I have always been a firm believer that language and culture are inseparable. If you start teaching or learning a language the culture will play a major role from day one. Often the culture of a certain part of the world is even the reason why we want to learn a new language.
This week Livemocha and eduFire added some nice features to their platforms, both very different from each other but both emphasizing the cultural aspects.
The third quarter of 2010 started with the sale of eduFire to Camelback Education which led to various posts on the business model of live lessons itself and the question if those platforms and services ever take off.
Other big topics were the PR battle between Livemocha and Rosetta Stone around the launch of their new flagship products Active Courses and TOTALe, the rise of Udemy, the pivot of YongoPal and the growing necessity of tracking and recording learning in the new decade.
One of the core assets that Camelback Education got with the acqusition of eduFire is its community, or as they put it in their recent message “you are the heart and soul of eduFire”.
There has always been a strong bond between the platform and its users, something Jon Bischke and the eduFire team are very proud of, and rightfully so. Therefore, it is really great to see that after a period of uncertainty the old spirit is still alive.
The newest community gathering is hosted by Wren who is a Japanese and Career Development teacher and is called “eduIdol”.
In this episode of review:ed I had the pleasure to talk with Shiv Rajendran, Director at LanguageLab.com who is a well- known guest on my various shows. We talked about Pearson & Ning, Babbel & Livemocha, India & the $35 USD laptop, eduFire & Camelback Education and asynchronous content, live lessons and social games in education.
Thank you to our sponsor VODBURNER which provides review:ed with great Skype Video Recording & Editing.
There were already rumors about an update / new version of the WiZiQ classroom for a while and yesterday the teachers of the platform received an email announcing the launch in “less than a month from now”.
In this email you get an overview about the new features and a link that leads you to a demo of the new classroom.
Yesterday, I received one of the new and regularly coming News Bulletins from the Myngle education team. Normally you can get the news by reading the email for gist but this one caught my attention as it presents some substantial additions to the platform.
In fact the coming changes could give Myngle a lead over its competitors.
Just received an email from eduFire as all teachers on the platform, I guess.
As of January 1st, 2010, we are suspending the eduFire SuperPass program. Although we have received good feedback about SuperPass and are excited about its possibilities, we have a need to spend some time working on the SuperPass model as the results were not quite what we had hoped for. [...]
On Monday eduFire launched its new Tech Channel. Topics include for example Java, PhotoShop, php, SEO and WordPress. This is their contribution to fight structural unemployment. One can say that after teaching people how to found their own business with the Business Channel, eduFire now want to serve those businesses with well trained employees. If you want to read more about this interesting topic, I suggest the article on BitchBuzz.com because I would like to focus on something else in this post.
How did this came about? Why did eduFire change from a pure language learning marketplace into a platform focusing more and more on business related topics?
The answer is very simple. It’s all about a hyperlink with four little words that changed the eduFire Business Model.
I think this is going to be another great resource for edupreneurs to add to their list. eduFire launched a new subdomain blog http://videos.edufire.com where you can find a selection of recording from eduFire classes.
What makes this so interesting that I write a blog post about it? Easy: the new eduFire business channel. You find recordings of classes from top entrepreneurs on this blog. And as most of those classes are scheduled to US times this is a great way to view those classes later on.
There are classes about Business, Entrepreneurship, Marketing and so on.
There you go. You take one weekend off in Bordeaux to relax, then you come back home and get an email from Jon Bischke saying
[...] I would love to (talk with you) but this month is really crazy. [...] Lots of good things happening. I’m excited to share with you! [...]
Ok, so talk to you end of September, I wrote. Then, after a really great interview with Bernhard Niesner, the Co-Founder of busuu.com on my EDUKWEST series, which you can watch over here, Bernhard sent me the link to this TechCrunch article titled: EduFire Raises $1.3 Million For Video Education Platform
Jon, Jon: if this is “just” good, then I am really excited to hear your news in a couple of weeks!
I won’t rewrite the TechCrunch article here as it contains enough information for the moment. But I will try to schedule a new interview with Jon to ask him about these exciting moments that led to this funding.
For now, congratulations to you Jon and all the guys at eduFire. It is really great to see that your platform and therefore the whole educhange movement is finally getting the attention and support it deserves.
Edit: Jon was invited to the Happy Hour Show on FoxBusiness.com
As you might know already: eduFire is famous for using guerilla marketing strategies to spread the word about their platform. With the recent implementation of two little buttons they help you, the teacher, to spread the news about your courses on two of the biggest social networks on the net: facebook and Twitter.
eduFire.com is famous for its Guerilla Marketing Strategies which are really effective, by the way. I think basically 90% of eduFire’s marketing is done with those strategies and and driven by the enthusiasm of their community.
The newest idea comes from Kareem, one of the eduFire founders and is already known as “the new education revolution on Twitter” between eduFire teachers.