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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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Box Launches Education Platform to Bring Collaboration to the Classroom

Box Launches Education Platform to Bring Collaboration to the Classroom | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning | Scoop.it

Box is one of those companies that is reinventing itself so quickly, it's likely that it will be something quite different within a couple of years. This week, the Los Altos, California-based content sharing service announced a new ecosystem for education-based collaboration.

   

The company said that more than 100 universities and hundreds of K-12 institutions already use Box for sharing, and that its sales in that sector grew more than 119 percent in the past year. But, while students and faculty are embracing technology, Box said that only 38 percent of students at U.S. colleges and universities can get their class materials online, and only 34 percent of faculty are using education apps.

 

Box's strategy is to focus on content management for sharing educational materials, collaboration tools for students and teachers, access to content and tools for mobile devices, and integration with existing educational tools.

 One part of the evolving ecosystem is a new, education-focused program of OneCloud app partners to encourage the creation of learning materials, the management of classrooms, and communication between students, instructors and parents. 

 

OneCloud partners include grading app Engrade, Nearpod for creating and sharing interactive lessons, a group texting service called Celly, the note-taking and handwriting app Fluid Notes, an iPad word processor for large documents called UX Write, and a video presentation-builder, 9 Slides.

 

Box is adding to its ecosystem through a new relationship with a cloud-based learning management system, Canvas by Instructure. Canvas will integrate the suite of collaboration and management features in Box Embed, a HTML5 framework. Students and teachers will upload and collaborate on their content within Canvas, and the content will be centrally managed within Box.

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Explania: A Useful Source For Free Educational Videos

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

 

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

 

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

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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 | Scoop.it
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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How Technology Is Empowering Teachers, Minting Millionaires, And Improving Education

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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35 Sources for Curated Educational Videos

35 Sources for Curated Educational Videos | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning | Scoop.it

"Here is our list of some of 35 curated video sites that take the guesswork out of finding and sorting educational video content."

 

Like explorers approaching an unfamiliar landscape, teachers who are ready to take the plunge into flipped classrooms and blended learning often approach the opportunity with a mix of excitement and trepidation.  Just dipping a toe into the virtual waters of online content can be overwhelming, and there’s a risk that even the most fearless educator can become paralyzed by the bottomless depths of content and endless pools of resources.

 

While many teachers begin by creating their own content and videos, most start by sifting through free online sources. The amount of available information out there is staggering.  YouTube users across the globe upload 48 hours of content every minute. And a google search for “science video” yields over 4 billion results!  Fortunately, there are some great websites and services that take the guesswork out of finding and sorting educational video content. Here is a list of some of the curated video sites we’ve come across in our work.

 

- Backpack TV:

 

Backpack.tv pulls from various sources to create a highly curated library of education videos organized by academic subject and detailed topic. Many of the videos are linked to topics from popular textbooks, a real bonus for finding just the right video. Videos can be user-rated.

 

- Biography.Com:

 

Over 6000 biographies are available here on famous people throughout history and across the globe.

 

- BrainPOP: 

 

Founded in 1999, BrainPOP is one of the original sources of online education video content and today includes a number of free resources in addition to its subscriptions.

 

- BrightStorm:

 

BrightStorm currently targets high-school aged students with videos of great teachers presenting the content. Their more than 2500 math and science videos are free.

 

- Classroom Clips: 

 

Launched in September 2007, Classroom Clips allows users to search and explore a wide range of educational content which has been correlated to the Virginia Standards of Learning, although teachers in any state will be able to find what something of use.

 

- Cosmo Learning:

 

Designed to work as a free homeschool, Cosmo Learning provides video lectures, documentaries, and more across a range of topics and levels.

 

- CSPAN Video Library:

 

Offered as a public service, educators can share current events, briefings, legislative sessions and more from the nation’s capitol.

 

- Curriculum21:

 

This comprehensive website is a little different, because it provides resources for teachers related to creating the classroom of the future such as webinars and podcasts in addition to videos.

 

- Curriki: 

 

With over 6.5 million users, Curriki is a non-profit that boasts over 40,000 peer-reviewed and classroom-tested K-12 learning resources. Users may access, contribute and publish content.

 

- Discovery Education:

 

This site offers award-winning, standard-aligned digital content, interactive lessons and virtual experiences that aim to be immersive and engaging for students.

 

- EduTube:

 

Launched in 2008, EduTube focuses on popular and high quality educational videos that are sorted by EduTube index – a measure of quality, popularity and educational value.

 

- Educational Videos:

 

With videos on everything ranging from Dance to Marine Life, this site offers a wide range and user-friendly interface.

 

- Edutopia Video: 

 

Edutopia’s large video library is sortable by topic and by grade level.

 

- FORA.tv:

 

This live and on-demand site provides coverage of events and conferences, including lectures and presentations will classroom applications.

 

- The Futures Channel:

 

Based on the goal of using new media technologies to create a channel between scientists, enginners, explorers, visionaries and learners, The Futures Channel partners with schools to provide these high-quality digital learning resources.

 

- Google Video:

 

Follow the special instructions from the Cool Cat Teacher to use google video search to for specific educational content by topic.

 

- Gooru:

 

Just launched in beta, Gooru Learning is a “search engine for learning” that harnesses the power of the web by organizing free, online education resources into searchable collections, accessible from any web or mobile platform. Using machine learning and human judgment, Gooru curates, auto-tags and contextualizes collections of web resources to accommodate personalized learning pathways. Gooru collections are aligned to US Common Core Standards for Math and to California Science Curriculum Standards.

 

- History Channel Online:

 

Teachers can access full programs and videos by topic that have aired on The History Channel and its affiliate stations.

 

- KhanAcademy:

 

While the 3,200+ videos on the Khan Academy site do not pull in educational content from outside sources, the growing content inside Khan Academy is nicely organized and searchable.

 

- Learner.Org:

 

With support from the Annenberg Foundation, this site provides teacher resources across many content areas that is searchable by discipline and grade level.

 

- LearnersTV:

 

This site provides free video and audio lectures of whole courses conducted by faculty from reputed universities around the world across many fields.

 

- MathTV:

 

This site offers math video by topic and math videos that accompany textbooks in addition to coorinated homework and worksheets.

 

- MeFeedia: 

 

Now the largest independent video site on the web, this treasure chest is a resource many educators are just beginning to explore for educational applications.

 

- MentorMob:

 

Educators and students can become their own curators using this resource to create their own learning playlists from sources all over the web, in addition to browsing the playlists of others.

 

- NeoK12:

 

This site features free educational videos, games, lessons, puzzles and quizzes sorted by topic.

 

- NOVA Teachers:

 

PBS’ full features and magazine-style shorter stories are available here for classrom use.

 

- SchoolTube:

 

This site is set-up to serve students who wish to get ahead at home and at school, as well as teachers who want to access digital resources. Teachers can also create their own channels and upload their own videos.

 

- Sophia:

 

With more than 25,000 tutorials from a range of expert teachers across many academic fields, Sophia is a first-of-its-kind social education platform created to reach 21st century students.

 

- SnagLearning:

 

SnagLearning is a SnagFilms initiative dedicated to presenting high-quality documentary films as educational tools to ignite meaningful discussion within the learning community.

 

- SqoolTube:

 

This site features educational videos, games, ebooks and printables for K-12 classrooms.

 

- TeacherTube:

 

Launched in 2007 and none among fans as “the other tube,” TeacherTube allows teachers to access, upload and share educational videos.

 

- TedEd: 

 

The TED-Ed video library contains carefully curated educational videos, many of which represent collaborations between talented educators and animators nominated through the TED-ED platform. Videos can be “flipped” to create custom lessons based on the content.

 

- TeachingChannel (Tch):

 

Teaching Channel is a video showcase of innovative and effective teaching practices in America’s schools. More than 35,000 members have registered to share ideas and inspiration on the site.

 

- WatchKnowLearn:

 

This site organizes educational videos and for ages 3-18. WatchKnowLearn has indexed over 33,000+ educational videos, placing them into a directory of over 3,000 categories.Teachers can also add their own videos to the site.

 

- YouTube EDU:

 

YouTube’s channel for education offers lessons, videos, lectures and more for teacher and student use on the familiar YouTube platform.

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Google Play Will Soon Let You Buy and Rent Textbooks

Google Play Will Soon Let You Buy and Rent Textbooks | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning | Scoop.it

Google announced on Wednesday huge news for students: You can soon buy and rent textbooks for tablets via its Google Play store.

The company announced during a press event in San Francisco that it's adding a new channel for digital textbooks, starting in August and just in time for the school year. Users can access these textbooks via the web, Android and iOS devices.

 

Although no information was given about pricing, Google said we will see a "comprehensive selection of titles" from five major publishing houses. Textbooks can be purchased or rented for about six months. Content will also be available up to an 80% discount.

 

"Instead of a 400 page doorstop, Google Play books brings you awesome new features like search, bookmarks, highlighting, notes and even night mode, so you don't wake your roommate," Ellie Powers, Google Play product manager, told attendees.

 

Notes and bookmarks will be synced across all devices, whether a user is accessing it online or later on a smartphone or tablet.

Some of the major subjects coming to Google's textbook collection will include math, law, accounting and chemistry.  "For just the cost of one new Nexus 7, you can buy that and rent all of your textbooks instead," Powers said.

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Realtime Analytics For Education: Ontract Wants To Do For Student Data What Mint.com Did For Financial Data

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

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 Mint.com 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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Grantoo To Help Students Pay Tuition By Playing Social Games

Grantoo To Help Students Pay Tuition By Playing Social Games | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning | Scoop.it
I don't always play social games, but when I do, I like them to help me pay for my education.

 

I don’t always play social games, but when I do, I like them to help me pay for my education. If “The Most Interesting Man In The World” were to endorse Grantoo, this might be his conclusion. Grantoo is a social gaming platform that allows college students to compete against each other to win tuition grants and donate to charity in brand-sponsored gaming tournaments.

 

Grantoo launched in beta this spring, opening its platform to all students with an “.edu” email address. During its trial run, the company gave away over $30K in tuition grants and raised over $10K for charity, with institutions like Yale, Duke, Stanford, UC Berkeley, UCLA, and USC participating.  Grantoo lets college students earn grants to help pay for those costly tuitions and, in turn, requires them to donate between 10 and 100 percent of their winnings to a charity of their choice (which includes The Hunger Project, Partners In Health, Pencils of Promise, MAMA and Engineers Without Borders, to name a few). 

 

The startup has also increased the stakes considerably, as it plans to distribute over $100K in rewards this fall.  Under this model, students win, as do charities. While the overall impact on the colossal student debt problem is minimal at this point, but with Grantoo’s obvious no-brainer value for students, if it can encourage brands to continue signing by continuing to refine incentives, with scale that impact grows. 

 

Traditionally, brands don’t get much credit for the donations they make to academic scholarships and other charitable causes, say Grantoo’s co-founders, so the startup is working to provide them with ample branding opportunities on its platform, allowing companies to customize the tournament interface to reflect their brand’s ethos. To date, Grantoo has hosted tournaments sponsored by WePay, KRED, Grooveshark and AVG, and Sillam says that 10 Fortune 500 companies are currently in the pipeline to sponsor tournaments this year

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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LearnSprout Wants To Help Developers Unlock Educational Data

LearnSprout Wants To Help Developers Unlock Educational Data | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning | Scoop.it
APIs are marching into education, and it's about time. Education is rife with legacy infrastructure, with one of the primary offenders being Student Information Systems (SIS).

 

APIs are marching into education, and it’s about time. Education is rife with legacy infrastructure, with one of the primary offenders being Student Information Systems (SIS). Schools use these systems to store huge amounts of sensitive student information (class lists, attendance, grades and allergies, etc.), but they differ widely from school to school, which, among other things, forces developers to manually integrate with each unique system, making it difficult for their cool educational software or apps to achieve any kind of scale.

 

LearnSprout, a recent graduate of the education-focused startup accelerator Imagine K12 wants to help both schools and developers unleash those opaque educational data silos with the help of a few clean, standardizing APIs. While the recently-launched startup is not alone — Y Combinator-backed Clever launched a similar platform last month — LearnSprout now has the benefit of some notable investors to help fuel its fires.

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Curate and Publish Your Own Textbooks with AcademicPub

Robin Good: Academic Pub allows academic institutions and professors to curate their own custom textbooks, by tapping into a copyright-cleared library of over 130 different publishers.

 

Key features:

 

-> Add articles from the web or self-authored content to custom course materials, allowing for relevant and timely material to teach courses.

 

-> AcademicPub course materials are available in eBook or print format, providing flexibility for both faculty and students.

 

-> Aggregate web content, self-authored materials and content from the library in minutes - with instant copyright clearance.

 

-> Coursepacks and class syllabus can be delivered in a protected digital file, or as a perfect-bound, professionally printed book.

 

How it works: http://academicpub.sharedbook.com/academicpub/how_pro.html 

 

FAQ: http://academicpub.sharedbook.com/academicpub/faq.html 

 

Find out more: http://academicpub.sharedbook.com/academicpub/


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