Personal Review of the second E-Teachers Conference

Before starting to give you my personal review I have to thank a couple of people. Let me start with Vikrama Dhiman of WiZiQ who supported me all the way from the planning to the ETCon today. I think he did an amazing job, so Kudos to you! You made the second ETCon a really smooth event for everyone involved.

Secondly I want to thank the members of the panel. Jason West of Languages Out There who did a great presentation about communities and shared emotion, Bernhard Niesner of busuu who gave us an inside view of his company and his thoughts on self regulating communities and the difference between in house developed content compared to crowdsourced content, Kevin Chen of italki who talked about problems of international / global platforms and the right member mix and last but not least again Vikrama Dhiman who explained how non educational companies use crowdsourcing and that crowdsourcing not always needs a community.

And of course I have to thank the great audience. You asked awesome questions that led to a resourceful discussion of the panel at the end. Thank you for attending the ETCon and spreading the word. I really appreciate your interest!

Below you will find the presentations of the panel members. The videos of the ETCon will be available in the coming days.

Now to my personal review. As there will be the videos available I would just like to pick a sentence of each presenter that stuck in my mind.

Jason West: “People are good”
That is why crowdsourcing works. People want to help, to contribute. It comes all down to emotion.

Bernhard Niesner: “Turn Community Members into Ambassadors” and “Let the community enforce the law”
If the members are involved in the whole process of building up the company, if you are listening to them, they will be happy. Then they spread the word and become your ambassadors. They also take care of their home, they won’t let others destroy it.

Kevin Chen: “Expert is best answer – Community is best effort”
Like for the userbase itself it is important to have the right mix for the contributors of crowdsourcing.

Vikrama Dhiman: “Crowdsourcing does not always need a Community”
Giving examples from non educational companies like eBay, Toyota and RentaCoder Vikrama explained that a community is not always necessary for crowdsourcing.

I really enjoyed this event and I learned a lot. And remember:

After the ETCon is before the ETCon.

Looking forward seeing you all end of September for the third E-Teachers Conference.

If you would like to follow the panelists on Twitter:

Jason West @JasonOutThere and @EnglishOutThere
Bernhard Niesner @busuu
Kevin Chen @italki
Vikrama Dhiman @VikramaDhiman and @WiZiQ
Kirsten Winkler @KirstenWinkler

The presentations:

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  • http://www.language-bridge.com bridge2english

    Kirsten, congratulations!
    It was a fantastic public class and it deserves to be called Master Class.
    I have watched the recording of it for the second time to digest all the information presented at ETCon. My wish is that it becomes a tradition for discussion of major problems in the field of online learning.

    If I would have to mention only one citation from the ETCon meeting I would select the quotation from Kevin Chen (http://www.italki.com ):
    “Language learning is not a typical subject
    • In addition to knowledge, it takes practice, skill
    • Playing an instrument
    • Language learning is about communication
    • Can't do it alone”

    I would like to paraphrase it: Language learning is not a subject at all.
    Without accounting this concept no language learning portal will show a real breakthrough.

    I agree with you “that courses and content can be made by a community”.
    However, a doubt settled down in my mind. I recollected a phrase I have heard many years ago: before making any public polls studies one should educate the public first – otherwise it becomes a poll of ignorance.

    There is another obstacle: community as a rule is resilient to any innovation because of inertia and a notion: “it is unknown to the public”.

    Kirsten, your presentation was very innovative; I especially like your notion that online learning portals should have an idea and a leader. Unfortunately, most of them have an idea but not a leader who would apply his knowledge and vision to educate the community before suggesting a new content to them or using the community to create this new content.

    Looking forward to the next Master Class,
    Arkady Zilberman

  • vickidhiman

    Thank you for organizing the second ETCon. It was a great learning experience to hear Bernard, Kevin, Jason and yourself as well as listen to the discussions. It highlighted many issues. I think getting people from industry together monthly is a great way to bring ideas and thoughts for the future.