Monthly Archives: March 2012

Guide Michelin

It was the better Idea, it was the worst Idea

Guide MichelinBased loosely on “A Tale of two Cities” let’s talk a bit about books today. To be precise about the two different business decisions two of most renown brands in the book sector took recently.

Encyclopedia Britannica decided to go entirely digital – bookshelf makers across the world went probably nuts. Did you know that Ikea changed the measurements of the Billy book case? Nevertheless, I think this is the better idea of the two as the second one comes from the Guide Michelin.

Continue reading

The End

The End is Nigh: Ads in Skype Calls and Teens rather ask a Search Engine

The EndWell, I suppose this had to happen sooner or later. Today, I saw my first ad during a Skype call. Though I was able to minimize it, there was still a constant little message reading “show ad” on the right side next to the picture of the person I called .

At least the call was not interrupted with a video or audio sponsor message, still it feels not right, at least not in Skype. Yahoo! Messenger, sure. MSN, yeah, go for it. But Skype… Next time I’ll make a screenshot or if you experience these new ads (I think you need to upgrade Skype to the latest version) post one in the comments.

Looks as if I have to bite the bullet and finally upgrade to a business account. Well played, Microsoft.

Otherwise, I wrote a new post over at Disrupt Education. Apparently, teens don’t bother to ask parents or teachers anymore when they have a question. They rather google it or look it up on Wikipedia. Oh, they also think their parents are not smart enough to actually help them with their homework. Brave new world!

Picture: By NASA, via Wikimedia Commons


TED-Ed turns Education into Hollywood

HollywoodIt’s up to you to decide if this is a good or bad thing, I for once say it is better than most stuff we have at the moment. I have always been a fan of production quality and thought that education needs to get out of the nineties and get more “sexy”. I wrote about that in my post about the new and innovative YouTube channels last week.

Today, TED announced the launch of their own YouTube channel in the education vertical and I think the most interesting part about it is the way they come up with their videos as it reminds me of the way Hollywood is doing its movies.

Continue reading


Follow the Money – Be an Egoist to become an Altruist

Here is a short one, but I’ll work out this thought in a lengthier post this week. I see many educators creating content in order to support learners from less favored corners of the earth. They want to make this world a better place.

Though this is an admirable attitude, it also often leads to dead ends and the shut-down of promising projects. The reason: no money comes in.

Continue reading

Lost in Translation

Lost in Translation No More – Rapid Online Translation is Taking Over

Lost in TranslationAs you might have noticed, I did not write a post yesterday though the goal was to write one article a day. Well, I think I have kind of an excuse: I had a slipped disk and did not really feel to do anything that day. Luckily acupuncture and some herbal infusions brought me back to (almost) normal life which means you get a new post today!

Before I get back to talking about the future of making a living as an online teacher, I have two interesting items on the agenda I would like to write about. The first one is the rise of online translation services.

Continue reading

Easy Button

Sorry, but No, You CAN’T Make Money Online NOW

Easy ButtonSomehow I ended up where it had all begun, life goes in circles, I guess. The post featuring the ant and the grasshopper seems to have struck the nerve of the edupreneurs out there, it even landed on the agenda of tomorrow’s review:ed with Christopher Dawson.

What caught my attention and what serves as a basis for this post is a blog post by Dr. Nellie Deutsch over at the WizIQ blog titled “Make Money Teaching Online Now!”. Though probably great for search engine ranking, I have to say that the title and blog post are somewhat misleading. I am also not sure which kind of online educator it tries to target.

Continue reading


The iPad 2 for $399 is the real Threat to Competitors

iPadYay, the “new” iPad is here!!!…meh. But the thing is that Apple does not need to bring out cutting edge, insanely great devices at the moment. Even their old iPhones, iPods and iPads are playing in another league compared to any other device on the market. And the new iPad is proving this once more. Even with some rather small improvements it is selling like crazy, and currently it seems to be nearly impossible to pre-order one online as Apple’s servers are constantly down.

Hence, rather than concentrating on the new iPad, I think it’s worthwhile to talk about the iPad 2 which now starts at $399.

Continue reading


Education App Stores as new Revenue Model

Today a shorter article on emerging business / revenue models in education. Edmodo, the secure social network for K12 schools and teachers announced their API today along with the launch of their own app store with 35 partners.

As Chris and I were asking ourselves the question about Edmodo’s business model on review:ed, now we finally know where the money shall come from as the startup promised to offer its platform for free, forever after their recent funding round of $15 million.

Continue reading

Ant and the Grasshopper

The Ant and the Grasshopper – Why (most) Teaching Platforms fail

Ant and the GrasshopperA good friend asked for some advice where to find teaching platforms or portals in the ESL space that actually attract paying students. The problem is that he is not asking the right question.

The question has to be “How can I attract more students.” – The platform you deliver the actual lesson on does not matter at all if you are not able to get students on your own. Guess what: platforms don’t care about that part of the deal.

Continue reading

Kirsten thinks

Embrace Who You Are

Kirsten thinksIt’s late on Sunday here in France, close to 11pm but that won’t mean that I can’t post a short one for you, right? Right.

Though I took half the day off to visit my aunt and have some family time with coffee, cake and a BBQ I also did some work today. Part of my hiatus from blogging was the necessity to verify what actually works and what doesn’t in my small online “empire”. This is something I totally forgot to do in 2011, hence it was about time for me to start reviewing things in early 2012.

Continue reading


Lots of new Edu Channels on YouTube – A new Discovery Channel?

YouTubeThere is a lot going on in terms of educational content on YouTube lately, and I am not talking about classic education providers like universities and colleges. There is a whole new breed of young creators, some of them already well-known from non-education related channels.

The interesting part is that those guys and gals already had a very strong educational message underlying in their more geeky videos. The new education focused channels are “just” that – more focused on explaining complicated things.

Continue reading

segmented sleep

Segmented Sleep or How Society invents Social Patterns

Sometimes I find posts that I feel are written for me. The BBC article about the myth of the 8 hour sleep is one of them and there are multiple interesting points to find in it besides the finding that sleeping eight hours straight is a pure invention of the modern society and has nothing to do with actual health improvement and recharging your batteries.

Continue reading


News from Palabea and How to prepare Kids for Tomorrow

OK, let’s go ahead and train the old blogging muscle, shall we? For the last couple of weeks I have been down in the engine room and up on the commando bridge figuring out the route for 2012. That’s why you did not hear or see that much of me lately, but there has been the successful re-launch of review:ed which I’m co-hosting with Christopher Dawson regularly once a week now. This Friday Chris and I will meet for the 10th time, already, and I really love this fixed point in my calendar. It’s always a pleasure to do the show with him and our guests.

But that’s not the (main) topic of this post.

Continue reading