Monthly Archives: November 2009

ETCon 03 – Review

Last friday I hosted the third edition of the E-Teachers Conference about the Future of Teachers in a Global and Digital World. The panelists were Christopher Grant of Sclipo, Duane Sider of Rosetta Stone, Shiv Rajendran of LanguageLab and Stephan Stephensen of Mingoville.

All of them did great presentations covering various aspects of the changes teachers will have to face in this changing environment.

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The Edublog Awards 2009 – My Nominees

The Edublog Awards are in their sixth year already. And 2009 is my first time to set up a nomination list. Exciting!

And my nominees for the 2009 Edublog Awards are:

Best individual blog:
Best individual tweeter: Seth Godin
Best new blog:
Best resource sharing blog: Jane’s E-Learning Pick of the Day
Most influential blog post: A Manifesto for EduChange
Most influential tweet / series of tweets / tweet based discussion: #Edchat
Best teacher blog:
Best educational use of video / visual: eduFire Videos
Best educational use of a social networking service: Classroom 2.0
Best educational use of a virtual world:

I would like to thank everyone on my nominee’s list for inspiring me through the year.

eduFire or How to Change Education, NOW

Jon Bischke just announced the following on Twitter:

I admit, I am a bit lost for words. This is the proof that educhange is not only a vision anymore. It is happening. Before I wrap this up in a bigger post, I will have to let it sink a bit.

In the meanwhile please read the whole announcement and the available courses on the eduFire blog.

WiZiQ or How one Company could change Education in India

This post is the result of several talks I had with a couple of different people in our industry during the last year. The final impulse to write this down here is on the one hand a discussion in the E-Teaching community on WiZiQ. I will mention the second impulse at the end of this post.

All this brought an idea back to my mind I already had back in late 2008. And a couple of weeks ago I discussed basically the same with Jason West, the founder of Languages Out There.

Hence today I would like to set up a simple scenario that could fundamentally change the way people in developing countries could get access to high quality education.

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eduFire or How Four Words can Change your Business

On Monday eduFire launched its new Tech Channel. Topics include for example Java, PhotoShop, php, SEO and WordPress. This is their contribution to fight structural unemployment. One can say that after teaching people how to found their own business with the Business Channel, eduFire now want to serve those businesses with well trained employees. If you want to read more about this interesting topic, I suggest the article on because I would like to focus on something else in this post.

How did this came about? Why did eduFire change from a pure language learning marketplace into a platform focusing more and more on business related topics?

The answer is very simple. It’s all about a hyperlink with four little words that changed the eduFire Business Model.

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Languages Out There and Vivox turn Facebook into a global Language Exchange

Today Languages Out There officially launched its Facebook project in partnership with Vivox, the company which offers the first VoIP client on the social network.

Facebook users can now buy Self Study, One-to-one and Group Courses in the English Out There Book Store on the Facebook page of the company and practice their English with their native speaking friends on Facebook.

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ETCon 03 – The Future of Teachers in a Global and Digital World

Yes, we are back!

The third edition of the E-Teachers Conference will be on November 27th at 6PM CET.

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KWVlog 11-16-09 Do you see an Increase in the Entry Level for Language Students?

This Vlog is about the entry level of language students when they take online one-to-one lessons with a teacher. There seems to be an increase in this level, less and less students start at beginner or elementary level.

What is the reason for this? Is it because of the popularity of online language learning communities like Livemocha, Babbel or Busuu?

What are your experiences? Please vote and / or comment.

KWVlog 11-14-09 How much should an Online Teacher earn?

This is my first Vlog post on As there is so much going on in our industry it is fairly hard to keep up with longer blogposts. So I decided to share some “insights” with you, small thoughts I have during the week that are interesting (I hope) but not made for a whole blog post.

A huge part of this will hopefully be your participation. Those vlogs are small questions I would not only like to share with you but I am also keen on your thoughts about them. Therefore I hope to see you commenting below.

Now, without further ado, here is the first vlog post of mine :).

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Virtual Round Table Conference on 11/12 and 11/13

virtual round table

Lancelot School is hosting the Virtual Round Table Conference on November 12th and 13th with a total of 29 events like presentations, workshops and panel discussions covering topics like blended learning, learning and teaching in online worlds, the future of teaching, teaching and business and many more. The range of topics covered is really mind blowing.

Heike Philp also invited a major lineup of online education leaders in the panels and workshops. Therefore if you are in any way part of this emerging industry I strongly recommend to take part at least in some of the events. All you have to do is to go over to the Virtual Round Table website, sign up for an account and opt in for the events you would like to attend.

And btw, I have the honour to moderate the panel on “How to build an online teaching business“.

See you all at the Virtual Round Table Conference 2009!

There is no free lunch – Babbel goes Premium

What is your association with the magic numbers 2.0? Social Media, networking, chatting and, of course, no cost or at least freemium.

Well, not anymore. At least not in education. With the launch of Babbel 2.0 the company says “Good bye” to freemium and “Hello” to advertising free premium services.

Continue reading now connects to facebook

Astonishingly there are not so many educational companies which have yet implemented facebook  in their overall strategy. According to Mashable the social network is adding 500.000 new users each day and has today about 325 million members. So it seems like a good plan to get yourself represented on facebook, right?

Of course, most of the companies already have fanpages, Myngle even has its own application. But none of them really implemented their product in the facebook community. now seems to make a first step.

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Mingleverse – The Missing Link?

Last week I had the same experience anthropologists must have when they might have found a new species that fills a gap in the family tree of humans.

The missing link in online education has been the seamless group talk right now. You can have great 1o1 teaching over Skype and decent lectures in various online classrooms. But the interaction of a smaller group with seamless talking has been missing so far. But that might have changed now. A Canadian start up might have built the holy grail of online teaching.

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