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Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning
Collective intelligence is a shared or group intelligence involving knowledge creation and flow. Pooled brainpower emerges from the collaboration and learning actions of a community of connected individuals empowered by social media, participatory tools, and mobile platforms.
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Coursera partners with Amara for crowdsourced captioning

Coursera partners with Amara for crowdsourced captioning | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |
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.



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How breaking news works now, and why Storyful wants to help

How breaking news works now, and why Storyful wants to help | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |
As more and more breaking news comes to us through social media, the task of determining what is true and what isn't becomes exponentially harder.


By now, most of us have gotten used to the idea that news no longer comes exclusively from one or two mainstream sources such as a newspaper or TV channel — in many cases, we see it first on Twitter or Facebook or through some other form of social media, and the source is often someone directly involved in the event, whether it’s an earthquake or a shooting. But how do we know whether these reports are genuine? For both news consumers and media outlets of all kinds, making sense of that growing flood of real-time information is a critical goal, but the tools with which to do so are still not readily available.


That’s why Storyful, a service that partners with media companies to aggregate and verify news from social networks, says it has decided to open up its formerly private Twitter account to help crowdsource the distribution and verification of breaking news reports.


Before he started the company in 2010, Storyful’s founder Mark Little was a foreign correspondent for a number of outlets such as Ireland’s Raidió Teilifís Éireann — much like Burt Herman, a former Associated Press reporter who started a company with a somewhat similar name: Storify. But while Storify is designed as a tool that anyone can use to pull together or “curate” a social-media stream from sources like Twitter and Flickr, the idea behind Storyful was to build a professional service staffed by journalists who could track breaking news reports through social networks and help media companies verify them. The company has a staff of 33 editors working in dozens of countries, and works with a number of outlets such as the New York Times and Reuters.

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YogiPlay Debuts “YogiMeter,” An Educator-Based Rating System For Children’s Learning Apps

YogiPlay Debuts “YogiMeter,” An Educator-Based Rating System For Children’s Learning Apps | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |
YogiPlay, a Menlo Park-based company from husband-and-wife team Cedric and Michal Selling, is attempting to tackle the critical problem of surfacing appropriate, trusted, and carefully vetted educational apps for children.


“It’s using the same principles I’ve been using all along from my knowledge of child development and interactive media,” he says of YogiMeter. “I’ve structured in a way with some very specific ways to look at how and why kids would be engaged, and if they’re engaged, how and why they might learn.” He also vetted this rubric with other colleagues not associated with YogiPlay to get their feedback and input.


While there are a few startups working to rank and review mobile apps, like KinderTown, for instance (which also vets apps with educators), Dr. Gray says that he believes the YogiMeter system uses a more developmental approach with techniques common to those familiar in child development and education. “The others are not as rigorous, research-based, structured and consistent,” he says describing YogiMeter’s competition.


The system he developed ranks and analyzes apps in two main areas - engagement and educational quality. For determining an app’s engagement, it looks at things like user interactions, user experience, intrinsically motivated engagement, extrinsically motivated engagement and socially motivated engagement.


And to analyze the app’s ability to teach, it looks at whether the app will actually engage the child in learning, as it proposes to do, and whether that learning is deep, authentic, personalized, differentiated, and whether or not parents can track the child’s progress throughout.



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Envisioning the Future of Education

Infographic -

Educational paradigms are rapidly changing. This infographic summarizes some of the key trends and innovation categories in educational technology.
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Video discovery app Vodio lands on the iPhone, launches Highlights feature

Video discovery app Vodio lands on the iPhone, launches Highlights feature | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |
Video discovery platform Vodio has updated its iOS app to make it available on iPhones, the Israeli startup Vodio Labs announced today. In addition, the new version is also an upgrade ...


Vodio has been described as a ‘Flipboard for videos.’ Thanks to its free app, users can browse videos from different sources in one place. According to the startup, its users have watched a quarter of a million hours of video and generated over two million video plays since its launch.


Users can follow pre-built thematic channels, they can also connect Vodio with their social networks, and the app will aggregate videos shared by their friends for easy browsing. Yet, it is worth noting that sharing is optional, and turned off by default.


While the new app shares many characteristics with the previous iPad version, it also includes new features such as ‘Highlights’, which the company describes as Vodio’s equivalent of Flipboard’s Cover Stories. In practical terms, this new channel helps users find relevant content across all their channels, feeds and interests, by pulling all the videos that Vodio’s algorithm predicts they will enjoy.

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Answer Underground Aims To Be A Mobile-Focused Quora For Education

Answer Underground Aims To Be A Mobile-Focused Quora For Education | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |
There are some 3.7 billion web searches every month for education-related topics. However, ask a student how easy it is to find answers to their burning academic questions, and they'll probably just roll their eyes.


There are some 3.7 billion web searches every month for education-related topics. However, ask a student how easy it is to find answers to their burning academic questions, and they’ll probably just roll their eyes. Sure, there’s Wikipedia, Google (and Google Scholar), Khan Academy and there are even Q&A sites like Yahoo Answers or While Khan is great for videos, it doesn’t produce quick answers and Yahoo Answers is atrocious. It’s littered with ads and answers are often misleading, incomplete or just flat out wrong.


Quora has emerged as a promising foil to crappy Q&A sites, but, while it can be educational, it’s not geared towards those in school. That’s why Sallie Severns (a former executive) founded and launched Answer Underground (AU) — a learning utility and mobile app that it designed to help students share info and get fast answers through group Q&A.


With AU, once someone posts a question, others can see it and respond in realtime. Like Quora, others viewing the answers can rate them so that the best (most correct) answers are the most likely to surface. Also helpful: If you post a question, the app notifies you (via text or email) when someone responds to the question.


The mobile app seems more directly competitive with tutoring tools, specifically web-based Q&A-based tutoring sites that charge for their services. Answer Underground, in comparison, is free to use. Anyone with an iPhone (and soon an iPad) can use the service.



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Coursera reaches 1 million students worldwide

Coursera reaches 1 million students worldwide | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |
Online education startup Coursera, which provides free online courses taught by professors at top universities, has attracted one million enrolled students from every country in the world.


Coursera partners with universities and colleges around the world to offer massive open online courses (or MOOCs) taught by leading professors. Four weeks ago, it said that it’s partnering with a dozen new schools, bringing its total to 16. In addition to elite U.S. universities, including Stanford, Princeton and the University of Michigan, it has added international schools such as the University of Edinburgh, University of Toronto and Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL), to its list of partners.


Since its earliest days, Coursera has attracted international students and being available to people around the globe has been a core value of the company’s. Nearly all of the company’s 1,000 videos have been captioned into more than 20 languages and, with the addition to EPFL, the startup will offer its first non-English course, an introduction to programming taught in French.

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Social Business Must Deliver Value To All Stakeholders

Social Business Must Deliver Value To All Stakeholders | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |
Social business must deliver business value to all stakeholders in the ecosystem, internally and externally.




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Collaborative Learning - Skillshare Launches Hybrid Classes, Letting Anyone Join Online Or Offline

Collaborative Learning - Skillshare Launches Hybrid Classes, Letting Anyone Join Online Or Offline | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |
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.


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Video Platform MediaCore Refocuses On Education

Video Platform MediaCore Refocuses On Education | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |

MediaCore, a company which launched a year ago with the mission of allowing any business to roll out its own private YouTube, is refocusing its efforts on the education market...


One of the issues with video in education is that many schools block YouTube, which is where a lot of today’s educational content is found.  According to CEO Stuart Bowness, “YouTube is blocked in about 80% of U.S. K-12 institutions, and it’s blocked in a lot of corporations too…it isn’t perceived as a safe place to send kids to learn,” He says,“or employees as they can get distracted.” So on MediaCore, teachers can privately share video with students, other teachers, or parents, as need be. In addition to commenting, they also have access to view real-time analytics around those videos.


Now MediaCore has signed up video-sharing site SchoolTube as a customer, which takes the MediaCore user base to 5.5 million students per month, and has notably attracted some key talent with hiring of former Apple education executive, Alan Greenberg. Part of his role will be to set up the new Educator-in-Residence program, which will help teachers and professors better understand how they can use video as a teaching tool in the classroom.

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Mendeley injects some pace into academia with fast, big data

Mendeley injects some pace into academia with fast, big data | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |
London startup Mendeley is already beloved by researchers around the planet for helping them manage their work. Now it's unveiled a new product that it hopes can help universities get a better handle on what's happening right now.


“The biggest problem in academia is the long waiting time: it can take three to five years from the time you have done research to get it published — all the decisions you make in an academic career are based around that time lag,” Victor Henning, Mendeley’s co-founder and CEO told me.


“We’ve developed a product that’s packaged into a data dashboard and allows universities to see what’s happening right now: what are the journals they’re reading? What are they not reading?”


It’s not just about optimizing efficiency by dropping unread journal subscriptions, or watching which areas are growing fast. The service can also let universities see the other side: which members of their faculty are publishing most? Who’s being cited? What areas are they active in? Those are things that institutions care deeply about — but struggle to find right now because most data out there is old data.

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Peer to Peer U – A New Model of Learning » Online Universities

Peer to Peer U – A New Model of Learning » Online Universities | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |
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

P2PU works on the premise that everyone has something to offer, the idea that passion for a subjects can substitute for expertise, and that social interaction is the key to motivation and learning. The motto of the institution is, "learning for everyone, by everyone, about almost anything." While this crowd-based model of expertise cannot substitute for the highly educated scholar’s years of research and careful consideration of a single topic, it does provide a potentially good source of entry-level knowledge to many subjects.


Read More at the Blog Post...


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Reddit as a Science Outreach Tool

Reddit as a Science Outreach Tool | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |

What exactly is Reddit?

Reddit has been referred to as “an Internet firehose” because of the massive amount of information that regularly moves through the site. Users generate all of that information, as they do on Facebook and Twitter, but there are some big differences. For one, most users are anonymous. For another, rather than following specific users — though they can do that — most users manage that firehose of information through “subreddits,” in effect communities where users post on specific topics.

Nearly 1.5 million users post on Reddit daily in one of some 144,000 subreddits. Of those 144,000 subreddits, one of the most active is “IAmA.” That’s where users with interesting stories can share their insights and also participate in an “Ask Me Anything” or AMA. An AMA is basically what it sounds like: users pose questions, usually germane to the original poster’s background, and the original poster answers them.


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.

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Educreations To Turn Your iPad Into Your Classroom

Educreations To Turn Your iPad Into Your Classroom | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |
While it's easy to admire Salman Khan's (of Khan Academy) devotion to teaching and the incredible platform he's created, the truth is he's not a trained educator.


Khan Academy has attracted the attention of millions of students and parents (and has even impressed Bill Gates) by flipping the traditional classroom and homework model on its head with videos on a variety of academic subjects. While it’s easy to admire Khan’s devotion to teaching, the truth is he’s not a trained educator. There are millions of professional teachers who would relish the opportunity to create their own educational videos and interactive lessons, but the vast majority lack the resources to flip their own classrooms.


That’s where Educreations comes in. The company launched early this year to make it easy for teachers (and everyone else) to create, narrate and record video whiteboard tutorials on the Web and the iPad — and share them with the world.


Like ShowMe (and more generally, Udemy), Educreations focused on enabling teachers to use a simple, interactive whiteboard to create their own video lessons and hosts those lessons online (helpful for K-12 schools that block YouTube), where teachers can share them publicly or within a private group. Students and teachers can replay lessons in any web browser or from within its iPad app. With its mobile version, Educreations has attempted to distinguish itself from competitors by offering more features than the rest while maintaining simplicity of its interface and user experience.



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The Team Brain: Beyond Email, Meetings, and Middle Management

The Team Brain: Beyond Email, Meetings, and Middle Management | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |


The human brain is a product of natural selection. In the face of scarcity, our hominid great-great-uncles were unable to compete against our sapient great-great-grandparents’ abilities to build more elaborate mental models and orchestrate their bodies’ movements in more sophisticated ways.


Natural selection applies just as strongly to organizations. Duryea Motor Wagon Company was America’s first car manufacturer, but you’ve probably never heard of it. Duryea withered against Ford in the 1910s and 20s – not because Ford had superior product design, but because Ford’s internal coordination systems (like the conveyor-driven assembly line) were more efficient. History is full of organizations that excelled at coordinating the collective action of their people, rendering less organized competitors extinct.



We’re on the brink of another phase of evolution, where some organizations will thrive and others will fail to survive.  In a knowledge economy, natural selection favors organizations that can most effectively harness and coordinate collective intellectual energy and creative capacity. The same evolutionary force that produced sophisticated individual brains for human beings will produce more sophisticated “team brains” for companies.


This is already happening. To achieve their ambitious missions, the world’s greatest companies have been investing in more evolved team brains for years. Apple has the legendary Radar, a closely-guarded internal tool that helps keep knowledge and tasks centralized, indexed, and accessible to teammates. Facebook has Tasks, a collaborative task tracker and other home-grown internal systems that are considered a key part of Facebook’s secret sauce.


Those are internal tools, though; their power is accessible only to the companies that built them. But that’s changing. various platforms are being developed that are bringing the evolved team brain to the entire world. In great companies like Twitter, Uber, Airbnb, Foursquare, and LinkedIn, people already add information to and extract insight from these systems much the same way our hands and brain exchange signals.



Just as the mind emerges from the actions of individual neurons and their cooperation, the success of an organization emerges not only from its individual participants, but also from the interplay between them. Indeed, people’s individual creative capacities are multiplied in the context of their connection to a greater, well-functioning whole.


The next stage of organizational evolution will include not only leaps in communication technology, but also fundamental changes to companies’ processes and basic organizational principles. The rigid top-down corporate hierarchies left over from the manufacturing revolution are giving way to flatter, more flexible, more agile structures that more closely resemble the fluid, intricate relationships between neurons.



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Scooped by Huey O'Brien! Adds Analytics To Bring Transparency To How Research Spreads Adds Analytics To Bring Transparency To How Research Spreads | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |
Far away from Silicon Valley is another echo chamber in the Ivory Tower, except there's very little transparency there about how content and ideas spread., a social network for researchers, just unveiled an analytics dashboard that’s meant to help scientists and other academics understand how their work is being read and distributed. It’s a difference from an older, more opaque world in which researchers vied to get into elite journals like the New England Journal of Medicine.


“To be a successful academic, it’s becoming as important to have an established web presence as it is to be published in a journal and it’s going to be increasingly critical,” said CEO Richard Price.  To those of us in the tech community, the concept of an analytics dashboard would appear pretty basic. But in the slow-moving world of academia, Price says it has profound consequences.


“Hiring and grant committees know that there is this credit gap where papers are being read, but they haven’t had the metrics to prove that historically,” Price said. “They’d look at which journal you published in and your citations.”


At the same time, it can take citations five years to emerge, he added. Real-time metrics that track mentions on the web and on Twitter could give credibility to a researcher a lot sooner.


“It gives scientists visibility into all of the traffic they’re receiving by country and other factors. It’s super granular and it’s in real-time,” Price said. A professor, for example, will be able to see how many paper downloads they’ve gotten in the last 30 days.


Price said the metrics also preserve reader privacy and are basically in line with what other analytics products offer like geographic data and time spent on the page. 

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Now Building Hubbl, A “Gamified” App Discovery Platform

Now Building Hubbl, A “Gamified” App Discovery Platform | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |

Here’s how it works.


Hubbl captures the opinions about an app from around the web by aggregating content from mainstream media articles, blogs and app enthusiasts. It combines these opinions with those from your friends on Facebook (if you sign up with Facebook), your friends on Hubbl and the Hubbl community at large in order to organize the apps into smart collections. These collections aren’t just general categories like “games” or “social,” but can be narrowly focused on one particular app feature, too. For example, Evernote is a Productivity and Note-taking tool, but you can tag it “LifeLogging” if that’s what you use it for. 


These categories work like Twitter hashtags in the app. If you tap on “LifeLogging” in the above example, you would come across a list of apps that also fit that genre. And then you may end up tapping on one of those apps’ other hashtags to follow drill down into a different feature set, too. There’s a feeling of serendipitous, zigzagging discovery here.


In Hubbl, you can explore apps by popular tags, you can view those trending in the news, or you can view the stream of the apps your friends recommend within different sections of the platform (“Explore,” “Buzz,” “Stream”). However, the game element comes into play under “Contests.” Every day, Hubbl will have a contest where users submit or vote on the most appropriate tag for a given app. The first person to submit the winning tag gets a $15 iTunes Gift Card. The idea here is to create an incentive to classify the newly added apps – not the Evernotes and Instagrams, necessarily, but those that aren’t yet tagged.


Hubbl says that the contests are needed because people get tired of curation after some point, and it’s difficult to maintain a network around app organization and friends’ recommendations when people stop participating. With contests, users are encouraged to return the app and to help Hubbl continue to classify the new additions. The contests would also be open to sponsorship, too, allowing app publishers to take over the contest for the day and offer their own award for help in picking out the best tags for their app, as well.


It’s an interesting concept to use a gamification element to encourage repeat visits to an app discovery platform, and people certainly like to win stuff, so it could catch on. However, Hubbl isn’t quite ready yet for its big debut – that’s still a few weeks out - so it’ s hard to review the experience based on what we can test right now. Final judgement is on hold.

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Flip video cofounder launches learning platform Knowmia

Flip video cofounder launches learning platform Knowmia | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |

Launched by the executives behind Flip video camera, Knowmia offers a video lesson platform for teachers and students. The startup, works with teachers to review and curate videos.


At launch, the site includes about 7,000 videos in a broad range of subject areas, from geometry and algebra to chemistry and physics to world history and American literature. The videos, which are about one to ten minutes long, have been mostly culled from YouTube and Vimeo and then reviewed by teachers working with Knowmia to provide editorial notes, create relevant quizzes and tag content according to subject, topic and skill.


An iPad app helps teachers animate, illustrate video lessons

In addition to the platform itself, the company has released the Knowmia Teach iPad app, which Braunstein described as an “iMovie for teachers.” To help teachers illustrate concepts and demonstrate techniques in their videos (or even in class), the app lets teachers mark up a periodic table or manipulate a water molecule.


Sites like the TeachingChannel and TeacherTube, in addition to YouTube and Vimeo, already provide teachers and students with an ample supply of video lessons. But, as Sal Khan’s popular online lessons have shown, there is an appetite for video instruction. And Knowmia’s focus on providing curation and structure, as well as sophisticated tools for teachers, will help distinguish it from other online platforms.


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Google Search Starts To Reward Curators, Collections and Quality Lists

In the overall effort to improve the quality of its search result pages, Google is continuing to make significant improvements to its search engine.  Improvements include social discovery and content curation.

Starting from now on, all users worldwide can see Knowledge Graph results showing up on top of search results as a browseable list of alternative options to explore. Additionally, Google is officially going after the gathering and curation of Best Lists, Collections, and Guides on just about any topic. 

From the official Google Blog: "Finally, the best answer to your question is not always a single entity, but a list or group of connected things. It’s quite challenging to pull these lists automatically from the web. But we’re now beginning to do just that. So when you search for [california lighthouses], [hurricanes in 2008] or [famous female astronomers], we’ll show you a list of these things across the top of the page. And by combining our Knowledge Graph with the collective wisdom of the web, we can even provide more subjective lists like [best action movies of the 2000s] or [things to do in paris]."


Read more about it:



Via Robin Good
Prasanth (WN)'s comment, August 10, 2012 10:23 AM
Archeology Rome's comment, August 10, 2012 10:24 AM
Interesting, thanks.
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Spigit Offers ICON as Free Service to Expand Crowdsourcing

Spigit Offers ICON as Free Service to Expand Crowdsourcing | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |

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.

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GE brings social collaboration to life with Colab

GE brings social collaboration to life with Colab | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |
GE got tens of thousands of knowledge workers to adopt a new social collaboration platform, GE Colab, in the blink of an eye. Learn how they did it.


How do you encourage 300,000 globally dispersed employees to embrace social collaboration? Start with giving them what they want. Oh, and while you're at it, compress time and space. To hear General Electric Co. Corporate CIO Ron Utterbeck talk about Colab, GE's social collaboration platform, it not only sounds plausible but actually sounds exciting.


From this question of how to add the value of collective wisdom to collaboration, Colab was born. The platform incorporates social tools like the activity streams found in Facebook and the real-time connection of Twitter, along with customized internal search capabilities to enhance, expedite and enrich workflows. The rollout to so-called power users -- chief among them the company's core of knowledge workers -- began in mid-January. Through word of mouth and a focused how-to corporate communications campaign, that soft launch has since taken off.


Even the biggest social collaboration skeptics might be impressed to know that 60,000 of those 300,000 employees are invested users of the platform. This represents more than one-third of GE's 150,000 knowledge workers, the company's target audience for Colab.  Cisco's WebEx Social (formerly known as Quad) is the core engine of Colab. By leveraging the platform's APIs, GE was able to extend the core functionality to make it its own and derive real business value, Utterbeck said. For example, search capabilities were beefed up by writing unique search algorithms -- the likes of which could lead one employee to another across that sea of 300,000.


Employees also did their part. The more users invest in Colab, the better the functionality, Utterbeck explained. At GE, files had long been searchable, but now they have the added feature of context. Knowing who produced a document, why it was created and what action it supported or decision it led to is part of the record. The knowledge of each individual is what makes the platform valuable.


The other killer feature of Colab is it incorporates communication modes that are now second nature to many employees. In short, GE has taken Facebook and Twitter functionality -- having friends and followers and the ability to directly communicate -- and put it on the PCs, laptops and mobile devices of employees. Whenever, wherever, employees log in, Colab is there on the desktop. For example, when a risk worker in Houston, Texas is seeking help and puts a question out there, a risk expert in India may hold the answer. For all intents and purposes they may as well be in the same office, Utterbeck said, that note of wonder again evident in his voice.


"What social media really brings to the way we're connecting from a collaboration perspective is the compression of time and space."

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Webinars Curation: Find, Rate and Organize The Best Online Events and Lessons with Hublished

Webinars Curation: Find, Rate and Organize The Best Online Events and Lessons with Hublished | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |

Robin Good: Hublished has announced a new web service, launching privately this fall, that allows "publishers" to host, upload and deliver live webinars, and for "peers" to find, curate, organize and save the most interesting ones into their own collections / hubs.

For the first time ever, educated consumers and professionals can discover and share live, recent, and upcoming content from brands and experts.


"Hublished solves two problems, for the two different types of users that will be on the site.


For experts and brands, whom we call Publishers, Hublished is a central location they can promote upcoming webinars and upload recent ones, in order to reach new consumers and generate leads. For professionals and industry enthusiasts, whom we call Peers, Hublished provides a discovery and curation platform that helps them separate the hacks from the experts when it comes to cutting-edge information and continuing education."


Find out more / request an invite:



Via Robin Good
Giuseppe Mauriello's comment, August 5, 2012 6:12 AM
great finding! Thank you, Robin!
Prasanth (WN)'s comment, August 5, 2012 10:08 AM
Rescooped by Huey O'Brien from Content Curation World!

Find, Organize and Curate Your Learning Materials, Content and Playlists with the New HippoCampus

Find, Organize and Curate Your Learning Materials, Content and Playlists with the New HippoCampus | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |

Robin Good: Originally conceived as a home work and study help site, the new Hippocampus has officially redirected its focus to match its users most typical use: a content resource hub for teachers looking for relevant content to mix-in into their class curriculum or into their assignable homeworks.


There are two important features available for registered users.


a) You can "customize" the Hippocampus site by picking which content materials to keep and which  to exclude and create basically a personalized version of it for your own class / use.


b) You can create custom playlists of learning content to produce course materials or work assignments.


Subjects already covered on the site include math, natural sciences, social sciences, humanities and offer a selection of video presentations, worked examples, interactive simulations, and test preps.


From the official site:


-> MIX your own media Playlists using content from any collection


-> TRACK what media is "trending" this week for your subject area


-> FIND what media is rated highest by other HippoCampus users


-> SHARE your curated HippoCampus playlist and selections with your students and colleagues


Available collections include content from the Khan Academy, NROC, PhET and NORA.


Free to use.


User's Guide:


Introductory webinar:


Try it out now:



Via Robin Good
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The New Knowledge Management: What Does A Collaborative Content Hub Look Like

The New Knowledge Management: What Does A Collaborative Content Hub Look Like | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |

66% of customers say that “valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to provide good service.” A knowledge base is typically used to empower agents and customers with answers to customer questions. But traditional knowledge management is a difficult because of the confusion around the term and its checkered reputation.

Instead of a knowledge base, companies should be investing in a collaborative content hub which looks like this:


* Easy content capture. You should be able to flag information from any source (email, discussion forum thread, social media interaction) and kick it off to be included in your collaborative content hub

* Democracy. Everyone within an organization, and customers as well should be able to recommend information to be included in the content hub.

* Flexible authoring environment. You must be able to create and publish content without arduous workflows. Not all content should be subjected to the same workflows. Some content must be able to be published instantly, for example a service alert. Other content should be able to be routed through review or legal compliance flows

* Social content: Anyone who comes into contact with content should be able to rate content, and comment on content.

* Curated and non-curated content. Content should include discussion threads, and content residing in other repositories (ex content management systems, bug databases etc).

* Collaboration. A certain segment of agents or customer facing personnel should have the authority to change content and republish it without arduous approvals.

* Proactive, in-process content delivery. Content must be linked to, for example to case management processes, so contextual, personalized content can be pushed to the agent at the right point in the customer service interaction.

* Reports. You need to understand content usage and gaps so you can evolve content in line with customer demand.

* Integration with listening tools and text analytics platforms. You need to stay ahead of the curve in content delivery. To do this, you also need to mine social sites out of your direct control and use text analytics to understand conversations that customers are having about your products and services (ex social conversations about a particular product issue). You then need to use these insights to generate content and push it out to your customer base to proactively deflect contacts from your contact center.


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McKinsey Report Says Social Technology Can Produce Big Bucks

McKinsey Report Says Social Technology Can Produce Big Bucks | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |
For everyone out there who doubts that social technology can produce significant hard ROI, a new report from McKinsey & Company should quell your concerns.


For everyone out there who doubts that social technology can produce significant hard ROI, a new report from McKinsey & Company should quell your concerns. McKinsey estimates that the use of social technologies to improve communication and collaboration within and across enterprises could contribute two-thirds of the US$ 900 billion to US$ 1.3 trillion in annual value it estimates social technology can create across the four commercial sectors of consumer packaged goods (CPG), consumer financial services, professional services and advanced manufacturing sectors.


According to the report, “The Social Economy,” social technology’s greatest potential as a value creator lies in its ability to allow social interactions to occur with the speed, scale and economics of the Internet. Participants can publish, share and consume content within a group, and create a record of interactions and connections that can be analyzed for social influence.

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