Monthly Archives: January 2011

My Pursuit of an Efficient and Effective Method of Learning a Foreign Language – Part 3

For those who did not have the chance to read Part Two here are the main points:

  • LBT contains two major components: new methodology (no grammar, no memorization and no translation) and self-study software.
  • Blended learning: a combination of self-study software and public online or offline classes will become the major mode of operation in the next decade.
  • 3-action activity – reading, listening and speaking simultaneously with the speaker – eliminates cross-translation and solves the main problem in learning a foreign language.
  • Learning with phrases is 4-5 times faster than studying individual words.
  • The inner ear grammar acquired on a subconscious level is more efficient than grammar consciously learned as a set of grammar rules.

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Review:ed 2010 – October to December

This is the last part of my review 2010.

Video calling reached critical mass, live streaming comes to Facebook but is live still relevant in a world of on demand and self paced services?

Will the Internet get back to paid content and why is it so difficult to get reactions from readers?

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R:ED January 23rd to January 29th 2011

  1. Makes Streaming Video Work on Any Device
  2. Kno Is Looking For Student Ambassadors And Are Paying In Hefty Tablet Discounts
  3. BlipSnips Adds Enhanced Tagging And Captioning To Facebook Videos
  4. TransferWise wants to be the Skype of currency exchange
  5. MoshiMonsters launches first toy range, aims at $22 billion US market
  6. Tinychat Raises $1.5M From Kutcher, Diddy And Others, Is Just Getting Started
  7. $2-Billion Federal Program Could Be ‘Windfall’ for Open Online Learning
  8. Google Apps Marketplace Gets An Education Category
  9. The Future According to Schmidt: “Augmented Humanity,” Integrated Into Google
  10. Babylon Aims to Be the Quora of Translation
  11. Babylon Aims To Build A “Quora For Linguistics” Off Its 72 Million Members
  12. Report: Skype Delays IPO Until Second Half Of 2011 To Build Up More Revenue
  13. McGraw Hill Gets In On the Mobile Education Market
  14. Is Facebook Testing Voice Chat? [PIC]
  15. E-Readers in Africa: Non-Profit Brings Thousands of Books to Ghanaian Children
  16. YC-Backed Tutorspree Is An Airbnb For Tutoring
  17. Your Professor, Your Computer, and You
  18. Tennessee’s Webb School makes iPads mandatory, still looks down on note-passing

KWestions for Jason Calacanis – What to do if your Business Model does not work?

Today I had the pleasure of being amongst the first getting an interview with Jason Calacanis, founder and CEO of on the launch of Mahalo 4.0.

Without doubt, pivot turned out to be one of the most used words in business when thinking of 2010. So, like it or not, thinks it’s overly used but pivot is the right way to describe the new Mahalo. From user generated content it has evolved into portal where you can learn anything you want. It consists of three main components that Jason and the team identified as the most effective ones when learning on the Internet: articles, videos, Q&A.

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Tutorspree – Find great Tutors for your Kids

Today, a new local service for tutors launched in the US. Tutorspree is a place for parents to find great tutors for their kids, the service is targeting the K12 sector only.

At the moment the service is available in New York City, Washington DC, Boston, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

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Babylon Version 9 launches Live Translation Community

This is truly an exciting week for education 2.0. After yesterday’s launch of Mahalo 4.0 which takes on the asynchronous video learning market which an additional live Q&A community part, another well known player entered the field of language learning communities today.

Babylon, the software based dictionary that launched in 1997, is now offering an online community for linguists in its newest version 9 release. The company also teamed up with Ginger Software, a contextual spell and grammar checker.

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Friend or Enemy? Mahalo 4.0 – Learn Anything

Over the past couple of weeks Jason Calacanis was dropping quite a few hints in which direction his company might evolve in the near future and that Mahalo 4 would be a pivot, being launched on the DLD conference today.

For about two hours the new Mahalo is online and it looks pretty neat. To me it’s a mixture of EHow meets Khan Academy meets SquareSpace.

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Disrupting Disruption – Flat World Knowledge raises $15 million

Flat World Knowledge, the world’s leading publisher of open source text books raised $15 million USD in a series B round from Bertelsmann Digital Media, other investors and angels.

The really interesting thing about Flat World Knowledge is that it actually disrupts two business models of other startups in the $8 billion USD textbook market. They are disrupting disruption if you will.

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R:ED January 9th to January 22nd 2011

  1. “Z-Type”: An HTML5 Video Game for English Majors
  2. Viral Video: The British Library’s Stiff Upper App
  3. We Want our M(ath) TV! First-Person Instructional Videos and the Youtube Classroom
  4. Intel Shows Us the Digital Future of Lego [VIDEO]
  5. ¡Increíble! Google Turns Your Android Phone Into An On-The-Fly Conversation Interpreter
  6. Wolfram Alpha Takes on Education With Algebra, Calculus & Music Theory Apps
  7. How to Spend $100 Million to Really Save Education
  8. Game Written by a 14-Year-Old Passes Angry Birds as Top Free iPhone App
  9. With New Software, Headsets Are Outsmarting Phones
  10. Why Webcasts Are Perfect for Tapping Into Emerging Markets
  11. Vook Raises $5.25 Million, Builds Media Fit For Tablets And Smartphones
  12. The State Of Wikipedia (Video + Infographic)
  13. RightNow Acquires Natural Language Search Company Q-go For $34 Million
  14. Scribd Raises Another $13 Million, Aims To Bring Social Reading To Every Device
  15. Vidyo Raises Another $11.5 Million For Videoconferencing Solutions
  16. MegaReader brings true multitasking to the iPhone, lets you walk and read at the same time (video)
  17. $99 concept NoteSlate tablet does electronic ink in color, but only one at a time
  18. Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments and Bessemer Venture Partners Invest $15 Million in Flat World Knowledge
  19. Mobile Web Growth in Africa: Hotter Than the Sahara!
  20. India’s $35 tablet delay dashes hopes, destroys dreams
  21. Web Inventor Tim Berners-Lee Seeks Voice-Enabled Internet in Africa
  22. Somewhere Apple Execs Are Smiling: iPads Are Now Mandatory at This Private School
  23. Slovenia Calling: Connects Internet Calls Through Your Browser

Turn the entire Web into an interactive Learning Environment with Apture

I am not a big fan of widgets and applications on websites but it only took me 5 minutes from first seeing this one to having it installed here.

Since last night this blog is Apture Enhanced which you might have noticed when scrolling down the page. A bar with share options and a search field will pop up at the top. But that’s not the really cool part about Apture.

With Apture you can now mark any word or combination of words on this blog and “learn more” about it, all without leaving the page. It’s absolutely amazing.

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Drop the #VocabBomb – Game on Twitter to brush up your Vocab

Just finished a nice talk with Jeff Novich of VocabSushi and I am really happy to have him back on EDUKWEST this coming Monday to catch up on what he has been up to in the past months since our first interview.

One thing I would like to share with you already now is a cool little game he developed based on VocabSushi using Twitter and the hashtag #vocabbomb.

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ScheduleThing – Take Online Reservations

As edupreneur who is offering live lessons on the internet you need of course a way for your customers to schedule lessons with you.

There are a couple of online schedules out there and today I would like to show you a new one which I think is really easy to set up, you can the look customize and it’s free for small businesses. So, let’s take a look at ScheduleThing.

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Why Analytics will become more powerful than High Level Degrees

Last year, I had the pleasure of participating in the Fifth Conference PEOPLE edition with an opinion piece on how to record knowledge in the new age. Frank Boermeester, editor and community manager now formally launched the Council of the Fifth Conference, inviting innovators from around the globe to join the initiative.

The Council of the Fifth Conference is a global innovation think tank with the goal to create one of the world’s best knowledge sources and professional networks for understanding the near future and supporting innovative entrepreneurship.

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730 Days of Blogging – Thank You to my Readers

Today, this blog goes in its third year so thank you all for taking the time and read my news and occasional rants for now 730 days.

As one of my inspirations Gary Vaynerchuk says, content creators like us need to understand what great times we are living in and that there are actually people out there who take the time to read or watch or listen to what we are producing.

Therefore to all of you, thank you for taking your time reading this blog, leaving comments and discussing with me and the other readers.

As I say in the video, I believe that 2011 could be a turning point for online educators. As a result, you will find a good portion of new content made for and targeting edupreneurs in the coming weeks and months on this blog, so stay tuned.

In the meanwhile join our group “Edupreneurs Club” on Facebook!

800 Pound Gorilla? Pearson acquires TutorVista

A few days ago Jason Renshaw posted an article around his feelings and observations around the increasing dominance of Pearson in the education world over the past couple of years. Today, Pearson announced that the company increased its shareholding in TutorVista to a controlling 76% stake for $127 million USD raising the total investment of Pearson in TutorVista to $139 million USD.

Is this the rise of an 800 pound gorilla in online education which will dominate the whole market from school education over ESL to math and science?

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nabbber – Let’s learn foreign languages together

nabbber is probably best described as

the Twitter for language learners.

Like on Twitter you follow other people you are interested in and you share short messages. Whereas on Twitter those messages can be about everything, nabbber is build for the exchange of vocabulary.

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Dimdim got Acquired – WiZiQ invites Refugees

So, the CRM (Customer Relationship Management) company Salesforce bought the web conferencing platform Dimdim for $31 million USD in cash.

Right after the announcement of the deal, Dimdim changed its landing page stating that they won’t accept new clients anymore, the old clients could use the service during the transition period until March 15th as they had done before. After that period the service will shut down completely as it seems.

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Review:ed 2010 – July to September

The third quarter of 2010 started with the sale of eduFire to Camelback Education which led to various posts on the business model of live lessons itself and the question if those platforms and services ever take off.

Other big topics were the PR battle between Livemocha and Rosetta Stone around the launch of their new flagship products Active Courses and TOTALe, the rise of Udemy, the pivot of YongoPal and the growing necessity of tracking and recording learning in the new decade.

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Google Translate: The End of the Road for Interpreters?

This morning Paul Maglione, Co-Founder of English Attack! asked an interesting question on Twitter.

The end of the road for interpreters? Google now translates conversations.

It’s based on the alpha release of the Google Translate application on Android which now features an option to translate spoken conversations, dubbed “conversation mode”, for now exclusively in English and Spanish.

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How Stefan Wolpers, Asparagus from Peru and Facebook saved a Puppy

Like the story of Ted Williams, this one is not about education 2.0 but it is simply too good to not share it with you. It also contains some interesting trends in social media, so it is still somewhat related to this blog.

Anyway, it all started with a Facebook update of Stefan Wolpers who bought some Asparagus from Peru.

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