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.
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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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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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Educreations To Turn Your iPad Into Your Classroom

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


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


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


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



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

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


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


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


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


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



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Apple - iTunes U - Learn anything, anywhere, anytime.

Apple - iTunes U - Learn anything, anywhere, anytime. | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |
iTunes U gives educators an easy way to design complete courses with audio, video, and other content and distribute them through the new iTunes U app. (RT @rehabrajab: Great #iTunesU App free course for teaching and learning with #iPad!


An entire course in one app.

The free iTunes U app gives students access to all the materials for your course in a single place. Right in the app, they can play video or audio lectures. Read books and view presentations. See a list of all the assignments for the course and check them off as they’re completed. And when you send a message or create a new assignment, students receive a push notification with the new information.


Everything works together.

The iTunes U app integrates with iBooks, iCloud, and other apps to make it easy for students to keep up with your course. For example, new iBooks textbooks2 and other books for the course are available right from the app, where students can tap them to start reading the assigned chapter. Notes taken in iBooks are consolidated for easy reviewing in the iTunes U app. If an assignment includes watching part of a video, one tap goes straight to a specific spot in the video. And iTunes U keeps documents, notes, highlights, and bookmarks up to date across multiple devices.


Building a course is easy.

To create a course, simply gather all the materials you need and follow the easy step-by-step instructions in the iTunes U Course Manager — a web-based tool accessible from a browser. Courses can include a syllabus, handouts, quizzes, and other items. All of the course materials that you upload will be hosted by Apple and available to anyone taking your course. You can pull content and links from the Internet, iBookstore, App Store, and iTunes Store. Or you can gather material from among the 500,000-plus resources at iTunes U, including audio and video content from museums, universities, cultural institutions, and more. Once the course is ready, it’s a snap to distribute it to anyone who’s interested in the topic — whether in your class or anywhere in the world.


Share your content with anyone. Anywhere in the world.

When you create and distribute a course on iTunes U, you’ll join a large and growing community of schools and institutions that are sharing their content with students and lifelong learners all over the world. iTunes U includes Stanford, Yale, Oxford, and UC Berkeley, along with other distinguished institutions such as MoMA, New York Public Library, and more. Students can use iTunes on their computer or the iTunes U app on their iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch to browse and download over 500,000 free lectures, videos, books, and other resources on thousands of subjects.



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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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New iPad App May Be The Future Of Collaborative Online Learning

New iPad App May Be The Future Of Collaborative Online Learning | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |
A startup wants to turn video lessons into something more interactive and immersive. It's like a Skype chat on steroids. Harvard Professor Michael Sandel is on board and his popular video lectures are now in a must-see iPad app.


One of the biggest problems many people have with Khan Academy and YouTube Edu is simply the format. It’s not the fault of Khan or YouTube … it’s just that the passive video format is just that. It’s passive. Khan and others are introducing more interactive technology that acts as an added level of learning to the lessons but no one has nailed it quite yet.


A San Francisco-based startup called Net Power & Light Inc. wants to change that. And they’re working with one of the most popular (in terms of YouTube views at least) Harvard professors to show off what they can do. Net and Professor Michael Sandel have partnered to offer a more interactive way to learn using the Apple iPad.


Net’s software is called ‘Spin‘ which essentially turns passive video watching into interactive group learning. It’s like project-based learning but with the entire planet instead of just your classroom. Right now, Spin lets you remix and interact with content from Harvard, Stanford, TED, and the National Geographic Channel. “Teachers felt web-based learning wasn’t giving them the full experience,” Tara Lemmey, Net Power & Light’s co-founder and chief executive officer, said in an interview. “Education shouldn’t live by itself. It’s a world of together.”


So How’s It Work?


The Spin software lets you, like any video player, fast-forward, rewind, skip chapters, and pause videos. But it’s more than that. The software overlays video conferences you’re having simultaneously with other people in your group. You can pause the video and discuss it. It’s like a collaborative Skype session with the background being an informative multimedia presentation.  Start the video, get your group to join in, watch a bit, then discuss. This could be a great tool for any distance learners or students doing PBL remotely.


The software also features a shared chalkboard so all the members of your group can draw right on the screen. It also lets you have individual audio controls since there will likely be more than one conversation happening simultaneously. In a fun twist, you can actually shrink or enlarge a person’s picture on the iPad screen to lower or raise their respective volume.


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Flip video cofounder launches learning platform Knowmia

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

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


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


An iPad app helps teachers animate, illustrate video lessons

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


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


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Tablets to Surpass Notebook Growth in 2016

Tablets to Surpass Notebook Growth in 2016 | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |
The demand for tablet computers such as the iPad is growing so much that shipments are expected to surpass notebook shipments by 2016.


Tablets, and specifically the iPad from Apple, have been one of the big drivers for growth in mobile in the last couple of years, but figures out today from NPD indicate that their popularity is going to get even bigger: the market for tablets, its researchers predict, is set to boom from 121 million shipped tablets today to 416 million devices by 2017, when they will overtake notebooks to become the most popular mobile PC device, driven by a drop in costs and a rise in features. Overall mobile PC shipments will reach 809 million units by 2017, from 347 million today.

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College? There's an App for That: How USC Built a 21st Century Classroom

College? There's an App for That: How USC Built a 21st Century Classroom | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |

"Everything about this program pushes definitions about what is a semester, what is the university, what is a classroom, and where do the faculty belong?" 


In the spring of 2008, John Katzman, the founder of the Princeton Review, approached the Masters of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program at at the University of Southern California with a revolutionary idea. USC could increase its graduates by a factor of ten without building another room.

Every year, California adds 10,000 new teachers. And every year until 2008, USC graduated about 100. The school felt "invisible." How could it build influence without new buildings? Katzman said his new project, 2tor, Inc, an education technology company, promised a solution. Forget the brick and mortar, and go online, he said. USC was skeptical. Surely, no Web program could possibly deliver an in-classroom quality of instruction.

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