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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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Khan Academy Brings Its 3,500+ Educational Videos To The iPhone

Khan Academy Brings Its 3,500+ Educational Videos To The iPhone | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |

Whether or not one believes Khan Academy is helping to reinvent education, it’s hard to dispute the fact that Khan (and now his team) are an educational video-producing machine, or that the platform continues to diversify. In part, that started with the release of its iPad app in March. This week, Khan Academy brought its 3,600 videos to the iPhone.


This means that the company’s learning library is now accessible on the web, tablets and the iPhone and will likely be showing up on Android in the not so distant future. It may not seem particularly shocking given the exploding popularity of mobile, but it does seem notable when put in context.


Sal Khan started out creating tutorials on Yahoo’s Doodle Pad to help his cousin do her math homework. When other family members began asking for help, he posted them on YouTube. Fast forward to the present and Khan has gone on to create some 3,600 videos, which collectively have been viewed over 210 million times. Along the way, his instructional library became Khan Academy and gained support from the Doerrs, Bill Gates and many others, and Khan himself became the “teacher of the world” and the “Messiah of Math.”


The platform has done wonders for the dialogue around learning, and it’s true that its founder is doing his part to re-imagine what modern education should be. Of course, it’s also true that the media hype partially obscured some legitimate questions about the quality of Khan’s teaching, his pedagogy and whether or not video lectures really add up to Education 2.0.


Nonetheless, by opening up the Khan experience to iPhone users, they can now access Khan’s instructional videos on the go, while on the bus or during long car rides — all of which is huge for students and fans of the educational platform.

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The 4 main Elements of Enterprise 2.0

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

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


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




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





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




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




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

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BetterLesson To Bring The Magic Of Great Teaching Online

BetterLesson To Bring The Magic Of Great Teaching Online | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |

As the influence of technology grows in education, many have started to predict the coming obsolescence of classroom fixtures like textbooks, chalkboards, standardized testing — and even teachers. While technology will no doubt transform and replace some familiar pieces of education (for the better), the ideal outcome is not one in which teachers are replaced or marginalized, but one that empowers them and allows them to do their jobs more effectively.


Technology has yet to unlock the essence of what makes great teachers great. This is a problem BetterLesson wants to help solve by bringing effective teaching online. Founded in 2008, the Boston-based startup is building a platform on which educators can connect and share the best curriculum, allowing them to search for and browse through different types of files, lesson plans, units and courses and network with fellow teachers.


In a recent blog post, BetterLesson said that it has spent the last few years trying to “crack the nut of curriculum sharing,” and in so doing has come to some important conclusions. Chief of which are the facts that curriculum is truly a critical component of effective teaching (and it must continue to be). However, teaching is more than just “great curriculum.” As a result, the project will focus on the “how” — instructional strategies and classroom management approaches — just as much as it will on curriculum.


What’s more, it’s important for the project’s participants to be actual classroom teachers who are sharing their best practices from the classroom —  And because the startup wants it to be a two-way street, the project will also seek to recognize and compensate its “Master Teachers” for taking the time and energy to share what they’ve learned in terms of what works and what doesn’t and how to create the optimal context for learning.


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Wikipedia’s for-profit cousin Wikia unveils its new Lightbox video player and a slew of syndication deals

Wikipedia’s for-profit cousin Wikia unveils its new Lightbox video player and a slew of syndication deals | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |

One week after Wikipedia launched its HTML5 video player, its for-profit counterpart Wikia has released its very own new multimedia streaming player, and a slew of content syndication deals.


Just to recap, while Wikipedia is the non-profit, crowdsourced encyclopedia; Wikia is his Web-hosting service for crowdsourced wikis, free for readers and editors, but funded by advertising to make money.


Now, Wikia is unveiling a new Lightbox multimedia player for the site’s 50-million-plus monthly global visitors. The new Wikia player will feature nearly 100,000 videos and 14 million photos, including content from its new syndication partners AnyClip, IDG, IGN, RealGravity, and ScreenPlay. This will give users access to 5,000 hours of premium content.




Wikia’s strategic launch is consistent with the general trend across the online media sphere, with video playing a far more prominent role. “The new video library, and Lightbox player will amplify Wikia’s naturally strong community creation and curation activities by enabling the assembly and packaging of user created and premium photo and video content in one place,” says Wikia CEO, Craig Palmer. “This also gives us the opportunity to bring our users the best professional video content available on the Web. Like the recent redesign of our Home Page and Hubs, these efforts will make it easier to showcase the passionate pursuit of knowledge through collaborative storytelling.”


Through the new Lightbox player, Wikia users can stream trailers, previews, clips and studio videos at up to 1080p (HD) quality. They can also curate professional, licensed content for integration with original wiki content.  During its beta phase, the Lightbox player offered multimedia collections on wikis such as Shrek, Mortal Kombat, Hunger Games and Lord of the Rings. It’s now available to all 250,000+ Wikia communities across its video game, entertainment and lifestyle categories.


The interactive  player can be triggered from any photo or video thumbnail, or users can navigate directly to the collection of videos on a given wiki by selecting the standalone video collection page in the navigation bar. Interestingly, users will soon be able to embed these videos on their own websites, which will be a huge development given the network effect this will help create.


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Distance Learning University, The Open University, Repackages Course Materials For The App Generation

Distance Learning University, The Open University, Repackages Course Materials For The App Generation | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |

U.K.-based distance learning university, the Open University, is developing a series of apps to deliver undergraduate course materials to students’ smartphones and tablet devices, starting next year. The OUAnywhere app will allow undergraduates to access their main course materials through their handheld devices, along with the audio and visual content the OU produces to support studies.


The team developing the apps say they are being designed from the ground-up for touch interfaces, and will offer “high quality visual images rather than lists”. The apps are being made available across “a plethora of platforms”, with native iOS and Android apps in the pipeline, plus HTML5 apps for other platforms. Supported devices will include: Android devices, iPads (iPad 1 and above) iPhones (iPhone 3GS and above) Kindle Fire, Microsoft Surface.


OUAnywhere is being created in response to increasing use of mobile devices by students — the OU notes that mobile usage of its virtual learning environment in one month is now comparable to usage for an entire quarter of the previous year. It’s also noticed students are spending much more time online via mobile and tablet devices, and clocking up more repeated visits. (Students using gadgets? It’s not exactly rocket science… )


The first wave of OUAnywhere apps are due for release in Q1 2013.


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With 4.5M Users, Instructure Takes On The Courseras & Udacities Of The World With Its Own Open Course Network

With 4.5M Users, Instructure Takes On The Courseras & Udacities Of The World With Its Own Open Course Network | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |
Instructure launched Canvas in 2011 to give educational institutions an alternative to the ubiquitous (but much criticized) software of educational giants like Blackboard.


Today, Instructure is adding another piece to its learning management system with the launch of its own MOOC hybrid called the Canvas Network. Essentially, the network allows schools to define the structure of their online courses and customize the learning experience. They can choose to offer courses in a scalable, open format (i.e. MOOC-style) or pursue a smaller, more closed model, in which courses are taught on the online platform schools already have up and running — and are tuition-based.


Why? Well, as you’ve likely heard, there’s a lot of attention being paid to massive open online course initiatives (MOOCs), thanks to networks like Khan Academy, Coursera, Udacity, EdX and StraighterLine, to name a few. However, in talking with schools, Instructure CEO Josh Coates tells us, they learned that, while MOOCs have seen buzz from national media, institutions still have a lot of concerns about these open course initiatives.


Chiefly, many schools views open course platforms as a feature, rather than the future of education and, while being necessary and integral to the democratization of access to courses and learning content, are not yet sufficient. On top of that, Coates says, schools believe that MOOCs currently privilege a one-size-fits-all approach, which fails to take into consideration the fact that each university has its own needs, and views on how to educate their students.


In reality, universities want flexibility and the ability to run courses the way they see fit, rather than being shoehorned into a specific model or interface. And, somewhat controversially, schools content that real innovation in education is coming not from the vendors serving institutions, but within institutions (and the system) itself.


That’s why the Canvas Network allows schools to offer their courses in one aggregated resource, where students already enrolled in their programs can search for and access their content and where the public (you and me) can do the same — pursue and discover courses that offer open enrollment.


Beginning today, students can view and register for these classes for free, choosing from an initial set of 20 courses from both Ivy League schools and community colleges. What’s available today is basically the network’s initial catalog of courses, which will begin in January 2013, but the company plans to continue expanding that catalog as it goes.



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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

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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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The next move in enterprise social is enterprise scrapbooks

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

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




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


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


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


It’s a different thing


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

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

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Enterprise Social

The latest hot item for the enterprise is software designed to enhance organizational performance by improving communication, collaboration, and workflow efficiency.




The latest hot item for the enterprise is software (Enterprise Social) designed to enhance organizational performance by improving communication, collaboration, and workflow efficiency. Knowledge exchange is also part of the equation (sort of..) but the major emphasis is upon the workflow.  




What about knowledge flow and collective intelligence?  These are also huge performance multipliers.  Unfortunately, many enterprise social platforms miss supporting the organizational performance potential of knowledge creation and flow.  This is really evident when it comes to the capture and integration of formal training and informal learning / social learning.  Check out the infographic.


Are you listening Yammer - Is a more holistic system on the way?





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Learndot Launches Its Learning Platform For Corporate Universities

Learndot Launches Its Learning Platform For Corporate Universities | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |

We’ve heard a lot about how massive open online courses like Udacity are disrupting the traditional world of higher education. Not too long ago, Learndot,  wanted to be a part of this revolution, too. After beta testing their ideas for a P2P learning platform last year, however, the team decided that its service was better suited as a learning tool of corporate universities that need to train their employees.


The existing legacy systems for this, CEO Paul Lambert argued when I talked to him, are often too hard to use. Learning management, he said, hasn’t changed much and because it’s not currently considered as “sexy as consumer education,” very few startups are working in this space. Interestingly, Lambert noted, corporate training departments are more open to trying innovative products than traditional colleges and school and because of this, Learndot is not currently focusing on the traditional education space (corporations, Lambert also noted, are willing to pay for a service like this while it’s much harder to monetize a P2P learning platform).


In the process of building the new app, the team decided to drop Google Hangout (which also made scaling harder for the company) and focus on real-time interactions through text instead. The focus now is on taking scalable content and bringing it to internal training sites as well as external sites for training customers (think HootSuite University). Learndot describes itself as “the world’s first corporate university platform.” “Our focus,” the company writes on its website, “is on delivering best-practice learning to any audience and understanding engagement, performance, and results.”


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Udemy Launches iPad App To Enhance Mobile Learning

Udemy Launches iPad App To Enhance Mobile Learning | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |

Udemy Launches iPad App To Enhance Mobile Learning...


We’ve written about Udemy before. In the age of online learning and MOOCs, there’s always a lot to talk about – who has what for course offerings, do you have to pay for it, who are the teachers? Now, Udemy has taken online learning one step further, and made it available on your iPad.


As of the publication of this article, Udemy, the largest marketplace for online courses, will have officially launched its iPad app. With over 5,000 courses available through the (free) app, students and curious life-long learners now have an easier way to learn real-world skills whenever and wherever making lifelong learning even more accessible.



XDiscovery's comment, May 14, 11:42 AM

XDiscovery launch mobile app to learn in seconds with visual knowledge maps for 4 million topics
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Ebook Publisher Inkling Launches Its Own Online Store: An Amazon For Illustrated Learning Content

Ebook Publisher Inkling Launches Its Own Online Store: An Amazon For Illustrated Learning Content | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |
Since its launch in 2009, Inkling has been on a mission to reinvent publishing for the mobile, digital era by building engaging, interactive learning content from the ground up for the iPad.


Not wanting to be outdone by South Korea and others, which mandated the use of digital textbooks by 2015, earlier this year the FCC and the Department of Ed released the Digital Textbook Playbook to help accelerate digital textbook adoption among American schools. According to a recent report from the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA), it’s not a matter of if this transition will happen, but when.


Since its launch in 2009, Inkling has been on a mission to reinvent publishing for the mobile, digital era by building engaging, interactive learning content from the ground up for the iPad. Initially focused on higher ed, this year Inkling has been expanding its scope, moving into consumer-facing titles and continuing education, along with making its content available on other platforms like the Web.


Today, Inkling continues that expansion with the release of the “Inkling Library,” an online store that will feature curated digital eBooks from a range of genres and proposes to serve as a one-stop shop where consumers can find hobby and interest-specific learning materials. According to Inkling founder and CEO Matt MacInnis, the library is akin to Amazon for illustrated learning content and will feature 300 titles from categories like Travel & Adventure, Food & Drink, Arts & Photography, Music, etc.


By the end of the year, Inkling hopes to have 400 titles published to the library, with some of that content being exclusively created for Inkling, some of it familiar and published already (like “For Dummies”) and some of it augmented for the library — but all of it intending to demonstrate what’s possible now in the digital textbook market — for both indie and established publishers


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Social collaboration improves team efficiency by 20%

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