Monthly Archives: June 2011

The Mitosis is almost finished

For some time now I have been thinking about how to shape the image of both and EDUKWEST and as you learned I came to the conclusion that with, I want to return to what it had been in the first place: my personal blog where I put some thoughts out on the various fields I’m interested in.

This means that the news coverage and analysis part of moves over to EDUKWEST turning the blog from a solely video interview focused site to a vertical news site for education 2.0 with news articles, opinion pieces, video interviews and product tests.

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KWestions Ep. 24 with Christian Arno of Lingo24

For this part of KWestions I had the pleasure to interview Christian Arno, the managing director of Lingo24 and his take on the future of translation online.

Compared with many other start-ups I have had the opportunity to do an interview with, Lingo24 is an old stager or maybe better a nethead as the company was founded in 2001.

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The Why and How of Twitter – Social Media Beginners Guide

Whereas in the last social media post I talked about why I blog and why this might be a good thing for you or have benefits for your education company, I want to concentrate on some of the platforms for the upcoming posts in my social media series.

So let’s get started with Twitter today: why and how I use it.

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Who owns Learner Progress Data?

About a year ago we were witness of a short but heavy battle about the fact that Facebook does not allow you to download your user data or delete your account permanently. This battle took place on TechCrunch and several episodes of This Week in Startups and was the peek of an ongoing discussion on whether one can trust Facebook with personal data or not.

In the end Facebook enabled the download of your personal data and since then the tech world has moved on to other topics like the Twitter Dick-bar and Groupon being a ponzy-scheme.

But with “Big Data” becoming one of the major buzzwords recently, I would like to re-initiate this discussion for education 2.0 as I believe that data, especially the data related to learning, is the most valuable asset of each startup in this space.

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R:ED June 5th to June 18th 2011

Learning to Read on Zero Dollars a Day

“Twenty years ago we had challenges helping kids find enough information. Now we have the opposite problem. There’s plenty of information out there. Now it’s a matter of training students to think critically about what they find. Because 90 percent of what they find on the Internet is garbage.” New York Times

Tablet Computing Is Here To Stay, And Will Force Changes In Laptops And Phones

“Without us realizing it, our needs have evolved beyond the smartphone + laptop ecosystem.” FastCo Design

Industry Puts Heat on Schools to Teach Skills Employers Need

“Big U.S. employers, worried about replacing retiring baby boomers, are wading deeper into education and growing bolder about telling educators how to run their business.” Wall Street Journal

Ning And Ustream Launch In-Depth Integration To Allow Creators To Stream Live Video

“Ning and live stream video company Ustream are announcing an integrated partnership today that allows Ning network creators to broadcast live video and audio on their website at anytime, complete with live chat capabilities and more.” TechCrunch

The Future Of The Campus Isn’t The Classroom

“The most holistic educational experiences happen outside of the classroom. To make the biggest impact, target student-life facilities.” FastCo Design

DIY U: The Future Of Learning [Video]

“From Khan Academy and TED Talks to instructional YouTube videos, the future of learning is open and free.” Fast Company

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp is Making Big Moves in the Education Business

“Joel Klein, head of News Corp.‘s new education division, has plans to make new acquisitions in the next few months, though he hasn’t specified any companies or even sectors of interest. However, he has ruled out the acquisition of a traditional publisher.” Wall Street Cheat Sheet

Smarterer Raises $1.25M To Prove You’re Good At Anything In 60 Seconds Or Less

“Smarterer’s product revolves around a fairly straightforward theory: it doesn’t take a lot of time to gauge if someone is competent in a given subject. In fact, Smarterer thinks it can determine your proficiency in just about anything in 60 seconds and 10 multiple choice questions.” TechCrunch

The 20 Best- and Worst-Paid College Majors

“A new report shows some undergraduate degrees pay off more than others — literally.” Time

Why “Brain Gyms” May Be The Next Big Business

“Four years ago, investors gingerly handed over seed money to Lumosity, a startup creating brain games. Today they’re happily tossing the same company $32 million. What changed?” Fast Company

India’s oft delayed $35 tablet ready to ship, unicorns shed tears of joy

“India’s unfortunately-named Sakshat tablet began life as a $10 laptop way back in early 2009 and, in the years since, has had more than its fair share of delays and difficulties. But, after repeatedly dashing hopes and destroying dreams it appears the $35 tablet is just about ready for take off.” Engadget



EDUKWEST Ep. 64 with Patrick Randolph of Talkwheel

Along with their official launch, I had the chance to meet with Patrick Randolph of Talkwheel for an EDUKWEST.

Talkwheel are based in SF and the platform allows its users to communicate and collaborate in a very visual way. Although not exclusively designed for education, it clearly makes sense in our context when you think of teachers maintaining thread with their students, seminar groups or student groups.

Read more and watch the Interview on EDUKWEST →

How to succeed with Niche Products in Language Learning

Sometimes I make a real finding on YouTube. Of course, Google knows me well and when I listen to some music or watch a webcast over there, I mostly get Inigral’s Schools App or Learnable as advertisement. This time was different however.

So, when I was listening to Mozart’s Requiem what I like when I do some writing, I saw an ad for eTeacherBiblical. My first reaction to be honest was a mix between scepticism, fascination and also awkwardness.

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R:ED May 15th to June 4th 2011

6 Reasons Tablets Are Ready for the Classroom – “By looking at all that tablets offer in the context of student behavior and some of the recent trends in education, it’s clear that tablets are ready for the classroom.” Mashable

Crowdsourcing Education Innovation, For Cash – “One of the largest educational publishers in the world is offering cash prizes to the winners of a crowdsourced learning product innovation competition.” FastCompany

Entourage shuts down Edge content store, devices reportedly discontinued – “It seems natural selection has finally caught up with the Entourage Edge.” Engadget

World’s Smartest Pens Get Social – “LiveScribe makes pens that record audio in sync with a writer’s notes and allow him to play it back at a specific moment by tapping the desired place in his notebook.” Mashable

Amazon Looks To Build Full-Fledged Publishing House – “Laurence Kirshbaum, the former CEO of Time Warner’s book division and most recently the founder of a well-respected, 40-client literary agency, has been named publisher of Amazon’s New York publishing office.” Mashable

NPG, CSU partner for $49 dynamic digital textbooks – “CSU has announced a three-year deal with Nature Publishing Group for low-cost, interactive, web-based textbooks with access options for disabled students.” Engadget

How Social Media & Game Mechanics Can Motivate Students – “Social media and online games have the potential to convey 21st century skills that aren’t necessarily part of school curricula — things like time management, leadership, teamwork and creative problem solving that will prepare teens for success in college and beyond.” Mashable

Organize An Offline Class With Skillshare – “Skillshare, which launched in April, is a marketplace for offline classes. Anyone can sell tickets for a class.” Mashable

What College Degrees Are Really Worth – “A new study from Georgetown University breaks down which majors of study result in the highest career earnings. Art majors, ask a friend if you can borrow his computer to read this.” FastCompany

Microsoft manager teams up with teens to build a fusion reactor in his garage (video) – “The science fanatic recruited a team of teens, as young as 13, and worked with them to build a Farnsworth–Hirsch Fusor — a (comparatively) simple nuclear reactor that smashes together atoms and produces neutrons.” Engadget

Watermelon Express Rebrands As BenchPrep; Launches App Store For Test Prep Content – “BenchPrep develops cross-platform apps to help students prepare for a number of standardized tests including the GRE, SAT, GMAT, LSAT and MCAT.” TechCrunch

The Kno Textbook App Hits The iPad – “Last night, Kno quietly released its first digital textbook app for the iPad. It includes its own store of “over 70,000 titles at 30% to 50% off list” price. And the app is a full textbook reader.” TechCrunch

The Road Ahead – A Personal Update

As it’s the beginning of June and thus half the year went by already (as always I feel that January was just a short moment ago) but there is another six months to go before we’ll wrap-up 2011, I thought that today I’d give you some updates and reflections on my work and tell you about the progress of some of the projects.

In my own perception I felt, it would be relatively easy to get an overview on what I’m doing but thanks to the constant exchange with you guys in the comments on via email or also Skype I learned that there has sometimes been confusion and that is my job to give this whole thing a bit more of a structure, so that you’ll be able to follow the parts of my work you’re particularly interested in more easily.

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EDUKWEST Ep. 63 with Brad Patterson of SnaPanda

EDUKWEST on tour has always had a special feel to it and as much as I like connecting with great start-up people via Skype, I have to say that I truly enjoy visiting companies when I have the opportunity to do so.

Episode 63 is such an on tour video, I’ve met with Michel Nizon and team of Edulang at their office in Morlaix, France. Yes, innovation can happen in the most remote places and I love that this is possible thanks to working online, connecting with people and the possibility of finding customers all around the world!

Read more and watch the Interview on EDUKWEST →