Monthly Archives: July 2010

Three Reasons Why You Should Start Creating Content Today

Content is King. I think you heard this wisdom sometime, somewhere already. Maybe even on this blog.

Content is King for many reasons but today we will take a look at the three top reasons why you as an online teacher should start creating content right now, well, after reading this post hopefully.

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Introducing the Strategy Cube

Preface: This is to be seen as a preparatory post for next week’s webinar with fellow enthusiast of online education Michael Butler. Michael is in education for more than 25 years and brings not only knowledge of the educational sector itself but also profound insight about marketing and execution to the table.

For more than two years now Michael and I are constantly exchanging ideas provoking one another with questions about online education hence we have a rich and I think fruitful communication with people in that space. Therefore, I can honestly say that I felt happy and proud when he came to me with his newest project just a little moment ago as one of the first persons to know about the Strategic Cube. As Michael points out below, the Strategic Cube will help companies as well as individual educators with their product / service at different moments in their business. So everybody who is interested in participating in our webinar in which we will bring the Strategy Cube from theory to life by discussing it upon different existing business models in online education, please make yourselves familiar with both, Michael’s post as well as the slides at the end of this blog post to get the maximum for yourself out of our webinar discussion.

– Kirsten Winkler

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Pimp Your Skype – with Dabbleboard

Hello Ladies and Gents. May I introduce myself. My name is Kay Alexander and from today on I will write on this blog about tools and tricks for online teachers. Why? Because I can.

Joking aside, some might already know me as co-founder of the E-Teachers Academy. I am the business partner of Kirsten Winkler for a long, long time and the tech guy of the Winkler web estate. I work with computers (yes work, not play) since I was fourteen or fifteen and connected myself to the pre form of the internet with a 2400 baud modem. Since this time I live online.

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First Look At – WordSteps

WordSteps helps you to learn 20 foreign words in 15 minutes a day. At least that’s the promise of the Russian startup.

The idea is that if you learn with WordSteps only three times a week for 15 minutes you could enlarge your vocabulary by about 240 words per month and hence about 3000 new words per year.

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iPhone a Flop in India | Lessons for Online Education Startups

This is a guest post by Vikrama Dhiman. He is an accidental software product manager who has worked with teams across India’s IT centers – Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Delhi, Chandigarh as an Agile Software Development Coach and a Product Manager with Internet companies.

iPhone has been a massive failure in India. Yes, there are two hundred and seventy people [I made up that number] worrying about iPhone 4.0 not releasing in India but most just do not care. And, this in a country that is obsessed with everything fashionable in Umrika [that’s desi for America]. So, what went missing in India?

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A Change Would Do You Good

You may have noticed some changes on this blog recently, at least I hope so :). After more than one and a half years I thought that a change would do me good. The process is not yet finished completely but I would like to give you an outlook of what you can expect from this place here in the coming weeks and months.

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When is Social Social? A Story of Walled Gardens.

Gregor Gimmy, Founder and CEO of Sclipo wrote an interesting piece on social features in online education recently and asked me for my two cents on it.

His point is that just by adding social features to a classic LMS it is actually not getting more social as it still is a walled garden, only open for members of the university, academy etc. and that social would mean that you need to tear down those walls and enable everyone to connect with everyone no matter on which campus.

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WiZiQ launches New Virtual Classroom

Today WiZiQ launched its newest version of their virtual classroom environment. The new version promises to have a better sound quality, you can stream video of up to four participants, the whiteboard has new features and also the media player got a make over.

But with every upgrade there might come some teething pains so lets do a quick check in case you plan to have a class on WiZiQ, soon.

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Fennec Fox

Why Live Lessons are FNACs

FNAC – abreviation: Feature not a Company (Marc Suster)

Remember back in 2008 when everyone (including me) was high on the live video lessons which were going to change the educational system? I think it’s time to face the truth: they are just a feature which has to be seen in a bigger context. As a stand alone business model it won’t cut the mustard.

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Review of This Week in Startups Paris Meetup

Last Tuesday I had the priviledge of hosting the first This Week in Startups Paris Meetup. The concept of the evening is a pitch session of local startups in different cities around the world. The winner of each city then gets the opportunity to pitch Jason Calacanis live on the This Week in Startups webcast.

We had seven great pitches and three of them are particulary interesting for this blog here, but lets start at the beginning.

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How will we recognize an Expert without a Bookshelf?

I was just watching a video about online marketing and SEO competition and then it came to me.

How will one be able to recognize an expert in the not so far future without the bookshelf he or she is sitting in front of?

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YongoPal shows some Insights

Of course not traffic and sales but they made a nice video about the process from the student’s side which allows us to have a look at the service itself.

YongoPal also invested in a new landing page for the Korean students.

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Back to the Roots: Livemocha crowdsources Ideas for new Features

Livemocha has always been very effective in leveraging its giant user base. In a very short time the members of Livemocha translated the standard courses of the platform in 38 languages.

Of course there is the question if you can simply translate a course from one language to the other and how to track down mistakes efficiently but on the other hand: the courses are free and the community worked constantly on the issues.

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First Look at – Nixty

Apparently a new LMS / WLA called Nixty launched today. Nixty is aiming to empower education for everyone by offering simple to use tools for teachers to create multimedia enabled courses.

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stewed lamb leg recipe

Comfy Food: Stewed Lamb Leg

stewed lamb leg celeryHere for once is a meat dish: stewed lamb leg with vegetables. Best is to take meat from the leg (duh), shoulder or joint. These are not the most expensive parts and by the relatively long stewing they become nice and tender yet stay juicy!

Also, this dish is budget friendly and if you have a kitchen garden with herbs and some vegetables it becomes even more affordable, especially when your celery is growing like mine this year.

Let’s get down to the preparation though. For the taste I wanted to focus on freshness and two main notes: garlic and rosemary (I used them both fresh but you can of course use them dried. In this case you want to reduce the amount of garlic as fresh garlic is less intense than dried one).

stewed lamb leg ingredientsBoth garlic and rosemary mingle nicely with lamb and potatoes. As other vegetable I used celery but you can take any other vegetable of the season or that you particularly like, always nice are carrots.

First I want to give the lamb pieces and the potato wedges a little bit of color, so I roast them for about 5 minutes in a frying pan with a little bit of vegetable and extra virgin olive oil (we have a higher temperature here and because of that you don’t only want olive oil as it does not stand high temperatures). At the end of this frying process you can add the garlic already but be careful that it does not get brown and therefore bitter. Season with salt and black pepper.

stewed lamb legNext step is to arrange the lamb, potatoes, celery, garlic and rosemary in a casserole. Add a good sip of extra virgin olive oil, a little water or broth so that nothing sticks to the casserole and everything into the oven at a relatively low temperature of 160°-180° for about 45 minutes or a little longer depending on how much meat you have and how thick your pieces are.

Optional: you could add a tomato (fresh or canned) to obtain another fruity note to the sauce.

When the lamb comes out of the oven it should be so tender that you almost did not have to cut it with a knife.

All in all, a budget friendly dish and easy dish. You can feed a lot of people with and it’s also good for the cook as you do not have to take care of it a lot as soon as it’s in the oven.

Enjoy cooking and bon appétit!

This Week in Startups Paris Meetup July 20th

If you are a startup entrepreneur, angel investor or VC and happen to be in Paris on July 20th this event is for you. We (that’s the team of Lingueo and me) are organizing the event for the special episode Meetup episode of This Week in Startups with Jason Calacanis on July 20th.

Hence if you are interested in pitching your startup, voting for the best startup in Paris or having a nice evening watching the show and networking with fellow entrepreneurs you are invited to join us.

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You can now add Downloads to your Sparkeo Video Course

Sparkeo, the video platform that enables educators to monetize their video courses added some new features to the platform.

Besides a new check out page and some bug fixes Sparkeo introduced a feature that enables educators to add downloadable attachments to their video courses.

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Myngle looses its Head. Again.

Head of Education that is. After only eight months Stefan Booy is leaving Myngle and I think this is a big loss for the company as he started some really good initiatives on the platform which in general went in the right direction.

In his email to the teachers of the platform he says the reasons for leaving Myngle are basically personal ones as working in business development and being Head of Education were very taxing for him as well as for Myngle.

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TeachStreet now has an API

TeachStreet soft-launched an API for the Classes which enables web developers to get access to the class listing data and metadata.

Hence the API is purely one way at the moment as far as I understand it. You can pull data about listed classes but you cannot enter classes from outside of the platform.

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No More Ads

No more Ads

As you have probably noticed I slightly changed the theme of my blog and one of the major changes is the complete deletion of third party advertisements.

Now why did I decide to drop them or, maybe even more interesting to you, why did I decide to display ads on this blog in the first place?

It was all part of an experiment, as most about everything is that I do. After more than a year of working on this blog I finally had enough data to take the final decision. To be fair, the final push came from a blog post written by Koichi.

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