.


The iPad is the first computer a generation of children will have access to – a shift in computing which has birthed an industry of kid-focused startups. While some companies build apps purely for entertainment, others are attempting to leverage the technology for educational purposes. And some believe they can do both.  A new entrant in this “edu-tainment” space is Kidaptive, a media and technology company building educational kids’ apps for the iPad.


That’s the big idea at Kidaptive, whose first product is an iPad app called Leo’s Pad.  Like a TV show, Leo’s Pad engages children with a storyline that introduces a young Leonardo da Vinci, his pet dragon, and friend Galileo. But it’s also infused with educational activities which are masked as games. For example, kids drag shapes on the iPad’s screen in a puzzle game which has them building a telescope – Leo’s birthday present to Galileo. They also look for letters in the stars, fly their dragon into puffs of smoke, and perform other tasks which will focus on things like shapes, colors, number sense, drawing, letter identification, and more.


>> What’s Unique? Learning Performance Feedback <<


But Leo’s Pad will do something else, too, which makes it unique to the space – it will offer parents a “Kidashboard” that displays their child’s progress. The dashboard developed by Kidaptive is the most comprehensive we’ve seen so far. It goes beyond simply telling parents what their child did or did not do within the app to identify the child’s individual strengths and weaknesses, their overall personality type, their progress on each skill set (fine motor skills, shape recognition, etc.), and it will even inform parents how they can help continue the child’s education in the offline world with specific tasks.


“Under the hood, we’re building a high-dimensional learner profile, and that profile is going to guide all the subsequent actions,” explains Kidaaptive. “As your learner plays though the title, we will have approximately 150 gameplay experiences that will help us build out this longitudinal development profile of the learner across some 25 or 30 learning dimensions.”Or in other words, the app has a really, really smart backend.


>> What’s Unique? Parental Involvement <<


In addition, Leo’s Pad is the first kid-focused app which encourages parent-and-child co-play, meaning some puzzles and activities are designed for parent and child to do together. If parents don’t help, it doesn’t prevent the story from progressing, but offers parents concerned about the iPad’s role as “digital babysitter” a way to participate. And having parents participate keeps the child motivated to learn.


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Grantoo To Help Students Pay Tuition By Playing Social Games

Grantoo To Help Students Pay Tuition By Playing Social Games | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |
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

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Newsgrape blends Reddit and Google News-style features for the ultimate social news stream

Newsgrape blends Reddit and Google News-style features for the ultimate social news stream | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |
Newsgrape has rolled out a substantial update to its social news streaming platform, and it now combines community voting similar to Reddit, with so-called "smart filtering" ...


So what, exactly, does Newsgrape do?


Newsgrape offers its users a personalized news stream, which now combines articles that are currently trending on Twitter and articles that are performing well on Newsgrape into a single stream. Co-founder Fasbender says that this marks a “hugely important step” in Newsgrape’s design, as it’s striving to connect high-quality user-generated content with traditional media. Fasbender adds that it’s setting out to change the way people “experience, share and distribute written content on the Web”.


Fasbender says that it’s analyzing almost a quarter of a million articles each day from a growing number of sources, as it tailors its content to match the personal interests and preferred sources of users, while ranking articles according to their performance on Twitter and the activity inside Newsgrape.


So what, ultimately, Newsgrape wants to be is an all-encompassing information stream that reels in news from the likes of the BBC, alongside content from anyone with an itchy keyboard finger.  Thus, Newsgrape offers readers is a stream of information that combines news, facts (linked through to the Wikimedia database) and opinions or blogs. And for writers, it lets them publish directly into the system, with comments, views and votes determined by the platform and marked beside each article – only the top-performing ones appear in the global stream.




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Scooped by Huey O'Brien! provides on-demand professional advice provides on-demand professional advice | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |

To date,, which lets anyone pay from $9 to $80 for a one-on-one conversation with a range of verified professionals, has kept a low profile. But with the new cash, it plans to step up its game with a big media and marketing blitz, including a media tour and broadcast TV campaigns.


Quora, which itself raised $61 million in venture funding, similarly connects people with experts (although it doesn’t charge users and takes a crowdsourcing approach). And vertical-specific sites like HealthTap and RocketLawyer also give people on-demand access to doctors and lawyers online.


But Andy Kurtzig,’s founder and CEO, told me his company wants to be the of the online professional services space. “The way we look at the market is like retail over the last 15 years,” he said. “Ten years from now, people are going to expect to be able to interact with professionals online and on mobile.”


Expecting the market to be twice that for retail and even more conducive to online transactions, Kurtzig said he thinks there’s room for both vertical-specific and general professional services sites. In addition to elevating its profile with consumers, the company plans to strengthen its mobile presence (it currently has an iPhone app) and focuses on personalization. For now, the company said users select from a pool of about 10,000 professionals in 700 specialties, including doctors, lawyers, mechanics, veterinarians and home repair pros. The price depends on the urgency of the question and the level of detail users would like in response.


In the future, the company said it plans to build out products organized around lifestyle needs, such as packages for wedding planning, nutrition or the birth of a baby.  To ensure quality across the site, Kurtzig said, the company uses expert peer reviews, works with an advisory board of professors from top schools and requires experts to pass category-specific tests.



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Libboo To Find The Next Digital Bestseller

Libboo To Find The Next Digital Bestseller | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |

Libboo shifted gears earlier this year, moving away from crowdsourced, team publishing to discovery. The idea being that books still lack their Pandora — a killer discovery mechanism that helps everyday readers find new, unknown authors and in turn helps wordsmiths expose their work to new audiences.


The company's vision is to create a better way for independent and established authors to get their work discovered — and to be rewarded for producing awesome content. In today’s world, talent tends to get lost amidst the noise, so Libboo is attempting to provide authors and publishers with an alternative to focusing all their energies on creating hits — content they know has a better shot at becoming a hit.


To do this, Libboo connects “buzzers,” or those readers who are vocal in support of great books and content with indie authors they’ll enjoy, based on their taste profiles. In turn for helping to expose authors’ works to new audiences via social networking, blogs and email, readers are rewarded with free eBooks and are given the opportunity to increase their influence within the Libboo community, becoming prime targets for future perks from authors and publishers alike.


CEO Chris Howard says that his Libboo is on a mission to create a new avenue for books to become bestsellers. Under the current model, it really doesn’t matter how good the book is if no one is going to read it, so by creating a forum that attracts avid readers and sharers, Libboo is hoping to create a ready-made sea of eyeballs that will help authors increase their reach and act as a sandbox that will surface the best content and the next big digital bestseller.



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How Technology Is Empowering Teachers, Minting Millionaires, And Improving Education

How Technology Is Empowering Teachers, Minting Millionaires, And Improving Education | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |
Thanks to the rise of in-classroom technology, the focus in education tends to be on student engagement and how to improve learning. It becomes easy to forget the importance of great teachers.


Thanks to the rise of in-classroom technology, the focus in education tends to be on student engagement and how to improve learning. It becomes easy to forget the importance of great teachers. Startups, entrepreneurs, businesses (and the rest) need to remember that technology doesn’t have to put teachers in jeopardy; it can help them lead the education evolution.


TeachersPayTeachers, is a platform that enables teachers to buy, sell, and share their original content and lesson plans. Deanna Jump, a 43-year-old kindergarten and first grade teacher at Quail Run Elementary in Warner Robins, Georgia, is the first on the platform to pass $1 million in sales, having amassed 17,000 followers and sold 160,000 items since joining the platform three years ago.


When we asked the founder of Teachers pay Teachers what had led to the recent hockey-stick growth, he had a couple of really interesting conclusions. Word of mouth, both traditional and digital, has benefited both the supply and demand (of teachers and content), but online, he said that Pinterest has been driving more traffic than Google, Yahoo, Bing and Facebook combined. 


The other dirty little secret, the founder says, is that the materials and content teachers are creating themselves is “just superior” to what the majority of educational publishers produce. Publishers might argue otherwise, but it’s not surprising why teachers would find more value in materials contributed by their colleagues during the school year in a classroom context. 






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What Can 135 Million Video Gamers Add to Our Collective IQ?

What Can 135 Million Video Gamers Add to Our Collective IQ? | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |
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.



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