Monthly Archives: April 2010

Myngle now ahead by a beak?

Yesterday, I received one of the new and regularly coming News Bulletins from the Myngle education team. Normally you can get the news by reading the email for gist but this one caught my attention as it presents some substantial additions to the platform.

In fact the coming changes could give Myngle a lead over its competitors.

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Mingleverse launches Facebook Application

Mingleverse, the mix between Skype, a webmeeting and Second Life just launched a Facebook application. As you might remember, I was quite surprised by the audio quality even at the beginning back in November 2009.

Since then Mingleverse have steadily worked on new features and the quality of their product and now they are taking on the social network number one and as Mashable reported yesterday Facebook is responsible for 41 percent of all social media traffic. So, that’s likely to be a move that’ll pay off for Mingleverse in the future.

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review:ed Episode #1 with Dave Schappell

This is the first episode of a new weekly video series called review:ed. As the title says a weekly changing guest from online education and I will review the top news of the past week related to education and technology.

My guest in the first episode was Dave Schappell, Founder and CEO of TeachStreet.

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Cha-ching! Babbel is in the Black

TechCrunch Europe broke the news that language learning community Babbel had its first profitable Q1 in the history of the company.

And in Babbel’s case this means profit from sales of their product, not advertising revenue, affiliate sales or other schwag. People buy what Babbel build. A really radical concept.

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Great News: From now on there is an Exit for EdTech Start Ups

What a great start for the weekend. Pearson’s Director of Digital Strategy confirmed on a media briefing in London this morning that

[…] there is definitely an M&A strategy. We’ll be focusing on digital service providers and acquiring great technology.

This is big news for online education start ups which might look for an exit one day.

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No Free Lunch Part III – Ning axes Free Networks

Big news. After Gina Bianchini left Ning about a month ago there were already some speculations why. Mike Arrington assumed that it is some kind of a Davos curse because three CxOs he interviewed at the last summit left they jobs afterwards. Others already pointed out that the company might have some issues etc.

Today Jason Rosenthal, the new CEO announced that Ning is discontinuing its free offer. Admins who run a free network can either upgrade to a paid version or, well, b*gger off.

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Who let the Dog out? – English Attack! Finalist at The Next Web and Seedcamp Paris

Big month for English Attack!. The first entertainment only website for English learners is getting more and more attention.

The platform is not only one of the 20 companies which take part in the Mini Seedcamp in Paris but is also one of the 25 finalists for The Next Web event in Amsterdam end of April.

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Second Virtual Round Table Conference on April 22nd and 23rd

Heike Philp, Managing Director of Lancelot School invites everyone to the second Virtual Round Table Conference on April 22nd and 23rd. Like the first conference last year it will be a two day marathon of panels, presentations, discussions workshops and, of course, Petcha Kutchas.

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Babbel takes a Technology Lead in the Race

Language Learning Community Babbel announced three new features today: its first mobile phone app for iPhones, iPods and iPads, a desktop client for PCs and Macs called Babbel Refresh and the possibility to adapt the learning material.

In a side note we learn that Babbel now has over 700.000 users in more than 200 countries.

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Zinch expands to China

Zinch, the platform that helps students to connect with colleges, graduate schools and scholarships by showcasing more than just the test scores expands its service to China.

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Why not Check in – for Education

As some of you might have read on Mashable this week, the fifteen year old Parker Liautaud has gone on a journey to the North Pole to unlock the “Last Degree” Foursquare Badge. He is accompanied by David Newman, an experienced Artic traveler and the whole trip is sponsored by General Electric. The main goal besides being the youngest man on the North Pole plus the first one to unlock the Last Degree Badge  is to raise attention on global warming.

I would not be suprised if someone else is going to try to unlock the badge before Parker. And then, who knows if the mobile phone can take the cold?

This whole thing got me thinking about people checking in everywhere and I bet there will be badges for the South Pole, the Mount Everest and the bottom of the Mariana Trench, soon. And don’t forget the first man on Mars.

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No Free Lunch Part 2: No more Free Listings on TeachStreet

After nearly two years in business TeachStreet is making a drastic change to its platform. In an email from Dave Schappell, Founder and CEO of TeachStreet to all teachers on the platform he announced that there will be no free listings for teachers anymore. Teachers with a Basic account will have to pay $3 USD for 30 days/10 student leads.

Although this might be a shocker as the general mindset is still set on freemium on the internet today, I applaud this move. The TeachStreet blog explains the reasons very detailed and understandable but let me coin in my two cents on this.

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Two Social Services for Urban Expats who want to learn a Language

After learners have used the internet to connect with the whole world and searched for teachers on the opposite side of the globe it seems as if they found a new button on a camera and found out that there is not only a button to zoom on things that are far away but that there is also a macro zoom which allows you to see things right beneath your nose in shiny new colors.

This trend is called “local” and will be one of the big things in 2010. So let’s take a closer look at two services that make it very easy to connect with local people, in the real world.

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EDUKWEST has a first Sponsor: Vodburner

EDUKWEST just released the 25th episode of the show. My guest was Gagan Biyani, Co-Founder of Udemy – the Academy of You.

I took this milestone as a good reason to make some changes. Don’t worry, the format stays the same but I think it was time for some investments in the show.

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authorSTREAM gives away an iPad – Just tweet one Feature

authorSTREAM, a platform where you can share PowerPoint presentations on the internet and which is part of authorGEN, the company behind WiZiQ, gives away an iPad. Yes, the device everybody is talking about on your Twitter stream since Saturday.

All you have to do to get on the list is to tweet one feature of authorSTREAM like PowerPoint to iPads, Present Live or PowerPoint to YouTube.

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Get some Free Marketing Juice from TeachStreet

If you are a regular offline teacher/tutor/trainer or teaching online, this is an offer you should not miss: TeachStreet is featuring you on its network for the next two weeks if you advertise your lessons on Craiglist or add a TeachStreet widget to your blog or website.

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First Look at – RhinoSpike

RhinoSpike – Foreign Language Audio on Demand

This new platform is targeting learners of a foreign language who would like to have customized mp3 with the content they want to listen to. From simple pronunciations for flashcards to short texts.

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