Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning
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Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning
Collective intelligence is a shared or group intelligence involving knowledge creation and flow. Pooled brainpower emerges from the collaboration and learning actions of a community of connected individuals empowered by social media, participatory tools, and mobile platforms.
Curated by Huey O'Brien
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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 |
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.


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 |
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 |
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 |
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Evernote Business Released as a Collaboration & Communication Tool

Evernote Business Released as a Collaboration & Communication Tool | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |

A Fully Collaborative Tool


The company whose collection of products aim to "help the world remember everything" — otherwise known as Evernote — has announced the launch of Evernote Business, a collaboration and communication tool for small and medium sized businesses.  With the full version of Evernote Business, users sync and view work documents through a variety of platforms, such as Mac, iPhone and iPads, Web, Windows and Android Devices. Files that can be uploaded include spreadsheets, presentations, notes and design mock ups. In addition, administrators can monitor company progress and individual employees through the admin console.


The Features of Evernote Business


There are three key features of the Evernote Business product.


> Business Notebooks: A business notebook is a collection of documents or information that the entire company can see. They can be shared individually or published on the company’s Business Library.


> Personal Notebooks: As their title suggests, Personal Notebooks is a private version of the Business Notebooks. If a user has a pre-existing Evernote account or creates one, then they can use this feature.


> Business Library: This is where information is transported from the Business Notebooks feature. While all current employees have access to this feature and can publish information from their Business Notebook, Administrators manage the library's content.


It's About What You Know


With this in mind, there are two components that Evernote uses to improve collaboration and communication and make this product useful to small and medium sized business — Knowledge Collection and Knowledge Discovery. With Knowledge Discovery, Evernote wants to make sure that their customers have enough space to store files.


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Google’s Knowledge Graph Expands To More Languages, Including Italian, French, Japanese And Russian

Google’s Knowledge Graph Expands To More Languages, Including Italian, French, Japanese And Russian | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |

Google Fellow Ben Gomes just took the stage at LeWeb Paris and announced that Google’s Knowledge Graph project is now available in a number of new languages, including Italian, French, Japanese and Russian (we’re still trying to confirm if Google also added other languages, too). The Knowledge Graph project, which is one of Google’s main projects in search at this point, was only available in English until now.


In August, Google brought Knowledge Graph to all English-speaking countries after first launching in the U.S., but today’s expansion is the first time the company is bringing this product to other languages as well.


Gomes started his talk by describing Google’s reasons for working on the Knowledge Graph problem. The real world, Gomes said, is about things and not the kind of strings we type into Google Search. For the most part, this was a reiteration of the kind of things Google has long said about this project. The Knowledge Graph, he said, makes the web more like a library that allows you to explore connections you wouldn’t usually find.


The big challenge for Google, though, is to internationalize the Knowledge Graph. Even in English, the differences between how people in India, Australia, England and the U.S. use it is often widely different. Because the Knowledge Graph “knows” about millions of different objects, it also needs to know if somebody who is looking for “Chiefs,” for example, is looking for the Kansas City Chiefs or the Chiefs rugby team.


Looking ahead, Gomes said that his dream is the “Star Trek Computer.” That’s still fantasy right now, but we are starting to understand key concepts like voice recognition and natural language processing. In his view, it will still take a long time before we get to a really intelligent search experience, but he thinks we are on the right track.



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CourseTalk Launches A Yelp For Open Online Courses

CourseTalk Launches A Yelp For Open Online Courses | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |

Today, CourseTalk is what you might expect — an early stage Yelp for MOOCs — a place for students to share their experiences with these courses and a way to discover new courses they’d enjoy. Given that it’s still nascent, the platform’s design is simple and its user experience is straightforward: Visitors can use the general search bar which is front and center, or peruse through “Top Rated,” “Popular” and “Upcoming” verticals, or search by category, like Business, Computer Science, etc.


The site has also begun to compile a (growing) list of the universities offering MOOCs and offers a vertical for the Top Reviewers, as well. As to which platforms it supports? Ultimately, CourseTalk wants to list all of them, but for now the focus remains on publicly available courses that anyone can take from anywhere — free or paid.


The platform is currently in the process of adding courses from as well as a bevy of classes from Khan Academy. The usual suspects — Coursera, Udacity and edX — are all there. Down the road, the founder also plans to add vertical services, such as Codecademy and Duolingo.

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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, 2014 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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What 2013 Will Bring to the Enterprise [Infographic]

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

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 |
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 |
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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Realtime Analytics For Education: Ontract Wants To Do For Student Data What Did For Financial Data

Realtime Analytics For Education: Ontract Wants To Do For Student Data What Did For Financial Data | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |

Many teachers and administrators believe that the fragmentation of educational platforms and opacity of student data is crippling the system. The last thing that education needs is more “comfortable” or “sexy” data silos with decent UX/UI, Ontract's founder, Julian Miller says. And while there are a lot of edtech platforms out there attempting to aggregate data, the founder believes the advanced analytics, collaboration element and personalized learning engine is what could give OnTract a leg up.


Ontract, a realt-time analytics platform for K-12 schools that aims to do for educational data what did for financial data. Ontract’s reporting is designed to give teachers and administrators quick visibility into a range of information from individual students all the way to a federal level. Teachers can access standard reports generated by Ontract, create their own based on particular data subsets, view charts, graphs and infographics and tap into the startup’s predictive technology which aims to help them get a sense of what all this data means.


As to how it works: After schools register to use Ontract, the company connects the school’s core learning systems to its platforms and teachers can then connect their personal tools. The startup applies its analytics to identify trends, patterns or outliers, and notifies teachers when there’s a problem or aberration.


The startup’s personalized learning engine generates a playlist of resources to help, which teachers can then push to parents in the same way they’d respond to an email. And parents, in turn, have instant access to those resources to help their children in real-time, rather than having to wait for teachers to find time to walk them through it.



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The Future of Higher Education

The Future of Higher Education | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |
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How does social meet processes?

How does social meet processes? | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |

Communities of practice, intranets and team collaboration are not the only scenarios through which social media are percolating inside the enterprise.


More recently a number of pundits have suggested an additional and quite diverse opportunity for injecting peer-to-peer interactions inside work practices by marrying traditional business processes and collaboration. One year ago, Ray Wang and its Constellation Research Group summed up the key targets of this transformation mentioning areas such as Customer Service and Sales, HCM, Marketing and PR, Project Management through 43 use cases.


Social and processes come together following different levels of maturity to introduce a number of benefts:


>> Exception handling as an efficiency lever:


According to Forrester, 50% circa of employees consider existing processes too rigid to facilitate adoption and effectively allowing them to reach process goals. Rigid, a-priori designed processes break down in front of an increasing uncertainty, volatility, competition and power consumers get thanks to social media. That’s where being reactive quickly, constantly learning, anticipating issues when they present and improvising becomes important as processes.


>>Social in the flow:


Switching between tens of not integrated enterprise applications and adding load to existing responsibilities is not something employees are looking for. Deploying social media in the flow of current work practices is thus a clear adoption pattern project and community manager shouldn’t forget.


>>Improving knowledge work.


According to McKinsey 20% to 50% of knowledge work is inefficient or totally wasted while knowledge workers are the quickest growing and most expensive part of our workforce. An opportunity of making them more productive is at hand. The value locked in internal collaboration is two times bigger than in customer facing engagement.


>>Building the agile enterprise:


Empowering rank and file by pushing decisional power lower in the hierarchy at the very point where issues arise it’s the possibility for the organization to become more agile and reactive to change. Adding collaboration on top or inside processes gives employees the right to accomodate customer’s requests, to fix inefficiencies, to circulate and aggregate all the knowledge available while minimizing barriers to change management.

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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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