Monthly Archives: September 2010

Chegg + Kno = Apple for Higher Ed?

Two very interesting announcements from the textbook market today that underline my first thoughts about Chegg and the Kno from a couple of months ago.

The first one is that textbook rental platform Chegg just closed another funding round, adding a whooping $75 million USD to the war chest, ramping up the total funding to nearly $220 million USD.

The second announcement came on TechCrunch Disrupt where the manufacturer of the Kno tablet stated that they will also deliver a cheaper one screen version of the device.

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MIT OpenCourseWare teams up with OpenStudy

One of the most popular resources of free knowledge on the internet, OpenCourseWare of the MIT just got better.

By teaming up with the startup OpenStudy the OCW now got a social, interactive layer where students from around the world can connect with one another and learn together.

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The New Lingueo – Tidy, Clear and with Lesson Packages

After three years Lingueo, the Paris based language learning / teaching platform changed the look and feel of their website. If you have watched my interview with the founders on EDUKWEST you know that one of the main premises of the team is to keep it as simple and straight forward as possible.

The new page clearly stays true to that, in addition it offers some new features for students.

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Walnut Cake Recipe

Walnut Cake Recipe with a Twist: Coffee Flavor

As fall approaches heavily in Brittany, here is a new Walnut Cake recipe for a cake ideal to eat on chilly Sunday afternoons.

To make this Walnut Coffee Cake you need:

walnut cake recipe ingredients

  • 275 gr of flour
  • 1 tbsp of backing powder or about half a package ~ 3 or 4 gr
  • 150 ml milk
  • 2 medium sized eggs
  • 100 gr melted butter
  • 2 tbsp espresso or any strong coffee
  • 50 gr ~teacup walnuts
  • 50 gr of sugar brown or white and some more for topping

Lubricate your cake pan with grease. In a separate bowl add flour, sugar and backing powder. Mix gently.

Make a second mixture of the eggs, milk, espresso and melted butter and add it to your mix of flour, sugar, baking powder.

In a last step carefully add the walnuts (I slightly pan fried these before in order to obtain a more intense taste) and mingle all ingredients thoroughly.

walnut cake recipe

The cake goes into the oven for about 50 min to 1h at 190°.
For the icing there are different options. You could simple put icing sugar on top, make a caramel from brown sugar or put “Streusel” on top.

To make Streusel, just have a look in the Plum Cake with cinnamon recipe.

Caramel is also easy to make. You simply put butter with some sugar in a pan and let it melt.

Be very careful with hands / arms when you pour the caramel on top of your cake as caramel gets EXTREMELY hot! The second tricky point is to not to let the caramel get too dark or even burnt.
It’ll leave a bad taste…

Enjoy this recipe and tell me about your favorite cake recipes or experiences with baking!

R:ED September 19th to September 25th

  1. Facebook Has Quietly Implemented A De-Facto Follow Feature
  2. Why Our Schools Suck, The Movie
  3. Kiva Adds Student Loans To Microlending Marketplace
  4. The Latest Galaxy Tab Video Spot Makes A Solid Case For the 7-inch Android Tablet
  5. The Global Education Race
  6. Sweet Seeds: Zynga Raises $500K In Two Days To Build School In Haiti
  7. vChatter Launches A PG-Rated Version Of Chatroulette
  8. Twitter to Release a Real-time Analytics Solution This Year [REPORT]
  9. Mark Zuckerberg Donates $100 Million to Newark Public Schools
  10. How Universities Can Win Big with Location-Based Apps
  11. The End of Education Is the Dawn of Learning
  12. Project 10100 Winners

Khan Academy receives $2 million USD from Google

Great news as one of my personal heroes in education, Salman Khan, will receive $2 million USD from the Google Project 10 to the 100.

And he is not the only one in education as three out of the five winners are in fact education related projects.

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Everything you know about learning platforms is wrong!

Okay, that’s probably not true, but I needed to get your attention somehow. Apologies.

A few weeks ago, though, Vikrama Dhiman posted an article entitled “Seven Reasons Online Learning Platforms May Never Take Off.” That article sparked a terrific dialog about the shortcomings and potential for learning marketplaces online (marketplaces being what ‘platforms’ actually referred to).

Vikrama touched on some important points, but I think that he ultimately missed the mark. The problem, as I see it, doesn’t address “why online platforms may never take off”, but why they haven’t yet.  Ready for it?

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YouTubeSocial – Watch Videos simultaneously with your Students

I just came across this nifty service on TechCrunch and thought I should share this with you as I think there are some interesting possibilities to use this in online education.

YouTubeSocial is a service that enables you and your friends to watch any video on YouTube simultaneously and you can even chat with them whilst watching the clip.

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Meet YongoPal’s new partner: BetaStudios

Two days ago, Kirsten wrote about a blog post that we posted to our company blog in which we apologized to our Korean and American users for a poor product experience and announced the launch date for a new version — one that will be able to live up to their expectations.

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Blackberries on the iPhone – Busuu launches its Mobile Applications

Busuu is now the second language learning community to have its own iPhone applications that connect seamlessly with your online learning profile on the platform.

And if you watched my interview with Michael Schutzler of Livemocha the other day, you know that it will only take a little more time until this Seattle based community will launch their own.

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Review of the Second TWiST Paris Meetup on September 17th

Last Friday TWiST came back to Paris for its second edition. Like the first time, Lingueo was so kind to provide us with their office as venue, helped me with tech support and co hosted our guests.

On that night we had four startup pitches, two of them directly related to online education and the two other in a more indirect way.

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YongoPal Sucks! Conclusion: Let’s fix it

That’s the conclusion of Darien Brown after being in business for just about six months and his four week trip to the source of their clients and hence revenue of their product, South Korea.

In a blog post published today Darien gives not only a detailed reflection on what he and his co-founder Jon Hickey singled out as their mistakes but they also announces the relaunch of their service on November 1st.

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R:ED September 12th to September 18th 2010

  1. YouTube Starts Testing New Live Streaming Platform
  2. Livemocha looks to crack Rosetta Stone with new language service
  3. Scribd Redesign Is An Attempt To Become A “Social Network For Reading”
  4. Barnes & Noble Projects $1B In Digital Revenue, 25% Market Share By 2013
  5. 5min Brings 200K How-To Videos To Dailymotion
  6. Coming Soon: Mind-Reading Cell Phones
  7. Lifeplayer, the MP3 Radio for the World’s Most Forgotten
  8. Foursquare Targets College Students with New Universities Program

Grockit launches Grockit TV – Live Streamed Classes

A couple of weeks ago I would have never thought that classic subject matters like math or SAT / GRE prep would drive innovation in the online education space.

But after talking to Rohit Agarwal of TenMarks and today’s launch of Grockit TV, I have to say I was too pessimistic.

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Language resources and Web 2.0 : the latest hype or new perspectives?

Following the invitation of the University of Luxembourg I have the pleasure of attending a panel debate on the challenges (and controversies) of social media and their role in the development of language resources and in empowering language learning communities.

This should get interesting.

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KWestions for Michael Schutzler, CEO Livemocha

Today, I took the chance for a quick but very insightful interview with Michael Schutzler, CEO of Livemocha on the launch of the new Active Course line and his experiences being the CEO of the world’s largest language learning community.

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Apples & Pears: Big Launch Day for Rosetta Stone and Livemocha

Today is the big day for two education companies. Rosetta Stone launches its brand new version 4 TOTALe flagship product and Livemocha launches its new range of Active Courses in partnership with Harper Collins.

I love the smell of language immersion in the morning!

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R:ED September 5th to September 11th 2010

  1. Breaking down language barriers with a pocket picture guide
  2. Forget What You Know About Good Study Habits
  3. Sugata Mitra: The child-driven education
  4. Tablet Maker Kno Raises $46 Million for Dual-Screen Digital Textbook
  5. Campus Dibs Is A Groupon For Colleges: Smart Move
  6. Maths graduates in Punjab are being taught the British syllabus so they can give private lessons by phone and via the web
  7. Prezi Meeting Brings Collaboration to Web-based Presentations

#followfriday 09-10-2010 @Livemocha

And today’s #followfriday goes to Livemocha. I know, I know, I have been ranting about their Twitter strategy in several posts but that has changed quite a bit.

For a couple of weeks Livemocha is doing a great job with Twitter and hence they really deserve to be followed by anyone interested in language learning.

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The Hard or the Soft Way? Thoughts on the Kno and Inkling

You might remember the Kno, a dual screen tablet device for the educational market, which aims to be a replacement for textbooks. When it was revealed at the D8 conference earlier this year people who saw the Kno described it as “two iPads, glued together – but bigger”.

Yesterday, the company announced that it closed a $46m debt-and-equity round led by Andreessen Horowitz that also has investments in Zynga, Skype and Foursquare.

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