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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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Get Satisfaction helps small businesses engage on social media

Get Satisfaction helps small businesses engage on social media | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning | Scoop.it

Community platform Get Satisfaction has launched a new service for small businesses that it hopes will enable them to build thriving customer communities. Starting today, for $49 per month, small businesses can receive the same set of core features and one community management seat that's similar to services at the enterprise level.

 

With Get Satisfaction for Small Businesses, those companies that fit the profile will be able to handle customer experiences through this tool chest, priced specifically for them. Calling 2013 the “year of the community manager”, CEO Wendy Lea, says Get Satisfaction wants to enable any company to understand the impact and potential of this “transformational role”. She adds that “by fostering customer-to-customer interactions, community managers bring tremendous business value to multiple departments across their company — lowering support costs, bringing better products to market, and acquiring new customers.”

 

Last November, the company revived its free product and added new features to make it appealing to small businesses. There are over 67,000 communities on the Get Satisfaction network that are free, not all of which are active. Each business receives one seat to utilize moderator tools, the service’s Engage Widgets, and partake in its Hootsuite integration. Get Satisfaction’s launch of its small business plan is surely an attempt to try and separate itself from its industry competitors, including UserVoice, Zendesk, SuggestionBox, Desk.com, and others — many that have free plans as well

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Macmillan to launch two-year ebook library lending pilot

Macmillan to launch two-year ebook library lending pilot | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning | Scoop.it

Big-six publisher Macmillan, which has kept its ebooks out of libraries until now, is launching a pilot lending program, the company announced Thursday.

The pilot is limited to 1,200 older titles from the Minotaur Books mystery and crime fiction imprint (part of Macmillan’s St. Martins division). Libraries will be able to lend out the ebooks for two years or 52 times, whichever comes first, before having to buy a new copy. According to Library Journal, each ebook will cost $25. The ebooks will be available through three different digital library distributors at launch: OverDrive, 3M Cloud Library and Baker & Taylor’s Axis 360.

 

Macmillan CEO John Sargent said in a statement, “Among the many titles we publish, mystery and crime fiction makes up one of the largest categories and Minotaur Books is the primary source. And, as the library market has always been one of Minotaur’s largest customers, we think that this pilot will provide books especially desired by library patrons.” Alison Lazarus, president of Macmillan’s sales division, told Library Journal that the company “will make assessments along the way as to whether to expand the title selection and whether to continue the program as launched beyond the two-year term.”

 

Publishers have been reluctant to offer ebooks to libraries in part because they fear that it will cut into sales. Sargent said “ we do not expect [the pilot] will heavily impact our retail sales over time.”

 

With Macmillan’s new offering, all the big-six publishers except for Simon & Schuster are making ebooks available to libraries in at least a limited way. Penguin is testing its own pilot with libraries in New York, Los Angeles and Cleveland (after previously pulling all its ebooks and digital audiobooks from libraries). Random House makes all of its ebooks available to libraries but sharply increased the prices last year. HarperCollins allows ebooks to be checked out 26 times before the library has to buy a new copy. Hachette does not make ebooks published after April 2010 available to libraries, and increased the prices of those that are available last year.

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BodeTree, The Financial Tool For People Who Hate Finance, Launches A Free Education Platform For Small Business Owners

BodeTree, The Financial Tool For People Who Hate Finance, Launches A Free Education Platform For Small Business Owners | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning | Scoop.it

BodeTree launched early last year to help small business owners better understand and make sense of their financial data. The startup has been attempting to make the absurdly tedious world of financial software fun, or at least less crappy, pitching itself as a “financial tool for people who hate finance.” BodeTree syncs with QuickBooks for data importing, but differentiates itself from similar tools by providing SMB owners with a realtime dashboard-style view of their financials (plus reporting and analysis), rather than being just another payments and invoicing app.

 

By providing the mainstream with a simple way to convert raw financial data into actionable insight, Co-founder and CEO Chris Myers believes that BodeTree has the potential to add value by acting as an educational resource for small business. Across the board, small business owners are eager to better understand their company’s strengths and weaknesses and learn how to better identify and utilize their levers of growth, but the options remain limited. So today, the startup is going beyond the metrics and analytics with the launch of BodeTree University — an education platform dedicated to small business owners and entrepreneurs.

 

The new platform aims to bring an extended classroom experience to BodeTree through open education, allowing small business owners to access educational videos on topics that range from accounting and finance to strategy and technology. The platform offers both introductory and master-level content, so users can brush up on 101-level skills or dig into more advanced content in a collaborative online class environment where they can learn directly from experts and engage in discussions.

 

The biggest differentiator between the new platform and other educational sites, is that it focuses on providing direct, personal access to thought leaders and experts from the Fortune 500 world and “will always be free.” Users can attend a live class taught by a respected marketing executive and connect with them immediately afterward, or peruse through the platform’s curated list of biz resources and book reviews, videos and blogs.

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Udemy Launches Teach2013 To Bring Big Names To Online Courses

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

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

 

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

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McGraw-Hill reveals the SmartBook: an 'adaptive' e-book for students

McGraw-Hill reveals the SmartBook: an 'adaptive' e-book for students | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning | Scoop.it

McGraw-Hill is taking on the one-size-fits-all approach to textbooks with its freshly unveiled SmartBook: an e-book that is claimed to adapt to student's learning patterns.

 

Aimed at college students, the SmartBook service peppers users with questions as they read and determines what topics it should present to reinforce learning. Come sometime this spring, the SmartBook will be available for more than 90 course areas starting at $20. It'll be joined by a handful of similar tools for driving home the curriculum, including something called LearnSmart Achieve, which is designed to serve up videos and other interactive embellishments in response to automatically detected areas of weakness. When you're ready to hit the books, just be careful they don't hit you back.

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Free Harvard class teaches non-lawyers about copyright

Free Harvard class teaches non-lawyers about copyright | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning | Scoop.it

"Harvard law school is inviting 500 people to take a free 12-week copyright course -- complete with small discussions, a 3 hour exam and a certificate at the end."

 

Would you like to invoke the authority of Harvard the next time you debate authors’ rights or file-sharing? You might have your chance thanks to a new 12-week copyright course that seeks to mimic the experience of a Harvard Law School class.

 

The course, offered via open source learning platform edX, will be taught by Harvard law professor William Fisher III and a gaggle of teaching assistants from the school’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. The 500 students who are accepted will discuss copyright issues in small groups and receive a Harvard certificate after sitting for a three-hour exam.

 

While online learning opportunities abound these days, this one is intriguing because it appears to combine the promise of universal access with an elite experience — online learning sites like Coursera and Udacity similarly offer classes from top-tier schools, but don’t require students to apply for acceptance or limit the number of students who can participate. The Harvard offering also represents a welcome way to expand the copyright debate beyond the legal community and entertainment industry.

 

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Looking Ahead at Education - 2013 and Beyond

Looking Ahead at Education - 2013 and Beyond | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning | Scoop.it

No, we don’t really have a crystal ball.. yet… but we are pretty good at seeing emerging themes and based on what we have seen, heard and had a hand in, these are our best guesses for the year ahead.

 

1. Blended learning opportunities will increase -

 

The flip will not flop, it will fly. We think that blended learning including the flipped classroom model, will take off this year. Funding cuts and increased demand for choice will raise awareness and the adoption of blended learning will hit the tipping point. And related to this...

 

2. New technologies will integrate learning regardless of the learners location -

 

In school and out we will see more integration and cross platform use. Apple will release a universal translator app that will allow us to connect any device to a network   Networked tablets will rule the more privileged classrooms. Mobile learning will be expected and video will be used even more than it is now. The blending or transmedia use of technology will blossom. 

 

3. Curriculum will improve -

 

With more and more educators connecting and sharing resources and their own learning and with big data informing analytics educators have more choices and are able to make better sense of those choices in their instructional design. The shift in instructional design to just-in-time, personalization and differentiation will change  the way curriculum is designed. Curriculum will become more agile and responsive and as a result curriculum that doesn’t work will be changed quicker. Ok, this may take a bit more than a year, but it is coming.

 

4. Increased engagement between community, parents, educators, students -

 

The education system as we know it is like an ocean liner. It just can’t turn on a dime. Schools on the other hand are more agile, more manoeuvrable. Principals and teachers are taking on the role of engagement specialists and leading from the middle. We see grassroots movements going mainstream with the likes of  TEDxEducation, EdCamps and SXSWEdu leading the way. The hope is that this doesn’t lead to rampant commodification.

 

5. Social and emotional learning and the importance of attachment takes
hold –

 

We will see, are already seeing, a more unified and comprehensive approach to social/emotional learning. School boards and districts are beginning to talk seriously about self-regulation, applied empathy, and empathy re-boot projects. The idea that schools are a Village of Attachment is a clear steps toward the ”paradigm shift from a behavioral approach to a relational one” throughout our educational systems. 

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One In Four Americans Owns A Tablet, Overtaking E-Readers, As Printed Book Consumption Continues To Decline: Pew

One In Four Americans Owns A Tablet, Overtaking E-Readers, As Printed Book Consumption Continues To Decline: Pew | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning | Scoop.it

We’re still waiting to hear from specific companies like Amazon with their latest (non-)numbers on how well their Kindle line of devices has sold over this holiday period, and from the various analysts that track overall device sales and shipments (but we’ve had a few indications that sales will be strong). But in the meantime, some research out today from the Pew Research Center on e-reading sheds some light on how the key U.S. market appears to be moving: specifically, ownership of tablets like the iPad has overtaken ownership of e-reading devices like the Kindle, with the number of people using both continuing to rise.

 

According to Pew’s ongoing Internet & American Life survey, 25% of respondents — one in every four — now owns a tablet; while e-reader ownership is now at 19%.

 

Biggest of all is the fact that now one in every three people owns some kind of device — tablet, e-reader or both — for e-reading. That’s more than a twofold rise for tablets over December 2011, when tablets and e-readers were level, with 10% of surveyed respondents said they owned one or the other. This most recent survey dates from November 2012 — meaning that the proportion is likely to rise even further after holiday sales shopping is taken into account.

 

Unsurprisingly, the rise in tablet and e-reader ownership, Pew says, has had a direct impact on how many people are turning to e-books rather than printed books when it comes to reading. They now stand at 23% of the population aged 16 and older — nearly an identical proportion to the number of people who say they now own either a tablet or e-reading device. A year ago, Pew said that the proportion was 16%.

 

We are not yet at a tipping point for reading, however. Reading printed books continues to decline, but it still remains well ahead of e-reading: the percentage that said they read printed books now stands at 67%, down from 72% a year ago.

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A Quick Guide To The History Of MOOCs - Infographic

A Quick Guide To The History Of MOOCs - Infographic | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning | Scoop.it
So what is a MOOC? What's the history of MOOCs? How are they growing? What are some significant events in the world of MOOCs?
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IBM senses change with its annual “5-in-5” list for 2012

IBM senses change with its annual “5-in-5” list for 2012 | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning | Scoop.it
IBM's 5-in-5 list for 2012 predicts the five sense-related technologies enabled by cognitive computing systems that will impact our lives in the next five years...

As the year nears its close, IBM, as it has every year since 2006, has pulled out the crystal ball and given us its predictions of five innovations that it believes will impact our lives in the next five years. For this year’s “5-in-5” list, IBM has taken a slightly different approach, with each entry on the list relating to our senses. The company believes cognitive computing whereby computers learn rather than passively relying on programming will be at the core of these innovations, enabling systems that will enhance and augment each of our five senses.

SIGHT

According to pingdom, in 2011 on average there were 4.5 million photos uploaded to Flickr everyday contributing to some 6 billion photos hosted on the site, there were an estimated 100 billion photos on Facebook and 60 photos uploaded every second to Instagram. While it is digital cameras that are responsible for this explosion in online photographic content, digital technology is still pretty “dumb” when it comes to analyzing images. This means sorting through them generally relies on user-defined tags and text descriptions, which are time consuming to set up and not always accurate.

IBM says that in the next five years, cognitive computing technology will allow computers to examine thousands of images and recognize patterns and distinct features to determine their content. For example, in beach scenes the computer might recognize certain color distributions that are common to such images, while for a downtown cityscape it might learn that certain distributions of edges are what sets them apart. Then once it has the general location down, it could be taught about the activities that are likely to be carried out there.

While such technology would make image searches on the Web easier, IBM says cognitive visual computing could be used to recognize tumors, blood clots and other problems at their early stages – something that is already happening for the early detection of potentially deadly melanoma. The technology could also help in the real time monitoring of disaster areas through analyzing images uploaded to social networking sites or keeping an eye out for potential security issues by monitoring security camera images.
Huey O'Brien's insight:

Check out the link to learn more about all the sense-related technologies.

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An EBay For Professors To Sell College Courses Directly to Students

An EBay For Professors To Sell College Courses Directly to Students | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning | Scoop.it
College is expensive and time-consuming. With a new project called Professor Direct from the online ed company Straighterline, you can access just the subjects you want online, and professors can sell their expertise one course at a time.

In yet another step toward democratizing higher education, Straighterline, a pioneering provider of accredited, low-cost, self-paced online college courses, has started a new feature called "Professor Direct." The program--which will be eligible for college credit through the American Council on Education--gives professors the option to teach courses directly to students.

The first batch of Straighterline professors themselves hold degrees from universities ranging from Columbia to the University of Phoenix. One, Jerry Israel, is a retired college president interested in the future of higher ed; many others are adjuncts who teach on a freelance and part-time basis both online and in-person around the country. They'll be teaching based on Straighterline's few dozen self-paced offerings--15 new courses were announced for launch--ranging from humanities and general ed requirements to business, science, and remedial math and English. The professors will charge each student a premium ranging from $50-$250 per head for additional services, like live video chat office hours, moderating discussions online, or offering and grading extra assignments. Straighterline will also give professors a commission for any students they recruit directly through social media: For example, Bethany Bird put a video on YouTube to introduce prospective students to her U.S. History course. Pass rates and student reviews are available for each course to enable smart shopping.

It's impossible to ignore that online courses can be offered at 50 to 90% cheaper than colleges are doing themselves. The economics of Professor Direct are as intriguing for would-be university teachers as they are disturbing for universities themselves. Adjuncts, part-timers not on the tenure track, make up 1.3 million of the 1.8 million faculty members in two-year and four-year colleges. At community colleges, they earn a median of $2235 per course--a sum they could match with enrollment of 10 to 20 in a Professor Direct course. Straighterline isn't the only such platform: Udemy's Faculty Project also offers courses from college professors. But it's the only one offering a path to bona fide college credit. In fact, StraighterLine's core group of general ed requirements, which cost a total of $2000, was today awarded an "A" grade for rigor and comprehensiveness from an independent group.
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Bing Adds Social Sidebar Mod

Bing Adds Social Sidebar Mod | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning | Scoop.it
Yesterday Microsoft’s Bing released an all new design for their social sidebar, a version less cluttered and better linked to friends and trends.

Designed to present Bing users with relevant results of friend networks via Foursquare, Twitter, Facebook, and Klout, the social side of search is still located on the right side of a user’s desktop, but with more minimalist style and ease of use too.

Besides a cleaner and edgy look, Bing users no longer have to hover over people to catch on to added and deeper content. A little + icon lets users drill down to get more info, which is a nice touch. The Official Bing Blog tells more of these improvements, and while not exactly what anyone would call “sweeping innovation”, the incremental change is nice. Regardless of what anyone thinks of Bing, the practicality of social sharing and suggestion come through with some of these refinements
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Infographic: Customer-Centered Learning

Infographic: Customer-Centered Learning | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning | Scoop.it
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theLearnia: An Educational Social Network With A Video Twist

theLearnia: An Educational Social Network With A Video Twist | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning | Scoop.it

theLearnia is a free educational social network that took the challenge of turning the learning process into social fun. Students spend an average of 700 minutes a month on social networking, so why not turn that into something that will help them learn?  theLearnia allows millions of people from around the world to gain equal opportunity for education, learn while communicating together and share their knowledge.

 

theLearnia educational social network is an unique educational hybrid of educational videos combined with the social media interaction that today’s students use and enjoy. It is powered by adaptive-LMS™ engine, a smart statistical algorithm that uses the wisdom of the crowd and analyzes students’ learning curves to organize materials in a way that students can find relevant lessons and help them to explore new content related to their skills.

 

For Students – theLearnia is an innovative online educational tool where students can learn with friends, practicing any learning skill, and choose the teachers who best suit their learning style. There are no overcrowded classes here—just fun and learning with teachers that they choose, each time they sign on.

 

For Teachers – theLearnia is a platform for any educator or parent to share their knowledge and special educational skills, inspiring millions of students to learn and offer their feedback on the lessons, creating a circle of learning through mutual sharing and creativity. This provides them with career satisfaction and the drive to create new ways to educate their students with every lesson they upload.

 

 

 

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Quora expands into a blogging platform, promises rich text mobile editing soon

Quora expands into a blogging platform, promises rich text mobile editing soon | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning | Scoop.it

The Question and answer social network Quora has launched a blog service that it hopes will allow more users to share in-depth knowledge about topics that they’re passionate about. The company believes that knowledge sharing has typically been about the writing and what it hopes to achieve is help alleviate the struggle some have about finding an audience. With this news, the company is also launching a new feature for its Quora for iPhone app: rich-text editing, which it will be launching “soon.”

 

When someone posts a question on Quora, it’s usually one that’s treated professionally by the community. Sure, there are funny ones such as “how can you lay siege to the Magic Kingdom?”, but for the most part the questions are responded in a courteous and lengthy answer — not something one would typically see within the comments section of a blog. And for the most active contributors/writers, the views can be quite enormous. In the span of a year, most writers receive between 300,000 to 400,000 views while the most active writers receive up to 1 million views.

 

But while people choose to share individual questions, there are often times when some may want to further promote their expertise in a particular topic or industry and with the introduction of blogs on Quora, this could give them the opportunity to thrust them into the spotlight of being a Subject Matter Expert. Building an audience on the Web is a tough and time-intensive thing for anyone, but with Quora, the company says that a blog can be created, assigned to one of the 300,000 topics available, and instantly be seen by thousands of users who could engage with it in some manner, be it sharing on Facebook and Twitter,  promoting it, or commenting.

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Analysts Are Unimpressed With Facebook Graph Search

Analysts Are Unimpressed With Facebook Graph Search | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning | Scoop.it

Investors and consumers are still in the process of figuring out exactly what Facebook Graph Search means for the future of the social network, but right now, the first reaction from many analysts seems to be "meh."

 

Brian Wieser, a senior analyst at Pivotal Research Group, said in an investor note Tuesday that Facebook's new smarter search engine is a "favorable" development in that it shows the company is continuing to innovate, but he doubts about how much potential it has for monetization going forward.

 

"We are not assuming that the initiative will lead to meaningful revenue growth in the near future as several issues will limit Facebook's potential," Wieser wrote in the note. "Our initial view is that the quantity of Facebook search volumes will be relatively low, as consumers are likely to continue prioritizing other sources (i.e. Google). Advertisers would consequently only use search if they can - or are perceived to - satisfy their goals efficiently with Facebook."

 

Likewise, Gartner analyst Ray Valdez suggested that the data shared between friends could be a powerful tool for search, but noted that the average user probably doesn't have that much data to share. "Very well-connected individuals have a rich treasure trove of data that they can mine, but the average person's storehouse of data is much sparser and has less relevance to these queries," he told Reuters.

 

Nate Elliott, a principal analyst at Forrester, went a step further by downplaying the feature as something Facebook should have released years ago. His verdict: "not really a big deal."

 

"I've no doubt that parsing a trillion connections between a billion users is an immense challenge," Elliott wrote in a blog post. "But it's still just site search. The big news isn't that Facebook has fixed its search tool; the big news is that they didn't do this long ago."

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Wikimedia Foundation launches travel site 'Wikivoyage'

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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Explania: A Useful Source For Free Educational Videos

Explania: A Useful Source For Free Educational Videos | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning | Scoop.it
Explania Offers Free Educational Videos for your classroom on a variety of topics. Videos are animations to help explain a topic or take you step by step on a how-to.

 

Whether or not you prescribe to the idea that there are different types of learners  there are some scenarios in which a visual explanation is extremely helpful in understanding the subject matter at hand. I stumbled upon a site the other day that offers a number of free educational videos that can be useful to teachers who are addressing certain subject matters.

 

Explania describes itself as a place to watch “hundreds of animated explanations, interactive tutorials and instructional videos, and feel free to embed them on your own web pages.” It is free to watch and embed the videos, so if you find one useful, you can easily share it with your classes or even on a class website. Many of the videos are technology how-tos, which may not be useful for your class, but can help you teach your mom to use Twitter, for example. For classroom use, the ‘health’ and ‘ecology’ channels are probably the most likely to contain content that will overlap with classroom topics, but the technology sections are definitely worth checking out – either to find something new for yourself or to help you teach your students to use something new in class.

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How aspiring knitters at Craftsy could inspire online education

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

Simple features make a difference

 

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

 

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

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Wikimedia Foundation raises $25 million

Wikimedia Foundation raises $25 million | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning | Scoop.it

The Wikimedia Foundation, the steward organisation behind the Wikipedia project, has concluded its annual fund-raiser with the announcement that $25 million have been raised from 145,573 donors to keep the online encyclopaedia advertising-free. The money raised will pay for improvements to the MediaWiki software that runs the site, server infrastructure and projects to increase the number of Wikipedia editors globally.

 

This year's fundraising campaign ran on the English version of Wikipedia in the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand for nine days, which constitutes the shortest fund-raising campaign initiated by the Foundation to date. Last year, a similar campaign raised $20 million in 46 days.

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Knowmia Now Offers 8,000 Video Lessons For High Schoolers

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

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

 

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

 

How It Works

 

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

 

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

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Grockit picks up $20M led by Discovery Communications to expand its social learning tool Learnist

Grockit picks up $20M led by Discovery Communications to expand its social learning tool Learnist | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning | Scoop.it
Grockit, an online social learning company, has received a $20 million investment from Discovery Communications and others in a move that will go towards building out the company’s Learnist product. It also marks what the company says, the first “social learning startup investment from a global leader in broadcast and digital media.” Through this strategic investment, Grockit will be receiving capital investment, shared technology, marketing distribution, and promotion.

Learnist is a social learning platform that lets students and teachers create a “learn board” to help educate people on subjects ranging from English to more complex subjects. It is a collection of videos, blogs, and images that can be used to help someone learn.

Discovery’s Chief Digital Officer, JB Perrette says that with Learnist, “we see a natural accompaniment to our primary video content business, with a unique knowledge platform and model that encourages passionate audiences to share what they know and learn what they don’t.”
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What 2013 Will Bring to the Enterprise [Infographic]

What 2013 Will Bring to the Enterprise [Infographic] | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning | Scoop.it

How's that 3-Year Plan Coming?

2013 should bring much of what we've spent the last three years preparing for. In 2010, we were promised that in three years we'd employ better technology, better integration and better governance strategies. Now that 2013 is upon us, how prepared do we feel? How many of us will be pushing back our three-year plan a few years?

If predictions from technology experts are any indication, 2013 will continue to bring more mobile. Along with it, the enterprise will accommodate, with a majority of companies adopting best practices for deploying mobile apps and access across mobile devices.

Additionally, big data seems to finally motivate us to do more than just talk about data. Not only will it bring more jobs, it will force companies to tie multiple systems together in an effort to leverage all that information smarter, faster, better.

If 2012 was about social this and social that, big data, and BYOD, the buzzword of 2013 will be Internet of Things. Though it may have been tossed around a bit this year, all predictions were confident of its presence. With more things on the internet, be it a tumblr meme or an instagram photo, the more connections they will bring with it. More connections means more opportunities for experiences to convert these connections into revenue.

Speaking on customer experience, omni-channel marketing strategies advance the multi-channel experience by making the consumer experience more seamless across all channels and platforms.

Finally, the prosumer comes into his own. Much of the technology innovations of the past decade have made it possible for mere mortals to create, publish and market themselves easily and under-budget. Now it's creeping into the enterprise, making it possible for simple marketers to do what used to take an entire team of agency professionals.
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Online Optimism » American Scientist

Online Optimism » American Scientist | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning | Scoop.it
Lee Rainie and Barry Wellman have written an excellent new book on the effect of the ubiquitous Internet on society, using information on the latest Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project. In Networked: The New Social Operating System, the authors describe a “triple revolution” brought on by ICTs (information and communication technologies) and comprising social networking, the Internet and mobile information technology.

The technologies of the triple revolution, the authors write, allow us to connect with a larger, more diverse network, including close and distant friends and acquaintances. They make it possible to gather new and useful information in quantities and at speeds heretofore not experienced by humans. And they let people connect with others while on the go, meaning we are accessible in a way that only emergency personnel doing shift work used to be. The result of these frequently discussed changes, according to Rainie and Wellman, is a new framework—or “social operating system,” as they put it—which they call “networked individualism.” The new system has four central traits:

The social network operating system is "Personal"—the individual is at the autonomous center just as she is reaching out from her computer; "Multiuser"—people are interacting with numerous diverse others; "Multitasking"—people are doing several things; and "Multithreaded"—they are doing them more or less simultaneously. This system, they write, is encouraging the formation of new kinds of community that serve people well.

The conclusions the authors draw run counter to the pessimistic ruminations of much of the older intellectual world, who see people drawing apart from one another while glued to their computers and mobile phones. In contrast, Networked is dedicated to the proposition that the new social operating system empowers individuals by allowing them to reach out to close and distant friends, even strangers, in a way that small-group–oriented communities never allowed.
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Forget notecards, Cerego wants to help you memorize with new online learning tool

Forget notecards, Cerego wants to help you memorize with new online learning tool | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning | Scoop.it
Cerego, a company that has operated out of Tokyo since 2000, has opened an office stateside and is launching a new memory management tool based on principles drawn from cognitive science.

Whether you’re studying up on U.S. History, wine tasting terminology or how to fly a Cessna, Cerego believes its new online tool is the most effective way to remember what you learn.

While several new startups and learning platforms provide formal students and lifelong learners the opportunity to take courses on all kinds of subjects, Andrew Smith Lewis, Cerego’s cofounder and executive chairman, says his product applies learning principles drawn from neuroscience and cognitive science.

As students progress through courses on the site, Cerego takes a “spaced rehearsal” approach, which supports a learning technique that involves the repetition of content over increasing periods of time, to calculate the optimal moments to review content. The algorithms consider what students got right and wrong, as well as their familiarity with related content and, potentially, what others on the platform found challenging or easy to determine how likely they are to forget specific content items and when that content should be reviewed.

“They’re like interactive notecards that are smart and know exactly what you know and don’t know,” said Lewis. The site has been seeded with about 50 courses on topics from exotic animals to statistics to American cuts of beef, but the goal is for users – whether they’re students, professors, casual learners, publishers or even corporations – to add to the site with their own content. College students could use it to study for a test on anatomy or adult learners – including those taking courses on online learning sites like Coursera and Udacity – could use it to review programming terminology, Lewis said.

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