Category Archives: Personal

Follow me on Twitter

The Easiest Way to get my Attention? Follow me on Twitter

Other than reading the headline may suggest, no, I don’t want to artificially increase my number of Twitter followers. But I often get asked which way is the best to approach me with your project pitch. As I was thinking about it, I noticed that many of the conversations I have had over the years started like the one I just finished an hour or so ago.

It was a very interesting Skype call with Matthew Burr, one of the co-founders of How did he manage to get ahead on the list of people I want to talk to? The answer is simple: he just followed me on Twitter. As a side note: is now my favorite startup of 2013 so far.

Continue reading

EdTech Digest Edtech Leadership Award 2013

I have won the EdTech Digest Leadership Award in the Category Edtech Blogger

I am excited to announce that I have won the Edtech Digest Leadership Award in the category Edtech Blogger at the third EdTech Digest Awards Recognition Program. The EdTech Leadership Awards recognize outstanding forward-thinking contributions to learning and technology.

This year EdTech Digest’s panel of industry influencers and veterans evaluated more than 200 finalists from over 40 categories. Past winners of the EdTech Digest Awards Program have included, among others: Pearson, Epson and McGraw-Hill, as well as emerging solutions providers Panarea Digital, StudySync and StudyBlue.

Other winners of this year’s Awards include Learnist as Best New Product or Service, Edmodo as Best Product or Service, Learnsprout as Emerging Technology Solution, Always Prepped as LMS, StudyBlue as Mobile App Solution, Schoology as Social Networking Solution, Straighterline as Product Trendsetter as well as individuals like Heather Hills from Pathbrite, John Baker from Desire2Learn, Bill Goodwyn from Discovery Education and Farbood Nivi from Learnist.

You can take a look at all the finalists and winners on EdTech Digest.

First and foremost, thank you to all of my readers for your support over the years and then of course to the jury for naming me Best Edtech Blogger. This award reassures me, once again, that there is a place for long-form quality content in our fast-paced industry.

Dragon Pearl Jasmin

Content Lessons from Drinking Tea

Something weird has happened to me. Along the lines of never say never I am slowly but surely turning from a hard core coffee drinker into a tea aficionado. In fact, tea already cut down my coffee consumption per day by at least 50%. And that in less than a month!

How could this possibly happen? It is all about quality, like many (most) things in life and I think we can learn some lessons for content creation here.

Continue reading


What is Your Favorite Child? My 2013 BLOGGIES Quandary

Tough question to answer, right? I believe, most parents wouldn’t even dare to think about it. And somehow I got into a similar catch-22. As we are still in the awards season I learned that not one, not two but three of my blogs ended up being finalist at the 2013 BLOGGIES. And all in the same category, namely Best Education Weblog!

So what to do?

Continue reading

keep calm and watch edukwest

Everybody Calm Down – I am still doing Interviews

keep calm and watch edukwestSoon after my announcement that I joined OpenLanguage as content lead I received lots of emails and comments that anticipated I would not do video interviews from now on. Actually, the opposite is the case.

Yes, my new role at OpenLanguage cuts out a nice chunk out of my daily schedule, but I would never quit something I have built over several years “just because” I have a new commitment. I had similar commitments in the past, yet I have always continued with my own projects – nothing new here.

That said and as people often ask me how I can possibly keep up with all the different things I am doing I wanted to share two key principles of my work ethics with you today.

Continue reading

edublog awards 2012

EDUKWEST and Fair Languages are nominated at the Edublog Awards 2012

I have some exciting news to share. This year two of my blogs are nominated at the Edublog Awards!

EDUKWEST in the category Edtech Blog and my latest blogging endeavor Fair Languages has got a nomination as New Blog. As every year I need your help which essentially means your vote.

Go to and choose the category Edtech Blog to vote for EDUKWEST and New Blog for Fair Languages. You can vote once per day through Sunday, December 9th.

Thank you very much for your support over all these years!


Meet me at Online Educa Berlin 2012

BerlinTaking into consideration that I didn’t plan to attend Online Educa in Berlin this year, it is really funny that now I am not only covering the event for EDUKWEST and Today’s Campus but also ended up as a panelist and learnshop host.

In case you don’t know, Online Educa is one of the biggest conferences in the online education space and takes place in my beloved hometown of Berlin. There are a ton of sessions, keynotes, panels and learnshops going on, and I am really looking forward to mix and mingle with all the education folks from around the world. There is also an exhibition floor where edtech companies, service providers and institutions will be presenting their products and solutions, and I am going to try to cover as much as possible of that part, as well.

You will be able to follow my coverage on EDUKWEST as I will try out a new mobile podcasting tool called Audioboo which I am going to use to give you a quick overview of the sessions I am planning to attend. On top of that there will be recorded video interviews in the weeks to come after the Online Educa, both on EDUKWEST and Today’s Campus.

The two sessions I will take part in are as follows:

The Question Time session follows the popular BBC 4 format with the same name and will be live streamed via the Internet on Thursday. You can submit your questions to the panel either via email or Twitter using the hashtag #OEB12QT.

My learnshop will be about crowdfunding and how teacherpreneurs might benefit from it. As it’s meant to be an interactive / hands-on session I am planning to answer as many questions from the participants as possible besides giving them an overview of the different crowdfunding platforms, basics on how to setup a successful campaign, challenges and risks for both sides involved etc. If you have a specific question you would like me to answer, please submit it to the comments below or send me a Tweet @KirstenWinkler.

Picture by Thomas Wolf, (Eigenes Werk), via Wikimedia Commons

French Maid

Fall Cleaning and New Agenda

French MaidOne of the upsides of having a blog that goes back nearly four years now is that I have a lot of material I can use to write posts with titles like “Told you so”, at least when I can remember what I wrote when and where.

The downside is that when you are planning to do some clean up and trimming you look at your category structure and think “WTF have I thought?!”

In order to teach this old dog here some new tricks, I think I need to find a new structure and also some new topics as most of the education related stuff is now on Big Think, edcetera, Fractus Learning and of course EDUKWEST and Fair Languages.

So, here is the plan. I will cut down the nearly 30 categories of this blog to the following six ones

  1. Next Ed
    General and also shorter posts on education related stuff, online and offline.
  2. Edupreneurship
    Posts about freelancing and building for profit startups in education.
  3. Social Media
    Everything interesting that is going on in the social media space, education related or not.
  4. Digital Society
    Everything 1984 and Brave New World-ish. How are technology and the Internet changing the way we learn and live?
  5. Startup Meals
    That’s a new (old) one. I believe healthy living and good living is part of your personal success as well as of the success of a startup. I will start sharing simple and healthy recipes that even the busiest entrepreneur can realize at home or at work.
  6. Personal
    Everything personal, like this post.

Sounds like a plan? I think so, too. By the time you read this post I should have finished to sort the entire archive into the new structure.

Picture: Constant Puyo, via Wikimedia Commons


I joined Today’s Campus as Innovation Editor

crossroadsI think, it’s time to give you some updates on what I’ve been up to during the past couple of months. Yes, I am still here – if here means the Internet in general 😉

Honestly, I started too many times with a sentence like “I will blog more often here on” but we all know how that worked out, right? So, no more promisses – for now.

As if I haven’t had enough on my plate already I joined the team at Today’s Campus as Innovation Editor. Today’s Campus is one of the leading print magazines in the higher education space and now strongly growing its footprint on the Internet. In my new role I am going to interview innovation leaders, movers and shakers in the higher ed space similar to my EDUKWEST series.

Let me also give you a bit of the back story as I think it shows how our education 2.0 and startup world works. André Klein of Learn Out Live also wrote about the “mysterious ways” paying forward on the Internet can lead you to crossroads you would not have thought about in the first place.

It all started with Jon Bischke and eduFire. As you know Jon played a major role of how my blogging career actually started back in 2009. If you remember, eduFire got acquired by Camelback Education back in 2010 and he then introduced me to Steve Cooper, the founder and CEO of Camelback Education. We had some nice chats via Skype over the years but never about something really concrete in terms of working together.

One year ago Steve acquired the Today’s Campus Magazine, and together with Ryan Bush whom he had hired as publisher the magazine grew nicely month over month. And about three weeks ago Steve asked me if I would like to join the team as Innovation Editor. To be honest, it totally came out of the left field but hey, what a great opportunity! So I said yes, eventually.

Below you can watch my first interview featuring Andrew Grauer, co-founder and CEO of Course Hero. Yes, I know you can’t see me but that will be fixed in the upcoming interview. I hope you will enjoy the talk nevertheless.

So, thanks again to Steve, Ryan and the Today’s Campus team for such a great start and giving me the opportunity to work with such a great group of people. And I thank you, my readers, for sticking with me through all these years, I really appreciate it! And there will be a second update, tomorrow. Promised 😉

I leave you with one of my favorite quotes and music videos.

Silence doesn’t mean you’re forgotten. – Duran Duran

Picture by mxruben via Morguefile


On other Blogs: Note Sharing & Facebook Stock

First and foremost, thank you everyone who congratulated me on the new design for this blog and also made the remark that the only thing missing now was new content!
I figured that a lot of my readers have missed my activity here quite a bit as I  wrote in bulk but not regularly and continuously, lately. I can’t promise that this is going to change completely, but as you might have noticed, I already changed to a new cleaner and faster theme.

The goal is to post at least twice a week here, and I will also share short summaries of the blog posts I write for Disrupt Education, edcetera and from tomorrow on Fractus Learning.

This week I wrote two pieces. One about note sharing and the other about Facebook stock and why I think it is undervalued.

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

Number of the Week

Number(s) of the Week: 9.95 and 1 million

Number of the WeekAs the anniversary of this blog is getting closer, I started looking through the archives as I do every year. Sometimes, I am really surprised to find posts I can’t remember to have written and a lot of them bring back memories, of course. What a ride!

One of the first startups I wrote about back in January 2009 was Livemocha. Back then, the language learning community just cracked the 1 million user mark and started to offer its first premium content. It was a travel course in Italian priced at $9.95

Continue reading

Number of the Week

Number of the Week: 3952

Number of the WeekIt’s the last week of 2011 and therefore the last number of the week for this year as well! Although my new series is still at an early stage., I hope you’re enjoying the number I pick every week to write a short article around and thus to put it into perspective.

My number this week is 3952 which is the average number of text messages, SMS and MMS, the typical 13 to 17 year old teenage girl writes every month! In other words that sums up to 7 messages per waking our, making it the centerpiece of teenage mobile activity.

Continue reading

Number of the Week

Number of the Week: 11,143,333

Number of the WeekSunday is always a great day for me as it’s probably the day when I have the most time to consume media and educate myself reading all the relevant blogs I love but also write one or the other piece myself.

Today, I thought it would be fun to start a new weekly series in which I share an interesting number in online education each Sunday. Based on that definition, I call it my number of the week.

For this week, Dec 12 to 18, my number is 11,143,333 and although it comes from an education startup, it reached me in the most classic way – per snail mail.

Continue reading

Free to do Whatever I Want – Thanks to You

In case I did not thank you personally for your birthday wishes on Facebook, Twitter and Skype – Thank you so much for your support! Because of you, may you be a friend, fan, supporter or sponsor I am able to do what I do here, on EDUKWEST, Deutsch Happen, Big Think and everywhere else.

I truly appreciate it.

Free to be whatever I want. Whatever you do, whatever you say, I know it’s alright.

Kirsten xxx

Muhammad Ali taunting  Sonny Liston 1965

It’s on! How I am going to compete with Livemocha, busuu and Babbel

No, I haven’t lost my marbles! But at least now I got your attention, I think.

As you know, I have pursued a side project in German language learning since April 2008 called Deutsch Happen. On the basis of a more or less regular schedule I have produced different kinds of video lessons to test out teaching ideas and to support learners of German as a foreign language who might have no access to paid solutions.

For the past couple of months I have been experimenting with some strategies on how to grow my audience on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube and the results are good enough to take this to the next step: I am building a MVP.

Continue reading


Contest: EDUKWEST is giving away 5 Free Tickets to LAUNCH Pad Oct 21st


We have the first LAUNCH Pad Tablet Conference coming up on Oct. 21 at Microsoft in Mountain View, California. As the name suggests, the conference will focus on how tablets have changed the way we use technology and engage.

The potential of iPad and other tablet devices is immense, throughout the conference you’ll learn how they’re being used and what’s being developed for them.

EDUKWEST has the privilege to give 5 free tickets to our readers (each is at a value of $1000 for non-developers). As EDUKWEST is a media company for education, we are, of course, interested in hearing what you develop/would develop for an educational use of iPad/tablet devices, where you see its greatest potential and how you see today’s students want to learn with tablets.

Everybody, developers, teachers, schools administrators, principals, startup people, is more than welcome to join the competition. To enter the contest you need to

  1. subscribe to the free EDUKWEST Newsletter
  2. answer the questions “How would you use iPad in an educational context? What products would you build for teachers to use or you think students would like to learn with?” in the comments of the blog post linked below.

Good Luck!


Event: dp Exchange 2011 Cologne September 21st

As today is a public holiday in France (Assumption Day, just fyi) what better day to choose than this to start a new series on this blog.

The inspiration has formed over the past couple of weeks when a few people wrote me to ask what fairs or salons or conferences it might be worth attending. Now, as I always say education 2.0 is not so one-dimensional that I could recommend and say this or that very event was the one to go to. It depends where you come from and what you want or also who do you want to connect with or meet. But as I talk with so many people in the industry and always at least try to connect the dots, I think I can at least try and put some events up here?

Continue reading

Lidie Olesen joins Team EDUKWEST

Finally, I’m not the only woman on the team anymore as we welcome Lidie Oleson, our new writer for EDUKWEST.

Lidie first got in touch with me via LinkedIn and made a proposal you (at least I) don’t get every day. She offered to introduce me to the Danish and Bulgarian educational systems. I thought, this is really niche but besides, I was also intrigued.

Continue reading

Benjamin Stewart joins EDUKWEST as Writer

I’m happy to announce that our small team of writers at EDUKWEST has grown once more and I have the pleasure to introduce you to Benjamin Stewart who I’m sure is known already in a big part of the online learning world, especially when it come to EFL.

To those among you who are not yet familiar with what he’s doing, here are a few points worth to mention about Benjamin.

Continue reading