We got interesting news from the two European competitors of Livemocha. Markus Witte, Co-Founder of Babbel wrote a blog post about the success of Babbel 2.0. If you can remember, Babbel changed from their freemium model to a premium only model in November 2009 which of course has caused some discussions if this was such a clever move.
The Co-Founder of the language learning community Busuu, Bernhard Niesner, wrote on their company blog about the launch of a new group feature on the site.
For a long time I did not cover all the new partnerships that were made in the education 2.0 sector. One reason for this is the huge amount of new companies which enter the game.
Really exciting times but nevertheless lets have a look at the “grown up” rebels. You will see that there is lots going on, too. Especially building alliances with the established top dogs in education.
In yesterday’s Edukwest interview with Bernhard Niesner of busuu.com he announced for the first time that they’re going to launch the new busuu Italian language course on the website in addition to their existing English, Spanish, French and German courses this Friday.
Moreover, they’re experimenting with crowdsourcing to launch a Portuguese course soon. So far, more than 50 Brazilian Portuguese signed up to function as crowdsourcing translators.
I’m happy to see busuu extending their offer and I look forward to these new courses that’ll keep my language garden green and will hopefully make me earn some busuu berries.
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!
The panel will present their own point of view about the topic Communities and the Power of Crowdsourcing. The presentations will then be followed by a moderated discussion and a Q&A session with the audience.
You can ask your questions on the ETCon directly to the panel by using the classroom chat or using Twitter and the #ETCon hashtag. If you cannot attend on the thursday but want to ask a question you can also post them in the ETCon blog at http://etcon.eteachersacademy.com
As a kid back in the nineties I loved to watch Wrestling on TV. Hulk Hogan, The Undertaker, Bret Michaels, The Heartbreak Kid, you name them. One of the events I loved the most was the Royal Rumble where every two minutes another Wrestler entered the ring. The rule was simple: the last one in the ring won the match and you had to get all the others out of the ring above the top row. But their two feet had to touch the ground to be out of the match.
At some moments of the fight there were up to 20 Top Wrestlers in the match, building alliances that broke the next minute and so on. You see, the WWF taught me a lot about business ;).
Now what has this to do with online education? Well, you can say that in the Royal Rumble of language learning communities we are now at the point where the World Champion entered the Ring. In this case Rosetta Stone with their new product TOTALe.
I did not even knew what an impact it made in the news not only in Spain but also in other european countries like Germany and France. A very good example for a clever start up marketing strategy. Looking forward to meet Bernhard in London for the TechCrunch Awards and to have a cocktail on his Silver Lion!
Ok, today I will try something new. During the development of the workshops and courses for the E-Teachers Academy I got into screen casts as a very nice method to show people directly on their screen what I want to teach them.
So this is the first screencast for my blog. It’s about the new widget from busuu.com that will deliver a set of flashcards every day to your blog.
busuu.com offers two brand new features to their students. One is the busuu-energy that you can send to your friends, the other one is a personalized learning progess report.
Both features are made to support the students in their language learning. Everyone who learns a language comes sooner or later at a point were the enthusiam of the first steps is gone away. busuu.com wants to help you to get over that gap.
The Berlin based Babbel.com just launched its first Premium Course about a week ago. It is called “Spanisch – der leichte Einstieg (Spanish – the easy Start)” and based on the course “Spanisch ganz einfach in 20 Tagen” from Christof Kehr published by Hueber.